Finally, after weeks of delay, and presumably after it was made
to "focus on the facts" and scrubbed once again by intelligence analysts, the administration's big slideshow on Iran's military ties to Iraqi insurgents was unveiled Sunday in Baghdad.
The PowerPoint presentation had a central purpose -- to prove that the most dangerous form of explosive being used against U.S. troops in Iraq, called explosively formed penetrators or E.F.P.s, were of Iranian manufacture. Roughly 170 (of the more than 3105
) American casualities in Iraq were caused by EFPs, the briefers said
. Serial numbers on the explosives were cited as the main piece of evidence linking the explosives to Iran.
The briefing took off from there
The officials also asserted, without providing direct evidence, that Iranian leaders had authorized smuggling those weapons into Iraq for use against the Americans.... âWe have been able to determine that this material, especially on the E.F.P. level, is coming from the I.R.G.C. - Quds Force,â said the senior defense analyst. That, the analyst said, meant direction for the operation was âcoming from the highest levels of the Iranian government.â
And who gave the briefing?
The officials were repeatedly pressed on why they insisted on anonymity in such an important matter affecting the security of American and Iraqi troops. A senior United States military official gave a partial answer, saying that without anonymity, a senior Defense Department analyst who participated in the briefing could not have contributed.
And why now?
âThe reason weâre talking about this right now is the vast increase in the number of E.F.P.s being found,â one official said. American-led forces in Iraq, the official said, âare not trying to hype this up to be more than it is.â
Just F.Y.I. And just another day of what Vice President Cheney's national security advisor John Hannah has dubbed
âthe year of Iran."Note
: The Washington Post reports
today that the Army is scrambling to equip Humvees with the necessary armor to withstand EFPs.