Nuke allegation against Iran sounds like re-run of Iraq
For at least the past two decades, political leaders in the United States and Israel have warned that Iran was on the threshold of building a nuclear weapon. From what we've been hearing lately from the media, Iran is once again... on that threshold.
Touting thousands of pages of carefully vetted intelligence, menacing satellite imagery, and tales of a mysterious Soviet nuclear scientist, the media are telling us that Iran is about to get The Bomb.
The big media failure on Iraq was that the major broadcast and print outlets weren't skeptical of official claims. And that's exactly what's happening with Iran.
This part of the story began when the International Atomic Energy Agency issued a report that laid out the case against Iran. One newspaper headline called it a "red alert." An ABC TV reporter said Iran is "carrying out activities whose sole purpose can only be the development of a nuclear weapon."
Let's play "Back to the Future" for a minute. Does anyone remember the last time we were told that a country with a four-letter name starting with I-R-A had amassed fearsome weapons based on solid, "slam dunk" intelligence?
The big media failure on Iraq was that the major broadcast and print outlets weren't skeptical of official claims. And that's exactly what's happening with Iran. Does that IAEA report really flash "red alert"?" Hardly.
The agency reports that Iran isn't diverting enriched uranium for military purposes — which is exactly what the IAEA is supposed to be monitoring. But that's not the news here.
The nuclear intelligence that the media is fixated on consists mostly of allegations of abstract research that have been floating around for years: computer models, warhead designs, and so on, much of it happening years ago. If any of these allegations were true, there's no solid evidence that Iran is attempting to turn theoretical knowledge into a working weapon. The report says as much, if anyone bothers to read it.
The media are, once again, failing to do its job. The only good news is that few outlets are openly calling for the United States to take military action.
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