Stoned

In keeping with the summer silly season, James Bamford has written a piece — part laughable, part despicable — for Rolling Stone that deals with Michael Ledeen and with Bamford’s fantasies about Israel. While Ledeen may be flattered by all the attention (Vanity Fair ran a 25,000-word slime a couple of months ago), it has now reached the point where these endlessly recycled falsehoods need to be demolished. Given the political climate, it will soon be physically dangerous to be branded, however falsely, as the “guru” of the looming war with Iran.

Dr. Ledeen has kindly sent us a copy of letter to the editor of Rolling Stone that he emailed the magazine on July 27:

Jeez, I thought it was only coffee in that cup Jim Bamford drank from at my house, but apparently he slipped something stronger into it when I was opening the box of cookies he brought over. Anyone who thinks I have any influence on the Bush Administration is regularly swallowing something more powerful than caffeine.

I’ve been writing for years now to encourage the government to support democratic revolution in Iran, but nothing of the sort has been done. I’ve openly and consistently opposed military invasion, yet Bamford says I’m trying — and on the verge of succeeding — to cause a “bloody war.” He says that Douglas Feith brought me into his “cabal,” but I have never worked for Feith, or Rumsfeld’s Pentagon (indeed I called for Rumsfeld to be replaced two years ago), or anyone else in this administration.

As I told Bamford — and I have a recording of our conversation — I have no access to this administration, let alone sway over it. But he insists that I am Svengali to George Bush’s Trilby. Any fact checkers left at the “Stone”? He can’t even run a decent “Nexis” search. He claims that our conversation was the first time I had discussed the meeting in Rome in 2001 that enabled the United States to obtain detailed information about Iranian plans to kill our soldiers in Afghanistan. In fact it was the umpteenth time I had been interviewed, in American and European publications and blogs, most recently in Raw Story. I have written about it several times myself. And why not? That information saved American lives, as Bamford could have confirmed if he had been willing to work harder.

As for the endlessly maligned Mr. Ghorbanifar, who looks more reliable today, the CIA who described him as the world’s greatest liar and refused to look at his information about murderous Iranian activities in Afghanistan and Iraq, or Mr. G himself? Nowadays his picture of Iran’s role in the terror war against us is almost universally accepted. And by the way, the information Ghorbanifar gave me in the fall of 2001 had to do with events inside Iran. Nothing secret, just unnoticed information about the widespread Iranian hatred of the regime. That, too, is now conventional wisdom.

Bamford claims to be an independent critic of the Intellience Community, but here he has swallowed the company’s bait in toto. Whatever that stuff was in the coffee cup had long-lasting effects, because it totally knocked out the little grey cells in his frontal lobes.

Somehow imagining that I want to invade Iran, he quotes an article of mine in National Review Online in which I call for the United States to support regime change in Syria and Iran, as if that meant a military campaign. If he had looked up a few lines he would have found these words: “Give them a chance to fight for their freedom, as we did with the Georgians. The longer we dither, the more likely it becomes that we will sadly and unnecessarily find ourselves in a military confrontation of some sort, with all the terrible consequences that entails.” That’s the actual context. The opposite of what Bamford says.

Over at NRO, Andrew McCarthy and Mark Levin take Bamford to the woodshed in Rolling Smear,” and Ed Morrissey has more here and here over at Captain’s Quarters.

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