Five years ago this month, Jeffrey Goldberg staked The Atlantic‘s credibility on a sensationalistic cover story proclaiming that an Israeli attack on Iran was imminent. The story included the typical weasel words and qualifiers, but the message was unmistakable: an Israeli attack on Iran was coming, and coming soon, which Goldberg knew because he had such extensive contacts within the Israeli government. The most likely explanation for the story remains that Goldberg was played like a fiddle by hardliners within the Israeli government, seeking to use Goldberg’s article and the prominence of The Atlantic to force the issue, to make the idea of an Israeli strike on Iran a self-fulfilling prophecy. Regardless, it’s a half-decade later, and no attack has come. Goldberg expressed his prediction with as much certainty as conventional journalism allows, which would, in a sane world, have left his magazine’s reputation severely compromised when no such attack came to pass.
Jeffrey Goldberg is still employed by The Atlantic.