In the movie “All the President’s Men” the Carl Bernstein character was dismayed to learn that the New York Times published a story he and Bob Woodward were sitting on.
If Jim LaPorta of Newsweek is to be believed, it happened again on Thursday. The New York Times splashed a headline claiming that the American military was in the process of a strike to retaliate against Iran for shooting down an unmanned drone over international waters when President Donald Trump himself called off the attack.
— Jim LaPorta (@JimLaPorta) June 21, 2019
That’s not very nice, but all’s fair in being first and having exclusives in what passes for journalism these days.
As for the attack being called off itself, the NYT had this to say:
As late as 7 p.m., military and diplomatic officials were expecting a strike, after intense discussions and debate at the White House among the president’s top national security officials and congressional leaders, according to multiple senior administration officials involved in or briefed on the deliberations.
Officials said the president had initially approved attacks on a handful of Iranian targets, like radar and missile batteries.
The operation was underway in its early stages when it was called off, a senior administration official said. Planes were in the air and ships were in position, but no missiles had been fired when word came to stand down, the official said.
Any such move would be sure to agitate war machine concerns in the United States, and President Trump has been very vocal about not going that route to solve world geopolitical issues.
So, why the head fake in this case? The answer may well be in President’s Trump’s remarks during a short press conversation with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday. There is undoubtedly something that the general public does not know. Those who read tea leaves can make of this what they will.