May 17, 2005


Just who is the 'son of a bitch'? (Jim Lobe, 5/18/05, Asia Times)

Here's a question for international news hounds: Who is the "son of a bitch" referred to in this comment by a US Defense Department spokesman?

"People are dead because of what this son of a bitch said. How could he be credible now?"

Is he an unnamed Defense Department source who told Newsweek magazine that he had read a government document detailing an incident where US military personnel at the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, allegedly flushed a copy of the Koran down a toilet?

After all, that report, which was printed in a small item in last week's "Periscope" section of the magazine, spurred violent protests across the Muslim world, particularly in Afghanistan, where at least 15 people were killed and the government of President Hamid Karzai was badly shaken just a week before he was due to travel to Washington.

Or is the "son of a bitch" US President George W Bush, whose administration began fixing intelligence at least eight months before invading Iraq in order to make the public believe that Baghdad posed a serious threat to the United States and its allies?

Not sated by moron, shrub, loser, etc., they've moved on to son of a bitch?

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 17, 2005 8:50 AM

I didn't read the whole article but this is confusing. The current issue is that Newsweek lied about the Koran thing and spurred riots based on a falsehood. The issue of whether Bush lied or not has been debated for the past 2 years. If it was a Dept of State person I'd believe that they are talking about Bush, the fact that it is a Dept of Defense person makes me think they are talking about Newsweek.

Posted by: AWW at May 17, 2005 9:01 AM

Why, for heaven's sake, would anyone assume Bush was the source? Isn't it far more likely to be some mid-level player in Depts of State or Defense?

Bush would be about the last person I'd guess as the source, which leads me to conclude that Mr. Lobe simply wanted a reason to call Bush a son-of-a-bitch, in the left's inimitable infantile way.

Posted by: Bruce Cleaver at May 17, 2005 9:57 AM

"Son of a bitch" is restrained, for this crowd. They're usually even more explicit.

Posted by: Mike Morley at May 17, 2005 10:14 AM

Lobe's line basically boils down to, "What's the matter with you people! Stop talking about Newsweek! Chimpy McHitler is a war criminal! Stop backing down!" Not much different that the normal left wing rhetoric about Bush, where the agitated believe the U.S. media are a bunch of cowardly gutless wonders who won't tell the real story about the evil facist cabal in the White House because they're controlled by their oppressive corporate masters (the scary part about the big media types is while they brush off any talk of liberal bias from conservative sources, if they have any self-doubt about what they're doing, it comes when they hear critiques like this and think maybe they aren't hard enough on Bush).

But it was nice to see Lobe include the graph about the New York Review of Books and how they've subscribed to the Michael Moore "innocent waifs flying kites" school of thinking about Saddam's Iraq, showing the NYRB is politically as clueless as ever.

Posted by: John at May 17, 2005 10:41 AM

DiRita was obviously talking about Michael Isikoff (and, by extension, his "source"). Me, I wonder if the source exists. Until we hear a name, it doesn't (which comports with Evan Thomas's logic quite nicely).

Posted by: jim hamlen at May 17, 2005 11:35 AM

Bruce - For all we know, it could be a staffer to a Democratic Senator. They're government officials too.

Posted by: pj at May 17, 2005 12:30 PM

PJ - right you are. That increases the potential universe of sources, and decreases the chances Bush was the source yet further.

Posted by: Bruce Cleaver at May 17, 2005 1:52 PM

Personally I think Jim Lobe is the son of a bitch in this story. Stick that in your ear, Lobe.

Posted by: Genecis at May 17, 2005 3:27 PM

Newsweek lied - people died!

Posted by: obc at May 17, 2005 7:36 PM