What we get is Tarabay stating, "...the top military commander, the top American military commander, General George Casey, said that, in detention, these five men gave intelligence that gave the American military great confidence that these people were not diplomats; they’re actually intelligence operatives working inside Iraq..." So?
Tarabay needs to do a little brushing up on source reliability. General Casey is not a reliable source; here are a few things he had to say back in October 2006:
- "...violence and progress coexist in Iraq, and we shouldn't be distracted from the positive things that are going on there amidst all the violence."
- "the new government.....They're working hard to build unity, security and prosperity for all Iraqis."
- "...we also continue to make progress with the Iraqi security forces."
- "...lots of work to do with the police and still with the army, but the progress you're seeing there is heartening."
- "...we continue to make progress across the country every day."
One can't fully blame Casey; after all he is subordinate to Bush and couldn't tell the truth if he wanted to, but to parrot his statements when asked "What's happening now?" is not honest reporting. It is also extremely sloppy (or intentional?) for Tarabay to correctly open her statement by attributing "Casey said that" but then to turn his groundless allegations into an assertion of fact: "they’re actually intelligence operatives working inside Iraq."
Really, why bother with parroting the claims of the Pentagon-unless it is to reinforce them? Why not honestly answer Inskeep's by stating, "Well Steve, I'm in the Green Zone and so have no way to verify anything regarding the raid on the consulate, but General Casey claims to have evidence justifying the raid--evidence that cannot be independently verified."