More Anti-Iran Propaganda By Joby Warrick & Co
The currently “most emailed story” at the Washington Post site is Iran may have sent Libya shells for chemical weapons.
May, may, may?
The 1.500 words piece is clearly written to suggest some Iranian “Weapon of Mass Destruction” business even though, as a not-so-casual read will find, there is nothing to it. Just many mays, vague anonymous sources and innuendo added to each other.
The picture above the article shows unmarked empty gas canisters with handles, not artillery shells.
In the second picture in the gallery accompanying the article a container marked “Hydroxyde de Sodium” somewhere in Libya is shown. It is describe as:
Chemical containers are seen in an unguarded storage facility in the desert, about 60 miles south of Sirte, Libya.
But “hydroxyde de sodium” is just caustic soda which:
is used in many industries, mostly as a strong chemical base in the manufacture of pulp and paper, textiles, drinking water, soaps and detergents and as a drain cleaner. Worldwide production in 2004 was approximately 60 million tonnes, …”
This has, unlike the Washington Post placement of the pictures suggests, nothing to do with chemical weapons.
The article begins:
The Obama administration is investigating whether Iran supplied the Libyan government of Moammar Gaddafi with hundreds of special artillery shells for chemical weapons that Libya kept secret for decades, U.S. officials said.The shells, which Libya filled with highly toxic mustard agent, were uncovered in recent weeks by revolutionary fighters at two sites in central Libya. Both are under heavy guard and round-the-clock surveillance by drones, U.S. and Libyan officials said.
So the whole issue is about empty artillery shells found somewhere in Libya (the piece does not even say where), which may have come from Iran, decades ago.
How does such a find, even when confirmed, allow for the following passages:
A U.S. official with access to classified information confirmed that there were “serious concerns” that Iran had provided the shells, albeit some years ago. [...] Confirmed evidence of Iran’s provision of the specialized shells may exacerbate international tensions over the country’s alleged pursuit of weapons of mass destruction.
Why should decades old empty artillery shells in Libya “exacerbate international tensions” about an alleged nuclear program in Iran?
In an unclassified report to Congress this year, the U.S. director of national intelligence said that “Iran maintains the capability to produce chemical warfare agents … [and] is capable of weaponizing CW agents in a variety of delivery systems.” Those systems include artillery shells, according to current and former U.S. officials.
Any school chemistry lab has the “capability to produce chemical warfare agents” and the means to deliver those. Again – what has this to do with decades old empty artillery shells in the Libyan desert? Is this journalism?
The whole piece is just constructed anti-Iran propaganda. Not astonishingly, it was co-written by Joby Warrick, the Washington Post’s Judith Miller equivalent, who also recently spread the false “Soviet nuclear scientist” stories about an expert in nanodiamond production who once worked in Iran.
What gives me some hope is that the comments to this latest Washington Post smear piece seem to recognize it for what it is. They don’t buy it but call it out as pure propaganda without any journalistic value.