October 8, 2014

Fox News being what it is, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised by this. But it's so twisted and bizarre that it sent our WTF meters into orbit. Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer (Ret) is a former military intelligence officer who sees conspiracies and enemies everywhere. Oh, and he's really good at finding "intel" that supports whatever wingnut theory of the day he's selling.

In this fine segment, the Lt. Colonel swears he has information saying Syrians are begging to be bombed. After the obligatory "bash Obama" words of complaint about not enough bombs, Neil Cavuto gives the required lip service to civilian casualties, practically snarling as he says "But Colonel, aren't we afraid that the old dilemma for the United States, limiting collateral damage, taking out innocent folks and the flip side of that is, then you don't do much damage, because they know that you are trying to avoid population centers and innocent victims. Then they play that like a fiddle, right?"

Interlude: As if we don't play 9-11 like a fiddle? Please.

Then the verbal stink bomb of the day drops. Colonel Shaffer discussed his Syrian contacts, claiming, "I have met with people on Capitol Hill who would have their families that have been calling them on the phone, saying please bomb us. We'd rather be bombed than dead, than be raped by ISIS."

I suppose the thing to do there is remind Shaffer that bombing tends to lead to death? How twisted a statement is that?

The thing you most need to know about Neil Cavuto's guest, Retired Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, is that he is a former military intelligence officer who sees conspiracies against him everywhere, always without any justification or provocation, he is an expert in everything, with no support for anything. And everything -- everything no matter when it happened -- is Obama's fault. Straight up Obama's fault, plain and simple.

Like his claim that Obama is the reason the effort to rescue James Foley failed, for example.

Or the time he claimed Obama was in the room watching the Benghazi attack happening in real time while doing absolutely nothing about it. That claim proved false, but Fox News had a bang-up time simultaneously claiming that Obama wasn't even in the White House or DC at the time while Shaffer was reassuring paranoid Fox viewers that he was right there watching it all unfold.

He has appeared on Alex Jones' radio show to prop up 911 truthers, too. I loved this description of his appearance:

Shaffer’s job, as the head of the DIA’s Stratus Ivy program, was to provide Able Danger with top secret, code word intelligence derived from DIA’s Integrated Database (IDB) on intelligence from foreign military organizations around the world and the National Security Agency’s signals intelligence (SIGINT) and geo-spatial databases, including Anchory, Oilstock, and Texta.

He f*cked that up royally then, didn't he?

And then there was the book. The one he wrote about Afghanistan and war and how policy has been screwed up for 25 years there. While I might agree on the policy statement, I'm fairly certain I would disagree with who screwed up the policy and what about it was wrong.

As you may recall, Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer’s personal accounts in Operation Dark Heart were supposed to blow the lid off what he charges were devastating mistakes and miscalculations by the Defense Intelligence Agency (he was an intelligence officer for 25 years) and the U.S. Army, before and after the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. In fact, he’s said he can recall the "exact moment in time" where the war "went off the rails" and "into the ditch it’s in right now."

That was before the Pentagon got involved in the eleventh hour, bought up most of the only copies of the first edition in print, destroyed them, then forced the publisher into redacting large, critical portions of the book before it could print the second edition in 2010.

In an interview with Antiwar.com, Shaffer explains how the Pentagon reacted "emotionally" to his book, and how the military has been retaliating against him. He also says he believes the military is trying desperately to control how Americans perceive the war – and using the interests of "national security" to do it.

And this is the same guy telling us Syrians are begging for us to drop MORE BOMBS FASTER on them so they can die at American hands before ISIS finds them?

Give me a break.


Can you help us out?

For nearly 20 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.