The moment I spotted a New York post article headlined, “Obama tried to stall GI’s Iraq withdrawl,” my bullshit meter was on high alert. A little light research immediately brought up the writer’s past history of misinterpreting information and standing by stories not backed up by the facts.
The journalist in question, Amir Taheri contends that Barack Obama “tried in private to persuade Iraqi leaders to delay an agreement on a draw-down of the American military presence,” citing Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari.
According to Ben Smith of Politico, “An Obama aide accused Taheri of confusing the Status of Forces agreement with a Strategic Framework Agreement, for which Obama has pushed for congressional review.”
That the journalist would confuse anything seems to be in line with his less than reputable past.
In 2006, the National Post of Canada had to retract an article Taheri wrote claiming that Iranian parliament had passed a law requiring non-Muslims to wear clothing identifying their religion. Both Reuters and the Associated Press, or any other news agency who looked into the matter, could find any evidence of such a law even being proposed.
Taheri also accused Iran’s US ambassador Javad Zarif of participating in 1979 Iranian hostage crisis, even though Zarif was confirmed to be a teaching assistant at San Francisco State Univeristy at the same time. (via Wikipedia, which does cite sources on this, along with other instances where Taheri has been caught fabricating stories).
What makes this bothersome is that in spite of Taheri’s less than credible blackground, the New York Post, owned by the same parent company as Fox News, seems more than willing to print his material. Of course, don’t count on right wing bloggers to question the integrity of the journalist or to delve more deeply into the outrageous claims.