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Intro: "The paper has made faulty allegations about Iran's nuclear program without running proper corrections."

United States and its allies, including Israel, have been unable to find irrefutable evidence of an ongoing hidden nuclear-weapons program in Iran, 06/02/11. (photo: File)
United States and its allies, including Israel, have been unable to find irrefutable evidence of an ongoing hidden nuclear-weapons program in Iran, 06/02/11. (photo: File)



The New York Times Misleading Public on Iran

By Robert Naiman, Al Jazeera

10 January 12

 

The paper has made faulty allegations about Iran's nuclear programme without running proper corrections.

t's deja vu all over again. AIPAC is trying to trick the United States into another catastrophic war with a Middle Eastern country on behalf of the Likud Party's colonial ambitions, and the New York Times is misleading the public with allegations that say that the country is developing "weapons of mass destruction".

In an article attributed to Steven Erlanger on January 4 ("Europe Takes Bold Step Toward a Ban on Iranian Oil"), this paragraph appeared:

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 programme has a military objective, is becoming an important issue in the American presidential campaign [emphasis my own].

The claim that there is "a recent assessment by the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran's nuclear programme has a military objective" is misguided.

As Washington Post's Ombudsman Patrick Pexton noted on December 9:

Indeed, if you try now to find the offending paragraph on the New York Times website, you can't. They took it down. But there is no note, like there is supposed to be, acknowledging that they changed the article, and that there was something wrong with it before. Sneaky, huh?

You can still find the original here.

Indeed (at least at the time of writing), if you go to the New York Times website and search with the phrase "military objective", the article pops right up. But if you open the article, the text is gone. But again, there is no explanatory note saying that they changed the text.

Note that in other contexts, the New York Times claims to be quite punctilious about corrections.

This is not an isolated example in the Times' reporting. On the very same day, January 4, they published another article, attributed to Clifford Krauss ("Oil Price Would Skyrocket if Iran Closed the Strait of Hormuz"), that contained the following paragraph:

Various Iranian officials in recent weeks have said they would blockade the strait, which is only 21 miles wide at its narrowest point, if the United States and Europe imposed a tight oil embargo on their country in an effort to thwart its development of nuclear weapons [emphasis again my own].

At time of writing, that text is still on the New York Times website.

Of course, referring to Iran's "development of nuclear weapons" without qualification implies that it is a known fact that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. But it is not a known fact: It is an allegation. Indeed, when US officials are speaking publicly for the record, they say the opposite.

As Washington Post's Ombudsman Patrick Pexton also noted on December 9:

This is what the US director of national intelligence, James R Clapper, told the Senate Armed Services Committee in March: "We continue to assess [that] Iran is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons in part by developing various nuclear capabilities that better position it to produce such weapons, should it choose to do so. We do not know, however, if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons.

To demand a correction, you can write to the New York Times This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . To write a letter to the editor, you can write here. To complain to the New York Times' Public Editor, you write This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

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+9 # shortonfaith 2012-01-10 08:53
Now Iran is going to shut down the strait? As if they could go up against the world superpowers to do that? Does everyone believe that Iran didn't notice what just happened in Libya? Or Irag? Are we so afraid as a superpower that we believe anyone from Iran could even run the US let alone attack us? Remember where the 9/11 terrorist really came from. I believe they were from a supposed friend, not an informed enemy?

Maybe someday our military will stop shaking in it's boots like a chiwawa digging a hole under a buffalo. Maybe we don't have to beat on our chest every time somebody new steps out into the school yard? Just like Russia long before them, most adults on the earth have families & kids. Their interest doesn't sit in sending their children out to be slaughtered by NATO forces.
That's really only an American movie thought.
 
 
+8 # Scott479 2012-01-10 09:32
They just can't wait to start another Iraq and serve as an example on how worthless the MSM has become. They know it and are pushing hard to censor the internet and we all need to sign on here to stop them: http://act2.freepress.net/sign/media_sopa/?akid=3193.8936404.yJU-1N&rd=1&t=3
 
 
+11 # Banichi 2012-01-10 09:35
The NY Times has made such errors before. However, it is useful to recall that "W" said before even running for President, he would start a little war in the area - and then did over 9/11, even though he had been told that Iraq had no WMD's and had not been responsible for 9/11 or supporting the terrorists. He just wanted to start a war that would further his other aims.

