Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 05, 2012

NY Times Again Lies About WMD - Now in Iran

After promoting war on Iraq through false weapons of mass destruction stories the New York Times is promoting war on Iran through false weapons of mass destruction stories.

Here its reporter Steven Erlanger lies about the recent IAEA report on Iran:

The threats from Iran, aimed both at the West and at Israel, combined with a recent assessment by the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran’s nuclear program has a military objective, is becoming an important issue in the American presidential campaign.

The November 18 IAEA report (pdf) does not say that Iran's program has a military objective.

It quotes from a UN resolution that expressed "concerns about the possible military dimensions of the Iranian nuclear programme", later says it had "identified outstanding issues related to possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme" and repeats similar language several time. All the outstanding issues the IAEA mentions predate 2003.

Nowhere does the IAEA claim that Iran's nuclear program has a military objective. The New York Times just made that up.

Posted by b on January 5, 2012 at 16:59 UTC | Permalink


b, unfortunately there is only a small community of people willing to stand up to lies perpetrated by the mass media and various government sources. How do we make our voices heard ???.......

Posted by: georgeg | Jan 5 2012 17:22 utc | 1

@1, the best way to do that is to support states rights, be pro-life, hang out with Neo-Nazis and cut social security and medicare. That's your only option.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Jan 5 2012 17:47 utc | 2

MB, of course there's the alternative of bombing Iran, savor the backlash, hope escalation will wipe out the System, observe society crumble to pieces, and then simply wait for the survivors to crawl out of their caves and build a crisp new, free, egalitarian society

Posted by: claudio | Jan 5 2012 17:58 utc | 3

The NY Times Nationalist Drum Circle

The NY Times lies about WMD, but it matters little because the body politic accepts that our Imperial President’s power should be unfettered in these areas no matter what our “obsolete” Constitution says. The Imperial President alone decides.

The propagandistic myth that it is Iran that is the aggressor state and the U.S. that is its peace-loving victim continues unabated (except for that “crazy” Ron Paul).

George Orwell explained the warped thinking that creates this mindset:

“All nationalists have the power of not seeing resemblances between similar sets of facts. A British Tory will defend self-determination in Europe and oppose it in India with no feeling of inconsistency. Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage - torture, the use of hostages, forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians - which does not change its moral colour when it is committed by ‘our’ side. . . . The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.” - George Orwell, Notes on Nationalism

The Iranians are the evil aggressors and must be stopped at all costs!

The covert war with Iran has already begun, and by accident or not, it’s entirely possible this covert war will escalate into a real one.

Posted by: DakotabornKansan | Jan 5 2012 18:14 utc | 4

@3, it's not the same as my point. I'm not endorsing anyone. I have said it numerous times now that I won't be voting because the electoral process is rigged, and so I treat it with irreverence. I don't hope for a collapse, but I know one is coming, regardless of my hopes or any actions I may take to the contrary. This is my voice. I don't need to endorse Ron Paul, and the entirety of what he stands for, to make my intentions known. The NSA and its watchful eye sees it all right here, and everywhere else on the web.

I suppose my point in all, or any, of this is that an apocalypse is necessary for true and lasting change...but, of course, understanding the true definition and sentiment of that term. The apocalypse can occur involuntarily, or we can come together, if that's possible, and attempt to somehow manage it and harness it for as smooth a transition as possible thus ensuring the least amount of suffering, death and destruction as possible.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Jan 5 2012 18:22 utc | 5

Michael Hirsh says, “Let's Get to Obama-Romney Already.”

As Greenwald puts it: "It is the classic lesser-of-two-evils rationale, the key being that it explicitly recognizes that both sides are 'evil': meaning it is not a Good versus Evil contest but a More Evil versus Less Evil contest."

“And this, inevitably, will be what the general election will be about as well. It will be less about conservatism versus liberalism than about least-worstism.”

