Hillary Emails – Top Deputy Boasts: We ‘Shaped’ New York Times Coverage of Iran Engagement

Kevin Lamarque / Reuters
Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

TEL AVIV – The latest batch of Hillary Clinton’s emails released by the State Department on Friday – reviewed in full by Breitbart Jerusalem – contains one dispatch from a former top Clinton deputy boasting of helping to “shape” a lengthy New York Times article explaining the Obama administration’s decision to engage Iran.

The July 24, 2009 email was from Philip J. Crowley, then Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs. It was sent to numerous Obama administration officials and forwarded to Clinton by her senior aide, Cheryl Mills.

Crowley’s dispatch concerned a piece released six days later by columnist Roger Cohen in the New York Times Magazine. Titled “The Making of an Iran Policy,” the article sought to describe the genesis of the Obama administration’s thought process on engaging Tehran.

Cohen was highly friendly toward the new rapprochement policy, calling the prospect of future normalization with Iran a “heady idea” that would “create a far less dangerous world.”

In his email, Crowley seemed to predict what would be inside Cohen’s forthcoming Times piece while discussing the work done to “shape” the article.

The email stated:

FYI, there will be a major piece in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine on the Iranian election written by Roger Cohen. Roger spent several weeks in Tehran in the run-up and immediate aftermath of the vote. It will touch the implications of what happened on the prospects for engagement.

A small part of the story will focus on Dennis Ross, who spent time with Roger both before he traveled and after he returned. Dennis laid out for Roger the basic premises behind our offer to engage and the questions that remain even today. Bill Burns and Ray Takeyh spent some time with him as well. We expect it to be a straightforward piece and did a lot of work to help shape it. Obviously its publication will ensure Iran questions when the Secretary appears on Meet the Press.

In his article, Cohen sets up Obama’s engagement policy by claiming the Bush administration’s “ideologically driven axis-of-evil approach to Iran had failed. Tehran had prospered by expanding its regional influence and was accelerating its nuclear program.”

“The Obama administration believed it was time to seek normalization through a new, cooler look at a nation critical to U.S. strategic interests — from advancing Israeli-Arab peace negotiations to a successful withdrawal from Iraq,” writes Cohen.

For Cohen, normalization with Iran “is a heady idea, comparable to the China breakthrough of 1972. It would create a far less dangerous world. The history-making idea captivated Obama, and it lingers still. Engagement remains on the table, and its unsettling effect on Iran’s domestic politics seems likely to endure.”

Cohen was not fazed by Iran’s support for terrorism or its violent suppression only weeks earlier of protesters who disputed the allegedly fraudulent election victory of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The columnist wrote: “Restored relations with the Soviet Union came in 1933 at the time of the Great Terror, and with China in 1972 in the middle of the Cultural Revolution. But of course the bloodshed then — of an altogether different dimension — was not being YouTubed around the globe.”

Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.


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