NY Times Editor Not Convinced Iran Working To Build A Bomb
04/04/2012 - 12:03
Gary Rosenblatt

I’ve been concerned of late by the New York Times’ coverage of the tensions among Israel, Iran and the U.S. So many of the reports leave the impression – an unfair one, I think -- that Israel is chafing at the bit to strike Iran’s nuclear sites, and what a bad idea that is.

An off-the-record conversation this week with a friend in Israel whose work deals with intelligence on Iran led me to a March 26 Politico interview with Jill Abramson, the executive editor of the Times. Her comments, remarkably enough, suggest that the Times is still doubtful about Iran’s potentially lethal intentions.

Abramson defended the Times’ Israel-Iran coverage as “impartial” to Dylan Byers, a blogger on Politico, and said: “The key issue for us is, there’s murky intelligence on the current state of Iran’s nuclear program.”

I’m wondering what’s “murky” about the exhaustive reports that have been coming from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations nuclear watchdog and international authority on nuclear energy and nuclear weapons.

An IAEA report last November was its toughest to date, saying it had credible evidence that Iran has conducted tests “relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device.” And while Tehran continues to insist that its nuclear program is for civilian purposes, the IAEA said the research included computer models whose only use would be to develop a trigger for a nuclear bomb.

Does the Times still believe Iran is defying the world, enduring increasingly tough economic sanctions and refusing monitors to visit its facilities so it can develop peaceful energy?

Abramson says “the dispute is Iran saying that [its nuclear program is] for civilian use and other intelligence saying that it could be for military use.”
Perhaps Abramson’s disturbingly cautious thinking is based on what she describes as the Times’ “flawed coverage” from Iraq in 2003 concerning weapons of mass destruction.

Judith Miller’s reporting at the time supported Washington’s assertions that Iraq had WMD, a key rationale for the costly war.

In any event, while Abramson notes that “a huge, fundamental difference” between the Iraq situation then and the Iran crisis now is that “at least the administration as it shapes policy is not actively promoting a policy to strike Iran,” she states: “It’s a highly politically charged issue. And it involves intelligence that is somewhat murky.”

The only thing murky here is why the editors of the paper of record seem to be the last folks around to question Iran’s intentions and efforts to build a nuclear weapon.

Pretty scary.

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I'd be inclined to agree with Gary Rosenblatt on this one.

Except. . .

In the run-up to the Iraq war, everyone believed that Saddam had or was building "weapons of mass destruction," as they were called. There were a few voices saying that this wasn't true. People rolled their eyes at them.

Turned out, those doubters were right.

So who knows? We shouldn't automatically rule anything in or out.

Why the surprise? the NY Times has a long history of being anti Zionist, downplaying the uniquely Jewish aspects of the Holocaust, and viewing Israel with a more critical eye than North Korea and Cuba. The NY Times viewed Stalin's USSR and Castro's Cuba with rose colored glasses that ignored the totalitarian nature of Communism. Its reportage on Israel is ripe with sympathy for the Palestinians and disdain for Israel's right to defend itself and a definite lack of understanding of Orthodox Judaism, whether of the Charedi or Religious Zionist nature thereof.

What does the author think of the remarks by the commanding general of the IDF--who does seem to share the doubts of the Times (and many in the US government) about Iran's intentions?

NY Times has become the NY Slimes

'Abramson defended the Times’ Israel-Iran coverage as “impartial” to Dylan Byers, a blogger on Politico, and said: “The key issue for us is, there’s murky intelligence on the current state of Iran’s nuclear program.”'
It is pretty well documented that the NY Times' Holocaust coverage between 1939 to 1945 buried most of the stories in the back pages and avoided mentioning that most of the dead people were Jews. There are always an infinite number of excuses why the Times' coverage was so bad, but with the NY Times, it always comes back to their identity and their ambivalent feelings about Jews. And, of course, the intelligence coming back from Europe at the time about the mass murders of Jews was 'murky' and couldn't be relied upon.
The bottom line is that Abramson is full of beans. Intelligence is always 'murky'; never certain. That is because intelligence deals with SECRETS that the enemy is trying to conceal. Since no one knows what Iran's real military capability is, Israel has to make informed guesses with limited information about what is the best strategy facing a dangerous and extreme Iranian regime. As in 1939, it would be folly today to discount the relentless threats against Israel, emanating the a mortal enemy of the Jewish people.