Aletho News


Fresh perspective on JFK case; CIA owns mass media

By James Fetzer | Press TV | December 2, 2013

William Colby, the former director of the CIA, told us that the agency owns everyone of significance in the mass media. The onslaught of false and misleading reports during the 50th observance of the assassination of JFK provided stunning confirmation that he was correct. none of the national news anchors addressed the evidence.

As someone who has done extensive research on the death of the 35th president of the United States, including chairing or co-chairing (now) five national conferences, and having published three collections of studies by experts on different aspects of the case, it was painfully apparent. The alleged assassin did not even fire a single shot.

Here I want to summarize some of the most egregious examples of abuse of the media by major players, including CBS, which endorsed the “magic bullet” theory, and by Bob Schieffer, who is the host of “Face the Nation,” who may be the most blatant purveyor of false information of them all. Even interviewing a witness who personally observed two wounds to JFK, Schieffer simply ignores him.

The “Magic Bullet” Theory

CBS, for example, featured a father/son combination who claimed to have vindicated the “magic bullet” theory by modeling the neck with a block of soap. Blocks of soap, however, are a poor substitute for a human neck, because they do not include the vertebrae of the neck. As long as JFK had a backbone, it cannot possibly be correct.

The “magic bullet” is crucial to the official account because, as Michael Baden, M.D., the head of the HSCA medical panel has observed, if there was no “magic bullet” then there had to have been at least six shots from three directions and hence multiple shooters and a conspiracy. It was the crux of the Warren Commission’s “lone assassin” scenario.

But we have the shirt and the jacket he was wearing, which have holes about 5.5″ below the collar to the right of the spinal column. The autopsy diagram shows a wound at the same location. So does the President’s personal physician’s death certificate and the mortician’s description. We know that the “magic bullet” theory is false.

Reenactment Photographs

Even the Warren Commission’s own staff located a wound there during its reenactments. There is a small patch on the stand-in for JFK and a much larger patch for the wound to his back. There are multiple reenactment photos that show the staff’s presumptions of wounds at those locations.

One shows a young Arlene Specter holding a pointer showing the trajectory that the “magic bullet” had to have taken if the theory were true. Below his hand by several inches, you can see the patch, which means that a photo intended to illustrate the “magic bullet” theory actually refutes it instead.

We also know that Gerald Ford (R-MI), then a junior member of the Warren Commission, had the description of the wound altered from “his uppermost back” to the “back of the neck” in order to make the “magic bullet” theory more plausible. But it is not only provably false but anatomically impossible.

The Mantik CAT Scan

David W. Mantik, M.D., Ph.D., created a CAT scan of a patient with similar check and neck dimensions and plotted the trajectory the “magic bullet” is supposed to have taken. So it turns out to be an anatomical impossibility, because cervical vertebrae intervene. Hence, the use of a block of soap!

I presented a lecture at Cambridge on the “magic bullet” theory, which was subsequently published in an international, peer-reviewed journal under the title, “Reasoning about Assassinations”. Anyone can download it on-line. I find it embarrassing that so many in the media appear to be so massively ignorant of the most basic evidence in this case.

But of course it is more feigned than real. I also published an article about the CBS appearance on Veterans Today under the title, “The JFK War: CBS endorses the ‘magic bullet’ absurdity”, which is typical of the quality of coverage by the media. When CBS stands by a provably false and anatomically impossible account, something is very wrong.

The “Face the Nation” Scandal

Among the egregious remarks coming from Bob Schieffer, host of “Face the Nation”, a prominent Sunday morning news discussion show on CBS, was that “It was an easy shot!”, referring to the shots that Lee Oswald is alleged to have taken from the 6th floor of the School Book Depository. But the fact of the matter is they were anything but.

No one has been able to replicate the shots attributed to Oswald, who, I can confirm, was a mediocre shot, having supervised recruit training at the USMC Recruit Depot in San Diego and marksmanship training in Edson Range in Camp Pendleton. He barely qualified on the rifle range in 1959 and there is no indication that he continued shooting.

The best sniper in the US Marine Corps, Gunny Carlos Hathcock, made repeated attempts at Quantico to replicate his shooting without success. And Jesse Ventura, an expert shot, tried to do it with a far superior Mannlicher-Carcan and scored one hit in three replications of 3-shots firing at stationary targets. Check out his “Conspiracy Theory” program on JFK.

