Yesterday, Asia Times ran a story saying ‘Bush plans air strikes’ on Iran by August. “After receiving secret briefings on the planned air strike, Senator Diane Feinstein, Democrat of California, and Senator Richard Lugar, Republican of Indiana, said they would write a New York Times op-ed piece ‘within days’, the source said last week, to express their opposition,” the outlet reported, adding that the oped hadn’t materialized.
I chased down Senator Lugar’s spokesman today who told me the story is flat out untrue. Senator Lugar “wasn’t briefed, there’s no oped,” says Andy Fischer, spokesman for Lugar, who is vice chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Fischer said he’d been getting calls about the bogus report for two days.
Trita Parsi, the head of the pro-engagement National Iranian American Council and a former Congressional staffer, tells me he too heard the rumor of Congressional briefing on Iran, but that the whole thing “doesn’t make sense to me though.” Parsi said.