In the fever swamps of the left, Michael Ledeen is seen as a shadowy figure trying to urge the U.S. to wage war on Iran. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Rolling Stone has gone so far as to publish the false ravings of one such swamp denizen and Ed Morrissey deftly shreds it.
Shall we start a betting pool to see how long it takes the magazine to print Ledeen's response or, as they did with the Gore cover, just stuff a sock in it?
But by far the most egregious error in the article comes on page 3, in the same section discussing the trip to Rome. Bamford puts the time frame as December 2001, and Ledeen agrees. Here's what Bamford wrote about one of the major underpinnings of this entire conspiracy to start a war with Iran:
The men then turned their attention to their larger goal: regime change in Iran. Ghorbanifar suggested funding the overthrow of the Iranian government using hundreds of millions of dollars in cash supposedly hidden by Saddam Hussein. He even hinted that Saddam was hiding in Iran.
The idea that the Iranians would ever hide the man who waged a brutal war against them for eight years has a humor all its own. However, Bamford seems to have forgotten one critical point: Saddam was still running Iraq in December 2001, and would for the next sixteen months. Saddam may not have allowed people to know his specific whereabouts at any given moment, but we knew damned well he was still in Iraq, and still in charge.
Did Bamford bother to do any research at all on this story, or did he just make it up as he went along? And how about the Rolling Stone editors? Apparently, the levels of fact—checking ceased to exist on this story, and RS allowed Bamford to spin his fantasies unimpeded. No one ever questioned why the Shi'ite mullahcracy would shelter a genocidal Sunni madman that had brutally oppressed their brethren for decades. Hell, RS couldn't even read a calendar.
Clarice Feldman 7 27 06