Wednesday, May 31, 2006

GIGO - Garbage in, garbage out

Last week a Canadian newspaper, The National Post, published an erroneous story claiming that an Iranian law would require Jews and Christians to wear badges identifying them as religiois minorities. Today that same paper apologized for the error. The story was repeated and although the Iranians do evil and immoral activities on a daily basis, they didn't do this. (Yet?). The false story brought immediate comparisons between Iran and Nazi Germany when Jews were forced to wear a yellow star identifying them as Jews.

The United States criticized the proposed clothing law. The Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, a Jewish human rights group, sent a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan asking him to investigate. Iranian officials labeled the newspaper account a lie, and this time their claims were actually true, the story was false.

Douglas Kelly, editor-in-chief of the National Post, ran a lengthy column explaining that the story was based on a column by Amir Taheri, an Iranian author and journalist, and two expatriate Iranians living in Canada.

"We acknowledge that on this story, we did not exercise sufficient caution and skepticism, and we did not check with enough sources," Kelly wrote. "We apologize for the mistake and for the consternation it has caused not just National Post readers, but the broader public who read the story."

Any comment from Taheri who came up with this fabricated story? Any thoughts from him on the bad or faulty intelligence he got? Any mea culpa from Taheri? He probably was too busy meeting with the President, yes our President W, at the White House as one of a small group of "experts" on Iraq. Is it any wonder our government makes bad decisions?


Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

So no, he doesn't actually know what goes on in Iran, but he slept in a Holiday Inn last night.

1:34 PM  
Blogger Odysseus said...

They have a name for this in the military. It's called "psy-ops," or psychologly operations, newspeak for targeted propaganda.

6:18 PM  
Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

Sounds like he's another Ahmed Chalabi.

10:05 PM  

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