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Beating the War Drums Again - Iran Nuke Showdown Strikes Again

Reported by Donna - April 11, 2006

In a virtual repeat of yesterday's segment on Iran, Shepard Smith on Studio B said that today there was an announcement by Iran's former President that Iran has successfully enriched uranium for the first time. He also stated that the current President said his country will soon join the club of nuclear nations.

Do you feel the fear? A huge screen saying 'Iran Nuke Showdown' splashes in front of you while ominous music plays in the background.

The following is my transcript between Shepard Smith and Bret Baier from the Pentagon.

Shepard Smith: Bush Administration denouncing the latest comments from Tehran and basically saying they're going the wrong way.

He then went to Bret Baier at the Pentagon.

Bret Baier: The White House Press Secretary saying Iran is heading in the wrong direction. Senior U.S. Intelligence officiials say they expected this announcement today and it's a message the Iranians were sending, one, to show that they are pressing forward with their nuclear plan and two, to show the world that they can do it.

While the U.S.Intelligence community can't confirm definitively that this indeed happened,they believe it did indeed happen. (Comment: Well, would it really make a difference if the intelligence community said they could confirm that it happened?) Defense Secretary Rumsfeld today sidestepped a question for his reaction to this announcment from Iran. But here is how he answered one of the many questions about possible military strike plans against Iran should diplomacy fail. (Comment: Gosh, you can almost hear him panting for the possibility of an attack on Iran and I love how he added 'should diplomacy faiil' -- but, of course!)

Cut to video of Rumsfeld:

Donald Rumsfeld: We have, I don't know how many contingency plans in this department and the last thing that I'm going to do is start telling you or anyone else in the press or the world at what point we refresh a plan, don't reflesh (Comment: I think he meant refresh) a plan and why it just isn't useful.

(Question from an unknown male reporter in the press corps.) Are you satisfied with the state of planning Iraq...er...Iran options right now?

DR: I am never satisfied.

Bret Baier: Now today Iranian officials including President Ahmadinejad said Iran had successfully enriched uranium for the first time. Now while it's nowhere near the amount to produce weapons grade uranium needed to make a nuclear bomb, diplomats close to the International Atomic Energy Agency called the announcement a milestone. (Pictures of the President of Iran speaking to a group of Iranian men who shake their fists in the air)

(Video plays of aerial footage of what we are supposed to think are nuclear facilities? Same as yesterdays)

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs was asked today since the military is stretched thin by service in Afghanistan and Iraq could a strike against Iran even be a possibility? Here's how he answered.

Switch to video of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs

General Peter Pace: We have just over 200,000 U.S. service members in the Gulf Region right now. We have 2.4 million U.S. service members available to the country, active Guard and Reserve, so you have about 2 million U.S. service members who are not currently involved directly in the Gulf Region.

We have sufficient personnel, weapons, equipment, you name it, to handle any adverary.

Bret Baier: The head of the IAEA, Mohamed ElBaradei, is expected in Tehran Thursday. A final report to the UN Security Council is due at the end of the month.

Comments: So what is the message? Ominous music, Iran Nuke Showdown splashed across the screen, pictures of the Iranian President speaking to a group of (angry?) Iranian men punching their fists in the air, aerial photos of supposed nuclear facilities, the Secretary of Defense saying they had he didn't know how many contigency plans we had to attack Iran and then the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs assuring the American public that we have plenty of U.S. service members, an extra 2 million we can use for other 'adversaries'?

As like yesterday, slickly produced with the photos and choreographed sound bites to give you one message - we have the personnel, we have the weapons, we have the equipment, we have the means and we're ticked off at Iran - get it?

This is the second straight day that I've reported on these (produced for maximum affect) segments that are done to maximize fear and make a case for planning to attack Iran, after we've exhausted all diplomatic means, of course.

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