New Pentagon Office Pushes For More Hardline Broadcasts In Iran

rumsfeldshot.jpg McClatchy news service reports today that the Pentagon has drafted a report “charging that U.S. international broadcasts into Iran aren’t tough enough on the Islamic regime,” an indication that elements within the administration continue to push for a more confrontational policy toward Iran:

The report appears to be a gambit by some officials in Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld’s office and elsewhere to gain sway over television and radio broadcasts into Iran, one of the few direct tools the United States has to reach the Iranian people.

These efforts are being coordinated out of a new “Iran Directorate,” which has been compared to the Office of Special Plans, the controversial intelligence analysis unit established before the war in Iraq that provided cherry-picked intelligence to Rumsfeld and the White House.

U.S. broadcasting officials who have read the Iran Directorate’s report say it is “riddled with errors” and a “thinly veiled” attack on Voice of America and its charter, which states that “VOA news will be accurate, objective, and comprehensive.”

McClatchy notes that veterans of government broadcasting “say that not even during the Cold War – with the exception of the 1956 uprising in Hungary – did such news organizations as the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty call for the overthrow of adversary governments. Rather, they said, they serve as sources of objective news and models of how democracies operate.”

Kevin Drum has more.

— Kindra Wilson