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Media Amplify Iran War Propaganda - Play Up Intelligence Lies

Published: May 11, 2019
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Source: Moon of Alabama

The Trump campaign launched a propaganda campaign to prepare the public for a war on Iran. The campaign is similar to the one the Bush administration ran in 2002 and 2003 preparation for the war on Iraq.

Anonymous officials make claims about alleged 'intelligence' that is said to show 'Iranian threats' against U.S. 'interests'. Iran, it is claimed, has this or that malign motive to do such. Routine military rotations to the Middle East are then declared to be 'in response' to the claimed 'threats'.

The media, either played like a fiddle by the administration or willing accomplices, repeat each and any such nugget thrown at them without any second thought. Anti-Iranian lobbyist are presented as 'experts' to reinforce the messaging.

Here are some examples of the above methods.

NBC News headlines:

Trump's top intelligence and military advisers held unusual meeting at CIA on Iran, officials say
Current and former officials said it is extremely rare for senior White House officials or Cabinet members to attend a meeting at CIA headquarters.

In a highly unusual move, national security adviser John Bolton convened a meeting at CIA headquarters last week with the Trump administration's top intelligence, diplomatic and military advisers to discuss Iran, according to six current U.S. officials.

The meeting was held at 7 a.m. on Monday, April 29, and included CIA Director Gina Haspel, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joe Dunford, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, five of the officials said.

National security meetings are typically held in the White House Situation Room. The six current officials, as well as multiple former officials, said it is extremely rare for senior White House officials or Cabinet members to attend a meeting at CIA headquarters. 
...
The U.S. has a very specific intelligence gathering capability on Iran that is only able to be reviewed at CIA headquarters, two former officials said.

It is highly likely that the "very specific intelligence gathering capability on Iran", that can only be reviewed at the CIA headquarter is the same "very specific intelligence gathering capability on Iraq" that officials used in the run up to war on that country. In 2002 then Vice-President Dick Cheney visited the CIA several times to press its analysts to come up with intelligence that 'proved' that Iraq was doing something nefarious and had ill intentions.

Moon of Alabama consulted its own sources about the 'specific intelligence capabilities'. We are told that a very rare book, of which one copy is held in the CIA directors personal safe, constitutes those capabilities. Six officials confirmed the book's existence. Multiple former officials and a  military official said that the extremely rare book contains one thousand and one 'narratives' that constitute the raw intelligence from which the CIA analysts derive their conclusions. The specific capability can only be used at nighttime. No more than one narrative can be extracted per night. That raw data is then immediately processed as sunlight is said to delude its veracity. This might explain the early morning gathering mentioned in the NBC News report.

A former CIA analyst involved in the creation of intelligence on Iraq in 2002 revealed that one of the narratives in the book mentioned special metallic tubes, while another narrative told of a biological process carried out on the back of a carriage. The former CIA analyst said that many of the conclusion drawn from the book turned out to be correct, but that - unfortunately -  the conclusion drawn from those two narratives were later proven to be wrong.

The CIA's Iran operations are run by Mike D'Andrea, also known as the CIA's undertaker for his prominent role in so called 'signature strikes' and the CIA's torture program. He played a role in enabling the 9/11 incident:

He was one of the agency's officials who failed to keep track of Nawaf Al-Hamzi, one of the 9/11 hijackers, after he entered the United States. As The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer wrote in her book The Dark Side, the CIA knew Al-Hamzi was in the United States. An FBI officer named Doug Miller who was attached to the agency's Osama bin Laden–tracking unit typed up a memo about Hamzi, hoping to share the tip with the FBI so they could locate the suspected terrorist. “But his boss, a CIA desk officer in the Bin Laden unit of the Counterterrorist Center who is identified by the 9/11 commission only as ‘Mike’ told Miller to hold off on sending the memo,” Mayer wrote. “After the second try, Miller dropped the matter.” Three hours after “Mike” gave that order, he inexplicably told his CIA superiors that the tip had, in fact, been passed to the FBI. “The CIA assumed from then on that it was,” adds Mayer. “But it wasn’t.”

One of the authors of the NBC News story is Ken Dilanian, the CIA's Mop-up man, known for letting the CIA edit his reports before they get published.

