Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Slanting the Case on Iran’s Nukes | Consortiumnews

Slanting the Case on Iran’s Nukes | Consortiumnews:
Special Report: The U.S. news media shows no skepticism as it accepts the toughly worded report by the International Atomic Energy Agency on Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program. Ignored is the fact that the IAEA’s new chief appears to have joined the U.S./Israel camp, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

As Washington’s political/media class rises up in arms over new WMD allegations against Iran, it might be worth recalling how a similar process played out nearly a decade ago when the U.S. public was drawn into a war with Iraq. It wasn’t just that George W. Bush told some lies; it was more complicated than that.

In 2002-2003, Official Washington professed a deep faith in the professionalism of the CIA’s analytical division, which accepted enough of the bogus intelligence being pushed by neocon war hawks to create a basis for Bush’s invasion of Iraq. Only later did it become clear how politicized the CIA’s analysis had become.

Today, a similar role is being played by the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency, which – during the run-up to war with Iraq and under different management – was one of the few international bodies with the courage to reject some of Bush’s claims about Iraq.

However, in the past two years, the IAEA has become deeply politicized under its new director general, Japanese diplomat Yukiya Amano. Yet, you wouldn’t know that from how the U.S. news media is accepting what the IAEA says about Iran, much as the U.S. press corps avoided questioning the CIA’s assessments on Iraq.

The evidence of the IAEA’s politicization can be found in confidential U.S. diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks and published last year by the Guardian newspaper in the U.K. In those cables, the IAEA’s new leadership indicated it was willing to give Washington what it wanted on Iran, just as the CIA’s hierarchy bent to Bush’s needs on Iraq last decade.

According to the U.S. embassy cables from Vienna, Austria, the IAEA’s headquarters, Americans diplomats in 2009 were cheering the prospect that Amano would advance American interests in ways that outgoing IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei wouldn’t...