They Found Nothing, Nothing – the IAEA, Iran and Fantasy Land

Published on Dissident Voice, by Media Lens*, November 25, 2011.

… What is so breathtaking is that the apparent consensus on Iran, like the case against Iraq, is a fraud.

Burying The Cable – WikiLeaks And IAEA Chief Yukiya Amano:

One of the stunning omissions in corporate media coverage of the IAEA report are the WikiLeaks disclosures concerning IAEA chief, Yukiya Amano. According to a US Embassy cable from a US diplomat in Vienna, where the IAEA is based, Amano described himself as “solidly in the U.S. court on every key strategic decision, from high-level personnel appointments to the handling of Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program”.  

Amano’s predecessor as IAEA chief was Mohammed ElBaradei who had refused to bow before US war-mongering, and who was later awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. As ElBaradei came to the end of his term in 2009, the Americans sensed an opportunity to work with someone more compliant. They lobbied successfully on Amano’s behalf. Following his election as IAEA chief, a US cable reported on a meeting with him:

This meeting, Amano’s first bilateral review since his election, illustrates the very high degree of convergence between his priorities and our own agenda at the IAEA. The coming transition period provides a further window for us to shape Amano’s thinking before his agenda collides with the IAEA Secretariat bureaucracy.

This ‘very high degree of convergence’ would presumably be useful in hyping the alleged ‘nuclear threat’ of Iran.

A US mission cable from Vienna commented that Amano was ‘DG [Director-General] of all states, but in agreement with us.’

The Guardian reported the Amano cable in a blog back in November 2010, but not in the paper itself. Our newspaper database search revealed that not a single UK national newspaper has mentioned the WikiLeaks cable revealing that Amano is ‘solidly in the U.S. court’ in coverage of the latest IAEA report. The sole exception we could find anywhere in the UK print media was an article in the New Statesman by Mehdi Hasan.

Rather than report this vital evidence from WikiLeaks, the British media have either tried to silence or vilify its founder, Julian Assange. This is a truly damning indictment of the ‘free press’.

By contrast, Seymour Hersh is a rare voice of rationality exposing this latest propaganda hype. On Democracy Now!, Hersh commented of former US Vice-President Dick Cheney:

Cheney kept on having the Joint Special Operations Force Command, JSOC — they would send teams inside Iran. They would work with various dissident groups — the Azeris, the Kurds, even Jundallah, which is a very fanatic Sunni opposition group — and they would do everything they could to try and find evidence of an undeclared underground facility. We monitored everything. We have incredible surveillance. In those days, what we did then, we can even do better now. And some of the stuff is very technical, very classified, but I can tell you, there’s not much you can do in Iran right now without us finding out something about it. They found nothing. Nothing. No evidence of any weaponization. In other words, no evidence of a facility to build the bomb. They have facilities to enrich, but not separate facilities for building a bomb. This is simply a fact. We haven’t found it, if it does exist. It’s still a fantasy.

Hersh said that Iran did look ‘at the idea of getting a bomb or getting to the point where maybe they could make one. They did do that, but they stopped in 03. That’s still the American consensus. The Israelis will tell you privately, Yes, we agree … //

… Can journalists really have forgotten the propaganda offensive that predated the March 19, 2003 invasion of Iraq – a tsunami of disinformation in which they were accomplices? Have they really learned nothing? What gives them the right to absolve themselves and to start with a clean slate now that Iran is the next hyped ‘threat’?

Surely now more than ever – as the spectre of yet another war in the Middle East looms, perhaps the greatest conflagration yet – it is vital that journalists should be wary of repeating propaganda claims over Iran. (full long text).

  • *Media Lens is a UK-based media watchdog group headed by David Edwards and David Cromwell. The second Media Lens book, NEWSPEAK in the 21st Century by David Edwards and David Cromwell, was published in 2009 by Pluto Press. Read other articles by Media Lens, or visit Media Lens’s website.
  • Media Lens on en.wikipedia.

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