I’m reading a book, News: The Politics of Illusion, which broaches the subject of Bush’s at first tenuous, later discredited claims about terrorist connections and WMD in Iraq — a subject the media were glad to continue discussing as possibilities long after they were proven to be fairy tales.
I’m experiencing an eerie sense of familiarity with a few articles in the “liberal” media in the past weeks — starting on Jan. 26, “Bush Defends Moving Against Iranians Who Help Shiites Attack U.S.-Led Forces in Iraq,” with this lede (preempting criticism, yes, it’s spelled that way):
President Bush and his senior aides on Friday justified American actions against Iranian operatives inside Iraq as necessary to protect American troops and Iraqis, and said they would continue as long as Tehran kept up what they called its support for Shiites involved in sectarian attacks.
A full ten graphs down the page comes some detail I would have appreciated a little sooner, and which most readers never hit:
President Bush kicked off a campaign of escalated rhetoric against Iran during a televised address to the nation on Jan. 10. For months, officials from across the Bush administration have accused Iran of supplying Shiite militias with high-tech explosives and training them to carry out attacks with roadside bombs.
Administration officials have thus far provided little detailed public evidence to support these claims. Officials said that Zalmay Khalilzad, the American ambassador in Baghdad, is planning a news conference for Wednesday during which he will present a dossier of Iran’s efforts to fuel sectarian violence in Iraq.
Incidentally, Khalilzad spoke of trying to help increase security and open a bank, but that’s neither here nor there — the US is giving Iran the silent treatment, anyway. In today’s “Iran May Have Trained Attackers That Killed 5 American Soldiers, U.S. and Iraqis Say”, it gets better.
BAGHDAD, Jan. 30 — Investigators say they believe that attackers who used American-style uniforms and weapons to infiltrate a secure compound and kill five American soldiers in Karbala on Jan. 20 may have been trained and financed by Iranian agents, according to American and Iraqi officials knowledgeable about the inquiry.
The officials said the sophistication of the attack astonished investigators, who doubt that Iraqis could have carried it out on their own — one reason a connection to Iran is being closely examined. Officials cautioned that no firm conclusions had been drawn and did not reveal any direct evidence of a connection.
The worst part of the Bush’s lies in the run up to Iraq is that he cried wolf. And the worst part about the media is they keep loading their shotguns, reporting suspicions as facts, then only later revealing they lack substance. Bush should learn a different way to deal with hostile nations, and the press should think about the implications of reporting such claims as news– otherwise the U.S. is in for another round of hype, topple, truth, and quagmire.