ABC Argues U.S. Military Wrong to Believe Iran Wanted to Kill Troops

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In 24-hours, ABC News went from touting Iran’s missile attack because they “kept [their] promise,” to insisting the U.S. military was wrong to say Iran was trying to kill U.S. troops. Seemingly working for the Ayatollah Broadcasting Company, World News Tonight anchor David Muir’s opening tease included a conspiracy theory that Iran was trying to be nice. “Iran launching missiles targeting two bases housing the U.S. military in Iraq. Did Iran intentionally miss U.S. troops,” he rhetorically asked viewers.

While kicking off the first segment, Muir quickly dismissed comments from Joint Chiefs Chairman General Mark Milley, who said Iran wanted to kill U.S. military personnel, as him just giving his “opinion” of what happened. “And late today, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs saying Iran did intend to kill personnel, that that was his opinion. But there was no loss of life,” Muir argued.

ABC’s senior foreign correspondent, Ian Pannell seemed to share Muir’s skepticism of General Milley’s intelligence. “A U.S. official confirming Iran firing nearly two dozen ballistic missiles on at least two U.S. targets, but incredibly, no U.S. or Iraqi casualties. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff believes the goal of the strikes was to kill,” the reporter scoffed.

 

 

Immediately following the video portion of the report, Muir teed up Pannell to make the argument for why Iran supposedly didn’t want to hurt U.S. troops and how the military was wrong to suggest otherwise:

MUIR: So, let's get right to Ian Pannell, with us live tonight again from Iraq. And Ian, you know there has been a lot of talk about whether Iran intentionally missed targets, whether that was a tactical decision on their part.

PANNELL: Yes, I think many feel it's possible, not just in the lack of accuracy, but also the sites that were chosen, because there are many other bases the Iranians could have targeted to inflict mass casualties and maximum damage. But that would have forced a significant U.S. retaliation.

However, the Pentagon doesn't see it like that. They are insisting this was an attack designed to kill American troops,” Pannell whined.

Bizarrely, those comments came moments after Pannell hyped satellite photos showing structures on the bases hit and destroyed by Iranian missiles. There was literally no way for Iran to know which buildings were occupied and which were not. Their technological capabilities were nowhere near that advanced.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

ABC’s World News Tonight
January 8, 2020
6:30:17 p.m. Eastern

DAVID MUIR: Tonight, at the edge of war, the U.S. and Iran now backing off. And tonight, the new images. Inside the attack. Iran launching missiles targeting two bases housing the U.S. military in Iraq. Did Iran intentionally miss U.S. troops? Tonight, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs saying otherwise, now saying Iran did intend to kill personnel.

(…)

6:32:01 p.m. Eastern

MUIR: Good evening and it's great to have you with us here on a very busy Wednesday night. And we begin tonight with the U.S. and Iran, appearing to back away. At the edge of war after the Iranian missile strike on military bases housing the U.S. military in Iraq. Iranian state TV now showing some of the more than 20 missiles launched from Iran into Iraq. Many of them aimed at the Al Asad airbase in western Iraq. Satellite images tonight of the damage.

And late today, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs saying Iran did intend to kill personnel, that that was his opinion. But there was no loss of life. And tonight, President Trump telling the American people, quote, “Iran appears to be standing down.” No U.S. Military response, but imposing harsh new sanctions. Will it end there?

Also tonight, new reports of explosions inside Baghdad's green zone. What we have learned on that headline as well, tonight. We begin with ABC's senior foreign correspondent Ian Pannell. He's in Iraq.

[Cuts to video]

IAN PANNELL: Tonight, new images capturing the chaos as Iranian missiles explode on a U.S. military base. Just some of the 15 that slammed into the Al Asad site that's home to thousands of U.S. troops.

Newly released satellite images revealing the scale of damage. This is what the base looked like only last month. And this is what it looks like now. The damage to structures clearly visible.

A U.S. official confirming Iran firing nearly two dozen ballistic missiles on at least two U.S. targets, but incredibly, no U.S. or Iraqi casualties. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff believes the goal of the strikes was to kill.

GEN. MARK MILLEY: They were intended to cause structural damage, destroy vehicles and equipment and aircraft, and to kill personnel.

(…)

6:34:42 p.m. Eastern

MUIR: So, let's get right to Ian Pannell, with us live tonight again from Iraq. And Ian, you know there has been a lot of talk about whether Iran intentionally missed targets, whether that was a tactical decision on their part.

PANNELL: Yes, I think many feel it's possible, not just in the lack of accuracy, but also the sites that were chosen, because there are many other bases the Iranians could have targeted to inflict mass casualties and maximum damage. But that would have forced a significant U.S. retaliation. However, the Pentagon doesn't see it like that. They are insisting this was an attack designed to kill American troops.

NB Daily Foreign Policy Middle East Iran Conspiracy Theories Military Broadcast Television ABC World News Tonight Video David Muir Qasem Soleimani

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