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Sunday, June 14, 2009


The big lie on Iran gets even bigger

In his coverage today of the Iranian election, the New York Times' Bill Keller writes (with emphasis added by me):
Outside Iran, the result was comforting to hawks in Israel and some Western capitals who had feared that a more congenial Iranian president would cause the world to let down its guard against a country galloping toward nuclear weapons capability.
Not just with a "nuclear weapons program," which would be a sufficiently big lie. Not just "making steady progress towards a nuclear weapons capability." No, "galloping" towards it. The truth, of course, is that not only is there no evidence whatsoever of an Iranian "nuclear weapons program," but that Iran has actively disavowed any intention ever to have one, with Ayatollah Khamenei going so far as to issue a fatwa against nuclear weapons.

Now I could be charitable to Keller, and admit that a possible reading of that sentence is that the "galloping towards nuclear weapons capability" is a claim Keller is attributing to "hawks in Israel and some Western capitals." However I'm not in so charitable a mood, because a simple "allegedly" or similar word could have made it clear Keller isn't endorsing that preposterous claim. No such word appears.

Not to mention I hardly should feel charitable to a journalist whose writing includes such carefully sourced "information" as this:

One version (from somebody’s brother who supposedly knew someone inside) had it that vote counters simply were ordered to doctor the numbers: "Make that 1,000 for Ahmadinejad a 3,000."
Once again, I could be charitable to Keller because he says this is just the "speculation on the street." But sorry, my charity doesn't extend that far.

And they say the Internet is an unreliable source of information.

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