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Robert Morgenthau's Black Propaganda | The Nation

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Robert Dreyfuss

Bob Dreyfuss

News of America’s misadventures in foreign policy and defense.

Robert Morgenthau's Black Propaganda

Later this week, I'll write something more detailed about the Iranian nuclear issue. It's one that doesn't lend itself to rational dialogue all the time, but today's op-ed in the Wall Street Journal by Robert Morgenthau, adapted from a speech he delivered at the Brookings Institution, is so far over the top that it boggles the mind.

And, apparently, Morgenthau has lost his-- his mind, that is. The intrepid Manhattan D.A. finds a new Cuban missile crisis brewing. This time, Venezuela is playing the role of Cuba, says Morgenthau, and Iran is taking on the part of Russia.

The title of the piece is: "The Emerging Axis of Iran and Venezuela." It's both creepy and conspiratorial, with almost no facts, and full of rhetoric and dark insinuations. He makes this shocking accusation:

"My office has been told that that over the past three years a number of Iranian-owned and controlled factories have sprung up in remote and undeveloped parts of Venezuela--ideal locations for the illicit production of weapons."

Get that? "My office has been told." By whom? What, exactly, did they say? Are they making weapons--or not? In the very next sentence, Morgenthau backpedals, sort of:

"Evidence of the type of activity conducted inside the factories is limited. But we should be concerned."

After blathering about smuggling, narco-trafficking, and Iranian financial dealings -- none of which has anything at all to do his big finale, even if true -- Morgenthau warns darkly:

"That means two of the world's most dangerous regimes, the self-described 'axis of unity,' will be acting together in our backyard on the development of nuclear and missile technology."

And:

"The Iranian nuclear and long-range missile threats, and creeping Iranian influence in the Western Hemisphere, cannot be overlooked."

This is pure black propaganda. Sadly, it's getting picked up. This afternoon, on WTOP radio in Washington, a breathless report by the radio station's alleged "national security correspondent," someone called J.J. Green, idiotically parroted Morgenthau's baseless warning, hyping it even further and suggesting that the Israelis might take care of the problem for us. (If anyone can get a transcript of the broadcast, please send it to me and I will post it here.)

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