Tuesday, April 01, 2003

Iraq news from Russia?

This page claims to have information about the war in Iraq, based on intercepted radio communications. The source is supposedly Russian Military Intelligence (via Cogita Differenter). As with any fascinating, "too good to be true" discovery of information on the Internet, I started out suspecting a hoax. But this is a very interesting read. It is full of believable-sounding things, and seems to be the work of someone with quite a bit of background knowledge and analytical ability. The writing style feels like the work of a seasoned researcher/analyst.
  • Data is separated from analysis
  • Statements are carefully qualified and sources attributed, to acknowledge where information is limited or possibly in error
  • The analysis contains alternative scenarios that could explain the same data
  • The analysis is stated in an uninvolved, unemotional way when it concerns the war in Iraq, but changes to a more emotional tone when discussing how the "lessons learned" here should apply to Russia. This is a small detail that a hoaxer would probably not think to include.
  • There are interesting details about the nature of the intercepts, such as the intercept of a phone conversation between a journalist and his editor. An average hoaxer probably would not think things through to that level of detail, but this is actually quite a plausible source of information.

Because of the writing style, I would bet that this is authentically the work of a professional analyst and not an average hoaxer. Of course, I have no way of knowing whether writer really believes the material or if it is disinformation.

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