News Release

Iraq to Iran: Propaganda for War


McGovern was a CIA analyst for 27 years and is on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. He just wrote the piece “A Neocon Preps U.S. for War with Iran,” which states: “I guess I was naïve in thinking that The Atlantic and its American-Israeli writer Jeffrey Goldberg might shy away from arguing for yet another war — this one with Iran — while the cauldrons are still boiling in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“It’s worth remembering how Goldberg helped to make the case for the U.S. invasion of Iraq. For instance, on Oct. 3, 2002, as America’s war fever was building, Goldberg wrote in Slate, the online magazine: ‘The [Bush] administration is planning … to launch what many people would undoubtedly call a short-sighted and inexcusable act of aggression. In five years, however, I believe that the coming invasion of Iraq will be remembered as an act of profound morality.’ …

“Goldberg’s mission this time? Pitching war with Iran. This time, Goldberg and the Israelis want us to buy into a syllogism without a valid major premise. Their argument presupposes that Iran has made the decision to develop nuclear weapons and is hard at work on such a program, which is what they want Americans to believe whether there’s evidence or not. …

“The [most recent, 2007] National Intelligence Estimate’s first sentence conveyed the unanimous conclusion of all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies: ‘We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program; we also assess with moderate-to-high confidence that Tehran at a minimum is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons.'”

Schwarz, a contributor to Mother Jones magazine, just wrote the piece “Jeffrey Goldberg Still America’s Preeminent Propagandist,” which quotes Goldberg now claiming that “Israel has twice before successfully attacked and destroyed an enemy’s nuclear program. In 1981, Israeli warplanes bombed the Iraqi reactor at Osirak, halting — forever, as it turned out — Saddam Hussein’s nuclear ambitions,” while in 2002 Goldberg was claiming “Saddam Hussein never gave up his hope of turning Iraq into a nuclear power. After the Osirak attack, he rebuilt, redoubled his efforts, and dispersed his facilities.”

Schwarz is co-author of Our Kampf, a book of political humor. He blogs at

See also Glenn Greenwald’s recent piece, which cites Schwarz: “How propagandists function: Exhibit A

Also, “The Atlantic’s Iran Debate … Or Echo Chamber” and “The Campaign to Turn Iran into an ‘Existential Threat'” at

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167