“Outrageous and dishonest”

Peter20hoekstra IAEA protests "erroneous" U.S. report on Iran

By Mark HeinrichThu Sep 14, 5:51 AM ET


U.N. inspectors have protested to the U.S. government and a Congressional committee about a report on Iran’s nuclear work, calling parts of it "outrageous and dishonest," according to a letter obtained by Reuters.

The letter recalled clashes between the IAEA and the Bush administration before the 2003 Iraq war over findings cited by Washington about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction that proved false, and underlined continued tensions over Iran’s dossier.

Sent to the head of the House of Representatives’ Select Committee on Intelligence by a senior aide to International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei, the letter said an August 23 committee report contained serious distortions of IAEA findings on Iran’s activity.

The letter said the errors suggested Iran’s nuclear fuel program was much more advanced than a series of IAEA reports and Washington’s own intelligence assessments have determined.

It said the report falsely described Iran to have enriched uranium at its pilot centrifuge plant to weapons-grade level in April, whereas IAEA inspectors had made clear Iran had enriched only to a low level usable for nuclear power reactor fuel.

"Furthermore, the IAEA Secretariat takes strong exception to the incorrect and misleading assertion" that the IAEA opted to remove a senior safeguards inspector for supposedly concluding the purpose of Iran’s program was to build weapons, it said.

The letter said the congressional report contained "an outrageous and dishonest suggestion" that the inspector was dumped for having not adhered to an alleged IAEA policy barring its "officials from telling the whole truth" about Iran.

Diplomats say the inspector remains IAEA Iran section head.

The IAEA has been inspecting Iran’s nuclear program since 2003. Although it has found no hard evidence that Iran is working on atomic weapons, it has uncovered many previously concealed activities linked to uranium enrichment, a process of purifying fuel for nuclear power plants or weapons.

IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said: "We felt obliged to put the record straight with regard to the facts on what we have reported on Iran. It’s a matter of the integrity of the IAEA."

Diplomats say Washington, spearheading efforts to isolate Iran with sanctions over its nuclear work, has long perceived ElBaradei to be "soft" on Tehran.

"This (committee report) is deja vu of the pre-Iraq war period where the facts are being maligned and attempts are being made to ruin the integrity of IAEA inspectors," said a Western diplomat familiar with the agency and IAEA-U.S. relations."  Reuters


Once again, we seem to be in the business of "manufacturing" our own reality.  Before the Iraq intervention the US government asserted that SH’s government was in violation of many UN Resolutions that had required Iraq to disarm.  Iraq HAD disarmed and all the world knows that now, but the US government insisted that this was not true.  The US government also insisted that SH’s government was impeding the work of the UN inspectors under Blix.  The inspection team insisted then and now that this was not true and that delays were temporary and overcome between the two sides.

Now we are "manufacturing trut" about Iran.

What is the purpose of this deception?

Pat Lang

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41 Responses to “Outrageous and dishonest”

  1. Patrick Henry says:

    Not “Our” Reality Sir..
    They have a “PLAN”..
    The “New World Order Policy” is Clearly Laid Out..
    They have the “POWER”
    They make The “Policy”
    They are implementing the “PLAN”
    and “Misguided”
    But…They Have George “Custer” Bush Convinced..
    So..Saddle Up troopers..
    and Follow the Leader..
    Bull Run indeed..
    they hve the “Bull” part Right..
    The Rest is “SHIT”…

  2. As Kevin Drum pointed out, the original committee report was on WaPo page A01. The piece about the IAEA rebuttal was on A17.

