Have you notice how this news story has permeated the USA media since the story appeared Monday in the NYT?
New York Times
“WASHINGTON, Nov. 27 — A senior American intelligence official said Monday that the Iranian-backed group Hezbollah had been training members of the Mahdi Army, the Iraqi Shiite militia led by Moktada al-Sadr.”
So who is this “senior American intelligence official”?
This is an example of how presidential administrations develop what becomes “conventional wisdom”.
Administration officials speak to a media contact “on background”, which means that the official is not to be identified by name but only by a pre-agreed upon moniker, such as a “senior American intelligence official”. Thus the news is made. A “senior” administration official meets with one of the few news outlets that produce original news, such as the NYT or WP, and the news media, being generally an echo chamber, picks up the story.
I don’t doubt that perhaps Hezbollah is training Shiite militiamen in Iraq, but I don’t believe this report because the source is not identified. I think the report is part of the administration’s efforts to sell the USA public on its Iran agenda, which to many of Cheney’s neofascist fellow travelers should include military attacks.
My guess is that the “senior American intelligence official” source of the NYT report is the president’s National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley. Hadley is loyal to Darth Cheney whom, as chief of transition in 2000, installed Hadley as deputy to then National Security Adviser Rice, just he installed his loyalists in Colin Powell’s state department.
The Time’s report to me has the same odor as Judith Miller’s stenography selling the invasion of Iraq.