Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite Save As Favorite View Article Stats
11 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

AP believes it found evidence of Iran's work on nuclear weapons

By (about the author)     Permalink
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) , Add Tags  (less...) Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 6   Valuable 4   Supported 3  
View Ratings | Rate It

Headlined to H2 11/28/12
Become a Fan
  (106 fans)

opednews.com

Cross-posted from The Guardian

A primitive graph provided by 'a country critical of Iran's atomic program' indicts the news outlet more than Tehran

Iran Morsi
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi talks with Iranian officials at the 16th Non-aligned Movement summit in Tehran Photograph: KeystoneUSA-ZUMA / Rex Features

(Updated below -- Update II)

Uncritical, fear-mongering media propaganda is far too common to take note of each time it appears, but sometimes, what is produced is so ludicrous that its illustrative value should not be ignored. Such is the case with a highly trumpeted Associated Press "exclusive" from Tuesday which claims in its red headline to have discovered evidence of "Iran Working on Bomb."

What is this newly discovered, scary evidence? It is a "graph" which AP says was "leaked" to it by "officials from a country critical of Iran's atomic program to bolster their arguments that Iran's nuclear program must be halted before it produces a weapon" (how mysterious: the globe is gripped with befuddlement as it tries to guess which country that might be). Here's how AP presents the graph in all its incriminating, frightening glory:

This, says AP, shows that "Iranian scientists have run computer simulations for a nuclear weapon that would produce more than triple the explosive force of the World War II bomb that destroyed Hiroshima." Moreover, "an intelligence summary provided with the drawing" -- provided, that is, by the mysterious "country critical of Iran's atomic program" -- "linked [the graph] to other alleged nuclear weapons work -- significant because it would indicate that Iran is working not on isolated experiments, but rather on a single program aimed at mastering all aspects of nuclear arms development."

Where to begin? First, note that AP granted anonymity here not merely to an individual but to an entire country. What's the proffered justification for doing so? The officials wanted it, so AP gave it: "officials provided the diagram only on condition that they and their country not be named." That's very accommodating of AP.

Binyamin Netanyahu UN with bomb
Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu with a diagram illustrating Iran's nuclear program. Photograph: Jason Szenes/EPA

Second, this graph -- which is only slightly less hilariously primitive than the one Benjamin Netanyahu infamously touted with a straight face at the UN -- has Farsi written under it to imbue it with that menacing Iranian-ish feel, but also helpfully uses English to ensure that US audiences can easily drink up its scariness. As The Atlantic's Robert Wright noted: "How considerate of the Iranians to label their secret nefarious nuke graph in English!" It's certainly possible that Iranian scientists use English as a universal language of science, but the convenient mixing of Farsi and English should at least trigger some skepticism.

Third, even if one assumes that this graph is something other than a fraud, the very idea that computer simulations constitute "evidence" that Iran is working toward a nuclear weapon is self-evidently inane. As John Glaser extensively documents, "experts from across the spectrum have agreed with the military and intelligence consensus [from the US and Israel] that Iran has no nuclear weapons program and presents no imminent threat." Buried in the AP article is a quote from David Albright explaining that though "the diagram looks genuine [it] seems to be designed more 'to understand the process' than as part of a blueprint for an actual weapon in the making."

The case for the attack on Iraq was driven, of course, by a mountain of fabricated documents and deliberately manipulated intelligence which western media outlets uncritically amplified. Yet again, any doubts that they are willing and eager to do exactly the same with regard to the equally fictitious Iranian Threat should be forever dispelled by behavior like this.

As always, the two key facts to note on Iran are these: 1) the desperation to prevent Iran from possessing a nuclear weapon has nothing to do with fear that they would commit national suicide by using it offensively, but rather has everything to do with the deterrent capability it would provide -- i.e., nukes would prevent the US or Israel from attacking Iran at will or bullying it with threats of such an attack; and 2) the US-led sanctions regime now in place based on this fear-mongering continues to impose mass suffering and death on innocent Iranians. But as long as media outlets like AP continue to blindly trumpet whatever is shoveled to them by the shielded, unnamed "country critical of Iran's atomic program," these facts will be suppressed and fear levels kept sky-high, thus enabling the continuation and escalation of the hideous sanctions regime, if not an outright attack.

UPDATE

Compare the super-scary graph in the possession of the Tehran villains that was unveiled by the sleuths at AP to what one randomly finds on the Internet from a Google Images search of the phrase "normal distribution cumulative probability," on a nice little website devoted to teaching people about how to use Excel documents (via @AtomTrigger):

Iran ap

This means that not only Iran, but also aspiring Excel users on the Internet, are plotting to develop nuclear weapons.

UPDATE II

At the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Yousaf Butt and Ferenc Dalnoki-Veress document that the graph trumpeted by AP "does nothing more than indicate either slipshod analysis or an amateurish hoax." That's because, they explain, "the diagram features quite a massive error, which is unlikely to have been made by research scientists working at a national level."

Moreover, "the level of scientific sophistication needed to produce such a graph corresponds to that typically found in graduate- or advanced undergraduate-level nuclear physics courses." And they echo what I documented in that prior update: "Graphs such as the one published by the Associated Press can be found in nuclear science textbooks and on the Internet."

That this AP graph quite strongly appears to be a hoax seems a much more significant story than the discovery of the graph itself, given the ends toward which this was clearly being put, and given the way that the war in Iraq was sold to the public.

 

For the past 10 years, I was a litigator in NYC specializing in First Amendment challenges, civil rights cases, and corporate and securities fraud matters. I am the author of the New York Times Best-Selling book, How Would A Patriot (more...)
 
Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

HSBC, too big to jail, is the new poster child for US two-tiered justice system

US investigates possible WikiLeaks leaker for "communicating with the enemy"

Prosecution of Anonymous activists highlights war for Internet control

The myth of Obama's "blunders" and "weakness"

Are All Telephone Calls Recorded And Accessible To The US Government?

The Remarkable, Unfathomable Ignorance of Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
10 people are discussing this page, with 11 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

Those who want a war with Iran, want to increase g... by Steven G. Erickson on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 8:02:50 AM
AP is also an arm of the corporate cabal, and ther... by Paul Repstock on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 8:44:03 AM
I can only say that Karl Marx was right on the&nbs... by Mark Sashine on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 9:06:21 AM
Such a bunch of propaganda trying to convince us t... by Hugh Jones on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 12:16:33 PM
Looks to me the handy work of Dick Chaney. Too bad... by Gregg Harcus on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 12:24:46 PM
This time I say let our "best friends in the Middl... by Dennis Kaiser on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 12:41:03 PM
It does look suspiciously like a gaussian and cumu... by Maxwell on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 2:15:43 PM
just how absurd and contrived propaganda can get? ... by Don Caldarazzo on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 2:16:44 PM
  Israel sets up a perpetual smoke s... by Spider53 on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 3:45:22 PM
Place the graph, in question, beside Bibi's cartoo... by sand fessler on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 5:22:45 PM
... by sand fessler on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 6:02:26 PM