  3. Grimgrin says:

    Well given that they’re running exactly the same play as they ran with Iraq, I’d say the purpose is the same. Drum up a pretext for an attack on Iran. The way they’re playing Ahmednjad up as the Islamic Hitler, or Israel’s ongoing insistance that Hizbullah is “A forward unit of the Iranian Amy” fits into it as well.
    There are a couple of important questions for me, first “What are they planning?”
    I’ve read scenarios ranging from using nuclear bunker busters on buried Iranian nuclear sites to siezing the Khuzestan oil fields while launching an air camaign against the rest of Iran to an Lebanon style collapsing of Iran’s infrastructiure with air assaults.
    Now, all the scenario’s I’ve read are bad (at least from my uneducated point of view) but the notion that there are people in the administration seriously considering a nuclear first strike against a non beligerent nation, that scares the living hell out of me.
    Secondly “What could stop them if they’ve made their minds up?”
    This administration has allready shown in their handling of torture and domestic wiretapping that they don’t really care about the law, so Conress probably wouldn’t be able to stop them, even if it was inclined to. They disregard any information that doesn’t fit in with their preconcieved notions, so they won’t be dissuaded by their intellegence aparatus. Perhaps a ‘Generals Revolt’ over the plans would stop them, but they’ve allready faced a steady parade of generals calling for Rumsfeld’s head on a platter, and it hasn’t budged him an inch.
    Thoughts from people who know more than me would be very much appreciated.

  4. Fred says:

    What is the purpose of the deception?
    1. Run up to war with Iran.
    2. Win the mid-term Congressional elections in the U.S. by scaring just enough voters…

  5. J says:

    while iraq was dual-purpose where the 1st part a) that bush had a personal grudge against sh and the second part was b) all about — oil.
    with the bush admin.s flubber-blubber about iran, it is all about the second part of the above — b) acquisiton of oil by hook or crook process — acquire the sweet iranian crude for the houston oil barons via a contrived phony war premise.
    in most crimes, all one has to do is ‘follow the money’, with the bush crime cartel, it’s follow the oil as well as the money.

  6. Coapse says:

    IAEA not happy with the sale of the covert WMD training program for all CIA operations officers leak just before the Iraq war started, not that it followed nicely?
    Bolton no longer liked after doing hard work for CIA and explaining the UN is not supposed to be liked to America?
    CVs just don’t seem that important anymore.

  7. John Howley says:

    The PR strategy consists not so much in making a factual or logical case but rather in stoking irrational public fears. Opinion polls show that a large majority of Americans fear that if Iran got a nuke, then they might share it with a terrorist group. I think such a scenario makes no sense, but no matter. Hence, Bush & company merely need to continue using Iran, nuclear and terrorism in the same sentence and they can count on majority support for an attack on Iran.
    A causus belli would help, of course. This might be an overt Iranian intervention in the Iraqi civil war, or one of those murky maritme incidents in the Gulf.

  8. zanzibar says:

    Fleitz and the neo-cons are up to “no good” again.
    Will the rest of the Congress buy it again? Will the American people buy it again?

  9. JL says:

    The BBC has the IAEA dispute at the top of the page on the web as does the Guardian. For my own curiosity I looked at MSNBC, CNN, NYTimes, ABC, FOX etc. Well I guess what the IAEA reports is not worthy of informing the public. Finally I went to google news and typed in IAEA and once again citizens of other countries are more informed than us. The NYTimes needs to change its saying “to all the news the pres says to print”.

  10. W. Patrick Lang says:

    Consider the CV to be advertising. I still work.

  11. rs says:

    Blair,Berlusconni,et.al. provided some international “legitimacy” to the nevertheless illegal invasion of Iraq.Who’s the beard this time?

