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Special Report's Doublespeak on Iran

Reported by Janie - April 11, 2006

Yesterday on Special Report, host Brit Hume allotted time for a segment on the revelations revealed in Seymour Hersh's (who broke the My Lai Massacre during Vietnam) latest article in the New Yorker, detailing the Bush Administration's plans to go to war with Iran. As usual, the Fox report was smoothly written to protect Bush, but at the same time offered their special brand of chilling doublespeak.

Hume, before turning the segment over to Wendell Goler, opened with, "President Bush and other administration officials joined force today to insist that the President's efforts to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon were far focused on diplomacy, and not as some reports appear to suggest over the weekend, on planning a military attack on Iran."

WG: "The White House denied a series of weekend reports that claim the Pentagon has plans to take out Iran's nuclear program."

George Bush (clip): "I read the articles in the newspaper this weekend, and it was just wild speculation, by the way. What you're reading is wild speculation."

Comment: No actual denial.

WG: "President Bush was echoed by his spokesman"

Scott McClellan (clip): "Wild speculation"

Comment: No actual denial.

WG: "and the State Department's language was the same."

Sean McCormack (clip): "All these reports are wild speculation."

Comment: No actual denial.

WG: "The New Yorker's Sy Hersh, citing unnamed military and intelligence officials says the US is considering nuclear weapons to take out Iran's underground test sites. The Washington Post suggests the military planning is intended to convince Iran the US is serious. In a question and answer session at John Hopkins University School of International Studies, the President suggested the doctrine of pre-emption he applied to Iraq is a somewhat softer doctrine of prevention when applied to Iran."

Comment: I'm sure it does - Iran has a military that can fight back (including an Air Force). I guess there is a qualifier for attacking "pre-emptively" attacking a nation that hasn't done anything to us - they can't have a discernable military!

GB (clip): I know I hear in Washington, prevention means force, it doesn't mean force, necessarily. In this case it means diplomacy.

Comment: For once, I actually agree with Bush. Prevention DOESN'T mean force!
Prevention: "The act of preventing or impeding." Nope! No force there! But Bush's statement does beg the question: Who exactly is Bush hanging out with?!

WG: "Mr. Bush has often said the military option is always on the table, and aides admit privately that the Pentagon has drawn up tentative plans to attack Iran's nuclear sites, they say, only as a last resort. But Hersh told ABC's Good Morning America it's beyond that."

Seymour Hersh (clip): "This is not just something that's normal, routine planning, that it is not. It's much more intense."

WG: "Hersh says undercover combat teams have been ordered into Iran to collect targeting data."

SH (clip): "This president has decided that there is a red line that Iran will not be able to cross, which is enriching a small amount of uranium.

WG: "Over seas, Britain's foreign secretary told the BBC the idea of using nuclear weapons against Iran is quote 'completely nuts'. And Javier Solana, the European Union's foreign minister suggested the same of writer Sy Hersh."

Javier Solana (clip): "I have read the article in the New Yorker, I think it has nothing to do with reality…"

WG: "Meanwhile, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad promised his people good news about the country's nuclear program and shrugged off the US threat."

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (clip): "Our enemies know they cannot stop the Iranian nation from its path with such propaganda, meetings and showing an angry face to us."

WG: "Despite the Iranian leaders claim, President Bush says international efforts to reign in Iran's nuclear ambitions are working."

GB (clip): "We're making pretty good progress."

WG: "Aides note the UN Security Council has given Iran until the end of the month to end its uranium enrichment, even though Russia and China refused to tie sanctions to the threat. Mr. Bush says their goal is the same as his."

GB: "We do not want the Iranians to have a nuclear weapon, the capacity to make a nuclear weapon, or the knowledges about how to make a nuclear weapon."

WG: "Folks at the Pentagon also rejected Sy Hersh's claims about their planning. They told my colleague Bret Baier what's new in his article isn't true, and what's true in his article isn't new."

Comments: Sounds like Fox is terrified of Hersh's article. To spend such time trying to discredit him, and make him seems nuts usually means Fox is performing damage control.

What's interesting about this segment is the defense mechanism that has gone into action. First, they only mention Hersh's claim that the Bush Administration is contemplating using nuclear weapons on Iran ONCE. One of the biggest, most frightening allegations is summarily dismissed by Fox, and virtually ignored.

Second, it's one big piece to assuage the viewers fear - which Fox has been promoting for ages now ! However, they even contradict their own story within the story. After making it appear that a strike on Iran was absolutely ludicrous, Goler stated "Mr. Bush has often said the military option is always on the table, and aides admit privately that the Pentagon has drawn up tentative plans to attack Iran's nuclear sites, they say, only as a last resort." So which is it? Are there plans, or are there no plans?

The viewer was left with the impression that Bush wasn't thinking about going to war with Iran - all the while beating the drum for just that.

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