web counter Media Lies: US to invade Iran?

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

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US to invade Iran?

Not according to Pentagon officials, who deny Seymour Hersh's claims in strenuous terms.
Lawrence DiRita, the Pentagon's chief spokesman, said in a statement on Monday that many of the facts upon which the story is based are inaccurate. Neither he nor Dan Bartlett, the White House spokesman, commented directly on the commando operations claim, however.

"Mr Hirsch's sources feed him with rumour, innuendo, and assertions about meetings that never happened, programmes that do not exist, and statements by officials that were never made," the Mr DiRita said.

It is rare for the Pentagon to issue such a long and detailed response to a single news account; Mr DiRita's two-page statement includes four specific refutations of claims made in the piece, including an alleged post-election meeting between Donald Rumsfeld and the joint chiefs of staff in which the defence secretary claimed the 2004 US election was a referendum on aggressive action in the Middle East.

It is also rare that defence officials single out a specific journalist for such vitriol. In one part of his statement, Mr DiRita appears to accuse Mr Hersh of anti-Semitism. Mr Hersh reported that Douglas Feith, the number three civilian at the Pentagon, has worked with Israeli military planners to find targets in Iran, a claim the Pentagon said built on "the soft bigotry of some conspiracy theorists". Mr Feith is Jewish. The Pentagon said not such contacts exist.
Of course I've already discussed how inaccurate Mr. Hersh's "scoops" have been, so it's no surprise that this one would be just as inaccurate as previous ones.