U.N. Inspectors Dispute Iran Report By House Panel – washingtonpost.com

Here’s the article from today’s paper:
U.N. Inspectors Dispute Iran Report By House Panel – washingtonpost.com
It appears that a report released by a House committee chairman is so riddled with inaccuracies that it has drawn a public rebuke from the international agency in the best position to know.

The report was never voted on or discussed by the full committee. Rep. Jane Harman (Calif.), the vice chairman, told Democratic colleagues in a private e-mail that the report “took a number of analytical shortcuts that present the Iran threat as more dire — and the Intelligence Community’s assessments as more certain — than they are.”

Privately, several intelligence officials said the committee report included at least a dozen claims that were either demonstrably wrong or impossible to substantiate.

…. In the “fair and balancd” department:

The committee report, written by a single Republican staffer with a hard-line position on Iran, chastised the CIA and other agencies for not providing evidence to back assertions that Iran is building nuclear weapons.

Several things are clear. One: The evidence demonstrating Iran’s ambition to build nuclear weapons is, if anything, less substantial than the evidence in 2002 that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Two: The same playbook is being used to build a public perception in the US of a threat that does not exist. Three: In both instances, the release of manufactured evidence is somehow conveniently timed in relation to an election cycle. But don’t take my word for it. Just ask the fellow who wanted this highly inaccurate report disseminated:

When the congressional report was released last month, Hoekstra said his intent was “to help increase the American public’s understanding of Iran as a threat.”

….”even if there’s no real evidence that it is,” says the subtext. It seems more than transparent that there is a cynical strategy by some key Republicans to raise the anti-Iran fearmongering to a fever pitch by late October—just in time for uncertainty and doubt to prevail on Election Day. Of course, I hope I’m wrong, but exposure of this tactic is likely to be met with more noise than reason. Watch next for broadside attacks on the Washington Post as well as on the IAEA, to emerge from the Talking Head Industry. How outrageous and irresponsible, we will be told, for the Post to print a quote like this one:

“This is like prewar Iraq all over again,” said David Albright, a former nuclear inspector who is president of the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security. “You have an Iranian nuclear threat that is spun up, using bad information that’s cherry-picked and a report that trashes the inspectors.”

I’ve not only seen this script before, I’ve witnessed the performance. The reviews are in. No one is calling for an encore.


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