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August 25, 2006

Ha, Ha: NYT Picks Up "Fearmongering" Meme From Bottom-Feeding Liberal Blogs

But of course.

Wanted: Scarier Intelligence

Note: that's meant ironically, or from the POV of the "fearmongering" GOP.

The last thing this country needs as it heads into this election season is another attempt to push the intelligence agencies to hype their conclusions about the threat from a Middle Eastern state.

That’s what happened in 2002, when the administration engineered a deeply flawed document on Iraq that reshaped intelligence to fit President Bush’s policy. And history appeared to be repeating itself this week, when the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Peter Hoekstra of Michigan, released a garishly illustrated and luridly written document that is ostensibly dedicated to “helping the American people understand” that Iran’s fundamentalist regime and its nuclear ambitions pose a strategic threat to the United States.

It’s hard to imagine that Mr. Hoekstra believes there is someone left in this country who does not already know that. But the report obviously has different aims. It is partly a campaign document, a product of the Republican strategy of scaring Americans into allowing the G.O.P. to retain control of Congress this fall. It fits with the fearmongering we’ve heard lately — like President Bush’s attempt the other day to link the Iraq war to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

But even more worrisome, the report seems intended to signal the intelligence community that the Republican leadership wants scarier assessments that would justify a more confrontational approach to Tehran. It was not the work of any intelligence agency, or the full intelligence panel, or even the subcommittee that ostensibly drafted it. The Washington Post reported that it was written primarily by a former C.I.A. official known for his view that the assessments on Iran are not sufficiently dire.

While the report contains no new information, it does dish up dire-sounding innuendo, mostly to leave the impression that Iran is developing nuclear weapons a lot faster than intelligence agencies have the guts to admit. It also tosses in a few conspiracy theories, like the unsupported assertion that Iran engineered the warfare between Israel and Hezbollah. And it complains that America’s spy agencies are too cautious, that they “shy away from provocative conclusions.”

Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, put it even more bluntly in explaining some Republicans’ dissatisfaction with the C.I.A. reporting on Iran: “The intelligence community is dedicated to predicting the least dangerous world possible.”

All in all, this is a chilling reminder of what happened when intelligence analysts told Vice President Dick Cheney they could not prove that Iraq was building a nuclear weapon or had ties with Al Qaeda. He kept asking if they really meant it — until the C.I.A. took the hint.

...

The nation cannot afford to pay the price again for politicians’ bending intelligence or bullying the intelligence agencies to suit their ideology.

Liberal politicians cannot say these things. Therefore, it's up to their proxies at the NYT to explicate the Michael Moore "fictitious threat" thesis.

Via the great Memeorandum.

Guess which blogs are gang-chatting this story up?


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posted by Ace at 09:33 AM

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