Sunday, May 18, 2003

Last month, I expressed skepticism about certain documents an ABC News correspondent found virtually undamaged in a Baghdad building, despite the fact that the building had been bombed and looted, and despite the fact that other documents in the building had been burned or shredded. Now Swopa at Needlenose sifts through some stories, including that one, and notes that you can often find the fingerprints of the Iraqi National Congress (and some of its U.S. pals) when a story from Iraq seems (from the Bush administration's point of view) too good to be true. Interesting.

And let's not forget, of course, that Seymour Hersh reported in The New Yorker that dramatic stories fed into the pipeline by the INC often don't pan out:

With the Pentagon’s support, Chalabi’s group worked to put defectors with compelling stories in touch with reporters in the United States and Europe. The resulting articles had dramatic accounts of advances in weapons of mass destruction or told of ties to terrorist groups. In some cases, these stories were disputed in analyses by the C.I.A. Misstatements and inconsistencies in I.N.C. defector accounts were also discovered after the final series of U.N. weapons inspections, which ended a few days before the American assault. Dr. Glen Rangwala, a lecturer in political science at Cambridge University, compiled and examined the information that had been made public and concluded that the U.N. inspections had failed to find evidence to support the defectors’ claims....

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