Ray Robison, whose letter we published yesterday, writes again, regarding the Saddam tapes, John Loftus, and appearance of Bill Tierny last night on Hannity & Colmes. Here is the complete letter:
Last night, Bill Tierney was on Hannity and Colmes talking about the Saddam Tapes. I was fascinated as Bill Tierney defended the information he claims to be present on the tapes. How eerily familiar he looked. I realized it was like a mirror for me.
I saw in him the frustration of knowing that the most significant reasons that President Bush led this nation to war against Iraq were legitimate reasons, yet the 'conventional wisdom' is that we were at best wrong, and at worst criminal in that endeavor.
It looks to me to be the frustration of the vanquished, believing something to be true which was confirmed by your every sense, yet history being re—written around you as all that you believed and know is erased as flawed intelligence. This was obvious to me when he blew up at Alan Colmes telling him he wouldn't let Alan silence him on this issue, showing that Bill, like me is very tired of having to remain silent as idiots who have no first hand experience to the subject constantly define and redefine the issue.
Yes I recognize his frustration and for that reason I lend his words great credence on this matter. I get you Bill. Bill 'knows'.
He made one bad mistake. He brought his evidence to what would seem to be the P.T. Barnum of our age, John Loftus. More and more it appears this intelligence summit is crumbling. It was a mistake for Mr. Tierney to choose the Loftus intelligence summit to be the vehicle of disclosure. It was a mistake for Mr. Tierney to allow John Loftus to take the tapes to ABC news for translation and reporting, a huge mistake.
Today, Mr. Tierney is reporting that the tapes were mistranslated and misreported by ABC news. I find this very believable from my experience working with translators with the Iraqi Survey Group.
How many people did ABC news have translate the material they had? With ISG, it was common practice to have important items reviewed by at least 2 linguists. Usually this was done by a cleared linguist as a reviewer, usually an Arab American with a security clearance. What provisions did ABC take to make sure that what it reported was accurate?
Often time's nuances are lost on a transcript, such as sarcasm. As soon as I heard the tapes I got what Saddam was saying. According to the ABC news transcript, Saddam said 'This is coming, this story is coming but not from Iraq.' For anyone who has studied Saddam, you get the feeling that what he is really saying is 'of course this is our objective, but we are getting our story straight here and now because we have told the world that we have no WMDs and this can never be traced back to us.'
Having worked with ISG in the audio and visual department, I was privy to the exact type of information that Tierney has released. The CD he has copied probably came from me or a coworker in my shop. I can not explain the level of frustration that I have had to live with for over a year now.
The Duelfer report was supposed to tell the story. It didn't, not completely. It is a fine start, but missing key evidence to form conclusions. What Mr. Tierney has in the form of those tapes has nothing to do with the credibility of Mr. Loftus. What is on those tapes has nothing to do with one translator for ABC news.
For these reasons I urge Mr. Tierney to immediately make the full tapes available to Fox News and disconnect himself from Mr. Loftus. I urge him to go on Hannity and Colmes tonight and show all his cards before no one is paying attention anymore. Wait and see until the full tapes are released and analyzed. Don't give up ground on the creditability of those tapes based on John Loftus. I watched Bill Tierney last night and he 'knows'.