Accuracy in Media

The U.S. policy toward Iran strongly resembles the Clinton-Gore treatment of Communist China – appeasement. In a previous broadcast we noted that John McWethy of ABC News had broken a sensational story of how our so-called ally, Saudi Arabia, has made a deal with Iran to cover-up Iranian involvement in the 1996 terrorist attack that killed 19 American soldiers. Part of the deal involved a Saudi promise not to provide more information about the bombers to American authorities.

On June 21st, however, there was a new development—the New York Times ran a front page story confirming the investigation into the attack was falling apart. Without confirming any deal between the Saudis and the Iranians, the Times noted that the Clinton Administration and Saudi Arabia were now seeking improved ties to Iran. The Times put it this way: “Evidence suggesting that Iran sponsored the attack has further complicated the investigation, since the United States and Saudi Arabia have recently sought to improve relations with a new, relatively moderate government in Tehran.”

The Times quoted families of the American victims of the bombing saying that they feared the Clinton Administration “has allowed justice for their loved ones to be sacrificed to the complexities of the relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia.” John McWethy of ABC News had put the issue more bluntly: oil.

The Times story appeared on the very day that Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press program with Tim Russert. She was asked about the report of the investigation breaking down and claimed that the U.S. still wanted to hold the bombers accountable. She said the FBI was still in charge of the investigation, that it may take a while, and that “things don’t happen overnight.” Yet one of the revelations in the Times story was that the FBI had quietly pulled out the dozens of investigators initially rushed to the scene of the attack. This was because of frustration with broken promises of Saudi cooperation.

So Albright’s claim about the FBI being “in charge” was misleading at best. But Tim Russert, who is normally aggressive in his questioning, quickly moved on, wondering what Albright’s position would be on the winner in that day’s soccer game between the United States and Iran. This was a strange way to follow a serious discussion about an attack that killed 19 Americans. But Albright jumped at the bait, saying she was picking the U.S. because she always stands up for America. After what she had just stated about the bombing investigation, such a statement must have struck the families of the American victims of the bombing as a tragic joke. The Iranians won the game, and the new “moderate” regime in Tehran said it was a victory over the great Satan.

We wish that the evidence of the Iranian role in that attack on our troops would get as much media attention as the Iranian victory over America in that soccer game. The priorities in both the U.S. Government and the media seem to be completely mixed up.




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