I would regard this report very seriously if I were you… not least because Hersh also revealed much of the detail behind the Abu Ghraib scandal. (Which, I’m sure you’ll all be comforted to know, was entirely the fault of this one misguided man. Or perhaps these misguided men. And not anyone senior in the Bush administration.)
Of course, if your head is wired in such a way that George W Bush Can Do No Wrong, then this may for you be a good reason to disbelieve the following report. Not that it will matter to you. Recent history teaches us that those most in favour of war have the least exposure to it.
Seymour Hersh – The Coming Wars – What the Pentagon can now do in secret: George W. Bush’s re-election was not his only victory last fall. The President and his national-security advisers have consolidated control over the military and intelligence communities’ strategic analyses and covert operations to a degree unmatched since the rise of the post-Second World War national-security state. Bush has an aggressive and ambitious agenda for using that control – against the mullahs in Iran and against targets in the ongoing war on terrorism – during his second term. The C.I.A. will continue to be downgraded, and the agency will increasingly serve, as one government consultant with close ties to the Pentagon put it, as “facilitators” of policy emanating from President Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney. This process is well under way…. “This is a war against terrorism, and Iraq is just one campaign. The Bush Administration is looking at this as a huge war zone,” the former high-level intelligence official told me. “Next, we’re going to have the Iranian campaign. We’ve declared war and the bad guys, wherever they are, are the enemy. This is the last hurrah – we’ve got four years, and want to come out of this saying we won the war on terrorism.”
CNN – Journalist: U.S. planning for possible attack on Iran: In an interview on the same program, White House Communications Director Dan Bartlett said the story was “riddled with inaccuracies”… “I don’t believe that some of the conclusions he’s drawing are based on fact,” Bartlett said.
I’ve read that sentence a number of times, turned it upside-down and even held it up to a mirror, but I still can’t find the denial.
A man scans the landscape and sees an army massing on the horizon. He sees what he thinks are around 50 tanks, 36 jets and roughly 10,000 troops. Of course, his numbers being wrong would mean that the report is “riddled with inaccuracies”… but there would still be an army massing on the horizon.
That whole thing about the reintroduction of the draft (with tell-tale signs going back way into last year) was so obviously a last-minute pre-election scare-tactic by the Demmycrats.
UPDATE – Ohh, look! Some more good news (via Pugh Watch)…
BBC – Iraq ‘could become terror haven’: Iraq could become a breeding ground for terrorists, with survivors taking their experience to use around the world, a new US intelligence report warns.Veterans of jihad in Iraq could eventually replace the al-Qaeda hierarchy, the CIA’s National Intelligence Council says.
UPDATE – Here’s a list of items you cannot take to the Presidential Inauguration. Eggs and pretzels are not listed, but these could quite easily be covered under “any other items at the discretion of the security screeners that may pose a potential safety hazard.”
UPDATE – You may be interested to learn that instructions given to official performers in the parade include: “a warning not to look directly at Bush while passing the presidential reviewing stand, not to look to either side and not to make any sudden movements.”