I winced when I read in today’s Times that Barack Obama has now staked a bit of his own presidential credibility (diminishing as it is) on supporting the increasingly desperate tale told by his Justice Department about the alleged Iran terror plot.
Mr. Obama insisted that American officials “know that he had direct links, was paid by, and directed by individuals in the Iranian government.”
“Now those facts are there for all to see,” Mr. Obama said. “We would not be bringing forward a case unless we knew exactly how to support all the allegations that are contained in the indictment.”
This guy is not just a lawyer, not just a Harvard trained lawyer, but a constitutional scholar. He, of all people, should know that accusations are not facts until proven in a court of law, and we’re a LONG way from there. It’s really shameful for him to use the term at all, and deeply prejudicial to the detainee’s (I almost want to say “victim”) chance for a fair trial.
All I can say is that if Obama’s so sure of the evidence he should release enough of it to allow the public to make its own informed judgment. If he wishes to hold his cards close to his vest, then he has only himself to blame if people see him, and his attorney general as doddering fools.
The State Department itself is getting into the buffoonish doings. In an implicit acknowledgement of the comparisons to the plot of the film, Fast and Furious, its spokesperson said this:
“When you look at these details, it seems like something out of a movie,” Ms. Nuland acknowledged in her remarks about the alleged plot. “But as you begin to give more detail on what we knew and when we knew it and how we knew it, it has credibility.”
There’s a reason why it seems like something out of a movie, and quite a bad one at that, unless it was one based on an Elmore Leonard novel. Because it is one. Then you’ll notice Nuland posits an imaginary audience (certainly not the American people) which has been offered the information which she claims to know–et voilà–all of a sudden, it has credibility. How it manages to gain credibility is a mystery, which is why it might make a great Elmore Leonard novel. The question is, who do we cast as Arbabsiar? Maybe Travolta or Nicholas Cage or Matt Damon as the hapless boob? It has promise–as a movie.
Anyone have any movie title ideas? Keeping with the Fast and Furious concept, perhaps Fast and Delirious? Or Dumb, Dumber and Eric Holder?
Obama is muttering about sanctions and seems to harbor the delusion that this new development will cause Russian and China to change their tunes and endorse even more punitive sanctions than currently exist. What it will do is give Putin and Hu Jintao a good laugh, I’m afraid.
Glenn Greenwald notes that Obama administration officials are suggesting that the attempt to kill the Saudi ambassador might be revenge for the killing of three Iranian nuclear scientists. For them to say this as much as concedes U.S. complicity in those attacks, which have widely been credited to Israel and/or the U.S. While they might argue that the Iranians have accused the U.S. of involvement–it beggars belief that a nation would attempt a terror attack on foreign soil if it didn’t know for a fact that the victim nation was guilty of an attack against it.
Greenwald also notes the absolute inanity of Iran striking out against the murderers of its scientists by attacking Saudi Arabia. Why would it do that as opposed to attacking specific U.S. or Israeli interests? Saudi Arabia certainly had nothing to do with those assassinations.
Which brings up yet another question: if the supposed attack on the Saudi diplomat was a terror attack what does that make the killings of the Iranian scientists? A terror attack of course. So why isn’t the world clamoring for sanctions against the country almost everyone knows was behind it? I suppose one might argue that the ambassador is a diplomat and the scientists were accused of helping develop nuclear weapons (though there is no proof of this). And if you want to go there, what would we say if a German or Japanese agent had assassinated our top nuclear scientists, Edward Teller or J. Robert Oppenheimer, during the Cold War? Terror is terror is terror.