Well, I know I appear to have missed a whopper of a meeting in Washington, but you’ll get what I mean:
(Prepare yourselves, darlings; you’ll simply love what she’s wearing… but I should point out that she wore it for this event, and not the reported event.)
Daily Mail – I hate all Iranians, US aide tells MPs: British MPs visiting the Pentagon to discuss America’s stance on Iran and Iraq were shocked to be told by one of President Bush’s senior women officials (Debra Cagan): “I hate all Iranians.” And she also accused Britain of “dismantling” the Anglo-US-led coalition in Iraq by pulling troops out of Basra too soon… The Pentagon denied Ms Cagan said she “hated” Iranians. “She doesn’t speak that way,” said an official. But when The Mail on Sunday spoke to four of the six MPs, three confirmed privately that she made the remark and one declined to comment. The other two could not be contacted.
(Note – Even if this turns out to be old/non-news, it’s still fun to watch the folks at the Mail scream ‘Nazi’.)
Washington Post – An Iranian University Invites Bush to Speak: In a separate matter, a remark attributed to Debra Cagan, deputy assistant secretary of defense for coalition affairs, that she “hates” all Iranians has led to calls by Iranian Americans for her resignation… In a statement relayed by the Pentagon press office yesterday, Cagan denied making the comment. “I never said that. And I don’t speak that way in any event,” she said.
Well, this is begging to be settled; even if it’s a bullshit story, it’s worth knowing where it came from.
But even though it’s all over the place in the U.S. (Wonkette and Crooks & Liars head a long list of blogs), I’m not seeing any significant UK-based attention beyond the Mail’s piece, and looking for people who are talking about it locally takes me into new and worrying neighbourhoods.
What this needs is a little British spunk; someone to press that local advantage and clear this up (and, perhaps, to clear up the spunk afterwards).
The Mail says Stuart Graham was there, but they *may* just have been talking about Graham Stuart. Whatever his name is, he’s not talking.
So, who else was there? I count 5 missing MPs, and all of them are (allegedly) members of a cross-party group that travelled to Washington on a ten-day trip “to discuss America’s stance on Iran and Iraq”.
We need names, people.
UPDATE (03 Oct) – I’ve left a message with Graham Stuart’s office seeking more information about this mysterious cross-party group; I can’t find any mention of it beyond repeats of the Mail article above.