Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Connecting the dots over Iran: maybe the dots aren't so connected

Yesterday I posted for a second day about the dangerous connect-the-dots approach to intelligence that the U.S. is engaged in over Iran and how it is just as unlikely to be correct as our so-called intelligence about WMDs in Iraq before the "liberation" of Iraq. Today, in an article in the Washington Post by Karen DeYoung entitled "Pace Demurs on Accusation of Iran - General Says He Knows Nothing Tying Leaders to Arms in Iraq", when pressed, Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, clearly distanced himself from the allegations that the government of Iran is directly involved with supplying arms to the insurgency in Iraq, saying that what he "would not say is that the Iranian government, per se, knows about this" and that he "would not say by what I know that the Iranian government clearly knows or is complicit." Clearly he knows how weak the case is, but he is stuck between his political masters and a hard place.

Elements of the Pentagon and White House are both all but saying that the government of Iran is arming the insuregncy in Iraq. Or as The Post puts it:

Pace's comments came a day after U.S. military officials in Baghdad alleged that the "highest levels" of the Iranian government have directed use of weapons that are killing U.S. troops in Iraq. No information was provided to substantiate the charge. Administration officials yesterday deflected requests for more details, even as they repeatedly implied Tehran's involvement.
[My emphasis.]

This is classic Neoconservative "connect the dots" promotion of a position that is not sustained by hard-core facts. If they did have the facts, they could simply let the facts stand by themselves. But lacking hard-core facts, they have to rely on exploiting fear, emotion, and raw passion and resort not only to implying connections where none exist, but repeatedly implying a unsustained conclusion. Back in the old days, they had a name for this: "The Big Lie." Tell a lie repeatedly, loud enough, and with enough passion, and people will eventually believe it. This is a shameful way to run a government, but to the Neoconservatives and the rest of the so-called Pro-Israel Lobby, the ends do in fact justify the means.

-- Jack Krupansky


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