At a press conference yesterday
, George Bush said, "And the Iranians have said, we want a weapon." Here's how AP (seen in the San Jose Mercury News
in a sidebar; can't find either online) covers this assertion:
Bush said Iran has acknowledged that it wants a nuclear weapon. That, however, goes beyond what Tehran has actually said; Iran says it wants nuclear power only for civilian use.Misstated
White House press secretary Scott McClellan acknowledged that Bush had misstated Iran's position.
? Threatening Iran is one of the centerpieces of U.S. foreign policy right now. The entire rationale
for those threats is the assertion that Iran wants nuclear weapons. The idea that even a moron like George Bush doesn't know without even thinking about it that that claim rests entirely on U.S. assertions, and has been repeatedly denied by Iran, is preposterous.
And as far as AP, "goes beyond what Tehran has actually said"? No, it completely contradicts what Tehran has actually said
. How many euphemisms can you
make up in place of the word "lie"?
Most news coverage just skips right over the whole subject. For example, the main Knight-Ridder article treats the subject like this:
On Iran, the president called a proposal by Russia to enrich Iran's uranium and return it to the Islamic nation for use in fueling nuclear reactors for electricity "a good plan." Iran maintains that it wants nuclear-powered electricity, but the United States and the European Union fear that it's pursuing nuclear weapons.
Not a clue about Bush's lie that Iran has said (in a virtual direct quote, no less!) "we want a weapon."
The New York Times article on the news conference doesn't even mention Iran [but see Update below]. The Washington Post did, but did its best to cover for Bush by calling his lie a "mischaracterization" and not mentioning McClellan's retraction:
Bush endorsed a plan to allow Russia to help produce nuclear energy for Iran as a way to keep the anti-American regime from building nuclear weapons. But he mischaracterized Iran's public position by saying, "The Iranians have said, 'We want a weapon.' " Publicly, the Iranian government has insisted the opposite is true, though Tehran is widely believed to be actively seeking nuclear weapons."
Note also that last sentence. The insertion of the word "publicly" suggests that "privately" the Iranian government is telling people they want nuclear weapons, a claim for which there is no evidence whatsoever. And the assertion that Tehran is "widely believed" to be seeking nuclear weapons can be seen only as an endorsement of Bush's "faith-based" foreign policy; there is no substantive evidence to back up that "belief" whatsoever, not even forged documents describing attempts to buy yellowcake in "Africa" or receipts for aluminum tubes.
Has the media learned anything from Iraq? No. Bush boldly lies to the American people to justify the next war (or the next military strike, or the next strike by its ally Israel), and none of the media (and, here's a wild guess, none of the leading Democrats either) are willing to say, in the words of Ronald Reagan, "There he goes again."
Update: The New York Times did cover the subject, not in their "main" article on the news conference, but in a separate article on the subject of Iran. Here's their take:
Mr. Bush made his statement embracing the Russian idea at a news conference on Thursday. He said, "The Iranians have said, 'We want a weapon.' "
In fact, Iran has denied that it is pursuing a weapon, and in the afternoon, the White House spokesman, Scott McClellan, acknowledged that Mr. Bush had misspoken.
Reprinted from Left I on the News