No “Convincing” Evidence

During a conversation with Larry Sabato, a prominent political commentator from the University of Virginia, he said “as yet no one has shown me (Schieffer) evidence to convince me that he–that there was anybody else connected.” And he asks Sabato why that is, and Sabato dutifully replies that it is difficult to accept the minor cause of the major effect.

“They tried to invest it with meaning by saying, it’s the CIA, it’s the anti-Castro Cubans, it’s LBJ. It’s this one, it’s that one. But as you say, you have to go by the evidence and we’re still waiting for evidence beyond that of Lee Harvey Oswald, who was clearly guilty”. But I have confronted Sabato with proof that the situation is completely different.

Since I taught twice at UVA, I submitted a response to the student newspaper, The Cavalier Daily, which was published with the title, “JFK: Truth or Conspiracy?”, featuring a three part panel showing the fist-sized wound that was observed at Parkland, the enormous missing 1/3 of the skull at Bethesda, and the tiny wound from the HSCA, which I challenged him to explain. He has not replied.

Two wounds widely broadcast

In fact, two wounds were widely broadcast over radio and television following the assassination: a small puncture wound to the throat and a blow-out to the back of the head, both of which were fired from in front. If you go to “See it now” for the NBC coverage, for example, you can confirm this for yourself. Chet Huntley was reporting about them both.

Astonishing, Bob Schieffer had one of the Parkland physicians who had treated JFK at Parkland on his show, Dr. Ronald Jones. And Jones told Schieffer that, when he entered Trauma Room #1, he “noticed a small hole in the front of the neck that I estimated to be a quarter of an inch. And I knew he had a large wound to the back of his head”.

Instead of jumping on this first-person report of those two wounds, both of which had been fired from in front, Schieffer simply ignores them and says, “And he was alive at that point but just barely”. This coming from a prominent newsman who claims that he has never seen any evidence Oswald did not do it alone–even when it is presented on his own show!

Oswald was framed for the crime

The weapon was known as “the humanitarian rifle” in World War II for never harming anyone on purpose. This weapon had a misaligned sight and had to be rebuilt before any experts would even attempt to fire it. And its bolt action was so difficult it took the scope off the target each time it was fired, which meant it consumed additional time to reacquire the target.

We also know from Marina, his wife, that Lee admired President Kennedy and bore him no malice. More recent research, moreover, has confirmed that a man whose image was captured in a famous photograph taken during the shooting standing in the doorway of the Book Depository was Lee Oswald. He had neither motive nor means nor opportunity.

Students as long ago as Harold Weisberg, WHITEWASH II (1966), have maintained that Lee was in the doorway. Vince Salandria, Mark Lane, Gerald McKnight and many other experts have agreed. Evidence that is archived at the “Oswald Innocence Campaign” establishes his location. Since he was in the doorway, he was not also on the 6th floor.

The Backyard Photographs

Jim Marrs, the author of CROSSFIRE (1987) and I have proven that the backyard photographs that were used to frame Oswald were fabrications with his face pasted on someone else’s body. The chin is a block chin and not Lee’s more tapered chin, with an insert line between chin and lower lip. And the finger tips of his right hand are cut off.

Jack White, the legendary photo and film analyst, observed that the newspapers he is holding have dimensions that are known and therefore can serve as an internal yardstick. Using that measure, it turns out that the man in those photos is only 5’6″ tall, too short to be Oswald, who was 5’10”. They either used a stand-in who was too short or else made the papers too large when they faked the photos.

Anyone can review our proof at “Framing the Patsy: The Case of Lee Harvey Oswald”. And see “JFK believe it or not: Oswald wasn’t even a shooter!” by Richard Hooke or “Part 1: A National Security Event – Oswald didn’t do it” and “JFK Part 2: A National Security Event – How it was done”, for further proof of how they framed an innocent man.

Other examples abound

Tom Brokow on NBC cut off Robert Groden discussing the shooting of Officer J.D. Tippit, when Groden began to explain that the four cartridges found at the scene had been ejected from one or more automatics, while Oswald had a revolver. It is absurd to image Lee could shoot a policeman four times and then remove the incriminating casings.

