Media Tips on Dealing with Iran Drones Story

Officials at the Pentagon seem to be in a state of confusion over how to deal with the recent Washington Post story on U.S. intelligence-gathering drones flying over Iran. To be of some help, here is a list of several options to choose from, all of which the Pentagon has used as of late:

The Nonadmission Admission: Like in the case of the story that broke on Secretary Rumsfeld’s secret espionage unit, the Pentagon can admit fully to the story without admitting to it at all.

The Nitpicking Nondenial: As in its response to a New Yorker article that declared the “United States is conducting secret reconnaissance missions in Iran,” the Pentagon can dispute the details of the story without addressing the central claim.

The Denial, the Truth, and the Cover-Up: Similar to answering the question of whether the Bush administration ever described Iraq as an “imminent threat” (it did several times), the Pentagon can first deny the statement, then be confronted with the facts, and ultimately try to sweep everything under the rug.


If it looks like all else will fail, the Pentagon could try being upfront and candid from the beginning — but it has very little experience with that approach, so it might not be the best recommendation.