Bang the Drum Louder

Joseph Lieberman is having a nervous breakdown because the United States has not — yet — started bombing Iran. In today’s Opinion Journal (where else?) Lieberman states as fact — with, needless to say, not one shred of evidence or support other than the statements of one military official — that Hezbollah, at Iran’s behest, is training Iraqis to kill Americans in Iraq; and that the Quds Force is instructing Iraqi insurgents — in groups of 60 at a time — in the use of mortars, rockets, and IEDs to kill American servicemen and women.

That’s not all:

Based on the interrogation of captured extremist leaders–including a 24-year veteran of Hezbollah, apparently dispatched to Iraq by his patrons in Tehran–Gen. Bergner also reported on Monday that the U.S. military has concluded that “the senior leadership” in Iran is aware of these terrorist activities. He said it is “hard to imagine” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei–Iran’s supreme leader–does not know of them.

So Gen. Bergner has “concluded” — based on interrogation the use of enhanced interrogation techniques torture to extract confirmation of what he already believed to be true — that Iran’s “senior leadership” knows about “these terrorist activities.” Still, despite what Bergner “has concluded,” Bergner can still say that he finds it “hard to imagine” that Iran’s top cleric “does not know of” these terrorist activities.

Why does Bergner even have to attempt imagining? Why does “imagining” even come up at all, when these “captured extremist leaders” have told him that Iran’s senior leadership knows about said terrorist activities?

But wait– maybe they haven’t told Bergner that, at all. Take another look at Lieberman’s words, parsed with such incredible care:

Based on the interrogation of captured extremist leaders–including a 24-year veteran of Hezbollah, apparently dispatched to Iraq by his patrons in Tehran–Gen. Bergner also reported on Monday that the U.S. military has concluded that “the senior leadership” in Iran is aware of these terrorist activities. …

Translation: The “captured Islamist extremists” did not tell their interrogators that Iran’s senior leadership “is aware of these terrorist activities.” Bergner “concluded” that Iran’s senior leadership knows, “based on” whatever the detainees did say, or maybe “based on” nothing at all: maybe Bergner just heard what he wanted to hear.

Aside from anything else, how insulting is it that Lieberman gets prime space in the nation’s premier financial newspaper to beat the drum for war with Iran without even a token effort to prove or even support his argument.

Then again, maybe his contempt for truth or facts or evidence makes sense, since so many people lack the ability to think for themselves, or to question what an authority figure tells them. If proof is needed, just take a look at the hook, line, and sinker buried in the gullets of the usual suspects on the right.

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15 Comments

Filed under 05_kathy

15 responses to “Bang the Drum Louder

  1. The warmongering bag of batshit that IS Joey L. Why this asshat doesn’t register as a repube is beyond me.

    Why is it the reichwingers never back up their statements with fact?

    Because they don’t have any..its all based on emotions and the fear factor.

  2. Dan

    I’d be willing to accept your translation if you gave an alternate. I agree with you that Liberman may be spinning something to his objectves(suprise?) but as far as the miltary intelligence on the matter, what evidence would you be willing to accept? From where would it have to come to be a credible source and who would have to be reporting it? Obviously you think that this General has an axe to grind, but does it apply to anyone with miltary credentials? And why couldn’t he conclude from all availabe information? I know in these responses intent can be misinterpreted, so I’ll say ahead, I am asking those questions genuinely and I’m not setting traps.

    As far as the use of the words imagine & apparently, I wonder if you’re not cutting a little to close the bone there but whatever.

  3. As long as this idiot is given platforms like the WSJ we’ll keep hearing the same thing over and over, with no rhyme or reason, with no proof, just right wing bullshit as we saw in the build up to war in Iraq. And make no mistake, Lieberman is as right wing as any of the nutters.

  4. Dan, sure, but there are several glaring problems here. The biggest one is the credibilty of the players. Lieberman wants to go to war with Iran, and is blatantly misstating the facts. That automatically removes him from adult discussion. Information obtained through torture is unreliable and often completely false. Then there’s the recent NYT reporting by Michael Gordon, similar to this piece, essentially repeating military press releases with little to no skepticism. The burden of proof to go to war should be very high. Politicians should be accurate and honest on such important issues, and the press should be skeptical – extremely skeptical with this crew. Remember, General Peter Pace was recently dismissed, most likely because he publicly, flatly contradicted the Bush party line about Iran’s role in the violence in Iraq. Bergner is an official spokesman. Everything Bergner says should be checked independently, especially if contributes to the war-mongering line, and Lieberman’s blather is pretty much worthless.