“In truth, Obama and Romney are far closer in mindset and philosophy than anyone is willing to acknowledge just now. Obama, despite his image, has sought to placate business and left Wall Street largely intact, and he is taking a far tougher line on foreign policy - one that reflects a traditional GOP "realpolitik" view and a dramatic ratcheting up of covert war - than is generally acknowledged, even when it comes to China.”

Jackson Lears in the London Review of Books implies that Obama would be willing to draw us into a war with China; that he inherited his father's arrogance, and is willing to apply it W-style to our foreign policy. Yikes!

“…in the world of the steely-eyed commander in chief. Recent policy reflects the revitalisation of the Washington interventionist consensus. The demonisation of Iran accelerates, while the president dispatches US troops to Australia and the secretary of state to Burma. The open door for US involvement in Asia, flung wide in Japan’s face a century ago, is now reopened in China’s. One can only imagine the American reaction, were China to make a similar move in Venezuela or Colombia. Obama’s recoil from disappointment may turn out to endanger us all.”

Posted by: DakotabornKansan | Jan 5 2012 18:31 utc | 6

Meanwhile, Western news reporting on Syria gets exposed as a total fraud:

Turns out, a Qatari conducted poll found that 68% of Syrians don't want Assad to leave! Obama could only dream of such a figure!

Pity the poor foreign affairs desk at the New York Times--apparently the reporters couldn't get jobs in Hollywood, so they spend their careers as journalists, AKA the minor leagues.

Posted by: JohnH | Jan 5 2012 18:53 utc | 7

So, does the EU dance to the tune played by the US UK & France? The EU could slow down this rush towards war with Iran by refusing to embargo Iranian oil.

Posted by: ben | Jan 5 2012 19:29 utc | 8

well..its hard for an addict to break a habit! But youd hope the people were alert to the tendency for the NYT to tell lies and stop patronising it.

Posted by: brian | Jan 5 2012 20:36 utc | 9

@ Ben #8, “does the EU dance to the tune played by the US UK & France?”

Yes, the European Union has agreed in principal to a complete embargo on Iranian oil.

The European Union disqualifies itself from the Iranian market during a period of intense economic calamity.

China says thank you.

China has cut its oil imports from Iran.
As one wag said, “China has figured out a way to get cheaper oil. Just get Iran in trouble to the point where the rest of the world won’t import Iranian oil. Then import Iranian oil. It’s a buyer’s market when you’re the only buyer. And Iran has no choice. Look for China to keep stirring this turd behind the scenes for at least another 50 years.”

The rush towards war with Iran and economic calamity continues

“The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.” - Bertrand Russell

Posted by: DakotabornKansan | Jan 5 2012 20:53 utc | 10

It used to be the Britain was America's lap dog. Now it looks like the whole continent (except Russia) has become America's slave. What gives?

Europe imports about 20% of its oil from Iran and seems determined to cut off their nose to spite their face. Has the CIA taken control of European leaders' brains (and Obama's, too), like Iran took control of that drone? Unbelievable!

Meanwhile, Iran claims that it has plenty of buyers for its oil. They even did a deal with Afghanistan recently.

Posted by: JohnH | Jan 5 2012 22:45 utc | 12

It's good to keep up with what the NYTimes is publishing, but the unfortunate fact is that if Steven Erlanger or anyone else at the company ever decided to NOT print the pro-war, untrue, US government line, he wouldn't have a job. Erlanger knows that. Everybody at the Times knows that. Norman Solomon wrote a book about it: War Made Easy.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 6 2012 0:40 utc | 13

Our imperial arrogance and our demonization of the ‘evils’ of a foreign country …

“It is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of their leaders. That is easy. All you have to tell them is that they are being attacked and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” - Hermann Goering in Nuremberg Diary by G.M. Gilbert

“Tis the time's plague when madmen lead the blind.” – Shakespeare, King Lear

Norman Solomon’s War Made Easy…

“Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit atrocities.” – Voltaire (1765)

Posted by: DakotabornKansan | Jan 6 2012 1:39 utc | 14

The government (together with its MSM friends) has a euphemism for propaganda: Strategic Communications.

from the National Defense Strategy:

Strategic communications will play an increasingly important role in a unified approach to national security. DoD, in partnership with the Department of State, has begun to make strides in this area, and will continue to do so. However, we should recognize that this is a weakness across the U.S. Government, and that a coordinated effort must be made to improve the joint planning and implementation of strategic communications.

