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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Media Failure on Iranian Nukes: Iraqi WMD Redux? Comment Here

I have a new column up at E&P on the new NIE assessment debunking all the hysteria over an Iranian nuclear weapons program. Many in the media, of course, had been thumping the tub for an attack on Iran. It's at: http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/columns/pressingissues_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003680766


BernieO said...

I am sure I saw something about this by McClatchy awhile back.

Anonymous said...

The recently released NIE report has been in the possession of the Bush Administration for months and months. The release of this report has been blocked by VP Cheney. It's release indicating Iran halted its nuclear program back in 2003 condemns the Bush Administration to being guilty as Domestic Terrorists according to the US Patriot Act.

It is iilegal to intentionally manipulate and coerice the psyche of the people or government by threatening and seeking to scare them them.

US Patriot ACT


(a) DOMESTIC TERRORISM DEFINED- Section 2331 of title 18, United States Code, is amended--

(1) in paragraph (1)(B)(iii), by striking `by assassination or kidnapping' and inserting `by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping';

(2) in paragraph (3), by striking `and';

(3) in paragraph (4), by striking the period at the end and inserting `; and'; and

(4) by adding at the end the following:

`(5) the term `domestic terrorism' means activities that--

`(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;

`(B) appear to be intended--

`(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;

`(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or

The public statements of fear mongering and scare tactics used by the Presidant and Vice Presidant are in direct opposition to what they knew in advance was the NIE determination regarding the suspension of Irans nuclear programs. The mushroom clouds, the threat of world war three and other statements were made to manipulate 'intimidate and coerice the US civilian popultaion, and to influence the policy of government by intimidation and coercion.

The Presidant and VP have repeatedly stressed an implied threat of imminent danger from Iran's nuclear weapons program, which we now know has not existed since 2003. They have been in reciept of this information and willingly and knowingly subverted and misrepresented the Iraniam threat intentionally. They are by definiton Domestic Terrorists.

Dummerstown. WV

FromTheColonies said...

I agree with you on the media issue, but why does America an other western countries think that Iran is not allowed to have a nuclear weapon? Who decides, you can have them (Pakistan, India, Israel) and you don't (Iran, North Korea)?

Thats pure arrogance and colonial thinking. Where does it say that? There is no international law that sais no. And what business is it of anybody how Iran defends itself. Iran can have a nuclear program just as any other country does. Are America and Europe the mum and dad of Iran that tells it what it is allowed to do?

Iran is a sovereign country. Sanctions, discrimination, economic war and even threatening to bomb the country with nukes to make it do what it is told is against all international rules and an act of war.

Who is the real agressor and terrorist here? Does the West think it owns the planet and can do what it wants? That everybody is their slave and must follow their rules or they get flatend?

Then, the clear message that the American foreign policy sends out to all countries is exactly the opposite to what it is officially saying. The mesasage is: when you have nuclear weapons, then America respects you and leaves you alone, when you don't have them then you are threatend and invaded.

I mean thats the reality. So the American policy is actualy promoting the race for nuclear weapons everywhere. The faster you get the bomb, the safer you are.

Iraq taught everybody this lesson. When you are weak and defensless, then America will first blackmail you. When you don't pay them with your resources then they will invent lies about how bad you are, how you are a threat. When you don't let yourself be raped and let them steal your oil, then they will bomb you to bits. Boy, needs a lot of courage to do that.

When you have a nuclear bomb however, wow then things are different. America is very respectfull and "talks" to you on equal terms. Then they are friendly and want to negotiate.

So, put yourself in the shoes of a leader of a country. What are you going to do?

bleh said...

It has often been commented, and I agree, that "the media" have become noticeably less concerned with informing and explaining than with entertaining. It therefore follows naturally that the most dire, imminent, and frightening versions of a story will be given more attention, and sooner, than ones that are less so.

If this is true, then all the chin-scratching and navel-gazing in the world won't keep the same sort of thing from happening again and again, at least until the underlying focus changes. And it therefore follows that it is the underlying focus -- on entertainment and on the culture of "media celebrity" -- that needs to be challenged, and not the particular stories or emphases that result from it.

Anonymous said...

>"POLLACK: Obviously, the evidence is circumstantial, but it is quite strong."

Bartkid sez,
Mr. Pollack does NOT understand "circumstantial" <> "strong".

kindness said...

WHAT did the President know about this new NIE and WHEN did he know it?

