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September 06, 2007



Oh Gee!

Now you already have General Petraeus convicted of lying before he appears.

I think you are trying to poison the well of opinion way too early emptywheel.


Good Post as usual.

Jodi, did you believe everything Miller wrote prior to the start of the war? Do you think we should trust the administration? The White House is writing the report so just how do you think they will present it? Do you think Petraeus is going to contradict his boss?

AZ Matt,

you and emptywheel had Judy Miller on the brain.

I expect General Patraeus to tell the truth about what he is in charge of. As for the rest, the politics, etc., over in Iraq he will perhaps be asked for his opinion.

"had" should have been `have.`

Good try Jodi but you are parsing words and avoiding answering the simple questions I asked.

There are lies, there are damn lies, and there are statistics.

The attribution trick is cheap too -- but common. The spinner knows that very few people in the public will bother to conduct independent research.

IIRC, the number of people on indirect US pay (i.e., "contractors" - many of them "security contractors") outnumbers the military by a fat margin. I don't know the details of th financial or casualty accounting for that population of nation builders.

I thought the reduction in violence number was the result of not including IED incidents? I know I read this yesterday, but can't remember where.

I also saw something on the news about a new device that is being used that acts like a missle, arcing in the air and dropping on top of the target. (As opposed to the old style, where the device would come in at a horizontal position). No mention on the news, of course, of where this technology might be coming from.

And how do they know the attacks are "sectarian," anyway, since they have admitted they can not define the enemy over and over? Its all fiction, except the real fact that troops and citizens of Iraq are dying. that fact, they cannot hide.

good column

and important.

not that congress seems to mind lying to congress.

this guy petraeus merits some real close investigation of his associations over the last few years.

he does an op-ed to help bush toward the close of the 2004 election.

he keeps j. miller from getting bounced.

and now he's preparing to misrepresent the chaos in iraq as "progress" on the part of the admin's war game there.

what else?

and why?

at a minimum, he seems quite sensitive to the bush admin's wants.

maybe he was a part of rumsfeld's covert action gang, working to get the u.s. into iraq in 2003.

I'm with orionATL; Petraeus is not a new player here, he's been in this up to his eyeballs all along, from 2003 when he did some tap-dancing around the content of Judy Blew Lies Miller's work (not just rescinding an order she didn't like, but fluffing up the truth in her wake for her or for somebody).

Just exactly how does one get to be such a good friend with a general that the general would rescind a subordinate's order, anyhow??

There was an insightful paper delivered last week at the American Political Science Association describing the current administration's unusually pronounced measure of hype as its ordinary language of governance. The paper was by the Chair of the Department of Political Science and International Relations, State Univ of NY, New Paltz. The 24pp presentation waxes theoretical, elaborating motivation, in large measure seen through the filter of Cheney's bent to cow Congress, but there is a nice passage about Linda Greenhouse's analysis, p.15,para.4 describing two years' standoffs between executive and judiciary, tracing the genesis of the BushCheney unitaristExec to telltale elements in the litigation known as BushVgore; about which latter Toobin's new book discusses Souter's despondent inclination to resign after the opinion rendered in BushVgore. NYT supports one less cutout since Miller's departure. But, somewhat like cboldt's muse, above, the actual numbers comprising the administration's presentation remind me of the contorted and evanescent financials lots of dotcoms and telcos were publishing in the late 1990s, chimera as fact.

not to go off-topic... I think it's great to prosecute folks for lying to Congress. But if we're going to, you know, actually start doing it, there are a couple of people in line before this jerk.

If anyone knows WITH CERTAINTY that there were no WMDs in Iraq, it's Petraeus and Judy Miller and MET Alpha.

Petraeus even appears to be Judy's Godfather/handler in this WaPo article:


On April 21, when the MET Alpha team was ordered to withdraw to the southern Iraqi town of Talil, Miller objected in a handwritten note to two public affairs officers. It said:

"I see no reason for me to waste time (or MET Alpha, for that matter) in Talil. . . . Request permission to stay on here with colleagues at the Palestine Hotel til MET Alpha returns or order to return is rescinded. I intend to write about this decision in the NY Times to send a successful team back home just as progress on WMD is being made."

One military officer, who says that Miller sometimes "intimidated" Army soldiers by invoking Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld or Undersecretary Douglas Feith, was sharply critical of the note. "Essentially, she threatened them," the officer said, describing the threat as that "she would publish a negative story."

An Army officer, who regarded Miller's presence as "detrimental," said: "Judith was always issuing threats of either going to the New York Times or to the secretary of defense. There was nothing veiled about that threat," this person said, and MET Alpha "was allowed to bend the rules."


Miller later challenged the pullback order with Maj. Gen. David Petraeus, commander of the 101st Airborne. While Petraeus did not have direct authority over Col. Richard McPhee, the commander of the 75th task force, McPhee rescinded his withdrawal order after Petraeus advised him to do so. McPhee declined two requests for comment.

"Our desire was to pull these guys back in," said an officer who served under McPhee, adding that it was "quite a surprise" that the order was reversed.

Marcy another home run. Few of the folks who have lied to congress and the American public have been held accountable. Half of the folks in Washington might dissapear.

