Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Goldberg should shut up

In the run-up to the Iraq war, Jeffrey Goldberg seemed to swallow everything he was fed by Donald Rumsfeld, Doug Feith and other pro-war folks to push for the war. In the wake of the Dave Weigel kerfuffle, Goldberg went all bitchy, which caused others to remember just how full of shit Goldberg was, is and, probably, will continue to be.

So he's gone into defensive mode, inviting Eli Lake to guest-blog and back him up about his reporting on Iraq, despite the fact he's been proven wrong about WMDs and connections between Iraq and al Qaeda. What's can Lake bring to the fight? The idea, in Goldberg's words, that "Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda once had a potentially meaningful relationship."

Potentially meaningful relationship? A wishy-washy phrase like that is all but an admission that Goldberg knows he's wrong. It's like the crap used to defend Bush's SOTU yellowcake claim. It's saying, there may have, maybe, kinda been a way that what I said might not have been bullshit, so -poof- I'm not a complete tool.

Goldberg has invited Glenn Greenwald to travel with him to Iraqi Kurdistan to talk to people there about opposing the Iraq War. Fair enough. I think Goldberg should travel to Walter Reed and the orphanages of Baghdad and explain to the soldiers and children how Saddam's "potentially meaningful relationship" was worth lives and limbs, friends and parents.

Update: Greenwald responds to Goldberg's invitation.

Update: In rereading Goldberg's old pieces, I found in this one the "tell" of the Iraq War bullshitter:
In a series of meetings in the summer and fall of 1995, Charles Duelfer, the deputy executive chairman of the United Nations Special Commission, or UNSCOM—the now defunct arms-inspection team—met in Baghdad with Iraqi government delegations. The subject was the status of Iraq’s nonconventional-weapons programs, and Duelfer, an American diplomat on loan to the United Nations, was close to a breakthrough.

In early August, Saddam’s son-in-law Hussein Kamel had defected to Jordan, and had then spoken publicly about Iraq’s offensive biological, chemical, and nuclear capabilities. (Kamel later returned to Iraq and was killed almost immediately, on his father-in-law’s orders.) The regime’s credibility was badly damaged by Kamel’s revelations, and during these meetings the Iraqi representatives decided to tell Duelfer and his team more than they had ever revealed before.
Here, Goldberg, as had many pro-Iraq War bullshitters before him, suggests that Hussein Kamal (as the name is spelled in the UN report) was telling UNSCOM inspectors about the "status of Iraq’s nonconventional-weapons programs." But, as I've said again and again, Kamal said that Iraq had discontinued its "biological, chemical, missile, nuclear" weapons programs around 1992. If Kamal was worth believing about the creation of weapons, he should have been believable when discussing their destruction. Those, like Goldberg, who used Kamal's testimony about weapons programs without mentioning his disclosure that those programs were ended clearly intended to mislead people in an attempt to push for war in Iraq. There's simply no other way to see it.

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