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6 May, 2019 20:40

CNN peddles Pentagon talking points on ‘credible threat’ from Iran – Twitter doesn’t buy it

CNN peddles Pentagon talking points on ‘credible threat’ from Iran – Twitter doesn’t buy it

With US officials seemingly hellbent on sparking military conflict with Iran, CNN decided to lend a helping hand, raising claims of “credible and specific” threats from Tehran – and got roasted on Twitter for Iraq War déjà vu.

CNN's Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr tweeted dramatically on Monday afternoon that US officials had told her of credible “intelligence” on “threats from Iran” which included the targeting of US forces in “Syria, Iraq and at sea.” Just one hour later, acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan tweeted similarly about “indications of a credible threat” from Iran.

Ironically, the evidence-free claim comes as the US steered a carrier strike group into the Persian Gulf to send a message to Tehran – not exactly an olive branch gesture in itself. But even before that, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton had for months been trying to drum up support for US military action against Tehran.

But, despite all their efforts, Starr’s Twitter followers weren’t impressed with her big scoop, and were quick to remind her that parroting claims about US adversaries from anonymous Pentagon officials hasn’t really worked out well for journalism in the past.

It’s beginning to sound a lot like the run up to the Iraq War in 2003, they said.

Iranian-American activist Trita Parsi tweeted that the claim sounded “completely made-up” and that US officials were trying to make it appear that Iran was “itching for a fight” despite it really being the other way around.

Journalist Rania Khalek sarcastically commented that the Pentagon’s assertions about Iran must be true because they “always tell the truth” and “especially in relation to war,” while investigative reporter Max Blumenthal called Starr the “Pentagon’s favorite stenographer.”

Others reminded the CNN reporter that Bolton is on record advocating for military action against Iran for decades and Al-Monitor journalist Laura Rozen tweeted that it was hard not to suspect this was all just “Bolton and crew making things up.”

Even a Washington Post report last week noted that Trump had occasionally “mused to others that Bolton wants to get him into wars” – but none of that gave Starr pause for thought when echoing the claims about so-called Iranian threats.

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