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View Diary: Calling the war in Iraq a 'mistake' is easy. The reality is more malignant (241 comments)

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  •  The passive voice (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RandomNonviolence, LillithMc

    In context of discussing the Project for a New American Century MB writes that, "Forgeries were drafted purporting yellowcake purchases."

    This is literally true—forgeries were drafted. What was and remains unknown is the identity of the drafters. MB (or anyone) may speculate as much as he wishes, but he ought to label it as guesswork, instead of fudging the issue via proximity and use of the passive to pretend to an identification that is not certain.

    For a wider look at some of the inconclusive possibilities, the end of this Wikipedia article has a section entitled, "Origin - who forged the documents?" It's a pretty good summary. http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    Anyone who reads Italian should also look at the Italian Wikipedia article "Nigergate," with links to the invaluable La Repubblica articles covering the Italian secret services role in the affair.
    http://it.wikipedia.org/...

    •  I don't need to depend on... (2+ / 0-)
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      HamdenRice, Eric Nelson

      ...Wikipedia on this subject because my long-time friend Peter Eisner (with whom I worked on projects at the Los Angeles Times for several years) gave me a copy of the galleys to critique of his 2007 book The Italian Letter:How the Bush Administration Used a Fake Letter to Build the Case for War in Iraq.

      The implication that this forgery is somehow not another product of the machinations of the cabal that gave us the war is not one either Eisner or I agree with. Your mileage may vary.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 11:34:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't need to depend on (0+ / 0-)

        Wikipedia, either, because I had ties in Italy to people who were then in national government, to journalists who were covering the story there, and and through them, in the U.S., a friendly acquaintance with one of the people in the intelligence community who was a player in the affair both here and in Italy. At the time, I was traveling to Italy 5-6 annually and did so for most of a decade. I've followed this for years.

        If Eisner, or anyone else, has anything beyond a circumstantial case, I've yet to see it. You may well choose to believe what you like, but it is a choice not compelled by clear evidence. I have no problem with your making that choice—but I think you ought to have declared that, rather than having recourse to rhetorical stratagem that is right on up there with the infamous "it is believed," and "quite possibly" so beloved of journalists who can't actually make their case.

        •  For "forgeries were drafted"... (0+ / 0-)

          ...to be equated by some sleight of hand "it is believed," you would have to argue that these were not forgeries. They obviously were. And only the most naive think that they weren't crafted by someone connected to someone who would gain from their being accepted as the real thing.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 01:30:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Only the naive (0+ / 0-)

            MB: " only the most naive think that they weren't crafted by someone connected to someone who would gain from their being accepted as the real thing."

            Sure, as far as tautologies go: They were crafted by someone with something to gain. Were those someones the group of neocons you were discussing? Unknown. Was it SISDI, for some internal Italian purposes? Unknown.

            BTW, that "only the most naive" is another fine rhetorical stratagem, offering a slightly veiled accusation without the tedious necessity of having to prove a case. Bravo.

            •  Sure. Your guesswork is better than the... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              navajo

              ...the guy(s) who wrote the most definitive book on the subject. If you had, in fact, read the book, you'd know that Eisner's conclusion is that rogue elements in the Italian SISMI were the most likely sources and that they were eager to produce this because of so much pressure on all foreign intelligence sources from Washington to provide evidence, no matter how tenuous, of Saddam's supposed gathering of material for the production of nukes.

              But, fine, continue to believe that the neocons who used the documents for their own ends had nothing whatsoever to do with their creation. The intelligence agencies and their bosses are quite familiar with the necessities of plausible deniability and work hard to ensure that definitive proof in the form of a signed confession, which is, I am certain, the only thing you would accept, never appears.

              Meanwhile, you attack semantic nits about 1% of a diary while ignoring the big picture described in the other 99% whose assertions have been proved without doubt. Bravo, indeed.

              Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

              by Meteor Blades on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 10:57:24 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Supercilious much? (0+ / 0-)

                1) I didn't offer guesswork— you did. I didn't say I believe those neocons did or did not have the documents produced, but then I know of no available proof. Neither do you. What I objected to was that you purveyed guesswork masquerading as fact. All you needed to do was label it as such.

                2) Please inform me of the definitive proof for Eisner's conclusion. Where is it found? What document? What source? If you can produce, not only will I eat my hat, but you'll have one of the the great  journalistic scoops, since nobody else has managed to produce this proof. Eisner's book may be, in your not-humble opinion, definitive, but it is still speculation.

                And now I'll return you to your self-righteous and self-satisfied navel-gazing.

                •  Reading comprehension... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  navajo, catilinus

                  ...is your friend: "were the most likely sources."

                  The original issue of contention here is over the use of the syntactical structure of a sentence that you say allows me to make an accusation without proof. The documents were, in fact, without doubt, forged. And they were, for a time, used by the Bush administration to help it fabricate its case for a multi-trillion-dollar war that caused the deaths of nearly 8,000 Americans in and out of uniform and several hundred thousand Iraqis, most of whom were civilians, something you make not the briefest comment about, preferring instead the pointless nitpick.

                  As for your comment header, I highly recommend you read the content and tone of your last 250 comments. You've got the market on "supercilious" cornered.

                  Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                  by Meteor Blades on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 07:30:20 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  do we really need to split hairs (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson

      between those that actually forged the documents, and those who knowingly cited forged documents to get the war they wanted?

      Your end of the Constitution is sinking.

      by happymisanthropy on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 11:45:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Split hairs (0+ / 0-)

        I agree to a certain extent—those forged documents sure were convenient and happily used by those whose convenience they served. Still, it would be very interesting to know exactly who set the process in motion and in order to serve precisely what end.

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