The hawks are circling Iran again

What the crap is this!? Here are some of today’s headlines:

If you just glanced at today’s headlines, would you think Iran was building a nuke and was likely to have it very soon? I certainly would. It’s only after you read the articles that you find out the actual “story” is that Iran theoretically has enough uranium atoms to make a bomb but would first need to enrich them to become weapons grade, and they won’t have the technical capability to do that for years to come. What the articles don’t even mention is that the uranium is part of Iran’s civilian power program, it’s purified enough to be used in a nuclear power plant but not a bomb, Iran has signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty under which it is given the inalienable right to civilian nuclear power but pledges not to pursue nuclear weapons, and the International Atomic Energy Agency has signed off on the whole program.

What kind of bullshit is this!? This is not newsworthy and will only confuse people more about Iran. It’s like saying that by living near the beach, I’ve amassed enough silicon to build my own computer from scratch (something I’ve thought would be cool to do for years: I want to start with raw materials and make a 2-function calculator or something). Except that when you get down to it, I’d still need to purify and dope the silicon, create transistors and then connect thousands of them in the right order to get anything close to the results I want. So, while it’s technically true that I’ve got access to enough silicon, I’m actually still years away from results (and not actively working on it in the first place). It’s a non-issue.

It really irks me that the press picks up on this drivel while ignoring things like, say, the terrorist building a dirty bomb on US soil, which seems far more interesting, relevant, imminent, and dangerous (original source on page 11 of this leaked FBI document). Bruce Schneier suggests that this isn’t pressworthy because the terrorist wasn’t Muslim. Hooray, anti-Muslim bias in the media!

To be fair, I’ve found three articles on Iran today whose headlines don’t seem overly misleading: Reuters’ Iran “not close” to nuclear weapon: Gates, Politico’s Gates and Mullen disagree on Iran (which at least mentions that not everyone in government thinks Iran is getting a nuke tomorrow, though it does sow the seeds of doubt), and the Tehran Times’ IAEA officials: All materials at Natanz under control (though honestly, no one is going to believe the Tehran Times if it’s the minority dissenting voice about Iranian operations).

and people wonder why I get so frustrated with the media.

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