Monday, March 06, 2006

Another Iraq scare story proved BS: Saddam training hijackers

I remember seeing this on 60 Minutes and this article discusses its coverage on Frontline, which is otherwise pretty good.

Turns out this is about as real as the Iraqis dumping premie babies in Kuwaiti to steal incubators in the first Gulf War. In that case, the whole story was fabricated by the PR firm Hill & Knowlton and delivered by the Kuwaiti ambassador's daughter posing as an eyewitness.

The list of these fabrications for the current war is pretty long and getting longer, from Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman, to the staged toppling of Saddam's statue, to finding Saddam in his spider hole.

Some people still think it is unreasonable to suspect that the Bushies might have staged bigger events, but a recently released Downing Street Memo said Bush even wanted to fake Saddam shooting down a UN plane over Iraq as provocation to start the war.

If this piece of what they are doing doesn't enter the public consciousness. we will be vulnerable to attitude adjustments through staged events, up to and including acts of war and terrorism.


Another Iraq story gets debunked

By Dave Zweifel

In November 2001, just two months after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, two high-profile U.S. journalists Chris Hedges of the New York Times and Christopher Buchanan of PBS' "Frontline" were ushered to a meeting in a Beirut hotel with a man identified as Jamal al-Ghurairy, an Iraqi lieutenant general who had fled Saddam Hussein.

The high-ranking Iraqi military officer claimed he had witnessed terrorist training camps in Iraq where Islamic militants learned how to hijack airplanes. About 40 foreign nationals were based there at any given time, he said.

"We were training these people to attack installations important to the United States,"
he told the journalists at the meeting arranged by the Iraqi National Congress.


"The story of Saddam training foreign fighters to hijack airplanes was instrumental in building the case to invade Iraq," a detailed report in the March-April issue says. "But it turns out that the Iraqi general who told the story to the New York Times and 'Frontline' was a complete fake a low-ranking former soldier whom Ahmed Chalabi's aides had coached to deceive the media."

The Mother Jones investigator, Jack Fairweather, was even able to track down a Lt. Gen. Ghurairy in Iraq. He interviewed him in Fallujah and this Ghurairy said he had never left Iraq, nor had he ever spoken to the U.S. journalists.

According to the magazine, the Ghurairy tale was one of 108 stories the Iraqi National Congress and Chalabi, who was exiled from Iraq, planted in the American and British media between October 2001 and May 2002. Chalabi is the figure on whom the Bush administration relied for much of the Iraqi intelligence about weapons of mass destruction and Saddam's supposed connection with the 9/11 terrorists.


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