Tuesday, February 13, 2007

On Smoking Guns And Neocon Shills

La Rana asked me for my opinion on the "Smoking Guns" story from the UK's Daily Telegraph which is currently tearing up the right wing blogs. I had seen the story earlier and thought "Oh, more neocon shilling from the Torygraph" but when asked, had another look.

The important thing to notice about the story is that it is very unclear where the report is sourced. It says "The Daily Telegraph has learned" and leaves you to assume that it learned from a credible source, say the US Centcom command.

But US Centcom command has nothing on any raid discovering 100 sniper rifles from Iran at the time I write this, even though you would think it would be major Centcom news, given the Sunday briefing of US "evidence" against Iran.

Then further down the page, it says "Over the last six months American forces have found small caches of the £10,000 rifles but in the last 24 hours a raid in Baghdad brought the total to more than 100, US defence sources reported."

Which sources, if not Centcom?

Well, it won't be the first time that "journalists" at the Telegraph have shilled barefacedly and carried water for neocon elements in Washington. Or bent the facts all out of shape to fit a rightwing agenda.

And even after that is considered, there's the question of what, exactly, the presence of such weapons would prove.

Larisa Alexandrovna points out:
Consider for a moment the absolute lazy logic this implies. If we assume (and there is no reason to believe these allegations) that arms purchased by the government of Iran via an Austrian company were actually the NUMBERED/TRACEABLE weapons found in Iraq (which we don't yet know, they are just the same guns), that still does not implicate the Iranian government, does it?

Here is a brain exercise in Americana format: If the DOD purchased Lockheed weapons that were also found, for example, in the arms of Al Qaeda, would that mean that the DOD was arming Al Qaeda or that even Lockheed was arming Al Qaeda?
While Impolitic adds:
This proves nothing except guns have a tendency to disappear into the black market. The Telegraph fails to mention that the US government has lost track of over 14,000 guns themselves, many of which are now no doubt being used against US troops. As I said at the time, maybe we should be bombing ourselves if we're to judge complicity by that criteria.
When the history books are written, many years from now, about the current manufactured crisis over Iran, the U.K.'s Daily Telegraph will stand out as one of the media organs which shilled most assidiously for the warmongers.

Update Everyone is simply assuming that the Daily Telegraph is a reliable reporter, a dangerous assumption. But if these weapons were really found by US forces, why has no-one asked the Austrian company that makes them to verify any serial numbers?

Centcom still has nothing about any seizure of Austrian weapons.

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