Under the headline "War on two fronts in Afghanistan", Coghlin has the following lede:
Just when it seemed matters could not get any worse in Afghanistan, along comes an altogether more alarming threat to Nato's attempts to restore order to that strife-torn region — in the form of Iran's Revolutionary Guards.Scary stuff which raises the spectre of a war against both those adversaries and the Pakistan-sponsored Taliban.
The trouble is, there's no there there. The only attributed information in the whole piece is this:
"The Iranians are playing a very clever game in Afghanistan," a Western intelligence official based in Kabul recently told me. "On the surface, they give the impression they have no interest in what is going on, but behind the scenes they are working hard to influence groups such as the Taliban who are causing Nato the most problems."Heh. Another anonymous official, of unknown seniority - and this time even the country that official calls home is anonymous. And he's not even talking about this "war on two fronts".
Other than that, Coghlin has taken the news that a lowly British corporal has been arrested for spying for a foreign power and added bucketloads of his own imagination to come up with this drivel. There's been no statement about which foreign power is involved, but Coghlin takes speculation by external neocon "experts" and turns that into fact spoken by "sources".
Mike Ledeen, who seemingly has his own history of fabrications based upon shady sources, loves Coghlin's fairytale - and that's enough to get the Powerline seal of approval. Maybe if they clap harder, some actual evidence will emerge.
British journalists should be ashamed to be seen in the same pub as Coghlin. His record is one of creating stories out of the most nebulous neocon conspiracy theories and passing them off as fact (this is the same guy that told us Iran is training the next generation of Al Qaida leaders, remember?.) But what can you expect from a guy who works for a newspaper which was last owned by a guy now up on truly major fraud charges (Conrad Black) and is now owned by the Barclay Brothers, twins who rule thewir business empire from a massive castle on a tiny Channel island still subject to feudal law. Because the Telegraph hates Iran for hating our freedoms, you see.