From Petraeus' May 13, 2003 live-briefing from Mosul:


Q: This is Tony Capaccio with Bloomberg News. I want to go back to the weapons of mass destruction question that Matt brought up. Up until finding this trailer, your unit -- your division had been involved in a number of high profile potential finds of weapons of mass destruction, including potential missiles tipped with chemicals that turned out not to be the case. Can you give us your best thought on why no technical weapons of mass destruction have been found, much less any facilities or labs, given the ground that your units have covered?

Petraeus: Well, one of the speculations, of course, is that the individual who, in fact, passed the note to our soldiers around Karbala and who was subsequently interviewed at some length by the 75th Exploitation Brigade -- and I think that Judith Miller wrote some articles about him in the New York Times -- he claims that whatever they had left was destroyed shortly before the war. So that again is one theory. We did think at various times -- and, you know, you would -- there were Stations of the Cross of evaluating the various items that we would find all the way from the soldier himself with his test kit, then to the chemical NCO, then the battalion and on up to the division experts, and then we'd bring in the Fox recon vehicle. And as you know, we went all the way with positives all the way through the Fox and even beyond once or twice, and then the real experts got it and said, yeah, it was chemicals, but not necessarily precursors or chemical weapon-type items.


The 'individual' that Petraeus references above is elsewhere identified by Judy Miller as an 'Iraqi Scientist.' This person and his information turned out to be completely bogus.

But, Gen. Petraeus is a good story-teller (really, very glib and full of happy talk.)

Experts Doubt Drop In Violence in Iraq
Military Statistics Called Into Question
By Karen DeYoung, Thursday, September 6, 2007
Others who have looked at the full range of U.S. government statistics on violence, however, accuse the military of cherry-picking positive indicators and caution that the numbers -- most of which are classified -- are often confusing and contradictory.

Where have I read this story before... Cherry-picking positive indicators? Classified statistics on WMD lethal violence in Iraq? Even Wolf Blitzer has been calling his guests on these statistics.

Don't blame General Petraeus, he's too busy running a war to read the newspaper. Colin Powell couldn't suss it out either before he made our case at the UN, not that he wasn't suspicious of the intell BushCo was asking him to present. In fact, he rejected mush of it.

I hope Patraeus reads the paper. If not, I hope the Congress does.

The military calls "sectarian violence" all the deaths in mixed sect areas that are not car bombs. The car bombs they call "al Qaeda." Read the linked article and see here.

And why is it still going to take 12-18 months for the Iraqi Army to stand up when that is what Petraeus said in 2004? Because the Iraqi Army was disbanded on orders of Rumsfeld/Cheney via Bremer when he went to Iraq, just as the military in Iraq had a deal for 100,000 Iraqi troops in more or less intact units to come over to our side. See "No End in Sight".

If Betryus is delivering a speech ordered by Bush (and Cheney?) to be written by white house staff then there are several people involved in premeditated lies.

When General Westmoreland testifies before Congress, oops I mean Petraeus, I hope he will tell us that the Viet Cong, I mean Shiites have laid down thier arms...

And we wonder why this all seems so familiar. Even Bush thinks its Viet Nam. I am just waiting for him to say "I am not a crook!"

And the odds on Betrayus being informed sternly by any Congresscritter that lying to them is a crime, as some surely would for any civilian?

Slender. Which says all you need to know.

Aside from Judith, a female Lt Colonel who reportedly worked closely with Patraeus was directly responsible for the weapons found to be missing in Iraq. This administration has been able to enlist a lot of women in their misdeeds--Rice, Goodling, Miers, Norton, Miller--to name just a few.

Conclusive proof that violence is down in Iraq.

This spring the military had killed Abu Omar Baghdadi.

A few months later, he was captured alive.

That's how we know we can believe what Petraeus has to say.

The Austrlian hack that Petraeus used to launder his sham statisics,Dennis Shanahan,is the village idiot of the Murdoch press,he is a tool of the Howard government, widely known as Sham-I-am.EW you are a bright shining star in blogesphere,keep up your very important work.

It's not just the number of deaths and attacks that's being hyped... there's a great analysis in a new piece up at the Atlantic Monthly by a former Iraq correspondent for the Stars and Stripes. He investigates, and reports that al Qaeda in Iraq numbers are being grossly exaggerated to justify the occupation.

Since by his count there are less than 1,000 AQI fighters to be going after, what does that mean for our "success" in Anbar, where we're arming local Sunnis to... go after AQI?

I go into more depth here:

Article here:

AZ Matt

You should understand I am against Bush and would like to leave Iraq now. But also understand that I dont' get sloppy in my logic because I want something to be a certain way.
I don't paint anyone as bad, or all bad, past, present, or future just because I am trying to make a case for my pet beliefs.

Now to my point:
I expect General Patraeus to tell the truth about what he is in charge of. As for the rest, the politics, prospects, etc., over in Iraq he will probably be asked his opinion, and I would expect him to be honest when he doesn't know. And that will get some people mad on both sides.

I am not painting General Patraeus anything until I hear him and see some numbers. If you notice the drums are beating already stridently trying to drown out what he might say that would indicate that there has been any improvement at all in Iraq.

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