Posted by Curt on 26 May, 2007 at 2:25 pm. 49 comments already!

Larry Johnson, that ViPer with a serious case of the BDS, is at it again peddling a forged document: (h/t Ace of Spades HQ)

Some brave soul in the U.S. military sent Pat Lang a memo issued Monday that shows the U.S. ability to support its troops is collapsing and very vulnerable to disruption.

The memo states:

Due to a theater-wide delay in food delivery, menu selections will be limited for the near future. While every effort will be made to provide balanced meals, it may not be possible to offer the dishes you are used to seeing at each meal. Fresh fruits and salad bar items will also be severely limited or unavailable.

We don’t have enough convoys to give our troops three hot meals a day. We want them to step up the patrolling. We want them to search 24-7 for missing soldiers. But, by God, they don’t deserve three hot meals a day.

Excuse my rudeness, but that is fucked up. Way to go General Petraeus.

The document?

Which see-dubya noticed (in the comment section of Hot Air) has a creation date of May 23rd, 2 days after the date on this memo and that it was made by "khanp". 

But before the investigation could really start on this memo Larry "His Kookiness" Johnson updated his post:

UPDATE: I’ve received a note from a journalist buddy who say’s that the US military Public Affairs Officer in Baghdad says this is a phony document. We’ll see. I sure hope that is the case. But it does not undermine the basic point of the vulnerability of the U.S. supply line.

Um, yeah, it does.  If there is no disruption of the supply line then your "basic point" is not a point at all, just a lie.

And this guy was an intelligence official inside our CIA at one point.

Wow….

PS – Check out Ace’s post to see where that eagle on the top right of the "memo" came from….bad bad forgery.

UPDATE

LGF with some more information on this forgery:

Also notice that the PDF document is not a scan of a printed original, it’s editable text captured directly from Word. So this PDF file was created from a Microsoft Word document, two days after the date on the so-called “memo.”

Plus look at the WaPo article in which they report on this food "shortage":

But mouths turned dry Monday when an internal embassy e-mail announced a "Theater-Wide Delay in Food Deliveries." Due to an unspecified convoy problem, it said, "it may not be possible to offer the dishes you are used to seeing at each meal. Fresh fruits or salad bar items will also be severely limited or unavailable."

If the delays continue, the message said, "DFACs [dining facilities] will be required to serve MREs for at least one meal out of the day."

Instead of rice pilaf with turkey or fish — Monday night’s main entree, according to embassy spokesman Dan Sreebny, who said he topped it off with two cookies — the staff would have to make do with military Meals Ready to Eat, freeze-dried concoctions with prescribed amounts of starch and protein, capable of withstanding parachute drops and remaining edible for three years after packaging.

"We’ve run out of some things," Sreebny said. "I miss my yogurt in the morning and my fresh-cut melon."

Notice the quote from an embassy spokesman. 

Apparently IraqSlogger also had this on the 23rd, and they reproduced the fake memo:

Though this memo only seems to apply those eating at cafeterias at US State Department facilities across Iraq, including US military personnel who eat at those cafeterias, news that food deliveries in Iraq are experiencing supply-side disruption theater-wide raises questions about whether US troops may be dealing with the similar supply challenges.

IraqSlogger has as yet been unable to determine how widespread the anticipated food shortage may be, but will update this story as more information comes available.

So IraqSlogger writes up an article on this forgery on the 23rd, the same day that the forged document was created, along with ole nitwit Larry Johnson.  Then the WaPo was next on the 24th.   Albeit with an embassy spokesman.  But reading that article you cannot really tell if that spokesperson is confirming a shortage or confirming what would happen if there was a shortage, ie…MRE’s.  The spokesperson also seems to confirm that yes, delays happen.  Poor guy doesn’t get his yogurt.

UPDATE II

Larry Johnson in the comment thread of his original post:

You complete bonehead. US Embassy authorities confirmed its authenticity on Thursday. You are a certifiable idiot. Go take up space where intelligence is not a requirement to participate. 

They confirmed its authenticity on Thursday the 23rd huh?  No where in that WaPo article does it state they authenticated the memo.

