Barbara Slavin

Warrick Selectively Edits Amano Remarks to CFR

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dfr8NQXmYKM[/youtube]

Yukiya Amano, Director General of the IAEA,  appeared on the record yesterday at the Council on Foreign Relations. He presented a very brief statement and then the bulk of his time was spent in a wide-ranging question and answer session. The lineup of questioners included Barbara Slavin leading off, David Sanger near the middle and Gareth Porter getting in just before questioning was brought to a close.

Joby Warrick took advantage of Slavin’s question to present Iran in the worst possible light:

International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano said the nuclear watchdog would try again next week to visit the Parchin military base, a sprawling complex where Iran is thought to have conducted tests on high-precision explosives used to detonate a nuclear bomb.

Iran has repeatedly refused to let IAEA inspectors visit the base, on the outskirts of Tehran. Instead, in the months since the agency requested access, satellite photos have revealed what appears to be extensive cleanup work around the building where tests are alleged to have occurred.

“We are concerned that our capacity to verify would have been severely undermined,” Amano told a gathering of the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington. He noted Iran’s “extensive” cleanup effort at the site, which has included demolishing buildings and stripping away topsoil.

“We cannot say for sure that we would be able find something,” Amano said.

Notice the careful way in which Warrick has excerpted parts of what Amano said and inserted his own spin into the statements. If you listen carefully to what Amano says in response to Slavin’s question around the 27 minute mark of the video, you will see that Amano never characterizes the activities by Iran as sanitizing the site (as said in Warrick’s headline) or even that it was cleanup work, as Warrick says in the body of the article. Amano does mention removal of soil, demolition of buildings and extensive use of water, but maintains that access to the site is necessary in order to have a clear understanding of both past and current activities there.

Amano sits in a a position of high tension. He must deal with the Wikileaks disclosures showing that he is much more aligned with the US than his predecessor, Mohamed ElBaradei. Perhaps helping him to navigate this delicate position, the host of the CFR event, George Perkovich of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, provided some background comments and posed questions to Amano aimed at allowing Amano to voice his overall goal of resolving issues diplomatically. Despite this claim by Amano that his goal is diplomatic solutions, he must deal with the fact that the issues his organization has been raising are cited (often in an embellished way, as Warrick does above) as grounds for an attack on Iran. Perkovich also used these comments as a way to provide an endorsement of sorts for a second term for Amano.

One of the better questions posed by Perkovich related to whether it is possible to come to agreement with Iran regarding boundaries for future activities while leaving unresolved questions about what may have taken place in the past. Continue reading

Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz Well, this instant part of Obama's routine is just fucking embarrassing and horrible. What blithering idiot thought this was appropriate?
11mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Better "killing" it there than innocent civilians in signature drone strikes I guess. https://t.co/btveeFatS9
14mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @fordm No shit. Hello DiFi.
16mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @billmon1 @Will_Bunch Is it really any different in this context? It is an access journalism incestuous bacchanal either way.
20mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV Stupid, stupid, stupid. #FireSully #Gators Idiot called for squeeze with two outs.
25mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @jamisonfoser: Says it all —> MT @mlcalderone: Cable news roundup: CNN, MSNBC covering WHCD, No Baltimore.
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emptywheel @charlie_savage Sure. But that would not include informants that would be in 1.2%, right? @joshgerstein
44mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @bsdtectr Oh darn.
45mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @charlie_savage And I would assume hit rates go up when including CI assessments. @joshgerstein
48mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @charlie_savage Still, 4.6% is higher than 1.2% @joshgerstein
49mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel The only thing this article is missing is calling out DiFi also for championing Kappes, too. http://t.co/351g15LEgL
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