Friday, April 27, 2007
Listening too long to one song:
My man Eli is in Iraq, and he brings his considerable talents to reporting out connections between the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and Kurdish Islamists. Osman Ali Mustapha, a Kurdish ex-policeman turned Iranian asset, tells Eli that the head of the IRGC's Qods Force assured him that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei backed IRGC efforts to foster terrorism within Iraq.

The piece includes the line, "The account of Mr. Mustapha would settle the question of whether the commander of Iran's Quds Force was acting on his own." Eli notes that General Petraeus didn't go so far in his press conference yesterday with respect to Iran -- and it's worth adding that Kurdish detainees have given dubious accounts before -- but of course isn't inconceivable that Iran would fight a proxy war against the U.S. and its allies in Iraq. Looking back on my earlier writings, it's fair to say that I've not been sufficiently open to this prospect.
--Spencer Ackerman
So ... a guy in KRG custody who openly admits to having played several sides in exchange for creature comforts is a reliable source as long as they are published by a neocon rag? That Iran would hook up with Salafi jihadists who proclaim the Iranians as Safavid occupiers out to destroy Sunni Islam?

Spencer ... why the credulity?
Blogger Tequila | 9:56 AM

Now that makes a kind of sense in a way that Iran aiding al Qaeda in Iraq/Islamic Army in Iraq, the suicide bombers of fellow Shia, never did.

Not to say its true, but at least it passes the "HUH?!?" test in a way that the other never did.
Blogger dell | 10:29 PM

Your man Eli seems to be doing a good job of positioning himself to be the Judith Miller of Iran. Seriously.

Even the vaunted Petraeus has now started making claims about Iranian involvement not proportioned to the evidence but rather deeply misleading (re the Karbala attacks). And now Petraeus' words are being used by the far rightwingers at the Weekly Standard for blatantly partisan purposes.

Needless to say, the Standard left out the part where Petraeus acknowledges that the Maliki government

is not a government of national unity. Rather, it is one comprised of political leaders from different parties that often default to narrow agendas and a zero-sum approach to legislation.

Does Bush realize this? Does anyone in the administration? Does anyone recognize that, since, as the Kilcullen mantra tells us, the surge is not the strategy, the fact that the existing government is simply not going to carry out the crucial political dimension of the strategy - and neither is anyone else - means that we're screwed?
Blogger JDL | 5:48 AM

I note that the links in the sidebar to the NY Sun story show that Eli has written four stories in five days on the perfidious antics of Iran.

I daresay this suggests his writings aren't the results of tenacious, hard-fought investigative journalism. Instead, he's being spoon-fed material and reporting it unskeptically.

Spencer, you ought to be better than this. Correction -- you NEED to be better than this. Loyalty to your friends is a fine thing, but don't sell out your loyalty to your craft for their sake.
Blogger Unknown | 3:18 PM

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Blogger Fibercement | 3:42 AM