May
08
2012

Hillary Clinton's Iran Weapons Lie Is 'Tough Talk'

Covering Hillary Clinton's trip to India, USA Today's Richard Wolf writes (5/8/12):

Fielding rapid-fire questions at a town-hall-style event in Kolkata, she denounced Iran's nuclear arms program and urged India to reduce its Iranian oil imports further.

"We appreciate what has been done, and of course we want to keep the pressure on Iran," she said.

When I read that I thought, "Here we go again, another outlet misstating the basic facts about the Iran debate."

Then I checked the transcript of the Clinton's town hall, and that is indeed what she said, in response to a question about U.S. pressuring India to stop buying oil from Iran:

That's a very good question, and let me give you a little context for that question. When President Obama took over in 2009, we knew Iran's continuing development of a nuclear weapons program would be very destabilizing in the region, because there would be an arms race with the nations in the region who have pre-existing enmity between themselves and Iran. And it would also cause a great threat to Israel. 

USA Today should have noted that there is no evidence that Iran has any nuclear weapons program at all–as U.S. intelligence and the Pentagon secretary have acknowledged. That's what newspapers should do when politicians mislead. Instead, the paper puts this headline over the piece: "Clinton Wraps Asia Trip with Tough Talk on Iran."

"Tough talk" is a weak way to describe a government official's misrepresentation of the facts.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.