Politics & Policy

PolitiFact’s ‘Fact Check’ Misses the Truth about the Iran Deal

(Vahid Reza Alaei/AFP/Getty)

As I wrote in my new book A Time for Truth, “PolitiFact” represents a new species of yellow journalism, where liberal reporters dress up as “facts” their liberal opinions and accuse anyone who disagrees with them of “lying.”

An article published last week by the outlet is a perfect example. It purports to “fact check” my recent statement that President Obama’s Iranian nuclear deal will “facilitate and accelerate the nation of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons.” The reporter concludes that the statement is objectively “false.”

He does so based on three alleged “facts”:

1. In this deal, the Iranian regime has promised not to develop nuclear weapons;

2. Their promise is reliable because either (a) the mullahs are entirely truthful and honest or (b) we will somehow magically know if they are cheating and breaking the deal;

3. So therefore, since they’ve promised not to develop nuclear weapons and PolitiFact has decided to take them at their word, it is a “lie” to say that they will in fact develop nuclear weapons.

It doesn’t take a logician to see where the syllogism breaks down. “Fact” No. 2 is not a fact — it is a subjective judgment call which, when considered in the context of Tehran’s track record, is laughingly, obviously false.

Here are three real facts, which PolitiFact conveniently ignores.

First, Iran’s leaders are not only frank and open about their history of cheating on international deals, they have also bluntly told us their prime objective, which is to destroy both Israel and the United States:

‐The current president of Iran, Hasan Rouhani, boasted in a television interview in 2013 that he had participated in violating the 2003 Tehran Declaration by which Iran was supposed to suspend their nuclear program. No such thing had happened, Rouhani declared proudly, because despite their protestations of cooperation to a visiting European delegation, “We did not let that happen!”

‐Just five months ago, while the nuclear negotiations were ongoing, Iranian commander Mohammad Reza Naghdi, the head of the Basij paramilitary forces, announced: “The destruction of Israel is non-negotiable.”

‐Just last week, as Congress was preparing to vote on the nuclear deal, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei tweeted that “God willing” there would be no Israel in 25 years, and that those years would be made miserable for Israel because of constant attacks by jihadists. Khamenei illustrated the tweet with a picture of himself walking on an Israeli flag, in case there was any doubt about his message.

‐Just yesterday, Ayatollah Khamenei released a video proclaiming Iran’s ability to defeat the United States in battle, featuring a simulated storming of an American vessel and affirming Tehran’s support for the terrorist militia Hezbollah.

This is the regime PolitiFact recommends we trust.

#share#Second, under President Obama’s nuclear deal, more than $100 billion would flow directly to Iran as economic sanctions are relaxed and frozen assets released. This extraordinary windfall will give the Supreme Leader the tools and resources to greatly accelerate the nuclear program. The deal also lifts the ban on ballistic-missile materials being imported into Iran, making it all the easier for Iran to finish their ongoing ICBM research and develop a missile that can carry a nuclear warhead across the Atlantic to America. And if these projects take a little time to reach fruition, the money will be of immediate use funding Iran’s already-active terrorist proxies and rogue client regimes, including Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Houthi, as well as Syria’s murderous dictator Bashar al-Assad, who has already gotten a billion-dollar line of credit.

The so-called inspections regime that is supposed to guarantee Tehran’s compliance with the deal is on its face absurdly ineffective.

Third, the so-called inspections regime that is supposed to guarantee Tehran’s compliance with the deal is on its face absurdly ineffective. Just a few months ago, the Obama administration promised “anytime-anywhere” inspections that would be the most intrusive ever implemented — and for which American taxpayers would foot the bulk of the $150 million estimated price tag.

Instead, we have learned this crucial program isn’t even part of the plan submitted to Congress, it is a secret side-deal — the details of which are allegedly not even known to the Obama administration, let alone Congress — but here are some things we do know:

1. Certain “military” facilities are off-limits to inspectors, although they could be used to conduct research on nuclear-weapons technology;

2. For all other facilities, Iran gets 24 days’ notice before any inspections (which ensures maximum time to remove any evidence); and

3. Even then, no American inspectors will be allowed and, most outrageously, in certain circumstances Iran will inspect itself, and report back on the “results.”

That is a program that virtually ensures we will not know if and when Iran develops a nuclear weapon until they actually test and detonate their first bomb.

Now, PolitiFact might naively choose to agree with President Obama and John Kerry that the Iranian regime will be true to their word and carry out their self-inspections in good faith, and use their $100 billion signing bonus to improve their energy infrastructure and fund cancer research. But that belief, most emphatically, is not a fact.

Theocratic zealots like Ayatollah Khamenei and his fellow mullahs who embrace death and suicide cannot necessarily be deterred by ordinary cost-benefit analysis.

Indeed history strongly indicates the contrary. This catastrophic deal was negotiated by Wendy Sherman, who also negotiated essentially the same deal with North Korea in the 1990s. In that deal, the Clinton administration led the world in relaxing sanctions against North Korea, billions flowed into North Korea, and they used those billions to develop nuclear weapons.

In PolitiFact’s world, where liberal opinions are deemed incontrovertible “facts,” anyone saying in the 1990s that the Clinton deal would only accelerate North Korea’s developing nuclear weapons would have been objectively “lying.” Right up until the moment when North Korea detonated their first nuclear test. (Today, estimates are that they might have upwards of 50 nuclear weapons.)

With Iran, the consequences are far more dangerous. Theocratic zealots like Ayatollah Khamenei and his fellow mullahs who embrace death and suicide cannot necessarily be deterred by ordinary cost-benefit analysis.

#related#The United States can still stop this deal. Congress has the legal authority to do so, and I have spelled out three very simple actions that can be taken to stop this disastrous process, if our Congressional leadership will simply seize the opportunity.

The notion that the terms of President Obama’s deal will in any way prevent Tehran from getting a nuclear bomb is fanciful at best. There is a much stronger factual basis to assert that sending $100 billion dollars to a rogue regime that has considered itself at war with America for more than 35 years, is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, and has been lying about its clandestine nuclear program for a decade is just plain foolish. And it is profoundly dangerous. And that’s a fact even PolitiFact should be able to recognize.

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