Thursday, May 01, 2008

Jeffrey Goldberg Files


That is obviously a campaign of deliberate state violence. What it is obviously not is a collaboration between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. Rather, it was a campaign conducted by Saddam's own operatives. Goldberg says Saddam was "a supporter of terrorism." What he's hoping you're too half-awake to realize is that there's a difference between generic "terror" groups and Al Qaeda. The report, as I wrote in my piece, does not say, at all, contra to Goldberg's misleading implication, that Saddam collaborated with Ayman Zawahiri. It says that around 1993, a memo from one of Saddam's apparatchiks noted, "In a meeting in the Sudan we agreed to renew our relations with the Islamic Jihad Organization in Egypt." Years later, that organization would merge with Al Qaeda. Nowhere in the report does Joint Forces Command substantiate that Saddam and Zawahiri's group actually, you know, did anything together. To the contrary: it refers to a memorandum, "dated 8 February 1993, asking that movement to refrain from moving against the Egyptian government at that time."

Goldberg has misled The New Yorker's readers for years. Now he's misleading Slate's readers. And, when you think about it, why shouldn't he? After all, he rode his misrepresentations all the way to a great job at The Atlantic. All the incentives have aligned for him. Why stop now? It's not like 4,000 Americans have died or anything.