Memo mystery: Is this document real or not?

Ace reports that former CIA intel officer Larry “No wonder Rove’s mother killed herself” Johnson is peddling a memo about food shortages at the American embassy in Baghdad which he claims comes from a U.S. military source.


Here’s the full-sized version. The subtance of the memo appears to be true: this WaPo article from earlier in the week quotes an embassy spokesman as confirming the shortage but emphasizing that it’s a temporary thing and has happened before.

[M]ouths 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.”…

[Embassy spokesman Dan] Sreebny, who said on Tuesday that the last supply trucks arrived in Baghdad two weeks prior, attributed the delays to paperwork problems on the border, traffic jams and “security issues.” He said the embassy stocks three weeks of non-perishable food for use in the event of emergency, so no one was yet in danger of MREs…

“This has happened before, in terms of convoys,” Sreebny said, although “this one may be a little bit longer than in the past. Then the food comes and we all gorge ourselves on apples and oranges and bananas again.”

In an e-mail update last night, Sreebny reported that the looming crisis was at least partially averted. “Some trucks have arrived at our embassy and are being unloaded even as I write.”

So why mention the memo at all? Follow the link to Ace and you’ll see. The icon in the upper right-hand corner turns out to be an image of a Lenox china figurine. Which brings me to my question: Is the document authentic, which would mean someone in the military was so lazy as to swipe an image of an eagle statuette for use as a logo? Or is this a crudely doctored facsimile of the internal embassy e-mail mentioned in the WaPo article, possibly created to make it look like the bearer has some inside access? If the latter it seems hard to believe a former CIA man could be so easily fooled, but then again, this is the same guy who once wrote:

Judging from news reports and the portrayal of villains in our popular entertainment, Americans are bedeviled by fantasies about terrorism. They seem to believe that terrorism is the greatest threat to the United States and that it is becoming more widespread and lethal. They are likely to think that the United States is the most popular target of terrorists. And they almost certainly have the impression that extremist Islamic groups cause most terrorism…

The greatest risk is clear: if you are drilling for oil in Colombia — or in nations like Ecuador, Nigeria or Indonesia — you should take appropriate precautions; otherwise Americans have little to fear.

Date of publication: July 10, 2001.

So how about it, Green Zone readers? Real or not?

Update: See-Dub notes that Iraqslogger had a copy of the same memo several days ago, although they might have gotten tipped by the same person who tipped Johnson.

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