SecDef Mattis says Aussie report of US plan to bomb Iran is ‘fiction’
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported, and we passed along on Friday, that Australian government officials had been informed of US plans at attack Iran in August. But Secretary of Defense General James Mattis has completely dismissed this as “fiction.” The Australian Associated Press described him as looking “bewildered” when asked about it at the start of a press conference Friday:
A bewildered Mattis was quizzed by US reporters in Washington DC on Friday about the ABC report.
The 'exclusive' report quoted unnamed senior Australian government figures and claimed Australian defence facilities would likely play a role in identifying targets in Iran.
'I have no idea where the Australian news people got that information,' Mattis told reporters.
'I'm confident it is not something that's being considered right now, and I think it's a complete - frankly, it's - it's fiction.
'It's the best I can give you.'
Of course, if the report were true, he’d have to dismiss it. But I am not certain that General Mattis is such a capable actor as to be able to fake looking “bewildered” in front of a group of reporters. More likely, the report is false.
Which raises awkward questions for the ABC, a state-owned broadcaster that has a duty higher than ratings. No doubt, it had its sources within the Australian defense establishment. It is generally regarded as rather leftist in orientation.
So, was this a psy-ops maneuver, intended to heighten the anxiety of the mullahs, and perhaps inspire troop movements? Or, was it an effort of leftists in Australia to pre-empt the possibility of a US attack they might have feared?
It’s impossible to know any of this.
One thing is certain: there is some fake news flying around the world’s media. But I guess that’s not news.
Hat tip: John McMahon