NYT Swallows Iraq/bin Laden ‘Document’ Whole

As if determined to prove that their status as the media’s premier wide-eyed gulls has been entirely unaffected by their recent ‘apology’, the NY Times printed a report today on a supposed connection between Iraqi intelligence and Al Qaeda that’s exactly as trustworthy as Judith Miller’s propaganda riffs before the war because it comes from the same source: our old friend, Ahmad Chalabi.

WASHINGTON, June 24 — Contacts between Iraqi intelligence agents and Osama bin Laden when he was in Sudan in the mid-1990’s were part of a broad effort by Baghdad to work with organizations opposing the Saudi ruling family, according to a newly disclosed document obtained by the Americans in Iraq.

That’s the first problem: it wasn’t ‘obtained’ by the US; as the article admits later, it was handed to us on a silver platter.

The Americans confirmed that they had obtained the document from the Iraqi National Congress, as part of a trove that the group gathered after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s government last year. The Defense Intelligence Agency paid the Iraqi National Congress for documents and other information until recently, when the group and its leader, Ahmad Chalabi, fell out of favor in Washington.

This is the second problem: he didn’t ‘fall’ out of favor; he was pushed. Rudely. Over charges that his ‘closest aides’ were corrupt and had been falsifying information. Gives you a lot of confidence in this ‘document’, doesn’t it? The Times does manage to note in passing, later on, that the INC doesn’t have the most wonderful reputation for credibility in the known universe–

Some of the intelligence provided by the group is now wholly discredited, although officials have called some of the documents it helped to obtain useful.

Well, thanks for the bone, guys. But this statement is, of course, then followed by this:

A translation of the new Iraqi document was reviewed by a Pentagon working group in the spring, officials said. It included senior analysts from the military’s Joint Staff, the Defense Intelligence Agency and a joint intelligence task force that specialized in counterterrorism issues, they said.The task force concluded that the document “appeared authentic,” and that it “corroborates and expands on previous reporting” about contacts between Iraqi intelligence and Mr. bin Laden in Sudan, according to the task force’s analysis.

‘Appeared’ to be authentic? A small reminder to our ‘intelligence’ forces: Ahmad Chalabi, a convicted embezzler now know to have fabricated most of the documents he handed off before the war to Doug Feith and his intrepid band of stone-ignorant innocents in order to justify his insistence that the US was in ‘imminent danger’ from Saddam, has had these Iraqi Secret Police files for more than a year–files we gave him–which is more than enough time to make a document ‘appear authentic’.

That these blockheads are giving credence to anything that comes from Chalabi at this point is beyond belief. That the NYT is printing it with a straight face proves only one thing: NOTHING HAS CHANGED. The Times is still sucking the Administration’s tit, and the Administration is still sucking Ahmad’s. He tosses the bait our way and we grab it because–Chalabi’s perrenial MO–it fits the lies the Admninistration has been telling for months. Lo! and a document shall appear from below to smite the unbelievers (of course, we may just have to forge it, but what the hell? When you decide to believe something, you believe it no matter how little sense it makes).

Even if this ‘evidence’ turns out to be genuine, what does it actually say? That Iraqi intelligence was listening to bin Laden’s proposal (Iraqi intelligence, mind, not Saddam himself, who may not even have known about the overtures since they were the work of a single intelligence officer known to have his…differences…with Hussein) and we already know that. We also already know that these tentative explorations went nowhere. We have known it for months. So how does this qualify as ‘news’?

In only one way: it seems to back up the Admin’s position and anything that does that is ‘news’ as far as the NYT is concerned, which then, after token doubt has been cast and rejected, goes into a lengthy description of what the ‘document’ purports to substantiate. Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s off to work we go, and mind you don’t trip over the wizard’s curtain.

This would be funny if it wasn’t so disgusting.

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