DOD definition:
Strategic communication is focused United States Government efforts to understand and engage key audiences to create, strengthen, or preserve conditions favorable for the advancement of United States Government interests, policies, and objectives through the use of coordinated programs, plans, themes, messages, and products synchronized with the actions of all instruments of national power.

from State:
Bureau of Public Affairs: Strategic Communications
The Office of Strategic Communication (SCT) develops and executes the strategic media goals of the Secretary of State. In addition to determining the long-term media goals of the Secretary, the SCT team is responsible for the day-to-day execution of the Secretary's strategic media plans, including the use of other principals to support the Secretary's initiatives. In close coordination with the Secretary’s staff, SCT plans and executes all S events with a media component; crafts remarks for all S events with a media component; and, plans and executes the Secretary’s travel and related media.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 6 2012 3:06 utc | 15

Don Bacon #15. Thanks for alert. Always useful to know the buzz phrases.

JohnH #12. re Euro lapdog?
Has anyone else wondered, as I have, about the possible manipulation of the banking crisis. Does anyone else have information on the possible deliberate use and targeted exacerbations of the crisis for strategic advantage?

Possible aims: 1) Beat back the Euro challenge, and European independence, now that the "Soviet menace" no longer looms to drive Europe into US camp 2) Extend the global system of banking and commerce. (As in "when Washington/NYC sneezes, 3rd world gets pneumonia") 3) Consolidate control of that system in US (and maybe London banking?)

Is it too massive a system and too unmanageable a risk to attempt such a thing? B, you might know something.

Some things seem to be falling into place rather neatly for the US at the upper levels of global control. Meanwhile, in the streets the discontent grows noisier, fortunately.

Am I dreaming?

Posted by: smoke | Jan 6 2012 3:32 utc | 16

In this case, the claim that the US invasion is likely to encounter nuclear weapons, is founded on fact!

Israel has been supplying weapons to Iran, since the days of Ollie North and Iran Contra, believe that nuclear weapons have been on Iran’s shopping list, for as long as Israel has had them for sale.

Posted by: Martin Timothy | Jan 6 2012 6:51 utc | 17


Jackson Lears in the London Review of Books implies that Obama would be willing to draw us into a war with China; that he inherited his father's arrogance, and is willing to apply it W-style to our foreign policy.

That's frightening as hell...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jan 6 2012 7:22 utc | 18

Meanwhile, Obama and his administration wants war everywhere apparently (and especially with China): under the cover of 'reduced budget', the foot soldiers get the axe, hightech is in, more than ever.

Posted by: Philippe | Jan 6 2012 8:42 utc | 19


Europe imports about 5% of its oil from Iran; whilst 20% of Iran's exports - about 450-500kbpd - are to Europe.

The "in principle" embargo on Iranian imports is a PR formulation, as they are punted to some point in the middle of the summer, and would require that there in practise actually be suitable alternative oil supplies available at a price point that is affordable - we'll have to see if that is a situation that concretises. In standard bureaucratic speak there is no contradiction between an in principle embargo being applied whilst Iranian oil imports, that are even paid for at the prevailing market rate, continue in perpetuity.

Posted by: dan | Jan 6 2012 10:57 utc | 20

@smoke - Has anyone else wondered, as I have, about the possible manipulation of the banking crisis. Does anyone else have information on the possible deliberate use and targeted exacerbations of the crisis for strategic advantage?

