Man who made up yellow ribbon story invited to White House as an Iraq expert

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

Many of you will recall that, a few weeks ago, there was a “news report” released stating that Iran had passed a law that would require Jews to wear yellow ribbons and othe ron-Muslims to wear various ribbons or badges. After the story made the rounds of blogs and message boards, it was revealed that it was a fabrication of Amir Taheri, who started the rumor in an op-ed piece in a Canadian newspaper.

The upshot? Taheri was invited to the White House as an “expert” to give his opinions to George W. Bush on Iraq. According to White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, the group held an “interesting discussion that touched upon cultural issues, on political issues, on the state of affairs in Iraq.” Snow stressed that the experts gave Bush “honest opinions.”


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend