In the wake of GOP leaders expressing optimism that they can defeat the Obama Administration’s recent nuclear deal with Iran, CNN’s Carol Costello brought retired Air Force General Merrill McPeak on to her show to insist the only alternative to this deal is war. He is one of 36 retired Generals and Admirals who recently signed on to a letter supporting the Obama administration’s negotiation results. The deal limits Americans from being able to access Iran’s nuclear facilities, and requires a 24 day waiting period before any inspections can be conducted.
General McPeak ignored questions about what Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, would do with the more than $100 billion that is currently frozen in international bank accounts due to US-imposed sanctions set to lifted under this deal. Rather he went straight to suggesting that Iran was just about to obtain a bomb, and Obama stopped them in their tracks:
CAROL COSTELLO, host: Opponents say specifically, though, that if we lift the sanctions, Iran will be flooded with all of this money, its economy will grow and then it will acquire enough resources to actually build a bomb. Maybe ten years from now it will do it, but it will be there. And there's Israel sitting right in that neighborhood.
GEN. MERRILL MCPEAK: Well, let's be clear. Iran was building a bomb. They were within months probably of having some kind of capability. That's been stopped already. And so to say that the implication is they didn't have the resources before to build a bomb. Of course they did. That’s what this negotiation has been all about giving at least a ten-year pause in their ability to build a bomb, rather than being months away. So I don't think that argument makes any sense.
The liberal CNN host seemed okay with him not addressing the consequences of this cash influx, and moved on to addressing the deal’s lack of “anytime, anywhere” inspections. The retired General seemed to suggest that not only are these terms completely effective, they might actually be too oppressive on Iran.
COSTELLO: The other concern that opponents have is that nuclear weapons inspectors will be allowed inside Iran at any time supposedly, but they have to have this 24 day delay. A lot of people say, really?
MCPEAK: I think this is a very intrusive inspection regime. I don't think we would want to have our nuclear facilities inspected on such terms. I doubt very seriously if Israel would like to have its nuclear facilities inspected on these terms. So I don't think you can hide or cover up or sweep under the rug a large scale nuclear program in 24 days. It just doesn't work. So I'm convinced professionally that this inspection regime will be effective.
It would seem if Iran were within a month or two of obtaining the ability to construct a nuclear bomb, a former high ranking military official would be concerned that the current waiting period for inspections is nearly long enough for them to complete that task.
But perhaps an even bigger question is why CNN is promoting the opinions of a known vocal critic of the state of Israel? On multiple occasions, McPeak has criticized Israel and its supporters, including a call for them to return to their pre-1967 borders, as well as this comment criticizing Christians who are concerned about Israel’s security in the Middle-East:
Let’s say that one of your abiding concerns is the security of Israel as opposed to a purely American self-interest, then it would make sense to build a dozen or so [military] bases in Iraq.
Let’s say you are a born-again Christian and you think that Armageddon and the rapture are about to happen any minute and what you want to do is retrace steps you think are laid out in Revelations, then it makes sense. So there are a number of scenarios here that could lead you in this direction. This is radical. The secret of the neoconservative movement is that it’s not conservative, it’s radical.
CNN and Carol Costello appear more than willing to give control of a news segment to an Obama-supporting former general with an obvious anti-Israel, anti-Christian prejudice. It’s pretty obvious that the network is doing whatever it takes to spin president Obama’s liberal foreign policy agenda in a favorable light.