Thursday, June 09, 2005

The new Judith Miller

Iran is the new Iraq, Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.) is the new Judith Miller, 'Ali' aka Fereidoun Mahdavi is the new Ahmed Chalabi, and a hijacked Canadian airliner crashing into the Seabrook Nuclear Reactor near Boston is the new killer drones over the Eastern Seaboard. From an article by Dana Priest:

"Weldon's book is filled with 'Dear Curt' memos from Mahdavi. One of his most urgent allegations is that terrorists were plotting to fly a hijacked Canadian airliner into the Seabrook Nuclear Reactor, which is four miles outside Boston. Weldon credits Mahdavi with thwarting the attack and points to the August 2003 arrest in Toronto of 19 men, most of whom were Pakistani and who were initially thought to make up a sleeper cell."

Sounds pretty convincing. Or maybe not:

"Within a month, however, the Toronto arrests were downgraded to a case of routine immigration fraud. Seven of the men remain in Canada and have applied for refugee status, arguing that the terrorist label they now have makes it impossible for them to return safely to Pakistan."

The case of the 19 Pakistanis has become a political issue in Canada, with the RCMP having to hold an internal investigation to clear itself of wrongdoing, and the idea of racism even raising its ugly head (and a movie made about the injustice of it all). So much for the 19 (magic number!) Pakistanis. Weldon won't let the facts stand in the way of a good story any more than Judith Miller would. The CIA calls Mahdavi a 'fabricator' (more deja vu), and he is a a close associate of Michael Ledeen's pal Manucher Gorbanifar (now this is just getting silly!).