Cheat-Seeking Missles

Monday, November 05, 2007

Headline Readers Think Iran Doesn't Seek Bomb

The McClatchy headline and the lead are bold indeed:
Experts: No Evidence of Iranian Nuclear Weapons Program

WASHINGTON — Despite President Bush's claims that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons that could trigger "World War III," experts in and out of government say there's no conclusive evidence that Tehran has an active nuclear-weapons program.

Even his own administration appears divided about the immediacy of the threat. While Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney speak of an Iranian weapons program as a fact, Bush's point man on Iran, Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns, has attempted to ratchet down the rhetoric.

Leftyblogs were quick to jump on this bandwagon because, after all, there is no evil in the world other than Bush:

If you listen to White House officials, Iran’s nuclear-weapons program is already a reality. There’s no hesitation on the rhetoric — the program, top administration officials say, is an unfortunate reality that demands our immediate attention. As Dick Cheney recently put it, “Our country, and the entire international community, cannot stand by as a terror-supporting state fulfills its grandest ambitions. We will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon.”

With this in mind, it’s probably worth taking a moment, now and again, to point out that there’s no conclusive evidence that such a program actually exists. (The crooks and liars at Crooks and Liars)

Then there's The Newshoggers with this pig-eyed view:

One of the contributing worries of people who believe that there is a significant possibility of overt US military actions against Iran before Jan. 20, 2009 is the roll-out of the propaganda and FUD factors. We have Kyl-Lieberman taking the place of the 1998 Iraq Liberation Act, we have the unfounded accusations, we have the massive hyping of potential threats built upon gossamar threads of plausibility, we have freakish exile groups stovepiping their 'intel' and we have a coterie of officials who have a long-standing hard-on for 'regime change' with power in the White House.

One of the positive repeats of that entire cycle was the McClatchy/Knight Ridder team. They were the ones who were digging around and pointing out the bullshit on weapons claims, threat assessments and intel 'sources' while the big boys in the national media reprinted official claims without any skepticism on the front page, or in the lede. McClatchy is doing it again today with an analysis of the Iranian nuclear capacity in a great article.

Beware, my friends, it appears the Leftyblogs are content to make news from headlines and leads, and not really probe into the articles they are basing their posts on. The highly suspect and blatantly anti-Bush motivations of McClatchy's headline and lead-writers notwithstanding, let's fisk a bit, shall we?

The gist of the article is that Iran is no doubt pursuing a nuclear program, but there's no evidence they're actually making bombs. Well, duh. There's not much point in making bombs until you have something to put in them, eh? And there's plenty of evidence related in the article about their efforts to do that, including:

  • Seized drawings "that indicated that Iranian experts studied mounting a nuclear warhead on a ballistic missile."
  • Seized plans for a deep-bored shaft "apparently designed to contain an nuclear explosion."
  • A document viewed by the IAEA that showed how to produce uranium hemispheres which have no application in nuclear power plants "but form the explosive cores of nuclear weapons."
  • Iran's assertions that it only has P1 centrifuges, not P2's, which are much faster, fly in the face of IAEA evidence that they do, indeed, have plans for P2s.
  • Iran's assertions that they're not doing anything with their P2 plans flies in the face of proof "that Iran sought to buy thousands of specialized magnets for P2s from European suppliers."
And on and on. The McClatchy article, in totality, is a condemnation of Iran's claims that it seeks nukes only for peaceful purposes, but the Left is content to skim the headline and lead and make their own safe, anti-American conclusions.

hat-tip: memeorandum

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