The first officer on the scene initialed them. There were two of one make (Western) and two of another (Remington). Later, as happened in this case, those casings were replaced by four casings from a revolver, but now there were three of one make and one of the other. And none of them had the officer’s initials. It was that blatant a frame.

A woman across the street, Acquilla Clemons, who had observed the shooting, reported that two men had shot Tippit and that neither of them looked like Oswald. So they simply did not call her as a witness. The best report about the Tippit shooting may be found in Groden (1995)’s “The Search for Lee Harvey Oswald,” if you can track it down.

Michael Shermer and the LA Times

Yet another example comes from The LA Times, where Michael Shermer authored an Op/Ed piece maintaining that conspiracy theories derive from a psychological need to explain how a comparative unknown could have murdered JFK. I replied that perhaps we do not believe a lone gunman took him out with three lucky shots because it is not true.

The evidence of conspiracy is overwhelming. The man in Mexico City looks nothing like Lee Oswald, for example. J. Edgar Hoover sent a memorandum to his Agents-in-Charge informing them that someone was there impersonating Lee Oswald. If that is all you know of the assassination, you know enough to conclude it was a conspiracy.

And Waggoner Carr, the Attorney General of Texas, discovered that Lee was working as an informant for the FBI, that he had informant #179 and that he was being paid $200 right up to the day of the assassination, which may explain why the American government claims it cannot find the W-2 (tax) forms for the alleged assassin of our 35th president.

For those who want more, see “What happened to JFK–and why it matters today” (2011) and the videos from the Santa Barbara conference. The public skepticism about Oswald as the lone shooters is not explicable on the basis of psychology but by logic and evidence, which appears to be unknown to Shermer, The LA Times, and our national media.

December 2, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Iran Nuclear Weapons Claims Still Need Correcting

By Peter Hart | FAIR | September 23, 2013

Hassan Rouhani

Hassan Rouhani

Yesterday in USA Today (9/22/13), Aamer Madhani wrote this about the challenges facing Barack Obama:

The president is also trying to take advantage of a diplomatic opening–created by the installation of a new, more moderate president in Iran–to persuade Tehran to abandon its nuclear weapons program.

As you might know by now, this is misleading; Iran is suspected by some governments of having a nuclear weapons program, but there is no solid intelligence that such a program exists.

USA Today made a similar claim a few months ago; when FAIR activists wrote to the paper, it eventually got around to issuing a correction. But good luck figuring that out; the paper had originally claimed that new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was “known for his negotiating skill over the country’s nuclear weapons program.” The paper’s correction read:

A June 17 story on Iranian President-elect Hassan Rouhani misstated his previous position. He was a negotiator over Iran’s nuclear program.

There’s basically no chance that any reader of the paper would have been able to know what was being corrected. But if the paper is actually interested in accuracy, they might want to run another correction.

Bob Schieffer (photo: CSIS)

Bob Schieffer (photo: CSIS)

They’re not the only ones who should consider clarifying the record. Here’s CBS Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer (9/22/13):

Rouhani says that Iran does not want and is not pursuing a nuclear weapon. Does anybody take that at face value?

Actually, the burden of proof should be the other way around: Politicians who claim that Iran has such a program should have to prove it. Schieffer obviously doesn’t see the world that way. He’s interviewed people like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and failed to  challenge their claims about Iran’s weapons. Indeed, Schieffer presented them as facts, telling viewers about Iran’s “continuing effort to build a nuclear weapon” (FAIR Blog, 7/15/13).

So Schieffer is indeed skeptical of government claims. Iran‘s government, that is.

September 24, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | Leave a comment

CBS’s Face the Nation: Blatant Pro-Israel Pro-War Bias Revealed

By Michael Gillespie | Dissident Voice | September 9, 2013

CBS’s Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer brought together this morning what he characterized as “one of our best panels of analysts ever,” a group of five supposed experts, to discuss President Obama’s plan to launch military action against Syria: the Washington Post‘s Bob Woodward, the Weekly Standard‘s Bill Kristol, the New York Times‘ David Sanger, the Washington Post‘s David Ignatius, and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI)’s Danielle Pletka. Schieffer presented this group as if his audience might expect it to represent a range of views. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Daniel Pletka is vice president of AEI, a neoconservative think tank that was instrumental in dragging the US into the hideously expensive and stunningly counterproductive war in Iraq. Several AEI scholars—including Richard Perle and Michael Ledeen—were associated with war profiteering and the phony intelligence used by pro-Israel neoconservative operatives inside the Bush/Cheney administration to stampede the USA into war in Iraq. Pletka was last in the news for smearing the then-Secretary of Defense nominee, former Senator (R-NE) and decorated Vietnam War veteran Chuck Hagel, as an anti-Semite. (Secretary of Defense Hagel is reported to be privately unenthusiastic about plans for military action against Syria.)

