Archive for the ‘National Iranian American Council’ category

The New York Times’ Dishonest Reporting on the Iran Nuclear Deal

November 18, 2016

The New York Times’ Dishonest Reporting on the Iran Nuclear Deal, Center for Security Policy, Fred Fleitz, November 17, 2016

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You may have read that in response to criticism about its biased coverage of the Trump campaign, the New York Times has rededicated itself to honest reporting.

After you get up off the floor from laughing hysterically, consider this story that ran days after the Times’ renewed commitment to ethical journalism: On November 14, the New York Times ran an article with the headline: “76 Experts Urge Donald Trump to Keep Iran Deal.” In the second paragraph, the article claims this report was signed by “former officials from both major political parties.”

Not until the sixth paragraph does the story mention that this report was issued by the National Iranian American Council (NIAC).

This is the kind of dishonest reporting we have come to expect from the New York Times.

NIAC, well known as the head of the Iran lobby in the United States, aggressively campaigned for the Iran nuclear deal. The Times misleadingly describes it as “a Washington group that has advocated improved relations with Iran, even while sharply criticizing Iranian leaders over human rights issues.”

The NIAC report reads like it was written by the Iranian foreign ministry. Not only does it call for President Trump to stick with the Iran deal and not impose new sanctions, the report ignores a sharp increase in belligerent behavior by Iran since the nuclear agreement was announced, suggests the U.S. should ignore Iran’s ballistic-missile program, and calls for close U.S.–Iran cooperation on Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan.

According to the report, U.S.–Iran relations have reached their highest point in 37 years due to the nuclear agreement. I don’t think the crews of U.S. ships in the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea who have been harassed by Iranian ships and had missiles fired at them from Yemen would agree.

On Iran’s gross human-rights violations, the report essentially calls for the Trump administration to ignore them and instead makes the bizarre recommendation that President Trump take steps to show that America does not seek to harm innocent Iranians by speeding up the sale of civilian airliners to Iran.

The 76 “experts” who signed the NIAC report are mostly on the far left, including Noam Chomsky, Joseph Cirincione, Juan Cole, and John Esposito.

The article identified Lawrence Korb, Lawrence Wilkerson, Chas Freeman, and Gary Sick as experts who signed the report and served in Republican administrations. The Times did not mention that these men are now firmly on the left.

Korb may have been a Republican at one time but now works for the George Soros-funded Center for American Progress and was a surrogate for Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.

Wilkerson, Secretary of State Colin Powell’s chief of staff, joined the far Left as a fierce critic of the Republican party after Powell stepped down. He has called for George W. Bush and Dick Cheney to be charged with war crimes over the Iraq War.

Freeman, a former ambassador to Saudi Arabia and assistant defense secretary for international affairs in Republican administrations, blamed the “Israel Lobby” for forcing him to withdraw from accepting a top intelligence post in the Obama administration.

And then there is Gary Sick, who the Times identifies as “a Columbia University scholar who served on the National Security Council under Reagan as well as Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter.” Sick is better known for circulating a false story in 1980 that that the Reagan campaign persuaded the Iranian government to not free U.S. hostages until after the 1980 election to ensure President Carter’s defeat.

How could the Times fail to mention this report was issued by a group that is essentially Iran’s main lobbying arm in the United States? How could it ignore the strong pro-Iran bias in this report? How could the Times not mention the troubling backgrounds of the signatories like Wilkerson, Freeman, Sick, and others?

Most importantly, why did the Times article not admit the NIAC report has zero credibility and will be completely ignored by the Trump administration?

The answer to these questions is that the New York Times has no interest in changing its ways and doing honest reporting. It remains a propaganda organ of the Left. Fortunately, the Timeshas lost so much credibility that few take articles such as its NIAC-report story seriously.

For a fair and balanced discussion of how President Trump should deal with Iran, see my November 14, 2016, National Review article, “Yes, Trump’s Going to Dump the Iran Deal.”

White House Echo Chamber Architect to Keynote Pro-Iran Lobby Conference

August 25, 2016

White House Echo Chamber Architect to Keynote Pro-Iran Lobby Conference, Washington Free Beacon, August 25, 2016

FILE - In this Feb. 16, 2016 file photo Deputy National Security Adviser For Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes speaks in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. The White House is working to contain the damage caused by a magazine profile of one of President Barack Obama's top aides. In a blog post published late Sunday, May 8, 2016, Rhodes said the public relations campaign he created to sell the Iran nuclear deal was intended only "to push out facts." Rhodes says outside groups that participated "believed in the merits of the deal." (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

Ben Rhodes (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

The Sept. 25 event also is being co-sponsored by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, a philanthropic group that has been criticized for funding anti-Israel activities and organizations that support boycotts of the Jewish state. The fund bankrolls some of the leading backers of the global BDS movement against Israel, which has raised concerns among some that the administration is breaking its promises to oppose this movement.

The NIAC event is being viewed as another sign that the White House is seeking to boost these organizations in return for their efforts to push the nuclear deal and support the pro-Iran “echo chamber.”

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The senior White House official who bragged about creating a pro-Iran “echo chamber” to mislead Americans about last summer’s nuclear agreement is scheduled to keynote a conference sponsored by an organization that has long been accused of acting as a pro-Tehran lobbying front.

Ben Rhodes, a top national security adviser to President Obama, is slated to be the keynote speaker at an upcoming gathering hosted by the National Iranian American Council, or NIAC, which played a key role in bolstering the nuclear agreement and has long operated under suspicion that it acts as Tehran’s lobbying shop.

NIAC

Rhodes has been engulfed in a growing scandal following the revelation that he enlisted a roster of journalists and experts to spin the public in favor of the deal.

Outside organizations such as NIAC and the Ploughshares Fund, which is co-sponsoring the upcoming conference, were cited as key parts of the White House’s effort to mislead the public about the deal.

The Sept. 25 event also is being co-sponsored by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, a philanthropic group that has been criticized for funding anti-Israel activities and organizations that support boycotts of the Jewish state. The fund bankrolls some of the leading backers of the global BDS movement against Israel, which has raised concerns among some that the administration is breaking its promises to oppose this movement.

The NIAC event is being viewed as another sign that the White House is seeking to boost these organizations in return for their efforts to push the nuclear deal and support the pro-Iran “echo chamber.”

“Pro-Iran lobbies like NIAC were helpful to Ben Rhodes when he created his echo chamber to sell the Iran nuclear deal and the Iran money-for-hostages deal,” said one senior foreign policy consultant who has worked with Congress on the Iran deal. “It’s only fair that Rhodes would return the favor by keynoting NIAC’s conference. It’s not clear what he’ll talk about more: Iran developing its nuclear program, Iran expanding across the region, or Iran seizing more American hostages including those with close links to NIAC itself.”

The NIAC conference also will be attended by Rep. Jared Huffman (D., Calif.), an Iran deal backer, according to an invitation for the event circulated by NIAC.

NIAC makes note of Rhodes’ efforts to deepen diplomacy with the Islamic Republic in its invitation.

The event’s top billed sponsors include Ploughshares and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

Ploughshares, a longtime funder of pro-Iran organizations and media outlets, has found itself on defense in recent months following disclosure of its role in Rhodes’ “echo chamber.”

Ploughshares funded writers and organizations in order to create a network of Iran deal “validators” who could influence public opinion at the White House’s behest.

Most recently, the Washington Free Beacon disclosed that a Washington Post contributor who touted the administration’s $400 million payment to Iran had been funded by Ploughshares. Neither the Post nor the writer disclosed this fact.

Ploughshares also moved money to National Public Radio to influence its coverage of the Iran deal.