The case for war is, uh, off the record

[quote]U.S. makes case that Iran arms flow into Iraq
A limited number of munitions are displayed at a secretive briefing.
By Tina Susman and Borzou Daragahi, Times Staff Writers
February 12, 2007
BAGHDAD — U.S. defense and intelligence officials sought Sunday to bolster the charge that Iran was providing arms to Shiite Muslim militants in Iraq, displaying munitions and weapons fragments that they said constituted evidence that Tehran was contributing to Iraq’s violence.

They also alleged that a group under the command of Iran’s supreme leader was behind the smuggling of weapons across the Iran-Iraq border.

The briefing, held under unusually secretive circumstances, [color=red]featured three U.S. officials, none of whom would be identified,[/color] and two tables laden with what they said were uniquely Iranian military hardware and weapons fragments.

The officials said an Iranian weapon known as an Explosively Formed Penetrator had been responsible for the deaths of about 170 of the 3,400 U.S.-led forces killed in Iraq. The armor-piercing devices are used in roadside bomb attacks, which have increased in the last year, the officials said.

The briefing seemed deliberately limited. The officials appeared to back away from previous U.S. claims that Iran, a mostly Shiite country, was supporting the Sunni Arab insurgents who have by far killed the largest number of U.S. troops.

Instead, the officials alleged that Shiite groups ostensibly loyal to radical anti-American cleric Muqtada Sadr were involved in the smuggling and use of the weapons.

Few independent analysts think Iran or any other country is playing a decisive role in the sectarian warfare and insurgent violence engulfing at least eight of Iraq’s 18 provinces.
via Alternet:

[quote]IraqSlogger - Commentary
Stop This Now: Nameless Accusers, Sourcing
Identify US Officials Presenting Disputed Evidence Against Iran
By EASON JORDAN 02/11/2007 6:55 PM ET

But, wait, one of the three supposedly unnamed US officials apparently has been outed by an Iraqi news service, [color=blue]Voices of Iraq, whose report on the Baghdad news conference identified one of the three speakers as Major General William Caldwell, whose portfolio includes public affairs and who holds frequent news conferences and grants one-on-one interviews.[/color] So, if the VOI report identifying Caldwell is correct, why did every other news organization apparently agree to grant anonymity to the general who’s the official spokesman of the US-led Multi-National Force in Iraq? Why would Caldwell insist on not having his name associated with these allegations today?

After the bogus Iraq evidence debacle in 2002 and 2003 – allegations that led to war, tens of thousands of lives lost, and hundreds of billions of dollars spent – only a fool would accept as the gospel supposed evidence against another country that’s presented by officials who insist on making their allegations anonymously.

We deserve better from the US government. We deserve better from the western news media.[/quote]
And I have no further comment.