David Ignatius routinely defends Israel and champions proposed Israeli solutions to the Israel-Palestine conflict without letting facts get in the way. In 2009, Ignatius caused an international incident that adversely affected Turkish-Israeli relations when, during a panel discussion about the 2008-2009 Gaza War at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, he allowed Israeli President Shimon Peres to speak twice as long as the other participants and then attempted to silence Turkish Prime Minister Recip Tayyip Erdogan. The panel featured two heads of state, the U.N. secretary-general, and the secretary of the Arab League, and it dealt with an extremely sensitive issue. In allowing Peres to go last, giving him twice as much time to speak, and then repeatedly attempting to cut off Erdogan’s response, Ignatius showcased his pro-Israel bias on a world stage.

David Sanger has long propagandized for a US war against Iran in the pages of the New York Times. According to SourceWatch: “A few days after Ehud Barak, the Israeli Defense minister, admitted that Iran was not pursuing a nuclear weapons program, the New York Times ran a series of articles slighting Barak’s assertion all the way to confirming the opposite, i.e., that Iran was actually pursuing such weapons program. Sanger was key in the NYT’s drum beating.” Ray McGovern, a former CIA senior officer who briefed several US presidents, had this to say about Sanger’s articles: “Next it was time for the Times to trot out David Sanger from the Washington bullpen. Many will remember him as one of the Times’ stenographers/cheerleaders for the Bush/Cheney attack on Iraq in March 2003. An effusive hawk on Iran also, Sanger was promoted to a position as chief Washington correspondent, apparently for services rendered. In his Jan. 22 article, ‘Confronting Iran in a Year of Elections,’ Sanger pulls out all the stops, even resurrecting Condoleezza Rice’s “mushroom cloud” to scare all of us—and, not least, the Iranians.”

Bill Kristol is the chairman and co-founder of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) and a board member of the Emergency Committee for Israel. Author David Corn has referred to Kristol as “the No. 1 cheerleader for the Iraq War.” Kristol was one of the architects of the blueprint for regime change and “creative destruction” in the Middle East dreamed up by PNAC. Kristol signed the September 20, 2001, PNAC letter endorsing President George W. Bush’s “admirable commitment to ‘lead the world to victory’ in the war against terrorism.” Kristol said in a January 14, 2003, PBS Frontline interview “that the significance of President George W. Bush’s State of the Union address in 2002 (the ‘axis of evil’ speech) is too easily forgotten—that it was a rare moment, ‘the creation of a new American foreign policy’—and that Bush deserves credit for realizing very quickly after Sept. 11 that his presidency would be judged by how he handled the post-9/11 threat of weapons of mass destruction.” Weapons of mass destruction that, as it happened, could not be found because they did not exist.

Bob Woodward is yet another pro-Israel propagandist for executive power and for war. Andrew Bacevich, an accomplished author, Professor of International Relations and History at Boston University, and a retired career officer in the United States Army has described Woodward this way: “Once a serious journalist, the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward now makes a very fine living as chief gossip-monger of the governing class. … Back in 2002, for example, during the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, Woodward treated us to Bush at War. Based on interviews with unidentified officials close to President George W. Bush, the book offered a portrait of the president-as-resolute-war-leader that put him in a league with Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt. But the book’s real juice came from what it revealed about events behind the scenes. ‘Bush’s war cabinet is riven with feuding,’ reported the Times of London, which credited Woodward with revealing ‘the furious arguments and personal animosity’ that divided Bush’s lieutenants. Of course, the problem with the Bush administration wasn’t that folks on the inside didn’t play nice with one another. No, the problem was that the president and his inner circle committed a long series of catastrophic errors that produced an unnecessary and grotesquely mismanaged war,” wrote Bacevich. Somehow, Woodward missed all of that and a great deal more. “That war has cost the country dearly—although the people who engineered that catastrophe, many of them having pocketed handsome advances on their forthcoming memoirs, continue to manage quite well, thank you,” declared Bacevich.

