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.
Just In: US officials tell me the threats from Iran included “specific and credible” intelligence that Iranian forces and proxies were targeting US forces in Syria, Iraq and at sea. There were multiple threads of intelligence about multiple locations, the officials said. #Iran— Barbara Starr (@barbarastarrcnn) May 6, 2019
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.
“The officials said”...sounds like 2002/3. Careful there 😡— Karin Ryan (@KarinDianeRyan) May 6, 2019
this sounds literally just like Iraq-WMD— meat mountain (@Benismansr) May 6, 2019
Hm sounds like “US officials” want us to follow them in drumming up a pretext for war pic.twitter.com/h6zaYpdL3W— M4All (@LanaCarson) May 6, 2019
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.
This sounds completely made-up. Bolton is trying to make it look as if it is Iran that is itching for a fight. FACT: Iran is abiding by the JCPOA. The US is not.FACT: Bolton is on record having advocated war with Iran for more than two decades.So judge for yourselves... https://t.co/YP5hmC5PZf— Trita Parsi (@tparsi) May 6, 2019
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.”
US officials always tell the truth, especially those in the Trump administration, especially in relation to war. https://t.co/ngUv4JY6er— Rania Khalek (@RaniaKhalek) May 6, 2019
Warmongering by CNN via the Pentagon’s favorite stenographer https://t.co/C2qlBtM0XN— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) May 6, 2019
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.”
Bolton has a well documented history of misrepresenting intel to justify escalation and the admin is desperate to change the subject after taking a pie in the face in Venezuela, but ok. https://t.co/tlzOHmAGXn— Matt Duss (@mattduss) May 6, 2019
hard not to suspect this is Bolton and crew making things up. https://t.co/w3gJRNPjEU— Laura Rozen (@lrozen) May 6, 2019
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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