Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Media Are the Menace

CNN's Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr helps the Bush Administration catapult the propaganda about Iran. TPM Muckraker has video:
CNN's Barbara Starr just reported that President Bush and General Peter Pace are on the same page about munitions in Iraq. In reality, they're not even in the same book.
Atrios provides a Starr quote, with telling emphasis:
"Well, Tony, this is going to sound all pretty confusing because it's a mix of politics, domestic, and politics, international. What the US military is really saying is they have evidence that Iran is shipping weapons into Iraq. That does not appear to be in dispute. The question is - who is responsible for it? At a background briefing, over the weekend in Baghdad, a top US official - at that briefing at least he was a top official - said that there was evidence tying all of this to the highest levels of the Iranian government. That set off a firestorm when General Peter Pace, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said hang on, I don't know that, he said he did not know that it was at the orders of the highest levels of the Iranian government. One can only assume that the president will stand behind his Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. What appears to be going on here at the end of the day is, yes, that there is evidence that it is tied to the Iranian government, but the US doesn't really want to talk about it. According to sources we have spoken to today, they do feel they have evidence but they do want to ratchet down the tensions with Iran and the new message point is - we're only here to talk about protecting our troops from Iranian weapons. We're not here to point the figure out blank, and we would like Iran to take care of the problem."
Of course, all those background sources proved real reliable in the run-up to the Iraq War, right?

ThinkProgress also has video, and points out that (emphasis theirs):
In other words, CNN is now overstating the intelligence on Iran beyond the overstatements of the Bush administration.
Nitpicker gives Starr a little cover (except for the fact that a high profile reporter ought to be able to, you know, report) by pointing out that:
The truth is, there's a pretty good reason for her confusion over Maj. Gen. William Caldwell's suggestion that "hype" is involved in the Iran evidence: Caldwell can't keep his story straight.
That should be Barbara Starr's story: the Bush Administration and its minions are once again hyping a non-existent threat, possibly to once again drum up support for an illegal, immoral, and unjustified war.

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