Ever wonder where Ted Kennedy gets the information for his increasingly stupid and increasingly ill-informed charges? Max Boot tells all:
Ted Kennedy delivered another stemwinder last week, accusing the Bush administration of lying its way into Iraq for political gain. Ho-hum. Nothing new there. But one paragraph caught my attention.
In trying to buttress his charge that the president twisted intelligence about Saddam Hussein, Kennedy cited “Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski, a recently retired Air Force intelligence officer who served in the Pentagon during the buildup to the war.” He quoted her as follows: “It wasn’t intelligence – it was propaganda … they’d take a little bit of intelligence, cherry-pick it, make it sound much more exciting, usually by taking it out of context, usually by juxtaposition of two pieces of information that don’t belong together.”
Sounds pretty damning, doesn’t it? Those aren’t the words of a political opponent; that’s the judgment of a presumably disinterested military professional. Except that Kwiatkowski’s judgment doesn’t look so disinterested when you examine her views more closely.
Since her retirement in March 2003, she has become a prolific contributor to isolationist publications like the American Conservative, Pat Buchanan’s magazine, and lewrockwell.com, an ultra-libertarian website. Pretty much all her work is devoted to uncovering “neoconservative warmongers” who have supposedly taken over U.S. foreign policy.
She is not subtle in denouncing “Dickie Cheney, Richie Perle and Dougie Feith” (as well as, occasionally, “my pal, Max Boot”), whose “neoconservative philosophy is hateful to humanity, anti-American, statist and anti-free trade.” (Anti-free trade?) She thinks the United States is a “maturing fascist state.” And she predicts a dire fate for those who led us into the Iraq war: “Some folks on the Pentagon’s E-ring may be sitting beside Hussein in the war crimes tribunals.”
Equally biased are the former CIA officers who call themselves Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity – a name that implies the administration, which they oppose, is insane. Ray Close, David MacMichael and Ray McGovern, who make up VIPS’ steering committee, have many decades of intelligence experience among them, which is why they are often cited as sources by news organizations like the New York Times when they write stories about how the Bush team has run roughshod over “objective” CIA analysts.
What is seldom mentioned is where the VIPS-ters publish most of their anti-Bush screeds: on Counterpunch.org, a conspiracy-mongering website run by Nation columnist Alexander Cockburn. VIPS even has an e-mail address at Counterpunch, which is so extreme that it has run an article suggesting that the only major difference between George W. Bush and Adolf Hitler is that “Bush simply is not the orator that Hitler was.” But then, that wouldn’t bother someone like VIPS’ McGovern, who in an interview equated the administration’s selling of the Iraq war with the techniques employed by “Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels [who] said, if you repeat something often enough, the people will believe it.”
I guess he just doesn’t know Justin Raimondo’s phone number.