  5. This is why bloggers are such a valuable resource, especially the Shakesville Posse. There are many bloggers spewing and amplifying bullshit, of course, but if professional journalists can’t be counted on to weed through the logical long jumps of Washington axe-grinders, we need sharp-eyed parsers like Kathy to fill the gap.

    It’s too easy for info-overload victims–and people who are just not too bright in the first place–to gloss over the qualifying language and filler, and to pare it down to the meaty conclusion, “Iran = terrorism; therefore, attack ASAP.”

  6. Holly in cincinnati

    Joe Lieberman is not only correct, what he has stated is not news to me at all. PLEASE begin to educate yourselves about the Middle East.

  7. Melissa McEwan

    PLEASE begin to educate yourselves about the Middle East.

    Yeah, Kathy! You’re such a dope!

    Honestly, Holly–could you be ruder?

  8. 😆 Kathy, how dare you write an analysis of inaccuracies and poor arguments in Lieberman’s op-ed? He Is Serious and speaks with Tim Russert frequently. You are a (*gasp*) blogger. He must be right. After all, Lieberman was right about Iraq, and he’s also right that it’s going swimmingly. Given that, how can you question him or his unerring hawkish tendencies? If we don’t fight the evildoers in Iran, we’ll have to fight them in Iraq. Or something. 😉

    (Seriously, even if Lieberman were right, which he is not, it would be disastrous to bomb Iran. Publius at Obsidian Wings was discussing the same piece here.)

  9. Evelyn

    Israel wants Iran bombed. Therefore Lieberman wants Iran bombed and the US is likely to bomb Iran. That’s pretty much all you need to know about this matter. (Advanced version: Why does Israel want Iran bombed? Because Iran thinks Israel ought not to be a nation in the space formerly known as Palestine. And Israel has atomic weapons itself but doesn’t want anyone else in its part of the world to have them.)

  10. Pingback: LIEBERMAN wants war with Iran. « Exposing The Neo-Right

  11. nightshift66

    Careful, Evelyn. Criticism of Israeli policy is anti-Semitic, don’cha know.

  12. Dan

    Batocchio:The burden of proof to go to war should be very high. Politicians should be accurate and honest on such important issues, and the press should be skeptical – extremely skeptical with this crew

    and

    Information obtained through torture is unreliable and often completely false.

    Yeah, I completely agree and great answer btw. I worry about the damage done by this admin that any report from military sources is knee jerked as bullshit. I’m with you on skeptisim, but again I worry that the level of distrust of Bush$Co. will taint anything, even what maybe fact.

    The statements and actions of the zealots in Iran makes it very plausible to me. Should we take them at their word? I’m more inclined to believe that a Shiite nation with grand international schemes would supply a Shiite minority, a minority not just in Iraq but in the world over.

    All that being said though, Liberman is a schill and there’s no doubt for me in that.

  13. oddjob

    When it comes to Israel Holly will brook no intereference with her fantasies and will tolerate no veering away from the committing of the most heinous of war crimes in its supposed defense. Never mind that her neo-conservative position actually harms Israel.

    Nothing short of annihilation of the rest of them is good enough for her now, or so it seems.

    When she grows up and stops drinking the PNAC kool-aid maybe she’ll realize how criminal her positions truly are.

    I fully support Israel’s right to exist and also realize the Arabs are at least as much to blame. (Actually in my mind they are much more so.) Nonetheless, committing war crimes like Holly, Lieberman, Shrub, Cheney, Pearle, etc., etc., etc. want to do is wildly un-American and justifies prison sentences for the politicians.

  14. Dan

    Actually, you can’t ascribe anything to Holly because she didn’t have the guts to actually say anything.

  15. oddjob

    I’ve been reading Holly’s comment since we were both regular commenters at Americablog. Holly was the first person who ever responded to a comment of mine. I like her, but I can’t stand her on this topic. I think her position is harmful to that which is most dear to her.

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