Last time we heard from the Inter Press News Service (ISP), they had manufactured a story that put Admiral Fallon calling General Petraeus a "ass-kissing little chicken-shit," a phrase which the DailyKos picked up and has now made its way into some more respectable blogs. This despite the fact that the report had relied on not a single witness to the conversation, or even anyone who had been in Iraq at the time. Now we get another story from ISP about General Petraeus's testimony before Congress, which, according to author Gareth Porter, who also reported the 'chicken-shit' story "Helps Destroy Bush's 'Proxy War' Claim." Here's the lead:
In his prepared statement to the U.S. House Foreign Affairs and Armed Services committees last week, Gen. David Petraeus claimed that Iran is using the Quds Force to turn Shiite militias into a "Hezbollah-like force" to "fight a proxy war against the Iraqi state and coalition forces in Iraq".
But Petraeus then shattered that carefully constructed argument by volunteering in answering a question that the Quds Force, an elite unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, had essentially left Iraq. "The Quds force itself, we believe, by and large those individuals have been pulled out of the country as have the Lebanese Hezbollah trainers that were being used to augment that activity..."
Petraeus's contradictory statements on the Quds force are emblematic of an administration propaganda line that has essentially fallen apart because it was so obviously out of line with reality.
That's pretty devastating to the 'administration propaganda line'--I wonder which Congressmen was able to break the General? Turns out it was Duncan Hunter. Here's the full exchange:
REP. HUNTER: Just one final question. You have mentioned -- and we're all familiar with -- Ambassador Crocker's team and their meetings with the Iranians. You mentioned early on that -- both of you, I believe -- that military equipment -- that deadly military equipment continues to flow from Iran. Has that flow increased or decreased since your meetings?
GEN. PETRAEUS: We believe that it has increased, at least based on the number of explosively formed projectile attacks, in particular, and to a lesser degree, rocket attacks. It's tough to tell how long it takes to get it all the way into the pipeline. There was a brief drop-off for a couple of weeks, but it appears that that is increasing. And we do not see a sign of that abating, nor do we see signs of the training or other activity, although the Qods Force itself -- we believe, by large, those individuals have been pulled out of the country, as have the Lebanese Hezbollah trainers that were being used to augment that activity.
So the quote actually directly contradicts Porter's charge that the general's testimony "Helps Destroy Bush's 'Proxy War' Claim." If anything, Petraeus is asserting that Iran has "increased" support for its proxies in Iraq. IPS is basically a lefty blog dressed up as a wire service, which is convenient because now the blogs needn't distort anything, they can just quote IPS--"civil society's leading news agency, is an independent voice from the South and for development, delving into globalisation for the stories underneath."