Basically, the report appears to be the first salvo in a fall campaign to justify a war against Iran (with Andy Card gone, they’ve perhaps forgotten that you don’t introduce a new "product" in August). Only this time, they’re not just presenting us with shitty intelligence and telling us we have to go to war (though the report does serve that purpose too). They’re also saying, "the intelligence is shitty, so we cannot negotiate and therefore have to go to war."
Is it me, or did Bill Kristol just get all tingly with excitement?
The 29-page report, principally written by a Republican staff member on the House intelligence committee who holds a hard-line view on Iran, fully backs the White House position that the Islamic republic is moving forward with a nuclear weapons program and that it poses a significant danger to the United States. But it chides the intelligence community for not providing enough direct evidence to support that assertion….
Jamal Ware, spokesman for the House intelligence committee, said three staff members wrote the report, but he did not dispute that the principal author was Frederick Fleitz, a former CIA officer who had been a special assistant to John R. Bolton, the administration’s former point man on Iran at the State Department. Bolton had been highly influential in the crafting of a tough policy that rejected talks with Tehran.
Look, it’s our buddy Fred Fleitz, now working for the House Intel Committee (read: now with his ass planted firmly there to keep an eagle eye on Pete Hoekstra for the Cheney/Addington faction) who was the person who wrote the report. Shocking. Shocking I tell you.
And sloppy reporting by the NYTimes to miss this element, given Fleitz’ heightened profile after the Valerie Plame Wilson outing and his former hatchet man status as John Bolton’s former number two when Bolton was at State. Especially given Fleitz record as a hardliner when it comes to Iran — and the questions of his involvement in some other odd moments in Bolton history.
But how much can we count on anything Fleitz says in the report after what, I’m sure, was an exhaustive investigation involving a gathering of all evidence and facts — because he’s not the sort of fellow who would ever cook the books to support an assertion and and outcome without the underlying facts, right?.:
[The report's] authors did not interview intelligence officials.
Oh yeah, no stone unturned. No assertion unchallenged. Every fact backed up in triplicate. Not so much. Jeebus, do these people learn nothing?
(The cartoon above is a Wasserman, who usually appears in the Boston Globe. I found this one on another website but they didn’t have a link back to where it was found in the archives. It was altogether too perfect for this deja vu, wouldn’t you say?)