The U.S. public must surely trust these people and whatever nonsense they come up with.

Just like in 2002 it is the New York Times that plays a prominent role in the current propaganda campaign:

The Pentagon will deploy a Patriot antimissile battery to the Middle East to shore up defenses against Iranian threats, part of a series of carefully calibrated deployments intended to deter attacks by Iranian forces or their proxies, Pentagon officials said on Friday. 
...
The new steps are meant to be measured and limited, in part because a new intelligence analysis by American and allied spy services has concluded that the Iranian government, declining in popularity amid economic woes, is trying to provoke the United States into a military overreaction to cement its hold on power, according to American and allied intelligence officials.

This obviously lacks logic. If Iran would really want to 'provoke the United States into a military overreaction', sending more military capabilities towards the Persian Gulf region would only show that the U.S. is falling for it.

The NYT also publishes a crude op-ed by Ariana Tabatabai, a so called 'political scientist' residing in a Pentagon stink tank:

Mr. Rouhani is sending Europe a clear signal: If Iran doesn’t get any benefits from its participation in the agreement, neither will Europe. That’s why he announced Iran will hold on to its excess enriched uranium and heavy water — both of which could potentially be used in building nuclear weapons — rather than sell them to other countries, as is required by the agreement. He is also giving the Europeans 60 days to take steps to help Iran’s economy, which has been crippled by the American sanctions. If he doesn’t get those things, he says, his country will take additional steps that violate the deal and eventually pull out altogether.

Iran announced that it will hold its 'excess' enriched Uranium and heavy water BECAUSE THE U.S. NOW SANCTIONS ANY EXPORT OF THESE PRODUCTS, not because Rouhani wants to 'send a signal'.

Nicholas Wadhams @nwadhams - 17:41 utc - 3 May 2019

The U.S. is revoking two sets of waivers that allowed Iran to ship excess heavy water to Oman and swap enriched uranium in exchange for yellowcake.

Nowhere are these specific sanctions mention in the 'expert' op-ed, nor are these mentions in the NYT's original reporting on Iran's recent steps. The NYT and other media systematically avoid to mention that these sanctions caused Iran's steps but then go on to construe and assign 'motives' to Iran for which have they have neither evidence nor a logical factual basis.

It is by the way impossible to use heavy water "in building nuclear weapons". Heavy water is a moderator in some nuclear reactor types. The central vessel of the only reactor of such type that Iran build but never operated was destroyed. To build a new one would take years. Iran continues to produce heavy water because it has the facilities to do so and because it is a valuable product. But such basic knowledge seems to be beyond the capabilities of the 'political scientist'.

The U.S. is rotating some of its military forces in the Middle East as it has done continuously since at least 2001. A recent carrier arrival in the region was announced in April. In September four Patriot batteries were pulled out of the Middle East, now one is send back. All together there are more than 50 Patriot batteries in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates all own Patriot systems. One more or less in the region does not change a thing. These rotations are normal moves that occur regularly. Now the Trump administration is playing these up to propagandize an 'Iran threat' and the press is falling for it.

This BBC report is another example:

The US is sending a Patriot missile-defence system to the Middle East amid escalating tensions with Iran.

A warship, USS Arlington, with amphibious vehicles and aircraft on board, will also join the USS Abraham Lincoln strike group in the Gulf. 
...
The Pentagon says US forces are responding to a possible threat to US forces, but did not offer any specifics regarding those threats.

The Pentagon simply lies as it often does and it should be the task of the media to point that out. If the Pentagon would send the USS Arlington "in response to a possible threat" why is it ordering the USS Fort McHenry landing dock ship to return from the region. Those two ships have similar technical functions and tactical tasks. They rotate through deployments in various areas on long determined schedules:

[T]he Arlington is being moved into the region in “a one-for-one swap” with a similar ship, the USS Fort McHenry, which is leaving, according to a defense official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

There simply is no basis for assigning any of those recent military moves to anything that Iran has said or done. The 'intelligence' the 'officials' present to reporters is obviously derived from mere fairy tales. The 'experts' have either no idea of what they are taking about or are willfully manipulating the public.

It is the job of the media to point that out. Instead it is amplifying the war propaganda the administration plays at it.

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