If you weren’t near a TV or computer screen Monday morning, you missed the most riveting reality TV since O.J. took off in his Ford Bronco. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented an infomercial-style address, complete with giant screen and props, in which he literally pulled back the curtain to expose Iran’s secret program to develop nuclear warheads for missiles. Netanyahu yanked a black drapery off of a large bookshelf full of files and another off a display cabinet full of CDs to illustrate the 55,000 pages of documents and 55,000 computer files obtained on Iran's nuclear program by Israeli intelligence. He showed photos of the outside and inside of Iran’s secret nuclear facility, original documents in Farsi backing up what he said, and even secret Iranian videos of the experiments. Here’s a link to the full video:
His point: that Obama’s Iranian nuclear deal, which was predicated on Iran seeking nuclear reactors only for peaceful purposes, was “based on lies,” and here were over 100,000 files worth of proof. He said the US had verified the authenticity of the documents.
When asked about Netanyahu’s presentation, President Trump said, “You know in seven years that deal will have expired and Iran is free to go ahead and develop nuclear weapons. That’s not acceptable.” It's generally being taken to mean that one of the last teetering pillars of Obama's legacy is about to get bulldozed, and not a second too soon.
The response from defenders of the Obama Iran nuclear deal is that the files shown by Netanyahu were over 10 years old. Since then, we have been assured that they’ve abandoned any plans to build nuclear weapons and are in compliance. But as Netanyahu has pointed out before, allowing Iran to continue with a nuclear program while flooding them with money (Obama sent Iran $150 billion and lifted sanctions) doesn’t block them from developing nuclear weapons, it paves the way. Defense Secretary James Mattis, who supports the deal, said it was written with the assumption that Iran would try to cheat. I would certainly hope so! But the question is, why in the world should we trust Iran to build nuclear reactors and not bombs while assuming we can detect any cheating, if we obviously couldn’t before?
That’s the real point of Netanyahu’s presentation. It doesn’t matter that those files were from years ago. They don’t need to prove that Iran is cheating now (I assume that’s a given.) But they are solid proof that Iran has a history of lying and cheating to cover its covert efforts to build nuclear weapons with which to threaten the world, and they are perfectly capable of doing it without being detected by the US. Want more proof?
In 2015, as he was concluding negotiations with Iran, then-Secretary of State John Kerry pompously assured reporters that the US had “absolute knowledge” about Iran’s previous efforts to build nuclear weapons. Well, Netanyahu just revealed an entire warehouse worth of proof that we didn’t.
Of course, when their self-assured “absolute knowledge” that they’re right crumbles, the left always has its ace-in-the-hole – snide, frivolous mockery - to fall back on. On Twitter, Netanyahu was mocked for his outdated presentation (why did he show all the paper files and CDs; hasn’t he heard of thumb drives?) Maybe he just thought that if he illustrated it in a way that could make clear even to a dimwitted egomaniac the immensity of the boneheaded blunder that was made in believing we knew what Iran was up to in secret, his critics might finally have the humility to admit they’d been duped.
Well, if I want sarcasm, I’d rather get it from a professional, like conservative satirist Iowahawk, who tweeted this response to Netanyahu’s big reveal of the Obama Administration’s foreign policy ineptitude:
“I have a hard time believing a foreign policy brain trust made up of America’s top failed novelists and campaign van drivers could get things wrong.”
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