Who? The Republicans in Congress, of course.
And what did they do — again? Lie in an official committee report, of course. This time, however, the IAEA is calling the Republican controlled Select Committee on Intelligence out for its blatant fabrications and outright propaganda regarding the status of Iran’s nuclear activities:
IAEA protests “erroneous” U.S. report on Iran
By Mark Heinrich
VIENNA (Reuters) – U.N. inspectors have protested to the U.S. government and a Congressional committee about a report on Iran’s nuclear work, calling parts of it “outrageous and dishonest”, according to a letter obtained by Reuters.
In the words of diplomaticspeak as practiced by the agencies of the United Nations, that’s just about as harsh a condemnation as you will ever see. The IAEA’s use of the phrase “outrageous and dishonest” essentially means that the Republican controlled report is nothing but a pile of warmed over dog doo-doo in their eyes. Not the sort of message you typically see directed at the biggest financial sponsor of the UN, and the supposed “Leader of the Free World.” But then, with Bush coming to town next week, someone has to start dealing with all the garbage he and his administration have been shoveling about Iran.
So, you might ask: What does the IAEA accuse House Republicans on the Select Committee on Intelligence of getting wrong in their report? Oh, pretty much everything:
Sent to the head of the House of Representatives’ Select Committee on Intelligence by a senior aide to International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei, the letter said an Aug. 23 committee report contained serious distortions of IAEA findings on Iran’s activity.
The letter said the errors suggested Iran’s nuclear fuel programme was much more advanced than a series of IAEA reports and Washington’s own intelligence assessments have determined.
It said the report falsely described Iran to have enriched uranium at its pilot centrifuge plant to weapons-grade level in April, whereas IAEA inspectors had made clear Iran had enriched only to a low level usable for nuclear power reactor fuel.
“Furthermore, the IAEA Secretariat takes strong exception to the incorrect and misleading assertion” that the IAEA opted to remove a senior safeguards inspector for supposedly concluding the purpose of Iran’s programme was to build weapons, it said.
The letter said the congressional report contained “an outrageous and dishonest suggestion” that the inspector was dumped for having not adhered to an alleged IAEA policy barring its “officials from telling the whole truth” about Iran.
Diplomats say the inspector remains IAEA Iran section head.
Let’s put that in plain English, shall we? Here are the “inaccuracies” which the IAEA is claiming were “erroneously” included in the Select Committee’s report about — Oh hell. Let’s call them what they are. Here’s the short list of distortions, misleading statements and flat out lies about Iran and the IAEA that House Republicans were trying to pass off as God’s own truth to the American Public:
1. Iran’s nuclear program is much more advanced than the IAEA and US intelligence sources claim. [No factual basis for this claim]
2. The IAEA discovered (in April) that Iran had enriched uranium to a level sufficient to construct a nuclear bomb. [Lie: No IAEA report has ever said Iran has produced bomb grade uranium]
3. IAEA has a policy barring its inspectors from telling the “whole truth” about Iran’s nuclear program. [No factual basis for this claim]
4. IAEA fired it’s chief safeguards inspector in Iran because he refused to toe the official IAEA line that Iran’s program was not intended to produce nukes. [Lie: Said inspector remains on the job in Iran]
Now, some may say, why should we trust the IAEA on this issue critical to our national security (and yes, I recognize that the “some” I refer to may closely resemble people like this outré right wing blogger and her readers), but the better question is why should we trust the Republicans? To answer that question, I ask you to consider the following undisputed facts.
In early 2003, the head of the IAEA, Mohamed ElBaradei, was roundly castigated and condemned by the Bush administration, Republican politicians and other conservatives for daring to suggest that his agency had found no evidence that Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq either possessed nuclear weapons, or had an active nuclear weapons program. Since this message did not fit with the Bush administration’s talking points that Saddam was actively seeking nukes (i.e., smoking gun/mushroom cloud), Republicans of all stripes were soon criticizing Dr. ElBaradei for, at best, being soft on Iraq, and at worst, for being Saddam’s willing stooge.
As all reasonable people now acknowledge, it was ElBaradei who was right, and Bush who was spectacularly and catastrophically wrong about Iraq’s WMD programs, and specifically Saddam’s nuclear weapons program. A program which we now know was nothing more than the fever dream of Michael Ledeen and the efforts of forgers with connections to Italy’s Military Intelligence and Security agency, SISMI.
So, spare me any objections to IAEA’s credibility. The only people who have no credibility on assertions regarding “weapons of mass destruction” are Bush and the Republicans. And considering that this is an election year, anything they have to say about the threat posed by Iran must be taken, not with a grain, but a pound of salt. Who can blame the IAEA for taking the unprecedented step of calling the House Republicans on the Select Intelligence Committee liars?
IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said: “We felt obliged to put the record straight with regard to the facts on what we have reported on Iran. It’s a matter of the integrity of the IAEA.”
Integrity. Just one more word Republicans don’t have in their vocabularies.