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FOX News Distorts NIE Report on Iran Nukes

Reported by Ellen - December 4, 2007 -

Given all the talk about the threat from Iran on Hannity & Colmes, you’d think they’d make it a top priority to inform their viewers that a just-released National Intelligence Estimate concluded that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and is unlikely to develop a weapon before 2015. But the only mention of it came during the news break at the half hour. Even then, correspondent Ainsley Earhardt misrepresented the report’s findings in a way that made Iran seem more fearsome. With video.

During the Hannity & Colmes newsbreak last night (12/3/07), Earhardt said,

“A new government report says Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003. However, it says Tehran remains willing and able to start again. It says Tehran continues to enrich uranium which can be used to make an atomic bomb. The National Intelligence Estimate says Iran could have nukes by 2010.”

In keeping with FOX News’ warmongering on this issue, Earhardt neglected to tell viewers that the report states, “Tehran’s decision to halt its nuclear weapons program suggests it is less determined to develop nuclear weapons than we have been judging since 2005.” (Key Judgment “A,” on page 6) Nor did she mention: “We judge with high confidence that Iran will not be technically capable of producing and reprocessing enough plutonium for a weapon before about 2015.” (Key Judgment G, page 8)