In the event that you have not yet read Michael Crowley’s profile of the Leveretts, you owe it to yourself to do so. Note the following passage:
. . . In our meeting, I pressed [the Leveretts] to say just how they feel about [Mahmoud Ahmadinejad]. Geopolitics aside, did they consider him a despicable human being? “I think he’s actually a quite intelligent man,” Flynt replied. “I think he also has really extraordinary political skills.” “[T]he idea that he’s stupid or doesn’t understand retail politics is also pretty divorced from reality,” Hillary added. But that wasn’t the question.
Revealing that they don’t answer the question, isn’t it?
I have covered the Leveretts before; here, here, and here, to be precise. That last link shows just how compromised the Leveretts are in discussing Iran; the assurances to the contrary provided by Steve Coll of the New America Foundation notwithstanding.
Speaking of Iran, note that the “quite intelligent” Mahmoud Ahmadinejad just came out with . . . well . . . this:
Iran’s hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Saturday called the official version of the Sept. 11 attacks a “big lie” used by the U.S. as an excuse for the war on terror, state media reported.
Ahmadinejad’s comments, made during an address to Intelligence Ministry staff, come amid escalating tensions between the West and Tehran over its disputed nuclear program. They show that Iran has no intention of toning itself down even with tighter sanctions looming because of its refusal to halt uranium enrichment.
“September 11 was a big lie and a pretext for the war on terror and a prelude to invading Afghanistan,” Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying by state TV. He called the attacks a “complicated intelligence scenario and act.”
[. . .]
He has also questioned the Sept. 11 death toll of around 3,000, claiming the Americans never published the victims’ names.
On the 2007 anniversary of the attacks, the names of 2,750 victims killed in New York were read aloud at a memorial ceremony.
It is precisely these kinds of stories that undercut the Leveretts public persona as cold-eyed realists when it comes to Iran. Far from being dispassionate analysts, they are utterly besotted with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his ilk, and will say and do just about anything to make him look good in public. No realist worthy of the name would sink to such depths.