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Commentary Last Updated: Feb 16th, 2007 - 00:48:40

Serious questions about Bush-Gates Iran mortar allegation
By Larry Chin
Online Journal Associate Editor

Feb 16, 2007, 00:46

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In the wake of purported �strong evidence� that mortars used to attack US soldiers in Iraq were manufactured by Iran, disturbing new questions are being raised about the veracity of the claims made by Defense Secretary Robert Gates and President George W. Bush.

Here is one analysis, the first on this topic, by Ray Hanania, which also contains a link to photographic evidence: Serious questions about the mortar, Bush and the media.

The photograph is of an 81 mm shell. But the serial numbers on the shell are in English. Would a mortar �manufactured by Iran� have English lettering (if so, why)? Why an American-style 81mm shell instead of a more typical Russian-manufactured 82mm shell? How and where were these munitions really made and distrubuted? Is it an American shell? Is it an American-style shell that was brokered globally? If so, how did this shell find its way to Iran (or did it)?

Is it planted evidence by the Bush administration�s intelligence apparatus?  Is this just one of the many planted lies being used to set up the upcoming attack on Iraq? (See Fabricating the case against Iran.)

Iranian officials have called the mortar evidence a complete fabrication. In a related development, another allegation, that Iran is harboring Iraq insurgency leader Al-Sadr, has been denied by Al-Sadr�s organization.

Neither Gates nor Bush have been grilled or pressured to provide any verifiable proof to back their claims. They have not provided any proof on the source of this �evidence�-- if there is one.

The tidal wave of disinformation is just beginning.

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