Monday, March 06, 2006

ABC And The IED's From Iran That Were Made In The UK

Today, ABC News' Chief Investigative Correspondent, Brian Ross, presented an "exclusive" report telling us that:
U.S. military and intelligence officials tell ABC News that they have caught shipments of deadly new bombs at the Iran-Iraq border.

They are a very nasty piece of business, capable of penetrating U.S. troops' strongest armor.

What the United States says links them to Iran are tell-tale manufacturing signatures — certain types of machine-shop welds and material indicating they are built by the same bomb factory.

"The signature is the same because they are exactly the same in production," says explosives expert Kevin Barry. "So it's the same make and model."

...The U.S. Army has embarked on a crash effort to find ways to stop the bombs, according to an unclassified report issued last month. The devices are easily hidden and detonated by motion detectors — like those used in garden security lights — that cannot be jammed.

When exploded, the copper disc becomes a molten liquid bullet that can penetrate the thickest armor the United States has.
Not once in the entire piece are we presented with any evidence that the bombs are being made with Iranian government materials or even knowledge, yet the very fact that these advanced IED's have come over the border from Iran, where there is an extremely active Al Qaida movement fighting the current Iranian regime, is enough for ABC's pet "expert" to tell us that:
"I think the evidence is strong that the Iranian government is making these IEDs, and the Iranian government is sending them across the border and they are killing U.S. troops once they get there,"..."I think it's very hard to escape the conclusion that, in all probability, the Iranian government is knowingly killing U.S. troops."
Now I admit there is a possibility that the Iranian government is indeed involved and the details of the evidence haven't been released - but if so, then the "chief investigative reporter" is surely remiss in not asking for it or noting it's absence.

Another way Brian Ross is failing to be in any manner "investigative" is in failing to find out or inform the public that this isn't any kind of exclusive - it is actually old news from way back in October last year.

Back then, the British media were full of the accusations that improved IED's using motion detectors as triggers were being sent to Iraq from Iran. They were being sent, according to British claims, to the Sadr militia - an organisation that the US has gone out of it's way to placate - but that too isn't mentioned by Ross. Just as now, absolutely no evidence was brought forward to show that the Iranian government were at all involved... and then the kerfuffle suddenly stopped. Why?

Well as I wrote at the time, it was discovered that the new, deadly IED's were using a British design that had been stupidly given to the IRA by British intelligence and then passed around various terror groups the IRA were allied with. Major egg on faces - story dropped. As the Independent on Sunday reported:
Eight British soldiers killed during ambushes in Iraq were the victims of a highly sophisticated bomb first used by the IRA, The Independent on Sunday can reveal.

The soldiers, who were targeted by insurgents as they travelled through the country, died after being attacked with bombs triggered by infra-red beams. The bombs were developed by the IRA using technology passed on by the security services in a botched "sting" operation more than a decade ago.

This contradicts the British government's claims that Iran's Revolutionary Guard is helping Shia insurgents to make the devices.

The Independent on Sunday can also reveal that the bombs and the firing devices used to kill the soldiers, as well as two private security guards, were initially created by the UK security services as part of a counter-terrorism strategy at the height of the troubles in the early 1990s.
It wouldn't have taken much investigating to find this out, but ABC's chief investigative reporter seems not to have done any investigating at all for his exclusive report.

Here's what seems to have really happened: having tried this half-assed story in the UK and had it fall flat, the Pentagon waited a few months then gave it to Ross as a briefing from the usual "anonymous sources" and Ross duly regurgitated it whole without doing a single fact-check or further research.

"Chief Mouthpiece" would be a better description of his actual work.

Update Feb 11th 2007. If you're reading this post, then perhaps you would be interested in my look at the so-called evidence presented at a secret-squirrel briefing in Iraq today, purporting to show that IED's and other weapons come from Iran. It falls far short of a slam-dunk case.

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