Iran has certainly been supporting terrorism, but do they have a capability to develop nuclear weapons? They say they are not doing that, but the credibility they have is never very high since Ahmadinijad makes idiotic statements like doubting the Jewish pogroms in WWII. Who can believe anything he says?

So we are left with apparently the U.S. desire to isolate Iran and put them in a position to make a mistake that will give the U.S. an excuse to go to war again.

Incredible. And anyone with an eye to history might doubt what the U.S. government says about Iran, as well.
 
 
+11 # reiverpacific 2012-01-10 09:57
To "Shortonfaith", Iran is a theocracy with a censored press and a blowhard fundamentalist- figurehead president, the mullahs being the real powers behind him. That's why they'll shut down the straits of Hormuz if pushed hard enough.
Like Abdul Nasser did to the Suez canal in 1956 against overwhelmingly superior combined forces of British, French and Israeli forces especially the navies when, after losing the initial battle, sunk forty ships, blocking the canal until the allied force backed down (as suggested by the UN) and became despised and shunned by former allies around the globe and ending their Imperial ages -in the case of UK and France.
How quickly we, and especially our leaders, who should know better, forget that controlling a strategically vulnerable narrow geographical point is still a strong card, short of using nukes and carpet-bombing in which case we'd be even more despised and alienated around the world than ever if that's possible.
 
 
-7 # DAChrist 2012-01-10 10:03
If The Times made a factual error, they should publish a correction. But if Iran believes that many people in the US trust their assertions that their nuclear program is intended for peaceful purposes, they are very much mistaken.

The fact is that nuclear power and nuclear weapons are largely obsolete. Iran is pursuing a failed foreign policy similar to that of North Korea. They will spend a disproportionat e amount of their country's wealth on weapons while isolating themselves from the rational world.
 
 
-18 # uglysexy 2012-01-10 10:05
oh stop...it's patently obvious iran is hellbent on becoming a nuclear power...end of story. it's is very likely we will go to war with them....too many pakistans out there
 
 
+25 # redjelly39 2012-01-10 10:13
Didn't the US overthrow Iran's democratically elected PM years ago to put in the Shah because he would give us better prices on oil ? Then we funded Iraq to continue their fight with Iran until we decided that Citigroup, General Dynamics, Halliburton & the Carlyle Group could make a few more bucks by having more wars which put Iraq in their cross-hairs. The US lied about WMDs, & lies about spreading democracy and everything else. To this date - there is NO Al Queda in existence. They dont have a website, nor monthly newsletters nor monthly meetings - they dont exist. There are some scattered small groups that are very disorganized.
The New York Times along with 90% of ALL TV, Newspapers, Radio & Internet are controlled by 6 corporations and they are all operating from the same playbook. Their purpose is not to inform - but to misinform and sell us on propaganda and hide the truth from We the People.
There are some terrible governments in this world and the US is 2nd to none at being a lying, deceitful and oppressing corrupted a$$holes whose allegiance is to Capitalism (Wall St/Mega-Corps) rather than the Constitution or its people.
The NYT are just doing what they are told to do - spread the lies.
 
 
+18 # jwb110 2012-01-10 10:20
The NY Times has been misleading the country for a very long time. All the GOP cry babies sobbing about the liberal media can put a sock in it. The NY Times has been doing the bidding of the radical right and will continue to do so.
I don't even trust the NY TImes Book Review anymore!
 
 
+3 # reiverpacific 2012-01-10 15:49
Quoting redjelly39:
Didn't the US overthrow Iran's democratically elected PM years ago to put in the Shah because he would give us better prices on oil ? Then we funded Iraq to continue their fight with Iran until we decided that Citigroup, General Dynamics, Halliburton & the Carlyle Group could make a few more bucks by having more wars which put Iraq in their cross-hairs. The US lied about WMDs, & lies about spreading democracy and everything else. To this date - there is NO Al Queda in existence. They dont have a website, nor monthly newsletters nor monthly meetings - they dont exist. There are some scattered small groups that are very disorganized.
The New York Times along with 90% of ALL TV, Newspapers, Radio & Internet are controlled by 6 corporations and they are all operating from the same playbook. Their purpose is not to inform - but to misinform and sell us on propaganda and hide the truth from We the People.
There are some terrible governments in this world and the US is 2nd to none at being a lying, deceitful and oppressing corrupted a$$holes whose allegiance is to Capitalism (Wall St/Mega-Corps) rather than the Constitution or its people.
The NYT are just doing what they are told to do - spread the lies.

