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Monday, August 30, 2004

Scandals? What scandals?

All it takes is the end of the Olympics, some street protests, and the start of a coronation, and the story about one middle-eastern nation (Israel) having a spy in the Pentagon trying to get us to go to war with two other middle-eastern nations (Iraq and Iran) is quickly consigned to the back pages. On the main web pages of the NY Times, the Washington Post, and CNN, only the Times has a small headline about the issue: Officials Say Publicity Derailed Secrets Inquiry.

Of much less importance, and therefore likely to get much more attention, is evidence that former Texas speaker of the house Ben Barnes helped W get into the Air National Guard, and that Bush may have lied about that in one or more of his campaigns.

Why is the Israel spy case such a big deal? Juan Cole explains it here and here. The gist of it is that not only did neocon insiders conspire with Israel and the Israeli politcal front here in the US, AIPAC, to get us into the war with Iraq, they have been and still are actively trying to get us into a war with Iran as well. I found this passage particularly interesting:
Iran is reported to have Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in custody in summer of 2003, and to be entirely willing to hand him over to the US in return for some high-ranking MEK terrorists. [MEK is, or was, an Iraq-based terror group which attacked Iran. US troops have captured some MEK guys over the past year and a half.] But first the neocon network, including Franklin, Harold Rhode and Michael Ledeen, intervenes to stop the trade (see below). Then, mysteriously, everything that goes wrong in Iraq from about January of 2004 begins being blamed on Zarqawi (is it alleged that Iran let him go, to deliberately disrupt Iraq by blowing up Shiites? More likely, when Iran won't accommodate the Neocons because of the latters' ties to MEK, the neocons decide to smear Iran as "harboring" terrorists and "sending" them to Iraq. They know this path might even lead to a US war on Iran, which is what they want. That is one reason they did not want the prisoner exchange to succeed).
This is the type of box that the administration should have no way out of if we had a decent media. Either
  1. Zarqawi is the brutal terrorist we've been led to believe, setting off car bombs all over Iraq, beheading Nick Berg, leading the Fallujah uprisings, and so on. In which case, the administration's unwillingness to trade the MEK terrorists for Zarqawi was an act of criminal negligence undertaken solely in order to cast Iran as a supporter of terrorism rather than an opponent. I'm sure Nick Berg's father would be thrilled with that explanation, along with many others. Alternatively,
  2. Zarqawi wasn't or isn't a threat, and may even be dead. In this case, the endless bombings of "safe houses" in Fallujah to get Zarqawi and all the lies about the Berg beheading and the other crimes and simply acts of imperial genocide.
Oh well, the Repugs are puttin' on a show this week. No time to dwell on their crimes of the past 3 1/2 years.