This then is “one of our best panels of analysts ever,” according to Bob Schieffer, who once might have rightly claimed to be something other than a stooge for the Israeli foreign ministry. What CBS’s collection of well-heeled pro-Israel propagandists all agree on is this: The US government should launch military action in Syria in order to maintain political and military pressure on Iran, which Israel views as enemy No. 1 (though Iran has not attacked another country in well over 200 years).

One detail the panelists didn’t mention is that Syria is in the Russian sphere of influence and Russia has warships stationed in the eastern Mediterranean off the coast of Syria. Another thing the panelists didn’t mention is that Israeli air and sea forces attacked a lightly armed US Navy signals intelligence vessel, the USS Liberty, in the eastern Mediterranean on June 8, 1967, killing 34 US personnel and wounding 171. Nor did the panelists mention that in the middle 1980s Israeli spies handling an American-Jewish traitor, Jonathan Pollard, stole thousands of highly classified intelligence documents from the US Navy counter-terrorism intelligence facility where Pollard was employed, or that Israel provided many of those documents to the Soviet Union causing great harm to US intelligence capabilities and interests.

What CBS panelists didn’t say is that Syria is the next stop on Israel’s road to a US war against Iran. What they dare not say is that a US attack on Syria might well draw the USA into a much wider war in a region already severely destabilized by more than a decade of enormously expensive, ill-conceived, poorly managed, hideously destructive, and extraordinarily counterproductive US military actions undertaken largely at the insistence of pro-Israel neoconservatives whose wildly inordinate influence over the Washington foreign policy establishment poses an imminent threat to a great many legitimate US national interests, if not to the uninterrupted progress of human civilization.


Michael Gillespie, in addition to his regular freelance work for Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, is also a contributing editor and the Des Moines, IA correspondent for The Independent Monitor, the national newspaper of Arab Americans, published by Sami Mashney in Anaheim, CA.

September 9, 2013 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Benjamin & His Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Lies: Netanyahu Cries ‘Wolf’…Again

By Nima Shirazi | Wide Asleep in America | July 16, 2013

“[An Iranian nuclear bomb] was a lot further away 15 years ago when I started talking about it. It was a lot further away 10 years ago. It was a lot further away five years. It was a lot further away five months ago. They are getting there, and they are getting very, very close.”

– Benjamin Netanyahu, March 7, 2012

“Red line, white line, black line and the like is for children. This is the level of this guy’s character.”

– Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, October 2, 2012

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took to the Sunday morning airwaves to spout tired talking points about the non-existent threat Iran’s safeguarded, civilian nuclear program poses to Israel, the United States, and presumably Neptune and Krypton.

In a renewed propaganda blitz, Netanyahu told CBS‘ Bob Schieffer on “Face the Nation” that Iran is getting “closer and closer to the bomb,” and resurrected a number of embarrassing phrases including “red line,” “credible military threat” and something about ticking clocks.

“They’re edging up to the red line,” Netanyahu said. “They haven’t crossed it yet. They’re also building faster centrifuges that would enable them to jump the line, so to speak, at a much faster rate – that is, within a few weeks.” He also said Iran is “building ICBMs [intercontinental ballistic missiles] to reach the American mainland in a few years.”

Dismissing the recent Iranian election as irrelevant to what he insists are devious Iranian intentions, Netanyahu called Hassan Rouhani, who will be inaugurated as Iran’s new president on August 3rd, “a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” whose maniacal strategy will be, “Smile and build a bomb.”

The media carried the news with headlines like “Israeli PM threatens to strike Iran” and “Israel Increases Pressure on U.S. to Act on Iran,” quoting Netanyahu as claiming that, when it comes to blah blah blah, “I won’t wait until it’s too late.” We’ve been here before.

It was boring then and it’s boring now.

“If sanctions don’t work, they have to know that you’ll be prepared to take military action — that’s the only thing that will get their attention,” Netanyahu said, suggesting that Iranians are subhumans who only understand grunts and shoves, rather than rational actors preserving and protecting their inalienable national rights and refusing to back down to offensive and illegal demands made by serially-aggressive nuclear-armed bullies.

