March 5, 2007

Let's Not Be Overly Hasty...

Hatched by Dafydd

You want a perfect example of what is wrong with American journalism -- and the CIA -- today? Can't find a better one than this.

As we moved in force into Sadr City yesterday, one of the serendipitous effects was a raid that turned up a Sunni torture-beheading room. We even found two living victims:

Lt. Col. Valery Keaveny described breaking through a double-locked door to find an Iraqi police officer and another Iraqi man who had undergone "considerable torture." The policeman had been shot in both ankles and the other man had been dangling from the ceiling and "beaten severely by a pipe for a good deal of time," Keaveny told reporters.

The captives told U.S. soldiers they had been convicted to death [sic] by an insurgent court at the site - about 18 miles west of Baghdad near the village of Karmah - and had the choice of either beheading or a fatal gunshot, said Keaveny.

They were spared immediate death, Keaveny said, because the insurgents' video camera didn't work and they had gone to get a new one to film the executions. "(The insurgents) said they would be back in the morning," he said. "And that's when we came in, that night."

But that's not all that we found at that site; we seized something a bit more alarming: one million pounds (500 tons) of bomb-making chemicals.

AP, however, does not want to leap to any conclusions...

The site also contained a huge stockpile of more than 1 million pounds of aluminum sulfate, which can be used as a component in nitrate-based fertilizer explosives. But it also has other commercial uses, including water purification.

Gentlemen... a million pounds of "water purification?" What are they trying to do, make the entire Euphrates River potable?

This absurdist attempt to latch hold of any possible benign explanation, to avoid having to conclude that these torturers and beheaders may have been up to no good, follows the pattern laid down by the CIA anent WMD: No matter what components we find -- including 55-gallon drums of Cyclosarin sitting in the same camouflaged ammo dump as a big pile of empty chemical rockets and artillery shells -- the Iraq Survey Group always had a great story of how it could possibly be used for civilian purposes... so it didn't count as WMD. (Saddam Hussein was very anxious that his troops have pest-free ammunition dumps.)

And whenever they found something that was undeniably WMD... well, as Mark Steyn said, it was always the wrong kind.

The job of the CIA is not to cover for Hussein; it is to report intelligence and fairly analyze it, so that the civilian policy makers have the best available information. But as this AP article shows, if your standard is not "reasonable doubt" but "any conceivable doubt whatsoever," you can always find some wild story that ends with the bad guys really being misunderstood.

That proves nothing, except the obvious fact that unreasonable premises yield irrational results.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, March 5, 2007, at the time of 6:09 AM

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The following hissed in response by: Patrick Chester

It's the Goldilocks standard of WMD. None of the items found are juuuuuuuust right.

The above hissed in response by: Patrick Chester [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 5, 2007 10:55 AM

The following hissed in response by: charlotte

Goldilocks is a nice way of looking at the problem. "Reasonable doubt” has also come to mean the glove doesn’t fit. The shrunken soaked in blood glove no longer fits, so we must acquit.

Logic, judgment and decency have given way to must-have 100% certitude with two videos from two different angles and eyewitness testimony from two unimpeachable sources, preferably liberals, when faced with indicting another liberal icon or cause or anti-Bush interest.

The above hissed in response by: charlotte [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 5, 2007 11:08 AM

The following hissed in response by: hunter

Well you forget the primary mission of the CIA:
To undermine the Administration and protect their jobs from any shred of accountability.
And if they can weaken the war effort, that is just icing for the cake.

The above hissed in response by: hunter [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 5, 2007 11:28 AM

The following hissed in response by: John J. Coupal

The Associated Press (AP) long ago tossed overboard any credibility it had with the American public.

If the AP stringer has any anti-American screed, it goes to the wire. Otherwise, not.

The above hissed in response by: John J. Coupal [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 5, 2007 12:56 PM

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