The story continues to develop and not in a good way for Amir Taheri, the neocons, or for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which was instrumental in giving this story its legs.
I just heard about this and also received a heads up from Greg Sargent on this development.
A letter received today by Wiesenthal Center Dean, Rabbi Marvin Hier, written by Alicia Barnena, Acting Chef de Cabinet, on behalf of the Secretary General, said: “The Secretary-General, who is currently traveling in Asia, was disturbed by this report and asked me to look into this matter immediately. I have now done so, and an analysis of the law by the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Tehran finds that there are no suggestions or clauses within the law that refer to religious minorities and their dress, or that would support the serious concerns raised in the National Post story.”
“We are pleased that the United Nations is now involved in the matter and has confirmed that the current law does not have any dress codes for minorities,” said Rabbi Hier.
Forgive me if I find Rabbi Hier’s statement a big skimpy, especially considering they were willing to confirm it outright last Friday.
On that note, I’ve learned through an impeccable source that Rabbi Hier and the Simon Wiesenthal Center deny that Aaron Breitbart said any of the things I quoted in my reporting. I’m shocked, aren’t you? Hier even denies that anyone ever told me he worked for four hours to confirm the story in Iran, which is exactly what Breitbart said that also included the emphatic statements that the badge story was “absolutely true,” a “throwback” to the bad old days of Hitler, and it’s “very true” and “very scary.” But as this source also suggested, I shouldn’t waste any time on rebutting these boys. I don’t intend to, believe me. My notes are accurate, the quotes verbatim, all the way down to Breitbart’s, “It’s on Drugde.”
After a request from a reader, I also sent an email to the New York Post’s Andy Soltis yesterday, who was one of the authors of the “Fourth Reich” fantasy article. No response from him yet on whether they’re going to back away from their hyperbole. I encourage everyone who is interested in tamping down the volume on Iran to email Mr. Soltis. They, too, should be held accountable for being so irresponsible. LATE UPDATE: I just got off the phone with someone who confirmed my thoughts, which is that Soltis had NOTHING to do with the headline, which comes from the top. Who is at the top? Rupert Murdoch. I’ll get right on having him clarify that headline (–snark alert–).
Powerline is still trumpeting the story, not to mention carrying Taheri’s water for him. That Taheri’s Iranian badge story broke at the same time Olmert was in Washington simply cannot be a coincidence. What Taheri, John Turley-Ewert and even, I’m sad to say, the Simon Wiesenthal Center didn’t count on is my interest and reporting joining up with renowned reporter Larry Cohler-Esses, who took the story to its fullest, so far, in his article, ‘YELLOW’ JOURNALISM!! – Anatomy of a hoax: False story alleging special yellow insignia for Iranian Jews spurred by Wiesenthal Center’s flawed confirmation, in which I am a source.
Frankly, there’s still more to uncover here, starting with who wanted the Iranian badge story stirred up in the first place? Amir Taheri is part of Benador Associates, a neocon pr firm. I also believe that the Simon Wiesenthal Center isn’t blameless in this story. Follow the posts I’ve done reporting this story. It will become clear, but the bogus badge story is done.
Finally, I want to thank all my readers, especially those who took the time to get the truth out that I have done original reporting on this story from the start. I’m not one of the gigantic blogs, doing this all alone, so people were quick to give larger name URLs credit on a story that I was investigating from the start. Without my readers and my own tenacity to get credit for my work, I would have remained in the background. It’s not about blowing my horn, but the importance of having important reporting by a blogger acknowledged, when traditional journalists could not have cared less. Also, it’s just a fact that even people in the blogosphere aren’t quick to credit you if you’re on a new, smaller blog, which I understand, up to a point. But if anyone had bothered to read what I was doing they could ascertain that I had the goods on this one. My wonderful readers did and you’ll never know how grateful I’ve been for your support, comments and emails.
As way of running down thanks, the first … (UPDATE: I slighted my pal, Skippy, who had the story up early.) … to call me was Larry Cohler-Esses of The Jewish Week. It took a while to get credit for being a source, but he didn’t stop until it was made right. Through my guest blogging for Jane at FDL, I was able to truly blast the story to a wider audience. I’m so grateful to Jane for these chances. Today, I’ve now got links from TPM, Glenn Greenwald, MyDD, Andrew Sullivan @ Time, Moderate Voice, Liberal Oasis, with John at Crooks & Liars giving me a headline fitting of what a mother would write, just today. Thank you to everyone. It means the world to finally get support (on this story) from such an amazing group of big blogs, all of whom, besides Jane, are MEN.