Netanyahu urged the United States government to “make clear that the nuclear option” – whoops, Freudian slip of the war criminal’s tongue – “the military option which is on the table is truly on the table,” but lamented that there seemed to be “no sense of urgency” when it comes to stopping Iran from doing something every intelligence agency on the planet – including Israel’s – says it’s not doing.

The Israeli Prime Minister and his military and political acolytes, have repeatedly called for the United States to issue a “credible military threatagainst Iran. Netanyahu did so again at a Cabinet meeting prior to his appearance on “Face the Nation.”

Threatening – let alone committing – an unprovoked attack on Iran is unquestionably a violation of the United Nations Charter.

Still, an obsession is an obsession and, at least, Netanyahu isn’t ashamed of being obsessed. “Iran is the most important, the most urgent matter of all,” he whined, before throwing up a silly hodgepodge of scary-sounding words in an attempt to be taken seriously. All the problems in the world – including Israel’s ongoing colonization of Palestine – won’t amount to a hill of beans, he cried, if the “messianic, apocalyptic, extreme regime” in Tehran acquires “atomic bombs.” Such a ghastly scenario would present “a terrible, catastrophic change for the world and for the United States,” he said, because the United States apparently isn’t part of the world. (Actually, considering the isolation the United States and Israel – along with lackey states like Palau and Micronesia – face in the United Nations, Netanyahu may be on to something here.)

Of course, the often-repeated assessment of the U.S. intelligence community that Iran is not actually building a bomb and has no nuclear weapons program went unmentioned, as did the fact that Iran has supposedly been “a year or so” away from developing nuclear weapon for roughly a decade now.

Unsurprisingly, “Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer challenged none of Netanyahu’s assertions; all the warmongering and propaganda was given a free pass.  This is especially bizarre considering, in January 2012, then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told Schieffer on the same program, “Are they trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No.”

Netanyahu has been leading the charge against Iran since the mid-1990s, warning of weapons programs that don’t exist and calling for sanctions and explicit military threats. His talking points since then literally have not changed – and are identical to those he used to encourage the United States to invade Iraq a decade ago.

Here’s a reminder of why the Israeli Prime Minister’s CBS interview may actually have been a rerun:

The suggestion that Iran would soon be in possession of, or be in a position to quickly manufacture, nuclear weapons has been in constant circulation for nearly three decades. In 1984, Iran was reportedly moving “very quickly” towards a nuclear weapon and could have one as early as 1986. By the early 1990’s, the CIA predicted Iran was “making progress on a nuclear arms program and could develop a nuclear weapon by 2000,” later changing their estimate to 2003.

Israeli estimates have always been of an especially hysterical quality.  In March 1992, The Jerusalem Report, noting that “Israel keeps a wary watch on Teheran’s march to the Bomb,” predicted that, “[b]y the year 2000, Iran will almost certainly have the Bomb.”

A few months later, Israeli Major General Herzl Budinger insisted that, unless “Iran’s intensive effort to develop atomic weapons is not ‘disrupted,'” it would “become a nuclear power by the end of the decade.”  Then-Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres shared similar assessment later that year.

On November 8, 1992, the New York Times reported Israel was confident Iran would “become a nuclear power in a few years unless stopped.” An Israeli “senior army officer” feared “the Iranians may have a full nuclear capability by the end of the decade.”

In March 1993, a Washington Post report headlined “Israel seeking to convince U.S. that West is threatened by Iran” noted that Israeli leaders attempting to push their American counterparts into taking a stronger stance on Iran. The article quoted then-Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin warning of “megalomaniacal” Iran intent on establishing “a Middle East empire.”

The alarm was still ringing a couple of years later when, on January 11, 1995, Benjamin Netanyahu told a nearly empty Knesset hearing that “within three to five years, we can assume that Iran will become autonomous in its ability to develop and produce a nuclear bomb, without having to import either the technology or the material.”

His solution to this crisis? “[The nuclear threat] must be uprooted by an international front headed by the U.S. It necessitates economic sanctions on Iran,” he declared.

By 1996, Israeli assessments put an Iranian nuclear bomb four years away. One year later, they confidently predicted it would happen by 2005. By mid-2001, Israel was still holding fast to its 2005 deadline and reaffirmed such a warning in 2003.

