Monday, February 12, 2007

the truth is out there

the full iranian weapons briefing powerpoint presentation is here (pdf). i don't think it amounts to much of a case. as i mentioned before, they are in latin, not farsi, and use western, not iranian, dates. and that is contrary to previous reports about iranian-made weapons in other parts of the world. they also gave no information that would permit anyone to verify that the serial numbers really do indicate iranian manufacture. showing evidence usually means showing someone else the necessary information so they can come to the same conclusion as you, thus proving your point.

but that's not what is in the presentation. at every step there are key gaps. you either take their word for it, or you don't. there's nothing particularly convincing about it beyond their word. that's not proof, it's a "trust us."

i once attended a lecture by a UFO conspiracy theorist and his presentation was just as convincing (maybe more so, the UFO guy had more than 16 slides). he showed us stuff like a picture of the outside of a house, which he explained was where the roswell alien bodies were stored. there was no picture of a body, just a house. thus "proving" that his story was right. he also showed us a pencil drawing of a flatbed truck with a flying saucer on it, then showed us a photo of a flatbed truck that looked just like the one in the drawing. needless to say, i don't think anyone changed his mind. just like i don't see how yesterday's presentation could possibly change anyone's minds.

look, if they have the goods on iran, then show us. if key bits are classified, then show people across the political spectrum with the necessary security clearances. members of the intelligence committees in congress could do it. but it's rather ridiculous to show us "proof" that doesn't actually add up to proof.

hell, even the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff won't back up the claims made at yesterday's baghdad briefing. when you get down to it, it's not even a very convincing "trust us."