Sounds familiar? It should. Use it again.

gandhi said...

Robert Baer at TIME has a pretty weird take, suggesting that Bush is the hero who released this NIE report to defeat the neocon hawks! Ha ha ha!

Steve Muhlberger said...

Is there a site on the web that identifies and documents who is a Media Warmonger: Warmonger Rogue's Gallery, perhaps?

Anonymous said...

Your column 'Media Failure on Iranian Nukes: Iraqi WMD Redux?' is a great service. In the long run, the only thing likely to reduce the amount of media malpractice such as you identified is to name regularly the individual journalists engaged in the malpractice along with the columns of the journalists constituting the malpractice. In this way, journalists will be identified with their errors as well as with any legitimate journalistic contributions they have made. Hopefully, consumers of the media will thereby be empowered, when reading or listening to reports of the journalist, to judge the journalist's credibility by taking into account the journalist's previous errors (This is the same type of empowerment which patients are seeking to obtain with respect to physicians). In addition, a decision of a media group to honor a journalist with an award, will have to be made knowing that grievous errors made by the journalist have been publicly posted and are known in detail. Perhaps, this will tend to make the awarding of such honors more on the merits. In any event, I believe what you are doing, in naming errant journalist, will make for a healthier journalism.

So, please keep up your good work, and extend your model to other issues of war and peace, and beyond. Thank you.

bajsa said...

They are all a bunch of f***ing idiots, but they are very serious.

Just so you know, it will not get any better. The slope is more than slippery, it is undefined.

bob reynolds said...

Bush is using the claim that Iran was pursuing nuclear weapons up until 2003 to insist on continuing his policy. But is this true?
Or was it included in the NIE in order to get it released? A compromise?

The IAEA has not yet found any evidence of a nuclear weapons program and they have been in Iran.

We have reached a point where all information that comes out of this administration is suspect.

stalindolf said...

In return for new ownership rules and future promises, the media giants have agreed not to show the administration for the madmen they are. Follow the money. There have been times in history when turning a blind eye has lead to disaster...you are watching history repeat itself.

DP said...

Remind me again why we want to believe the intelligence community now when they've been consistently wrong it the past. This report is being treated as the gospel truth. It hinges somewhat on where the intelligence community's agenda now lies. Is it to subvert Bush and the Noecons? If so, they could be selectively interpreting the evidence, such as they did (in the other direction with Iraq WMDs.

It's amusing how all the people who said our intelligence community could no longer be trusted are now latching onto this report like it's the tablets coming from the mountain (religious allusion for you atheists out there).

curiousgemini said...

Iran isn't quite like "Nazi Germany in 1938". The Nazis had the world's most powerful military at that time. Now, the US has the world's most powerful military while Iran's military is hopelessly backwards. This is not to deny that Iran might be a regional threat, but hardly the threat to the US that the Nazis and WWII era Japanese were.

Alan said...

Having worked briefly at CNN what amazed me as a non-American journalist was the surprising relationship with the State Department on so-called "sensitive" news. Even at CNN, there is a slavish consideration of US best interests that takes precedence over the core journalistic role of revelation, no matter what the cost. Until this blot on America's ability to view the world is removed, the rest of us, it seems, will just have to live with the shoddy and suspect reporting that comes with a dedication to nationalistic imperatives.

A Ted Turner 'foreigner' said...

As a former employee of CNN and a non-American journalist I was surprised at the slavish dedication to the State Department line on sensitive international stories. It is no wonder big issues are not covered the way they should be when American journaist put national interests before the core imperative to tell the whole story, no matter what. Given the quality of US "intelligence" the inevitable mistakes will continue to be hugely damaging.

Anonymous said...

The sad reality is that there has been and remains only one reason that the war against Iraq and the planned war against Iran have been so relentlessly sold to Americans and the world - profit.

Since the objective is profit the Iraq War was a war crime, and the attack against Iran will be a war crime.

There is no proof what-so-ever that either war was necessitated by self-defense preemptive or otherwise, or to put an end to genocidal behavior of rogue governments.

The mass murder of foreign civilians in order to profit a particular state's economy is not a sufficient reason to excuse war crimes. It is this fact that the warmongers are running from with all the propaganda outlets at their disposal. The reason the warmongers have so many media outlets available to them to spread their deceit is that the media were complicit in the instigation of war for profit.

Anonymous said...