By 2004, however, an Israeli intelligence report determined that “within three years Iran would have the means to produce an atomic bomb by itself.” In 2005, Israel’s Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said Iran was “less than one year away.” At the same time, Israeli Military Intelligence’s prediction was 2007, then 2008, later revised to 2012, then returned to 2008. In 2007, Israeli Military Intelligence said Iran would become nuclear weapons capable by mid-2009. A year later, the 2009 threshold referred to “an operable nuclear weapon,” rather than just capability.

When 2009 rolled around, then-Prime Ministerial candidate Benjamin Netanyahu told an American Congressional delegation that Israeli “experts” determined Iranian nuclear weapons capability “was probably only one or two years away,” while Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak put the window of opportunity to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons at a mere six to 18 months. At the time, Mossad chief Meir Dagan insisted, “the Iranians will have by 2014 a bomb ready to be used, which would represent a concrete threat for Israel.”

Later that same year, Brigadier General Yossi Baidatz, “argued that it would take Iran one year to obtain a nuclear weapon and two and a half years to build an arsenal of three weapons. By 2012 Iran would be able to build one weapon within weeks and an arsenal within six months.” A month later, Netanyahu said, “Iran has the capability now to make one bomb or they could wait and make several bombs in a year or two.”

By 2010, some Israeli officials said Iran was only a year away from a bomb, some said it “one to three years away from having a breakout nuclear capability,” and others said it still had seven years to go. An unnamed “Israeli policy maker” revealed to Jeffrey Goldberg that Iran would have a nuclear weapon “nine months from June – in other words, March of 2011.” In early 2011, the prediction jumped to 2015.

Nevertheless, a year later, the Times of London claimed an Israeli security report assessed Iran may become a nuclear power “within a year,” a conclusion subsequently confirmed by Ehud Barak. Six months later, in mid-2012, Barak suggested that Iran would take “several years” for Iran to “turn nuclear.” Shortly thereafter, Netanyahu reportedly put the “red line” of Iranian nuclear capability at just “a few months away,” later telling the United Nations in September (along with his trusty cartoon bomb drawing) that Iran would have “enough enriched uranium for the first bomb” by mid-to-late 2013. By October, Ehud Barak added an extra “eight to 10 months” to the timeline.

Accompanying all of these predictions, of course, have been fever-pitched threats of an ever-imminent Israeli military strike on Iran and its nuclear infrastructure. In 2012, the predictions of such an illegal assault were especially incessant. Not a month went by without hysterical rumors of a new Middle East war in the offing.

This past January, a new prediction emerged. McClatchy Newspapers reported that “Israeli intelligence officials now estimate that Iran won’t be able to build a nuclear weapon before 2015 or 2016, pushing back by several years previous assessments of Iran’s nuclear ambitions.” The report is based on “[i]ntelligence briefings given to McClatchy over the last two months” which “confirmed that various officials across Israel’s military and political echelons now think it’s unrealistic that Iran could develop a nuclear weapons arsenal before 2015. Others pushed the date back even further, to the winter of 2016.”

In early March 2013, Netanyahu claimed that “Iran is getting closer” to his self-determined “red line” of nuclear weapons capability and is “putting itself in a position to cross that line very quickly once it decides to do so.” Later that same month, in a joint press conference in Jerusalem with President Obama, Netanyahu warned of “Iran’s relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons” before reiterating his position that “in order to stop Iran’s nuclear programs peacefully, diplomacy and sanctions must be augmented by a clear and credible threat of military action.”  Soon thereafter, the Israeli press publicized claims by anonymous Israeli officials that “Iran could have the capability to build a nuclear bomb by July.”

Well, it’s July, so Netanyahu tells us Iran is getting “closer and closer.”

Sadly, Netanayhu’s tired propaganda never seems to elicit the glazed-over, yawning-inducing dismissal from the U.S. press that it so sorely deserves; rather, he gets to schedule high-profile interviews on major networks whenever he wants to reissue his warmongering bromides.

