Monday, November 05, 2007

Spring 2002 Part Deux

One of the contributing worries of people who believe that there is a significant possibility of overt US military actions against Iran before Jan. 20, 2009 is the roll-out of the propaganda and FUD factors. We have Kyl-Lieberman taking the place of the 1998 Iraq Liberation Act, we have the unfounded accusations, we have the massive hyping of potential threats built upon gossamar threads of plausibility, we have freakish exile groups stovepiping their 'intel' and we have a coterie of officials who have a long-standing hard-on for 'regime change' with power in the White House.

One of the positive repeats of that entire cycle was the McClatchy/Knight Ridder team. They were the ones who were digging around and pointing out the bullshit on weapons claims, threat assessments and intel 'sources' while the big boys in the national media reprinted official claims without any skepticism on the front page, or in the lede. McClatchy is doing it again today with an analysis of the Iranian nuclear capacity in a great article:

Despite President Bush's claims that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons that could trigger "World War III," experts in and out of government say there's no conclusive evidence that Tehran has an active nuclear-weapons program.... Bush's point man on Iran, Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns, has attempted to ratchet down the rhetoric.....Bush's rhetoric seems hyperbolic compared with the measured statements by his senior aides and outside experts......

"Many aspects of Iran's past nuclear program and behavior make more sense if this program was set up for military rather than civilian purposes," Pierre Goldschmidt, a former U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency deputy director general, said in a speech Oct. 30 at Harvard University.

If conclusive proof exists, however, Bush hasn't revealed it. Nor have four years of IAEA inspections. [emphasis mine]

"I have not received any information that there is a concrete active nuclear-weapons program going on right now," IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei asserted in an interview Oct. 31 with CNN.

Hopefully, and I am still hopeful on this matter, this will play out differently than it did in the Spring and Summer of 2002...

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