  12. walrus says:

    I’m afraid my opinion of whats going on is much much blacker than whats posted here or anywhere else on the internet as far as I know.
    I genuinely believe that the neo conservative agenda is to turn America into a one party state, and a “Christianist” theocracy at the same time.
    The model is straight out of George Orwell’s “1984”. Orwell was writing about Stalins Russia. Stalin got his ideas from Hitler. In both cases these dictators declared their countries “under threat”, in Hitlers case from the Slavs, in Stalin’s case from “revisionists”.
    If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then its a duck.
    1. We are “under threat” from a shadowy evil terrorists. The solution we are told constantly, is endless war on evil.
    2. We started a war in Iraq on trumped up evidence. We are preparing to start another one in Iran. The Russians and Germans did the same.
    3. The constitution is regarded as a null and void document under the theory of a “unitary” administration. This translates to an effective Dictatorship, with Congress and the Senate as a rubber stamp, exactly as in Germany and Russia.
    4. The Courts are being stacked and the voting systems in America are now so perverted that they don’t meet third world standards. Translation: the Democrats wont win control of anything ever again.
    5. The Government and big business are in league with each other, exactly as in Germany. Corruption is now widespread. Look no further than the ABC “docudrama” about 911.
    A. Republicans will control the Senate and Congress after the elections. The campaigns will be extremely negative, ferocious and corrupt. Whatever Democrats remain are going to have to become “Lieberman Democrats” to survive.
    B. Iran will be attacked, and when we start taking casualties, the draft will be reintroduced.
    C. The provisions of the Patriot and similar acts will be extended slowly and carefully until even writing this today would qualify as “supporting terrorism” and leave me open to secret arrest, detention, torture and probably a death sentence. The internet is going to be censored, or practice self censorship, just like the mainstream media are today.
    D. The Constitution will be amended to remove the two term limit for the Presidency – for the duration of the war of course.
    And there you have it folks, a living breathing Dictatorship in America – The Dictatorship of the corporation.
    Any dissent will result in harassment at best and torture and incarceration or death at worst, and there is nothing any of you can do about it.

  13. jonst says:

    CV’s will seemed damned important again, one of these days.

  14. Michael says:

    Why do I have this horrible feeling that history will prove Bush’s actions while in office were some of the darkest and most machiavellian in US history? I think its going to take future US Presidents a very long time to earn back the World’s trust and respect.

  15. History anyone?
    In 1976, one year after the Shah abolished the Iranian multi-party system and replaced it with one-party rule, the Ford administration issued a directive on the sale of nuclear technologies to Iran.
    Both Vice President Cheney and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld served in that administration and were heavily involved in the promotion of the Iranian nuclear programme.

  16. John Howley says:

    Good point. Brits unlikely to sign up for Iran attack (Blair or Brown or other). Maybe the Poles?

  17. Lyagsuhka says:

    It has been near the top of the BBC’s radio reports all evening. Just now (on he 10pm news) they had some Bush appologist express faux outrage at the ‘dishonesty’ of the IAEA, and that they did not trust the US- until the interviewer pointed out that US intel had got it all wrong with Iraq, so why should we trust what they say at face value. Though I do accept from reading this fine blog, that like Blair did here, the intel was full of caveats- it’s just politians prefer reports without them, it stands in the way of their prejudices.
    But, I have a horrible sence of deja vu over all this- wasn’t it Bush who loved to quote the Texan saying about “fool me once…”. Seems someone should explain what it meant to him now.

  18. Patrick Henry says:

    Looks Like an “Operational Plan” to Me..
    Clear Intent…
    We Know who the “Operators” are..
    And we Have Clear Precise Examples of the “Plan” in Operation..
    The “Shadow Government” No longer remains in the “Shadows”..
    They have the “Power” Now..
    ALL of it..
    An EMPIRE..
    The Fufillment of another
    “Operational plan..” ??
    Therefore we can no longer Hold our Government to a Higher Standard..
    We`are merely Spectators..Considered Gnats..an Annoyance..A People who “Doeth Protest too Much..”
    Yes..This is a Constitutional Crisis”..
    A Battle for the “WILL of the People..”The New REPUBLIC Motto is..
    “The End Justifys the Means..”
    We now Serve Two MASTERS..
    Possibly Better Known as the “Little Horn” and Big Horn.” in Ancient Writings.. ??
    Perhaps ..