It should be mentioned without reservation that Friedman, Brooks, Cohen are all Jews, are all Zionists, are all demonstrably pro Israel. Unless these people and their lying compatriots in the press and government -- Kristol, Krauthammer; Abrams, Feith; etc., etc., -- have their feet put to the fire, are asked about the conflict of interest by the Charlie Roses and Tim Russerts -- especially since it's so blindingly obvious -- they will continue to do and write the same and unnecessary wars will continue. Enough wars for Israel!

Polly said...

What about Scott Pelley's disgracefully unprofessional interview of Ahmadinejad?

Anonymous said...

A Brief Analysis of the NIE Report on Iran


The NIE slips in an assertion, unsupported by evidence available to the public, that the Iranian government was working on an atomic-weapons program. Skeptical readers should balk at the attempt on the part of the US government to establish and entrench such a belief without presenting adequate evidence.

Alan MacDonald said...

The question of the day seems to be, “What did the president know? When did he know it? And most importantly, why did he keep talking war with Iran?”

It is now established that Bush knew in July/August that something big was about to change regarding Iran intelligence, and that the long delayed, but forthcoming NIE report would expose new information that would reduce any justification for preemptive attack on Iran.

The Bush explanation of events is roughly as follows:

1. The top secret briefing to Bush (and Cheney) last summer by his own Director of National Intelligence, Mike McConnell, suggested that hard to refute new information might dramatically change their position on the reality of any Iranian nuclear threat, but that McConnell would not share with his two bosses what that might be, and that Bush and Cheney did not ask.

2. That during the late summer and fall of 2007, Bush (and Cheney) kept up their attack language on Iran, and as the MSM now says, “didn’t tone down the rhetoric”, simply because they did not know that any NIE intelligence change would justify changing their posture, and because they had not even bothered to ask McConnell to be sure that they might be ‘talking the wrong trash’, and that they were not concerned that they might be made to look like alarmist fools later, when the NIE report was released.

3. That the reason why Bush and Cheney did what they did, and kept threatening war with Iran is that they did not want to interfere with the intelligence community on this sensitive issue, and that talking this way --- even in the likelihood of dramatic intelligence to the contrary --- was simply the best way to apply purely ‘diplomatic pressure’ to Iran and had nothing to do with any rumored attempts to actually launch a massive air attack with US nuclear cruise missiles on Iran before the truth came out

An alternative analysis of the past patterns, psychology, motivations and foreign influences on Bush and Cheney that might just possibly be more rational and intelligent than the ‘suspension of disbelief’ that would be necessary to believe the about insane explanation of Bush and Cheney is the following:

1. Yes, Bush and Cheney were briefed in July/August by McConnell, who they immediately yelled at and intimidated into telling them the irrefutable evidence that Iran was no threat. Then Bush and Cheney pressured their underling to delay this real intelligence long enough to take action before it came out.

2. Bush and Cheney did not only continue their tough talk on Iran, but DRAMATICALLY increased the pressure to ‘Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran’ to the point of getting McCain to sing their song --- and more importantly giving Kyl and Lieberman time to pass their Senate Iran amendment, which (by a 76 to 23 vote on Sept 26) secured BI-PARTISAN support for any Iran attack.

And then by pure coincidence, right after the Kyl-Lieberman (AIPAC drafted) bill had passed by a wide margin, two strange things happened:

A. Israel launched a surprise air attack on a supposed Syrian nuclear facility, and

B. On the very same week, low and behold a US B-52 with six ACM cruise missiles armed with W80 nuclear warheads of exactly the type that were called for in the CONPLAN 8022 to attack Iran’s nuclear sites happened to ‘accidentally’ get through an air tight failsafe locked procedure and were not reported ‘missing’ for more than 24 hours.

Neither the Israeli air attack on Syria nor the missing B-52 with nuclear missiles have either been seriously explained or resolved, despite multiple cover stories and unexplainable inconsistencies.

3. It is incredibly obvious that the ‘Why’ of Bush and Cheney’s ‘What did they know? When did they know it? And WHY did they keep pushing even faster toward war?’ would be far more rationally explained by this second scenario than by Bush and Cheney’s bold faced lies.

Anonymous said...

For those receiving these comments by e-mail and not looking on the Web, the link I posted in my comment on the NIE was http://groups.yahoo.com/group/women4peaceiniran/message/7
. Now William O. Beeman says the same thing,