This guy takes the cake man.  He takes this obvious forgery at face value because it fits in with his own preconceived notions….wait a minute, our MSM does that also.  Guess we could call him a part of the MSM since he did write that 2001 editorial in which he stated the threat of terrorism is WAY overblown.

UPDATE III

Good comment left at Ace’s

Timeline for May 23rd:

Johnson posted the PDF on his blog at 10:22am EST.

DeYoung posted the article on WaPo at 5:23pm EST.

Iraqslogger’s Christina Davidson posted a pic of the PDF and a short article at 5:24pm EST.

Additional nugget: Davidson used Lang earlier in May for a letter he posted from an Iraq veteran.

Conclusion: Lang leaked the PDF to both Johnson and Davidson, possibly also to DeYoung.

Not a slam-dunk yet but getting there.

UPDATE IV

Now Patrick Lang, another idiot ViPer and the apparent originator of this bogus memo, has responded: (via Ace of Spades HQ)

—— Forwarded Message
From: "Patrick Lang"
Date: Sat, 26 May 2007 23:18:45 -0400M

To: "xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Subject: RE: Food-shortage memo an obvious fraud.

Get the Washington Post To retract

Yeah….I have a feeling this will be happening shortly.

UPDATE V

Chad, a Ace of Spades HQ commenter apparently emailed the embassy and they confirmed the amateurous "memo" as being real:

From: Chad
Sent: Sunday, May 27, 2007 9:36 AM
To: Baghdad, Press Office
Subject: Question regarding a Washington Post story

Dear Sir or Ma’am:

I am a blogger who is following up on a story appearing in the Washington Post regarding a shortage of fresh foods reaching the embassy. There are some bones of contention regarding this story:

1. Is the title US Mission – Iraq in use? It is my understanding that a US Mission includes all American activities in a particular country where the embassy is merely the physical building. Is this correct?
2. Did a memo attached appear outside the dining facility, or is it a fake used to dupe the Washington Post into writing yet another negative story about the conditions in Iraq as alleged by some.

Thanks for your time

Chad


From: Baghdad, Press Office [mailto:BaghdadPressOffice@state.gov]
Sent: Saturday, May 26, 2007 11:09 PM
To: Chad
Subject: RE: Question regarding a Washington Post story

Hi Chad,

These are great questions.

In short, the term “US Mission-Iraq” is how the military here generally refers to us; however, we at the Embassy simply call ourselves “the US Embassy” or, for the actual real estate on which we sit, “the Embassy compound.” As for the food-shortage notice, yes, it was a legitimate notice; however, food convoys have since begun to come in and we’re gradually getting back to normal.

Thanks for asking!

BAGHDAD PRESS OFFICE
U.S. Embassy, Baghdad
Email: BaghdadfPressOffice@state.gov
Web: http://iraq.usembassy.gov

So while the memo appears real many of us seemed to have missed the real story behind this thing in an attempt to get the "scoop" on another forged document.  That real story being the fact that there was NO theater wide shortage of food, just a bunch of civilians who didn’t get their yogurt due to bad weather:

Asked about the convoy problems, Col. Steven A. Boylan, spokesman for Gen. David H. Petraeus, the U.S. military commander in Iraq, cited bad weather in Kuwait and along the routes north. "Visibility was very poor and [it] would not have been safe to drive," Boylan said in an e-mail.

Patrick Lang apparently peddled this story as some kind of scoop about the whole thing going to hell in a handbasket, and the WaPo bit.

Another thing, how did Lang get this "memo"?  Someone leaked it obviously, in a lame attempt to manipulate the media.  So the memo is no longer fake, the story is real but waaaayyyy over exaggerated.

Another interesting comment here about the creation date of the document:

Thank you, Dave – you’ve solved the mystery of the differing dates and differing file formats.

Col. Lang posted the document as a Word .DOC on 23 May, but the .DOC itself was created the same day as the date of the memo – 21 May.  Whoever created the PDF took the same file Lang has (from the same or a similar source, or from his site) and used Word to convert it to PDF.

