November 18, 2004

An Intellectual Exercise I

A Paris based Iranian exile group is accusing Tehran of continuing to enrich uranium at a large estate in northwest Tehran. The last is according to Debka so add salt, but it might be worthwhile to review how such a claim would be discredited in a free society if it were false.

The county clerk would have the owner of record and the ownership chain, two facts that donít seem to be in evidence. The owner would be investigated, there would be journalists camped out at all entrances to the site, making a nuisance of themselves for anyone entering and leaving by investigating them until some sort of inspection was permitted to settle the question and it would have to not only satisfy the government but the paranoid wing of the press.

Much of this is unavailable in Iran as evidenced that itís not happening. Putting aside the politics of it all, it would be a great story that dangerous work (enriching uranium is quite dangerous, especially if you havenít already made your mistakes over the years) was going on in a residential neighborhood in the capital. That provides a powerful incentive in the form of sales and reputation for any news outlet that lands such a story. A free press not only holds governments to account but settles false rumors quickly that can endanger a government from both inside and out. Unfortunately for the mullahs, they have ensured they do not have such a safeguard. Most tyrants are not so far sighted.

Posted by TMLutas at November 18, 2004 09:09 AM