Never mind, as Porter observes, that the U.S. has “refused to give the documents to the IAEA, because ElBaradei had insisted that all the ‘alleged studies’ documents should be shared with Iran and should be authenticated.” This is an inconvenient fact now relegated down Orwell’s memory hole, replaced with the story that it’s the IAEA now refusing to share this information.

The updated version, despite its numerous holes, serves a purpose. We learn elsewhere in the U.S. media that the IAEA’s latest report “finds evidence of slowed uranium enrichment” on the part of Iran “and of increased cooperation on the monitoring of known nuclear installations”, both findings that “could throw a wrench in President Obama’s plans to seek tougher international sanctions on Iran”.

These, the expected findings of the IAEA, are unsuitable for U.S. policy, and so an alternate reality was necessary to make the IAEA report more amenable, in anticipation of the report’s release. If the report doesn’t provide support for U.S. policy, the reason is because the IAEA is involved in a cover-up.

Flipping reality on its head, the Times parrots the line from the Obama administration, presented anonymously, for reasons unknown (other than that it relates to “intelligence data” that was long ago declassified). The fact that the administration’s version is contradicted by the known and admitted facts is a matter of no concern to the Times, which relays the new official line dutifully, without scrutiny or even the slightest attempt to reconcile glaring contradictions in its story.

Responding to the assertion that the agency has withheld evidence from the public, IAEA spokesman Marc Vidricaire observed, “Time and again unidentified sources feed the media and Member States with misinformation or misinterpretation.” He added, “There are articles claiming that the (IAEA) secretariat is hiding information, and that there are sharp disagreements among staff members involved about the contents of the report. Needless to say, such allegations have no basis in fact.”

According to Reuters, “To help win Russia and China’s support for a further set of sanctions, Western powers urged the IAEA to release a classified summary of its inquiry into Western intelligence reports alleging Iran illicitly studied how to design a nuclear bomb, diplomats said. Such a summary appeared to have been included in Friday’s report. But the IAEA has no evidence showing undeniably that Iran has a bomb agenda, a diplomat close to the IAEA said earlier this week.”

ElBaradei’s “successor, Japan’s veteran IAEA envoy Yukiya Amano, has said he has not seen any evidence in the agency’s files that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons capability.” This is a point that has been repeatedly reiterated by the outgoing Director General, such as his remark at the World Economic Forum last year that “We haven’t seen indications or any concrete evidence that Iran is building a nuclear weapon and I’ve been saying that consistently for the last five years.”

This is an inconvenient truth for the Obama administration, which must therefore fabricate its own alternate reality to present to the public in its effort to garner support for its policy of punishing Iran for daring to defy Washington by insisting on the terms of the NPT, which states that nothing may prejudice the right of member nations to enrich uranium for nuclear fuel.

When the Times tells us that ElBaradei “has argued for allowing Iran to maintain a token capacity to produce uranium under strict inspection”, they might just as well have said, “ElBaradei has argued for abiding by the terms of the NPT, which allows Iran to maintain the capacity to enrich uranium under IAEA inspection”. But that, too, though much more precise, would have been a wholly unacceptable variation.

Among other inconvenient facts, we must forget that we’ve seen this kind of demonization of ElBaradei before, when he was saying that Iraq had no nuclear program, or when he informed the world that documents the U.S. had touted as proving that Saddam Hussein had tried to obtain yellowcake uranium from Africa were in fact not authentic. We must put aside that the IAEA was correct in its assessment that Iraq had no such program, that the aluminum tubes the U.S. insisted were for enrichment centrifuges were in fact for a conventional rocket program, and so on. This must all go down the memory hole—with the help of the familiar “change of course” doctrine—so we can be made to believe that ElBaradei is a sympathizer with the Iranian regime and its efforts to obtain the bomb.

And so it goes.