Why?  Because the MS Word .DOC is an insecure file format commonly used to transmit worms.  Only an idiot sends a Word .DOC over the Internet as an attachment.  (And only an idiot opens a Word .DOC he finds on the Internet, but I decided to take one for the team on this.)  The person who created the PDF was either unwilling or unable to transmit the .DOC (some networks are properly configured to prevent their transmission).

Now…. who would be sending that email with the PDF attached, and to whom?

Any bets that the WaPo server is configured not to accept .DOC files?

Now that makes sense.  Lang gets the .DOC file from a leaker who wants to manipulate the media, the WaPo can’t accept .DOC’s so he converts it to .PDF.

UPDATE VI

Some very valid points by Seixon about this memo:

If the memo is real, that means:

1. The US Embassy refers to itself by a name (US Mission Iraq) in letterhead that it claims only the military uses for it.

2. The US Embassy uses a picture of a commercial figurine in their official letterhead, although official logos should be readily available.

3. A whole four people were involved in sending a simple email: "khanp", "martinkm", Mr. Butler, and Mrs. Muench.

4. A simple email was written in Microsoft Word, not exactly the best way to broadcast a message since it requires that the recipient has Word to view it.

Not to mention the simple fact that there never was any problem with the food supply, as the WaPo story even admitted at the end of their article, and the supposed response from the embassy shows.

In other words, there is no "there" there, while Larry Johnson calls for Petraeus to apologize to the troops and tries to cause a big stink about it.

And:

Not to mention that the US military Public Affairs Officer in Baghdad said that the memo was phony! The embassy guy in Chad’s email did not confirm the authenticity of the actual memo being passed around, he confirmed the authenticity of the fact that a notice was given.

I think that the memo was faked based on a real notice, for reasons 1-4 stated above, and what I just stated.

Right now, the memo is real based on the emails.  I have a query into the embassy myself and will report back what they say.  IraqSlogger said they got confirmation on the authenticity of the memo so I will probably get the same response.  As for the Salon geniuses who have shown up, I posted the emails as soon as I received them.  Didn’t hide them or wish them away. 

Something Dan Rather should have learned but I digress.

Whether the memo is real or not the fact is that Johnson whipped up a doom and gloom story based on a notice about some cookies and cream not being delivered to civilians in an embassy.  And that is a very sorry attempt to make a mountain out of a molehill. 
 
But for now, the forged document is not a forgery. 

A very poor amateurish memo using a picture of a figurine as it’s emblem, for sure, but it’s for real.

Of course what else is real is Larry Johnsons statements of doom and gloom.

sent Pat Lang a memo issued Monday that shows the U.S. ability to support its troops is collapsing and very vulnerable to disruption.

Collapsing….yeah.

Or this winner:

Who is in charge of the supply convoys? The U.S. military, not the Embassy. Why is there a resupply problem? Because the resupply line is being attacked and disrupted.

Of course this genius must not have read the whole WaPo article he cited since they state that the problems were due to WEATHER.

This is called bald faced lies, all to make a simple story about a minor food shortage into Iraq collapsing.

Please

UPDATE VII

Ace has a source who apparently knows who the originator of this figurine memo is.  Apparently it is Parvaz Khan, Or khanp as the .PDF showed, a Human Resources Officer in the embassy.  His source continues:

Why would the Human Resources Officer be involved with this matter?

Why were there two people, Khan and Martin, working on such a simple memo and not the actual people listed in the memo as having drafted and approved it?
And why was Lang leaked the Word document (created by Khan and last saved by Martin), while Johnson was given the PDF done by Khan?

And for the love of all that is good, why in the world were they using that damn figurine picture as a logo?

The bottom line here is that someone, possibly Khan, tried to stir up a controversy by leaking a mundane notice about what was eventually a non-existent delay in food supplies, and perhaps tried to dress up a fairly standard email that was sent around as a "memo".

I think most of you use email as part of your job every single day, and the prospect of the US Embassy in Iraq sending around Microsoft Word documents as email seems fairly ridiculous.

And I have to agree with Seixon on this one.  This looks more and more like it was a simple email notice sent out to the personnel inside the embassy after which this khanp decided to dress things up and leak it to a certifiable kook like Larry Johnson and Peter Lang.

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