The Corner

Retired American Ambassadors in Tehran

Beltway press watchers know that Barbara Slavin, a former reporter for USA Today and a former editor for the Washington Times, is a mistress of omission. On Tuesday, she penned a piece in ForeignPolicy.com about a nuclear conference in Tehran attended by two former American ambassadors, William Miller and William Luers. The American attendees have been outspoken proponents of unconditional engagement and all, like Slavin herself, have peddled conspiracy theories about U.S. policy toward Iran (indeed, this is the reason her colleagues say her USA Today editors eventually asked her to recuse herself from the subject).   Her essay is a great example of how journalists use omissions to color articles. Here is what Slavin says about Miller:

Miller, a former ambassador to Ukraine who has promoted dialogue with Iran for more than a decade since his retirement from the Foreign Service, said he hoped to gauge Iran’s position on nuclear matters and also get a sense of the political situation in the aftermath of June’s disputed presidential election and the largest public protests against the government since 1979.

Here is what Slavin neglected to mention, but even folks like the late Secretary of State Cyrus Vance spoke of: Prior to the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Miller had championed Ayatollah Khomeini’s cause and argued that Khomeini would be “a progressive force for human rights.” 

Alas, here we see one more example of agenda journalism, as well as an example of when so-called Track II diplomacy goes bad: Rather than engage American policymakers honestly, the Islamic Republic invites those who dismiss U.S. concerns. Rather than represent U.S. national-security interests, some retired ambassadors serve as useful idiots in Iranian propaganda theater. Let’s hope that Obama isn’t relying on apologists for Khomeini the way Carter did (Carter used Miller and Ramsey Clark as his early emissaries).

Michael RubinMichael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Civil-Military Relations, and a senior editor of the Middle East ...

Most Popular

Film & TV

Knives Out Takes On the Anti-Immigration Crowd

Since the beginning of the Obama era, the Left has broadcast two contradictory messages on the subjects of race and immigration. The first is that a so-called Coalition of the Ascendant will inevitably displace white Americans as the dominant force in the country’s politics and culture. The second is that ... Read More
Film & TV

Knives Out Takes On the Anti-Immigration Crowd

Since the beginning of the Obama era, the Left has broadcast two contradictory messages on the subjects of race and immigration. The first is that a so-called Coalition of the Ascendant will inevitably displace white Americans as the dominant force in the country’s politics and culture. The second is that ... Read More
From left: Harvard University's Noah Feldman, Stanford University's Pamela Karlan, University of North Carolina's Michael Gerhardt, and George Washington University's Jonathan Turley testify before the House Judiciary Committee hearing on the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, December 4, 2019.

The Impeachment Eye Test

To put it mildly, the 1960s were not notorious for juridical modesty. They might compare favorably, though, to Wednesday’s episode of “The Lawyer Left Does Impeachment” at the House Judiciary Committee. Oh, I have no doubt that the three progressive constitutional scholars spotlighted by Democrats yearn in ... Read More
From left: Harvard University's Noah Feldman, Stanford University's Pamela Karlan, University of North Carolina's Michael Gerhardt, and George Washington University's Jonathan Turley testify before the House Judiciary Committee hearing on the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, December 4, 2019.

The Impeachment Eye Test

To put it mildly, the 1960s were not notorious for juridical modesty. They might compare favorably, though, to Wednesday’s episode of “The Lawyer Left Does Impeachment” at the House Judiciary Committee. Oh, I have no doubt that the three progressive constitutional scholars spotlighted by Democrats yearn in ... Read More
Culture

The Absurd Crusade against the Salvation Army

We all know some individuals who are so obviously good and kind that we are certain if anyone were to dislike them, that's all we would need to know about the person. We would immediately assume he or she is a bad person. To hate the manifestly good is a sure sign of being bad. Such is the case regarding the ... Read More
Culture

The Absurd Crusade against the Salvation Army

We all know some individuals who are so obviously good and kind that we are certain if anyone were to dislike them, that's all we would need to know about the person. We would immediately assume he or she is a bad person. To hate the manifestly good is a sure sign of being bad. Such is the case regarding the ... Read More
White House

Nancy Pelosi’s Case

Further to the post below, a couple of thoughts on Nancy Pelosi’s statement yesterday. She said this near the beginning: During the constitutional convention, James Madison, the architect of the Constitution, warned that a president might betray his trust to foreign powers which might prove fatal to the ... Read More
White House

Nancy Pelosi’s Case

Further to the post below, a couple of thoughts on Nancy Pelosi’s statement yesterday. She said this near the beginning: During the constitutional convention, James Madison, the architect of the Constitution, warned that a president might betray his trust to foreign powers which might prove fatal to the ... Read More