A diplomatic cable sent from sent from the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv in 2005, published by Wikileaks, noted that, despite Israeli warnings that Iran would reach a critical nuclear weapons capability within six months, some Israeli “officials admitted informally that these estimates need to be taken with caution. The head of the MFA’s [Ministry of Foreign Affairs] strategic affairs division recalled that GOI assessments from 1993 predicted that Iran would possess an atomic bomb by 1998 at the latest.”

Another cable from 2009 wondered whether “the Israelis firmly believe” their hysterical predictions about Iran’s nuclear progress “or are using worst-case estimates to raise greater urgency from the United States).”

In truth, Netanyahu himself is increasingly viewed as an Israeli Chicken Little.  In early 2013, McClatchy Newspapers reported that Israeli officials “have said there’s a widening gulf between Netanyahu’s remarks and the intelligence reports he receives,” and quoted one unnamed “intelligence officer” as wondering, “Did we cry wolf too early?”

While the alarmism will surely continue unabated, the answer is obvious.

July 18, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Israel’s Nuke Arsenal Off-Limits

By Robert Parry | Consortium News | July 15, 2013

On CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday, host Bob Schieffer devoted more than six minutes of a ten-minute interview with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the topic of Iran’s alleged pursuit of a nuclear weapon, with Netanyahu explicitly threatening to attack Iran if it crossed his personally drawn “red line” on the level of permitted refinement of nuclear fuel.

Nowhere during that interview – or in the major news articles that I read about it – was there any reference to Israel’s own rogue nuclear arsenal or how destabilizing it is for one religious state possessing nukes to threaten to attack another religious state lacking a single nuke. The imbalance in this nuclear equation is so breathtaking that you might have thought it would be at the center of a testy Q-and-A. Instead it was nowhere.

Netanyahu also was allowed to denounce Iran as “apocalyptic” without any question about Netanyahu’s own frequent references to Israel facing “existential” threats. Indeed, Israel’s attitude toward using nuclear weapons is sometimes called the “Samson Option,” recalling the Biblical hero who destroyed himself along with his enemies. So, again, you might have thought Schieffer would pounce on Netanyahu’s self-serving remark. But, nah!

In other words, it was a typical day in the life of mainstream U.S. journalism, a profession which purports to be “objective” – meaning it should treat all parties to a dispute equally – but, of course, isn’t.

An “objective” interview or article would have included at least some reference to Israel’s nuclear arsenal and the question of whether Israel has the unilateral right to wage war (or even threaten war) against another country, with the particular irony that Israel is accusing Iran of pursuing a course that Israel has already taken.

But it is expected now that “objective” U.S. journalists will avert their eyes from a reality that Israel would prefer not to mention. In the real world of U.S. journalism, “objectivity” means following the bias of the powers-that-be and framing issues within the conventional wisdom.

In the CBS interview, Netanyahu also was allowed to take a free shot at Iran and its president-elect, Hassan Rowhani, who was disparaged by Netanyahu as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” whose strategy is to “smile and build a bomb.”

Netanyahu was given free rein, too, to demand that President Barack Obama demonstrate “by action” that he stands with Israel in its military threat against Iran. Those demands “should be backed up with ratcheted sanctions,” Netanyahu said. “They have to know you’ll be prepared to take military action; that’s the only thing that will get their attention.”

(It might be noted here that the United States has lots and lots of nuclear weapons and indeed is the only nation to have actually used them in warfare against other human beings. Meanwhile, Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.)

Netanyahu seemed perturbed that the Obama administration is hoping to reach an accommodation with President-elect Rowhani that would involve Iran accepting new safeguards on its nuclear program in exchange for relaxed economic sanctions.

The New York Times reported that “a senior [Obama] administration official” told reporters on Friday that Rowhani’s more moderate tone suggested he was “going in a different direction” from his predecessors and might be interested in reaching a broad settlement with the West.

In the CBS interview, Netanyahu was signaling that any accommodation with Iran – beyond one that would demand Iran’s total capitulation on its right to process uranium at all – is unacceptable to him. The U.S. press corps then repeated Netanyahu’s hard-line remarks without any of that troublesome context regarding Israel’s possession of an undeclared nuclear arsenal, considered one of the world’s most sophisticated.

That the U.S. press corps routinely fails to provide that sort of context is clear evidence that the principle of “objectivity” is one that is selectively applied, which would seem to negate the very notion of “objectivity.”


Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his new book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and

July 16, 2013 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | 1 Comment