Possible aims: 1) Beat back the Euro challenge, and European independence, now that the "Soviet menace" no longer looms to drive Europe into US camp 2) Extend the global system of banking and commerce. (As in "when Washington/NYC sneezes, 3rd world gets pneumonia") 3) Consolidate control of that system in US (and maybe London banking?)

I certainly suspect something like this is happening. There is massive US/UK banker speculation against Europe. Seems planned to me.


EU denies agreement over ban on Iranian oil

BRUSSELS - A spokesman of the European Union (EU) on Thursday denied reports that the EU member states have reached agreement over import ban on Iranian oil.

"It's not true," Michael Mann, the spokesman of EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, told Xinhua over telephone.

"We are still discussing potential sanctions, we are hoping to reach a decision before the next foreign affairs council at the end of the month," he added.

It was reported on Wednesday that European governments have agreed in principle to ban imports of Iranian crude oil to enhance pressure on the country over its nuclear program.

It was the French foreign minister who launched the false story of "Europe agreed on sanctions".

Posted by: b | Jan 6 2012 11:10 utc | 21

JohnH @ 15: No, Europe imports 5% of its oil from Iran. the 20% (actually 18%) figure refers to Europe's share of Iranian oil exports.

HohnH @ 7: Yeah, and that from a firm based in Qatar which is a dictatorship run like a family business which is funding the Syrian "insurgency".

Pretty disgusting what Uncle Weasel and his cronies are up to.

Posted by: Unknown Unknowns | Jan 6 2012 11:52 utc | 22

One technical hint: use "Steven Erlanger lies" as the link text, not only "lies" as you have done. This will improve results in search engines.

Posted by: emes | Jan 6 2012 13:11 utc | 23

The New York Times just made that up.

That's true.

What I find, also true, is the greater preponderance of a critical mass of Humans do the same, all the time, as their way of "knowing".

Then, all this "stuff" buries everyone else under the weight of believed failure, w/out realizing it.

After a while, with more and more convinced... certain, only of what's wrong w/others, there becomes fewer and fewer w/clear, authentic, "true" notions of what it will take to make enough people "right" in order to turn things around.

Doing *this* is the trick. Problem is, few places where it does happen, folks are so mucked up w/impossibility they can't see it before their eyes.

Posted by: jdmckay | Jan 6 2012 14:21 utc | 24

Smoke, 15: if nothing else, the Euro crisis is a way to engage in monetary wars, without looking like it. Europe gets to devalue it's currency, the US gets to devalue it's currency--a win, win relative to Asia and 3rd world economies. The difference is that much of the 3rd world/BRICT nations are quite strong.

Also, another factor I believe I've seen is that just as pressures mount here, some shoe drops in Europe. I think we have economic hitmen that may be protecting the Dollar and Wall St. to some degree. The amount of manipulation, whether it be oil speculation, to other better covered problems are legion, and as yet, unaddressed, unreformed.

Posted by: scottindallas | Jan 6 2012 15:12 utc | 25

"NY Times Again Lies About WMD - Now in Iran"
"report: It's hot in Summer, Cold in Winter"
"Dog bites man"
"Scientist report that if raining, there's a good chance of clouds."

Posted by: scottindallas | Jan 6 2012 15:14 utc | 26

The lack of originality and creativity (WMD, bis!) is a symptom of entrenched, blinded thinking, which relies on the acceptance of traditional, derogatory discourse, harking back to interpersonal relations in small, stressed and hysterical communities, without any regard for differences between, say, countries in a globalized world and ... witches!

Deliberately constructed fakelorum, a propaganda exercise, sure.

.. only a small community of people willing to stand up to lies perpetrated by the mass media and various government sources. georgeg wrote.

Nobody in power is willing or apparently able to stand up to the USA. At best, the hegemon faces: prevarication, delay, some small obstacles, hedging, minor moves, often based on carefully constructed but essentially useless discourse.

All one can do is chip away with tiny cuts and hope for a USSR style collapse.

