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Stop Me if You've Heard This One Before
"It's an oddly familiar pattern of deception," writes Dan Froomkin. While President Bush continues to make ominous statements about Iran, since early August 2007 he has not made "explicit assertions of an Iranian nuclear weapons program." Instead, Bush has been "vaguely accusing [Iran] of seeking the knowledge necessary to make such a weapon." For instance, on March 31, Bush said, "Iran is trying to develop a nuclear weapon, and a major threat to world peace is if the Iranians had a nuclear weapon." On August 28, Bush criticized "Iran's active pursuit of technology that could lead to nuclear weapons." Froomkin writes that Bush's goal may have been to avoid "demonstrably false" statements while leaving "listeners with what he likely knew was a fundamentally false impression." A recent intelligence report concluded that Iran's nuclear weapons program ended in 2003. That news caused CNN to pull "We Were Warned -- Iran Goes Nuclear," a program scheduled to air on December 12. It featured "former high-ranking officials," including Christine Todd Whitman, playing out "a scenario set a few years in the future in which they responded to news of an Iranian nuclear weapons program," reports Philadelphia Daily News. Asked about the tenor of the show at a time when many are concerned about U.S. posturing towards Iran, CNN's Mark Nelson said, "We weren't fueling the fire."