Israel, Yellowcake and the Media
Can you name a country in the Middle East suspected of developing nuclear weapons, refusing to open itself to international inspection, and one that probably possesses chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction?
Iraq, perhaps, Iran, maybe, but most definitely Israel. Indeed, while its official spokespersons still deny it, Israel is thought to possess as many as 240 nuclear weapons along with awesome biological weapons.
During Bush’s successful ejaculatory tweaking of American war hysteria over Iraq which aroused 73% of the American electorate to ignore world opinion, flout the UN, and support going off to war, not a single levelheaded American journalist seemed at all interested in this obvious oversight. It was as if Iraq’s development of weapons of mass destruction had nothing to do with Israel’s arsenal. Gosh, what an irrelevancy!
The left incriminated that the reason the Bush couldn’t stop salivating over the prospect of invading Iraq was for its oil: ah yes, greedy Republicans, Texas oil magnates, Halliburton, insider wheeling and dealing. Sounds good, but was there anyone opining that the real reason we invaded Iraq was to keep Israel as the sole nuclear power in the Middle East? The discussion never moved in that direction. And it did not move there probably because the issue was never put on the table. George Will was too busy quarrying into somber ethical issues like whether "French" fries and kisses should be rethought, and Dianne Sawyer couldn’t tear her investigative self away from the Dixie Chicks long enough to even think about it.
Now I know how paranoid ‘media conspiracy’ sounds—but isn’t it curious how in all the words that flowed off those deeply embedded lips of Ted Koppel, he never mentioned Israel’s nuclear weapons or its biological capabilities in all the time he was dressed up like a soldier? Isn’t that taking don’t-ask-don’t-tell to a new level entirely?
Today with Niger’s yellowcake and David Kelley’s death, the media are all flummoxed about what Bush knew or didn’t and whether Blair used ‘sexed up’ intelligence. "Did the Bush or Blair administration lead their countries into war using faulty intelligence?" That is how the media from CNN to Michael Eisner’s executive producers are trying to reframe and define the issue for us. Hmmm! Is that really the issue Michael?
Hold on! Hans Blix, even before we went to war, said those Iraqi letters seeking to buy yellowcake uranium were false. They were more than false, he said; they were forgeries! Those letters which made it into the State of the Union message to stir up American testosterone and gather up enough mojo for us to launch our first Tomahawk. . . they were forgeries!
The tainted letters surfaced in Italy. They used the Iranian word ‘hemisphere’ instead of the proper Iraqi word "dome," and Blix said the documents were not written by an Iraqi at all.
Now fantasize for a moment the world learned that it was Iran that was behind the forged letters. What was their gain? To bring the US war machine right to their own borders? Not a very interesting theory.
What would it mean if Israel’s Mossad forged them? Well, it would show that Israel falsely dragged Britain and the U.S. into invading its major adversary and with yellowcake all over its face, relations with that country just might be in for some serious review.
What if the CIA falsified the documents? Well, if George knew they were forgeries and presented such mendacity to the American public as the basis for invading a foreign country, charges of treason and impeachment would be nipping at his coattails. Similarly if the forgery came from Tony Blair’s camp, whilst beseeching his citizenry to go off to war, another government collapse and charge of treason would likely be the outcome.
It is not a question of using faulty intelligence, but of using forgeries to lead a country off to war, no small issue by any means, but the biggest curiosity of our time is that the source of the forgery is not of interest to any of the mainstream media. It is not the focus of 60 Minutes or 60 Minutes II. Barbara Walters is too interested in how tall Senator John Kerry is. Stone Philips has too many serial killers deal with, and Dan Rather is thinking too much these days of Laci Peterson. No one is interested!
Now I don’t favor the thought that our corporate media giants collectively conspire to keep things under wraps. I can’t help but observe that tonight Ted Koppel will suit up as master of ceremonies of that pseudo-intellectual circus he hosts where one guest shouts down his opponent yelling and screaming high decibel epithets—kind of like a Jerry Springer show for the slightly scholarly—and whatever tonight’s topic, we can be quite sure it will not deal with America’s increasingly long list of taboo subjects:
Does Israel have hydrogen bombs? Did the U.S. ever secretly test Israeli nuclear weapons on American soil? And, of course, the most recent question to add to the list:
Who forged the letters that sucked us into this war?
JERRY KROTH, Ph.D.is an Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology at Santa Clara University. Kroth is the author of one of the most popular recent stories on the CounterPunch site: Symbol and Synchronicity in the Crash of the Space Shuttle Columbia. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org