Ben Rhodes, Creator of Iran Deal ‘Echo Chamber’, Complains About NYT Coverage of Soleimani Strike

Ben Rhodes and Obama (Charles Dharapak / Associated Press)
Charles Dharapak / Associated Press

Ben Rhodes, the former national security aide to President Barack Obama who created the notorious “echo chamber” to spread fake news about the Iran deal, complained on Saturday that the media was not critical enough of President Donald Trump’s airstrike against Iranian general Qassem Soleimani last week.

Rhodes retweeted a complaint about a New York Times article on Friday whose headline declared, “Trump Says He Ordered Killing of Iranian to Prevent New Attack on Americans.”

The headline did not vouch for the truth, or otherwise, of Trump’s claim, merely reporting that he had made it.

Ironically, Rhodes once admitted creating what he called an “echo chamber” to sell the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran to the American public.

In a 2016 profile, “The Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama’s Foreign-Policy Guru,” the Times reported:

Rhodes’s war room did its work on Capitol Hill and with reporters. In the spring of last year, legions of arms-control experts began popping up at think tanks and on social media, and then became key sources for hundreds of often-clueless reporters. “We created an echo chamber,” he admitted, when I asked him to explain the onslaught of freshly minted experts cheerleading for the deal. “They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.”

Contrary to what many experts — including in the administration itself — had been led to believe by the “echo chamber,” the deal did not stop Iran from eventually developing a nuclear weapon, nor did it preclude Iran from ballistic missile development.

Iran also benefited from gaining access to up to $150 billion in previously frozen assets, plus nearly $2 billion in cash flown in the dead of night on cargo pallets to secure the release of Americans effectively being held as hostages. Moreover, as a trove of hidden documents uncovered by Israeli spies in Iran revealed, Iran had no intention of abandoning its nuclear program.

Curiously, the Times headline on the article Rhodes complained about has apparently been changed to: “U.S. and Iran Exchange More Threats as Democrats Question Timing of Strike.”

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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