Jeffrey LewisWhy I Support ElBaradei's Nobel Prize

Chris Matthews—in his “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know” segment—was shocked (shocked!) when Andrea Mitchell learned that the United States had intercepted Mohamed ElBaradei’s telephone conversations as part of the campaign to oust him. Clarence Page looked aghast.

Under what rock have these three idiots been living?

Dafna Linzer broke this story in the Washington Post in December—almost a year ago.

Three U.S. government officals told Linzer:

The Bush administration has dozens of intercepts of Mohamed ElBaradei‚Äôs phone calls with Iranian diplomats and is scrutinizing them in search of ammunition to oust him as director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency …

Steve Clemons calls calls the selection of the IAEA and Mohamed ElBaradei for the Nobel prize an “odd choice.” But I think this little exchange on the Chris Matthews Show illustrates that not many people follow the IAEA as closely as Steve and I do.

The prize focuses media attention on ElBaradei and the IAEA’s accomplishments, as well as the aforementioned petty effort by one particular fellow in the Bush Administration to eavesdrop on an international civil servant as part of his private vendetta.

Of course, I also think ElBaradei has been a strong IAEA Director and dispute the notion that the nonproliferation regime is in crisis.

The President claims that WMD pose “the greatest threat before humanity today,” but someone else is actually doing something about it.

Think of it as an international answer to George Tenet’s Presidential Medal of Freedom.


  1. Anders Widebrant (History)

    The prize is proving an excellent spotlights on idiots everywhere. Beside the obvious foes of IAEA, America and Iran, here’s a case in point:

    ( )

    A reasonable reaction, Greenpeace. Thanks.