Zumwalt: Obama Used ‘Fake News’ to Sell the Iran Nuclear Deal

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

During a press conference last month with German leader Angela Merkel in Berlin, President Barack Obama provided us with a “Jesse Jackson moment.”

For those who have forgotten, in 1998, as the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal reared its ugly head, Reverend Jesse Jackson offered President Bill Clinton his services as a spiritual advisor.

It would turn out the offer represented the height of hypocrisy by the right good—and married—reverend. It was later learned, Jackson provided his services while quietly living under the cloud of having fathered an illegitimate child months earlier. Apparently the lure of moving forward into the spotlight proved stronger for Jackson than the pull of a guilty conscience restraining him.

Keeping this Jackson “moment” in mind, Obama exhibited his own hypocritical chutzpah. While his did not involve a sex scandal, U.S. national security would have fared better if it had. 

During his November press conference with Merkel, Obama lamented the age of fake news stories was upon us. He observed: “…In an age where there is so much active misinformation and it’s packaged very well…If we are not serious about facts and what’s true and what’s not…we can’t discriminate between serious arguments and propaganda, then we have problems. If everything seems to be the same, no distinctions are made, then we won’t know what to protect. We won’t know what to fight for. We can lose so much of what we’ve gained…”

And now, as the late radio personality Paul Harvey would say, for “the rest of the story…”

In making the observation above, Obama appears to have ignored one of the most glaring abuses of media manipulation not only conducted by his administration but brazenly boasting about it after successfully doing so. 

Ben Rhodes, who serves in Obama’s inner circle, is described by other White House staffers as “the single most influential voice shaping American foreign policy aside from POTUS himself.” The under forty “Boy Wonder” apparently had the ability to “mind-meld” with Obama.

For this reason, as Obama sought to negotiate a nuclear deal with Iran, Rhodes became the tip of the spear in seeking to influence the media to support the effort. He apparently cared little about how this was done.

In July 2015, Rhodes announced he was launching a Twitter account “dedicated to delivering the facts and answering your questions about the deal and how it enhances American national security.”

Keeping in mind under the final deal negotiated, a path is provided by which Tehran eventually can acquire nuclear weapons. Additionally, it outrageously allows the mullahs to collect their own soil samples for testing at a site where it is believed nuclear testing has occurred. However, Rhodes painted a completely contrary picture writing:

“I’ve been working closely with America’s negotiating team, which was tasked with finding a way to achieve a diplomatic resolution that prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Last week, after two years of tough negotiations, our team along with our international partners achieved just that. It’s a historic deal. It blocks every possible pathway Iran could use to build a bomb while verifying — through a comprehensive inspections and transparency regime — that Iran’s nuclear program remains exclusively peaceful.”

While claiming various falsehoods circulated about the deal, Rhodes (unknowingly to the media) then made some of his own. He gave assurances of “unprecedented access to Iranian nuclear facilities — including 24/7, continuous monitoring.” He concluded, “We’re ready to set the record straight about how we are successfully preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon — a crucial part of creating a safer, more secure world. Thanks, and stay tuned for more.” 

But months after the deal was concluded, Rhodes, like Jackson, could not pass up the opportunity to get into the spotlight. In May 2016, Rhodes boasted, “The Obama administration cooked up a phony story to sell Americans on the Iranian nuke deal, lying that US officials were dealing with ‘moderates’ in the Islamic theocracy who could be trusted to keep their word.” He took credit for helping to create the false narrative Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was a moderate. He justified this by adding, “the public would not have accepted the deal had it known that Iranian hard-liners were still calling the shots.”

Thus, the mind-melding team of Obama and Rhodes apparently felt they knew better than anyone else what was best for America vis-à-vis Iran. The end product of that mind-meld and of deceiving the American public and Congress is a nuclear deal heavily weighted in Tehran’s favor. This dynamic duo claimed such action necessary as Congress was incapable of “reasoned public debate.”

Eighteen years ago, Jesse Jackson, having fathered an illegitimate child, felt no guilt in preaching about spirituality. There was a certain irony last month in watching Obama, having fathered illegitimate news stories, feel no guilt about our heeding them. 


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