Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 03, 2012

Gordon's Iran Air Defense Report Is Nonsense

Michael R. Gordon, who together with Judith Miller promoted the war on Iraq with false stories about Iraqi nuclear weapons, comes up with new fairytale:
The Iranian military was so apprehensive about the threat of an Israeli airstrike on its nuclear installations in 2007 and 2008 that it mistakenly fired on civilian airliners and, in one instance, on one of its own military aircraft, according to classified American intelligence reports.
Iran does not fear an Israeli strike:
"Fundamentally we do not take seriously the threats of the Zionists.... We have all the defensive means at our disposal and we are ready to defend ourselves," Ahmadinejad told reporters.
This is the situation now just as it was the situation in 2007 and 2008.

Gordon continues:

In June 2007, the report noted, a Revolutionary Guards air defense unit fired a TOR-M1 surface-to-air missile at a civilian airliner. In May 2008, an antiaircraft battery fired on an Iranian reconnaissance drone and a civilian airliner. That same month, an antiaircraft battery fired on an Iranian F-14 fighter jet.
If Iran fired a TOR-M1 missile at a civilian airliner the chance is about 100% that the plane, without defensive measures, would have been hit:
The system's high lethality (aircraft kill probability of 0.92-0.95) is maintained at altitude of 10 – 6,000 m'. The vertically launched, single-stage solid rocket propelled missile is capable of maneuvering at loads up to 30gs. It is equipped with a 15kg high-explosive fragmentation warhead activated by a proximity fuse.
There is no report of any civilian airliner going down at that time.

Gordon makes another silly claim:

Less than two weeks after Israeli warplanes practiced over the Mediterranean in June 2008, a classified Pentagon report noted, the commander of the Iranian Air Force ordered fighter units to “conduct daily air-to-ground attack training (GAT) at firing ranges resembling the Israeli city of Haifa and the Israeli nuclear facility at Dimona,” according to a classified 2008 report by the Defense Intelligence Agency.
Iran does not have any fighter jet that could fly from Iran to Haifa and Dimona and come back home. While it has some in-air refueling capacity any such refueling would have to be done over Turkey, Iraq or Saudi Arabia. In 2008 the U.S. Air Force was still flying over Iraq. There was zero chance that Iran could successfully launch fighters against Israel. Why then should it have trained for such an impossible mission?

The whole story and whatever report it might be based on is bunk. Having kept Gordon after the false Iraq reporting and letting him continue to write such nonsense is showing the New York Times' contempt for its readers.

Posted by b on October 3, 2012 at 15:42 UTC | Permalink


according to classified American intelligence reports . . .“Iranian air defense units have taken inappropriate actions dozens of times, including firing antiaircraft artillery and scrambling aircraft against unidentified or misidentified targets,” noted a heavily classified Pentagon intelligence report, which added that the Iranian military’s communications were so inadequate and its training deficiencies so significant that “misidentification of aircraft will continue.” . . .The report and other documents were examined for a new book.

Let me guess. This "new book" will promote an air attack on Iran. So now Gordon at the NYTimes is permitted to look at a bogus "heavily classified Pentagon intelligence report" to promote a new book and a new war.

Generally speaking, reports are "heavily classified" to PROHIBIT rats like Gordon from seeing information. They are classified as TOP SECRET, and anyone releasing them to the press is guilty of a crime. Obama has been real tough on such whistle-blowers, more so than any other president. Let's see what he does with this one. (The fact that the information was bogus is a point in his favor.)

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 3 2012 16:19 utc | 1

Isn't this sort of leaking of classified information the sort of thing Bradley Manning, Thomas Drake, and Julian Assange that our Government feels needs to be prosecuted rather severely?

That it is "leaked/ pushed" to somelike Michael Gordon is indeed troubling.

Posted by: erichwwk | Oct 3 2012 16:24 utc | 2

Classified why? Too tough for nuthouse inmates?

Posted by: m_s | Oct 3 2012 16:50 utc | 3

The government can't have unclassified documents sitting around! Cheeeez. Next thing people will want them to talk about what they do. "I can't talk about it." 'Cuz it's nuthin'.

news report:
The Senate’s bipartisan Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations found no evidence that DHS’ 78 fusion centers — places where state, local and federal law enforcement analyze and share information – uncovered a single terrorist threat between April 1, 2009 and April 30, 2010. “Nor,” the Senate panel writes in its just-released report, analyzing more than 80,000 fusion center documents, “could [the inquiry] identify a contribution such fusion center reporting made to disrupt an active terrorist plot.”

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 3 2012 17:56 utc | 4

Hmm. The only civilian aircraft shot down in that locale was an Iranian civilian airliner targeted by the USA. Vincennes.

Posted by: demize! | Oct 3 2012 18:30 utc | 5

'The Turkish prime minister Erdogan is under a lot of pressure for his support of the insurgency in Syria. The Turkish public opinion is by a large margin against this policy.'

one way to change this is thru a FALSE FLAG FSA version of the Gulf of Tonkin or 9-11.

Posted by: brian | Oct 3 2012 21:42 utc | 6

Gordon is a jewish name

Posted by: brian | Oct 3 2012 21:48 utc | 7

Remember TASS??? I grew up thinking, being brainwashed into thinking, that our media was different. These pieces of shit like Miller and Gordon should be taken into am empty field and shot, their bodies left to feed the scavengers.

Ignorance is nurtured by our media, the aim being the advancement of political agendas. The media liars, such as Gordon, are more dangerous to our freedoms than an actual terrorist is, or an Iranian regime possessing nuclear weaponry would be. There is no greater scum than some piece of shit that has made it his or her calling to misinform or divide the people. Miller and Gordon are soaked in the blood of every human that has died as the result of our invasion of Iraq. God damn these people.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Oct 3 2012 23:42 utc | 8

PissedOffAmerican - go and read the English-language version of Pravda ( - it is probably more honest than The Washington Post, The New York Times and The Guardian combined. I was tempted to add Der Spiegel and Le Figaro alongside the other three but I haven't bothered reading them in a while.

Posted by: blowback | Oct 4 2012 2:31 utc | 9

Israeli and US threats against Iran only strengthen the Ayatollahs. Domestic upheaval in Iran is going to continue to escalate in any case as Iran goes through a bout of hyper-inflation. The rial has essentially crashed and the Iranian people don't want to hold any assets in rials as confidence is lost. How long can the Ayatollahs hang on to power with unrest among the people and a concerted covert campaign from the west?

Posted by: ab initio | Oct 4 2012 7:03 utc | 10

shouldn't Herr Gordon be subjected to the same torture as Bradley Manning? After all, he used "a classified Pentagon report". I'm sure lives were lost because of this heinous publication of classified war info! /snark tag baby

Posted by: Mick Savage | Oct 5 2012 17:11 utc | 11

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