Danny Ayalon (left), the deputy foreign minister of Israel, with Senator Joseph Lieberman and Henry Kissinger (Photo: Kai Mörk)
Two more examples of the relentless, and successful, misinformation campaign about Iran's nuclear program were seen over the weekend. The principal component of this campaign has been to get people to believe that Iran has a nuclear weapon or is close to obtaining one and poses an imminent threat to Israel and the United States.
The culprits: Joseph Lieberman, the Connecticut senator with neoconservative foreign policy views, and progressive darling Elizabeth Warren, who is running for a Senate seat in Massachusetts.
Lieberman's contribution was the more prominent. Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Lieberman was asked what he thought about reports that Iran claims to have "reverse-engineered" the US drone they captured last year. His response (emphasis mine):
Look, it was not good for the U.S. when the drone went down in Iran, and not good when the Iranians grabbed it. I don't have confidence at this point that they are really able to make a copy of it. It's a very sophisticated piece of machinery and has served our national security well, including I would guess being used to look all over Iran; particularly, at areas where we have reason to believe that they are working on a nuclear weapon.
The New York Times quoted Lieberman in a piece on Iran's drone claims, but the paper of record didn't bother to question Lieberman's falsehood about Iran "working on a nuclear weapon."
Warren, the liberal hero who swallows the AIPAC line on foreign policy (as Max Blumenthal showed), was also asked about Iran yesterday by the blogger who runs the site "Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy" (h/t Glenn Greenwald). Here's the blogger's account of the chance encounter with Warren:
Yesterday morning, I was in line outside a Somerville, MA breakfast joint, and who should come around introducing herself to the queued patrons but Democratic U.S. Senate candidate, Elizabeth Warren?
When she worked her way to where I was standing, I asked about her hawkish policies toward Iran, which are described thusly on her website...
I asked why her stand is that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons, when even the Obama administration admits there is no evidence Iran is building nuclear bombs or has decided it wants to.
Warren said she thinks the data says they are working on nuclear weapons.
I repeated that, no, even the administration says there's no evidence of that.
She said she'd look into it, saying it's important that political statements not to add fuel to the fire
The big lie here, as the blogger above noted, is that Iran already has a nuclear weapon, or is working on one. From Leon Panetta to US intelligence to Israeli intelligence, everyone agrees that Iran does not have a nuclear weapon--nor are they on the cusp of developing one.
The fact that Warren, the subject of a large and favorable profile in The Nation recently, peddles the lie about Iran is more troubling. Lieberman's propaganda is, at this point, expected.
But the last time there was little partisan debate over a war, with the Democratic Party aiding and abetting the push to invade Iraq, the US destroyed a country that still lives with the searing consequences. Warren, who calls for getting out of Afghanistan as quickly as possible, should remember that, or be tarred with the brush of having helped push another disastrous war in the Middle East.