Groundhog Day

I caught some of To The Point on NPR yesterday (I believe you can get a podcast of the episode here) in particular, the segment where they were talking about the Bush administration's allegations abotu Iranian weapons. It's really one of the best shows on the radio, so it was no surprise to see that this was a very informative rundown spelling out what, exactly, was being alleged, which elements there was circumstantial evidence for, which elements the evidence was more direct for, what we know and don't know about the organization of the Iranian government, etc.

Still, though, there was a disturbing atmosphere of propaganda in the air. Everything was introduced as "the military claims" or "military intelligence claims," never "the Bush administration claims" even though you'd have to be pretty foolish not to see this as an administration initiative. The wider context of Iran policy debates was missing in action. Instead, there were just some claims; claims coming from the military; claims that might be wrong in some respect, but were clearly issued in good faith. It's a pretty bad scene. You might think that having gone through this exact same scenario a few years ago something would have been learned. Instead what mostly seems to have been learned is that the administration can't afford to have its own claims attributed to itself and so wants to have them attributed to military intelligence.