I've been harkening back to the UK instigated, US operated coup on behalf of Anglo-Iranian oil (now BP) against Mohammed Mosaddegh in 1953 for months now; we're still living with the "blowback"!
 
 
+5 # geraldom 2012-01-10 19:06
The IAEA Dir General Yukiya Amano is a liar & a puppet of the U.S. govt and was appointed to his position with pressure from the U.S. because, unlike Mohamed ElBaradei who refused to jump though America's hoops, Yukiya Amano has openly and publicly pledged fealty to the United States, promising to support our agenda in any possible way he could, to do whatever we asked of him.

Nothing that he or his organization, the IAEA, says can be trusted. For the most part, Yukiya Amano is using the very same bogus evidence that Mohamed ElBaradei, his predecessor, outright rejected as real or hard evidence proving that Iran was out to develop a nuclear weapon.

Whatever Iran is doing right now, including the enrichment of the Uranium, is perfectly legal under the Nuclear Nonproliferatio n Treaty that they were party to. What's ironic is that under the regime of the Shah of Iran, the one that we, the U.S. put in place when we illegally overthrew Mohammed Mosaddegh in 1953, we were encouraging him to develop nuclear power for energy purposes. If the Shah was in power today, the U.S. would have no qualms about what Iran is doing.

The nations that make up Europe, the countries that have become what I call pseudo-states of the United States and who jump thru our hoops, should be ashamed of themselves and should never ever refer to themselves as sovereign nations who can make independent decisions for themselves that don't need approval by the U.S.
 
 
+5 # Activista 2012-01-10 21:03
Great analysis (hope that NYT journalists can read ..)
There is this neo-colonialism game going on - We helped you with Libya -- you will help USrael with Syria, Iran.
 
 
+4 # geraldom 2012-01-11 06:51
Quoting Activista:
Great analysis (hope that NYT journalists can read ..)
There is this neo-colonialism game going on - We helped you with Libya -- you will help USrael with Syria, Iran.


The NYT and its journalists as well as most of the other major newspapers and their journalists know the truth, but they will never admit to it publicly. They print what is politically expedient and supportive of our government's agenda for world empire. Just today, another key and important Iranian nuclear scientist was murdered, assassinated, by we all know who. There are only two countries in this world that would do such a thing and Iran knows it; the U.S. and Israel.

The U.S. and Israel have double-standard s. It's okay for us to violate international law anytime that we want and murder innocent people, but don't dare do it to us. Iran will eventually wake up and do to us what we are doing to them.

If Israel and/or the U.S. were to attack Iran with these humongous bunker buster bombs, Iran will launch a devastating counterattack against Israel and rightfully so which could very well lead to a nuclear war because Russia and China will have to get involved since Israel will most probably counterattack Iran with with one or more of its nonexistent nukes.

It's just too bad for Iran that they have our oil and natural gas underneath their soil.

Welcome to hell!
 
 
+4 # RMDC 2012-01-11 04:34
Stephen Erlanger was a close associate of Judy Miller -- the reporter who was fired/had to resign because she became the main conduit of dis-information from Cheney's office to the front page of the NYT. Now that Miller has moved over to
Fox, Erlanger is the main conduit from the neo-cons to the NYTimes. Such reporters are just propagandists. They feed disinformation to the NYTimes, knowing it will be picked up by smaller papers and TV stations across the US.

It ought to be a crime against humanity to deliberately publish propaganda that leads to a war. It is a direct cause of the deaths of many millions of people. Judy Miller is as responsible for the Iraq war as many in the Bush Regime. So in the NYTimes for publishing her trash.

The function of major media like the NY Times, as Chomsky argued many years ago, is to "manufacture consent" among the american people for policies that the ruling elites want. The term comes from Walter Lippmann, one of the most influential journalists in the 20th century or the age of propaganda.
 
 
+2 # Activista 2012-01-11 13:53
"Steven Erlanger, The New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief reports ..."
 
 
+1 # do be do be do 2012-01-11 07:30
This article sounds a little paranoid to me. And, frankly, the Iranians certainly ACT like they have something to hide. Which doesn't make me feel all warm and fuzzy.

'Course, that we should think the good ole US of A is the only country which is going to pursue weapons that make everyone else afraid of us is evidence we really have no clue as to human survival instincts.
 

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