This week on CounterSpin: Old official assumptions about Iran have been swept away by a National Intelligence Estimate that says Iran scuttled its nuclear weapons program years ago. But will journalists question the whole new set of official (and in many ways no less belligerent) assumptions that seem to be emerging in the wake of the NIE? We'll talk to lawyer and peace and security expert Asli Bâli.
Also on the show: If you're looking for a thoughtful balanced explanation of the constitutional referendum in Venezuela that was narrowly defeated this past week, the U.S. corporate press corps is not going to be your best bet, what with all the gleeful crowing about "shutting up" Hugo Chávez, as a New York Times op-ed had it. It requires some effort to understand how a story about a referendum could be presented as underscoring a president's dictatorial nature. We'll get some help from Venezuela-watcher Mark Weisbrot, of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.
— The U.S. and the Iranian Nuclear Impasse, by Asli Ü. Bâli (Middle East Report, Winter/06)
— Venezuela is Not Florida, by Mark Weisbrot (McClatchy Tribune, 12/5/07)