Alan Dershowitz showed up on Huffpost (once a paladin of new media, quickly becoming MSM) and called the NIE “the stupidest intelligence assessment I have ever read” (implying that he, dream-team attorney and professional cable-news bloviator, reads SO MANY of them). His thesis echoes the theme cranked out from Dick Cheney’s fax machine to most of the neocon reactionary front: ‘Don’t trust the NIE. Iran is still making a nuclear bomb in secret.’
And as usual, the MSM is playing lapdog for the neocon agenda. As proof of his argument, Dershowitz cites a NYT editorial today by Valerie Lincy and Gary Milhollin. Milhollin directs the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control, while Lincy maintains the Project’s website devoted to alarmist rhetoric on Iran’s nuclear “ambitions.” The Wisconsin Project was involved in establishing the cassus belli for Iraq, maintains the fiction that WMD were found there, and is exclusively funded by the conservative Smith Richardson Foundation, which also funds the Brookings Institution, the baritone in the memetic chorus singing “The Surge is Working” on Fox.
Lincy and Milhollin’s op-ed repeats the usual tired, discredited talking points: ‘Iran has oil, they don’t need nuclear power.’ ‘Iran gets uranium from Russia, they don’t need to enrich their own.’ The fact that oil is selling for $100 a barrel means nothing; neither does nationalism, arguably a more powerful motive in Persia than Islam. The authors blur the science, too: Iran’s enrichment program is nowhere near to building a single bomb, yet in their hands it becomes the Gravest Threat to American Freedom That Ever Was.
The second talking point out of Cheney’s office is reflected by the Wall Street Journal today, and it’s a truly Orwellian argument: The CIA has ‘flip-flopped.’ “If they got Iraq’s WMD so wrong,” the argument goes, “how can we trust them today?”
Last, but certainly never least, the neocons (as always) are shooting the messenger: ‘This is just Bush-haters in the bureaucracy’:
The NIE’s main authors include three former State Department officials with previous reputations as “hyper-partisan anti-Bush officials,” according to an intelligence source.
Of course, the source is never named. And there you have the neocon NIE counteroffensive in a nutshell: ‘We can’t trust the facts. We can’t trust the message. We can’t trust the messenger.’
But we are supposed to trust them — the ones who got it so wrong in Iraq, from WMD to candy/flowers, whose every word turned out to be a lie or distortion, who hid their agenda behind a facade of respectability. We’re supposed to believe Bush didn’t know the intelligence on Iran would turn out this way.
And we’re supposed to buy this crap because the MSM lets them repeat it often enough.
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