About oil an other embargoes (banking, commerce) these are often proclaimed with fanfare but merely symbolic (too many biz including US corps may suffer) and don’t affect the situation on the ground much. They are like the non-enforced punishments sadists threaten children with.

Posted by: Noirette | Jan 6 2012 15:51 utc | 27

best comment(retort) by far - claudio...

Posted by: stevieb | Jan 6 2012 16:06 utc | 28

FAIR also caught this lie (though later than I did): NYT Misleads Readers on Iran Crisis - Paper disappears some inaccurate reporting

Posted by: b | Jan 6 2012 18:29 utc | 29

Chris Hedges, “The Myth of The New York Times, in Documentary Form”

“When you allow an institution to provide you with your identity and sense of self-worth you become an obsequious pawn, no matter how much talent you possess. You live in perpetual fear of what those in authority think of you and might do to you. This mechanism of internalized control—for you always need them more than they need you—is effective. The rules of advancement at the paper are never clearly defined or written down. Careerists pay lip service to the stated ideals of the institution, which are couched in lofty rhetoric about balance, impartiality and neutrality, but astutely grasp the actual guiding principle of the paper, which is: Do not significantly alienate the corporate and political power elite on whom the institution depends for access and money. Those who master this duplicitous game do well. Those who cling tenaciously to a desire to tell the truth, even at a cost to themselves and the institution, become a management problem.”

Posted by: DakotabornKansan | Jan 6 2012 18:57 utc | 30

Well shit, man, what good is a dry script???? Scripts need drama, embellishment, excitement, interest.

Who the fuck wants to wake up and read "Iran poses no nuclear threat" on the front page? I want some spice with my Cheerios, man! When I hear some hot babe like Bachman or Palin wigglin' thier bright red fannies on Fox And Friends,I want tittillation, by God. I mean hey, the truth about Iran is just so, well, boring.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Jan 7 2012 3:25 utc | 31

@no6ody 11 - Saudis building nuclear power plants.

And if Saudis should see the usefulness of a nuclear arms program, perhaps with technology and even scientists acquired from Pakistan, will anyone challenge them?

Posted by: smoke | Jan 7 2012 9:01 utc | 32

@smoke - And if Saudis should see the usefulness of a nuclear arms program, perhaps with technology and even scientists acquired from Pakistan, will anyone challenge them?

Of course not. Has anyone challenged the nuclear capable ballistic mid-range missiles the Saudis bought from the Chinese some 25 years ago. Those easily could reach Tel Aviv. They seem to be replacing them now with newer ones and, btw. the Saudis funded at least parts of the Pakistani nuke program. Just in case, ye know....

Posted by: b | Jan 7 2012 11:20 utc | 33

Hey b,

You might be interested in this, from the Times "Readers' Representative", Arthur S Brisbane:

Times errors: Iran’s nukes, SF’s voting
In other words, the IAEA moved much closer with this report toward stating absolutely that Iran is pursuing a nuclear bomb. Yet the fact that the agency has stopped short of such a finding remains significant. Readers complaining about the Jan. 5 article believe The Times should avoid closing the gap with a shorthand phrase that says the IAEA thinks Iran’s program “has a military objective.”

I think the readers are correct on this. The Times hasn’t corrected the story but it should because this is a case of when a shorthand phrase doesn’t do justice to a nuanced set of facts. In this case, the distinction between the two is important because the Iranian program has emerged as a possible casus belli.

This link is also relevant:

Posted by: bokonon | Jan 12 2012 22:41 utc | 34

@bokonon - that last link seems like a joke

A journalist writing the truth is a "vigilant"?

That the public editor has to ask if the NYT should write the truth instead of falsehood tells a lot about that paper and the state of journalism.

Posted by: b | Jan 13 2012 5:29 utc | 35

@b, completely agree. Check out the comments on that post, it prompted a series of dumbfounded replies.

Posted by: bokonon | Jan 13 2012 9:54 utc | 36

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