Friday, March 17, 2006

Wingnuts Through The Looking Glass

When the various Downing Street Memos surfaced, showing that Bush and Blair had "fixed the facts around the policy", the standard Rightwing counterspin was that the memos were "ancient news" since the invasion of Iraq was a done deal and the reasons for invading thus became moot - the important thing was how well the occupation was going (yeah, I know...)

So it is with considerable disgusted amusement that I see they are falling over themselves to laud the release of thousands of documents from the Saddam era in Iraq. No suggestion that these are "ancient history" here - no, these documents are crucial evidence proving that Dubya and the wingnuts were right all along even if they didn't have said documents at the time.

Double standards much?

This lack of intellectual integrity and sheer ability to think clearly shows itself in what they are writing about these newly-released documents too.

The Weekly Standard, reporting on the release, provided a caveat that it then ignored - as did every single Rightwing commenter so far:
Another critical issue is authenticity. A caveat on the website reads: "The US Government has made no determination regarding the authenticity of the documents, validity or factual accuracy of the information contained therein, or the quality of any translations, when available." Determining which documents are authentic and which are not will be an incredibly important task. This will be difficult task too, since many of the documents have no known chain of custody. There was a bustling black market for forged documents in Baghdad after the war. How will we determine which documents are real and which documents are not? Some documents listed in the HARMONY database have warnings: "DIA suspects inauthentic." Will those documents be included in the release? Will the warnings? Will we learn why the DIA suspected that the document might not be authentic? Has forensic document authentication been done on any of the documents? Which ones? (Emphasis Mine)
Now we all know the purpose of this release is really to feed the freeper base by giving them endless quantities of crap upon which they can build sandcastles and conspiracies. As John at AmericaBlog puts it, "Yes, it's come to that. Bush is now relying on Michelle Malkin's keen intelligence skills to prove the case for war in Iraq," - and that's exactly what they've begun to do to their own satisfaction.

Investor's Business Daily, a wingnut site masquerading as a business news magazine, brings us shocking revelations of the inner workings of Saddam's secret service. Oops...hang on...nope, those revelations are a copy of an 1977 Federation of American Scientists document that the wingnuts mistook for a translation of another document! Let's try again...

AJ Strata calls this one the "final nail in the coffin of the liberal fantasy about Al Qaida ties to Iraq." That sounds promising! Awww hells, turns out it's not an admission of close ties at all, it's an APB warning Iraqi security forces that Al Qaida types may be in the country and to keep an eye out for them. In fact, the pictures which the wingnuts are claiming are of al-Zarqawi appear to be of an entirely different person. Foiled again!

There's been much more of the same going on today as freepers answer Michelle's call to Wonderland. Abu Ardvark blog has one of the best round-ups of their febrile meanderings, along with more level-headed analysis. He ends with:
The only prediction I'm confident making: a lot of people are going to dive into these things, and find what they're looking for. Here's a line in a transcript which proves, proves, that Saddam ordered 9/11! Here's a document which proves, proves, that Saddam and Zarqawi never had anything to do with each other! Here's one that proves, proves, that Saddam had nukes! Here's one that proves, proves, that Saddam didn't have nukes! I'd advise people on both sides of the issue not to get too excited over individual documents... cherry-picking seeming smoking guns to prove your pet issue might be irresistably tempting, but isn't likely to be edifying in the longer term. I don't expect anyone to take the advice, but there it is.
Of course the freepers won't take that advice! They are happy through the Looking Glass.

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