Thursday, March 16, 2006

Heroes in Error

Jack Fairweather describes how the fraud to pull us into Iraq started just weeks after 9/11. Remember, this is well before we went into Afghanistan.

This group didn't care about stopping terrorism, they just wanted to use 9/11 as an excuse for regime change.

How a fake general, a pliant media, and a master manipulator helped lead the United States into war.

EIGHT WEEKS after September 11, a pair of Americans entered the gleaming marble lobby of Beirut’s Intercontinental Hotel La Vendome, where they were greeted by a group of Iraqi expatriates. The Americans were reporters—New York Times war correspondent Chris Hedges, who’d just been put on the Al Qaeda beat, and Christopher Buchanan, an associate producer of PBS’s Frontline—there to meet a mysterious Iraqi defector with information about Saddam Hussein’s secret weapons program.


Two days later the story that spun out on the front page of the New York Times was as shocking as it was convincing. Ghurairy claimed that as a senior intelligence official, he had witnessed foreign Arab fighters training to hijack airplanes at the Salman Pak military facility south of Baghdad.


The impact of the article and the concurrent Frontline show, “Gunning for Saddam,” was immediate: Op-eds ran in major papers, and the story was taken to a wider audience through cable-TV talk shows.


Unfortunately, the story was an elaborate scam. The purported general had indeed met with American intelligence agents in Turkey, but unbeknownst to Hedges the agents had dismissed his claims out of hand. What the reporters also didn’t know, and what has never before been reported, is that it now appears that the man himself was a fake. According to an ex-INC official, the Ghurairy who met with the Times and PBS was actually a former Iraqi sergeant, then living in Turkey and known by the code name Abu Zainab. The real Lt. General Ghurairy, it seems, had never left Iraq.

Mother Jones


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