  19. Matthew says:

    Col. Lang: A possible answer to your question, “What is the purpose of the deception?”
    The GWOT is a governing strategy, like Mubarek’s 25-year “state of emergency.” Without the GWOT, Bush would be talking about Social Security…and no politician wants to do that.

  20. Michael Murry says:

    Three age-old rules to keep in mind when subjected to the malicious mendacity catapulted at us continuously by government propagandists:
    1) If their lips move once, suspect them of lying.
    2) If their lips move again, consider your suspicions confirmed.
    3) If they have a choice between lying and telling the truth — with no adverse consequences either way — they will lie, just so that they won’t forget how.
    In view of the above, then, I would answer your question: “Why the deception?” by stating the obvious: “Just so the deceivers can stay in practice.”
    This might seem unduly jaded and cynical for an ex-enlisted veteran of the Nixon-Kissinger Fig Leaf Contingent (Vietnam 1970-1972), but if we recall the Clinton administration lying about Saddam Hussein “kicking the weapons inspectors out” — when he hadn’t — and the Bush administration lying about Saddam Hussein “not letting the weapons inspectors in — when he had — we can see the American regime’s totally non-partisan resort to shameless mendacity merely for its own sake. The simple truth of the matter, of course, in both the above cases, would have completely undermined the phony “cases” put forward by successive American governments for needlessly and shamefully adding to life’s miseries for the Iraqi people. Other than serving the short-term political prospects of the bungling American political parasites du jour, all the blatant lying has grievously harmed both Iraq and America.
    My younger brother the high school teacher and football coach always tells his students and players: “You will get in this life exactly the treatment from others that they know you will tolerate.” I would only amend that statement, apropos of the present topic, to: “We will get no more truth from our government than what we demand.” We don’t demand much, so we get even less. That explains both the determined deception-by-design — what I like to call “Managed Mystification” — as well as the dreadful consequences to which it has led.

  21. JL says:

    Col. Lang, I actually feel that Walrus is correct. The gerrymandering that has been going on has created extremist in the House. Besides voting and contributing what can we do to make our voices heard? I live in a very conservative county in GA,

  22. JL says:

    My goodness MSNBC on line has the IAEA story. Look quick before it disappears. It’s now 9:45 pm est. Wow, not really impressed but for those surfing at night maybe they will see it.

  23. donna says:

    Yup. Terror. It’s all they have left.
    Not like we couldn’t use REAL government, but the neocon boys and girls are too busy playing with their war toys and enjoying their share of the defense spending take.

  24. Lightflyer says:

    Colonel Lang,
    The following is for you and not necessarily for your blog. But you are entirely welcome to post it if you wish.
    I have a very good friend, a retired Colonel (USA), a solid professional, a man of great charm and sustained experience of the Middle East. A good man and I am sure you would know him. During a recent visit we found between ourselves a degree of difference on developments in and with America, and perhaps an unexpected degree of heat on some issues.
    Some time later he forwarded an email to me that was basically a right-wing attack email on the probity of Cindy Sheehan and her cause. I suspected that it was my Colonel’s wicked sense of humour at work, something to niggle, and perhaps he even saw some truth in it. I ignored it but he followed up with words along the lines of, “Well, what d’you say to that?”.
    So, I responded. I wrote in one concerted and unedited flow and hit the send button. That message is set out below. I pass it on to you as a taste of what America’s friends say to their American friends these days. My friend the Colonel, I am honoured and extremely relieved to say, is still my friend.
    As to Cindy Sheehan. I somehow deleted the mailing as I shuffled between email programs but I recall the points made. I have to say that the right wing attack email you sent me merely disappointed. If ad hominem attacks is the best that can be done to answer her, we are all truly lost. I know her cause and have some sympathy. I do not know her personal situation very well and would not take that kind of email as a reliable source to make any judgement whatsoever. Though I have the time, I do not have the patience or will to find out what parts of that email were based on fact. Nor do I have the patience to see if the result would say anything about her cause because on first principles the results are likely to be entirely irrelevant. If one were to answer the underlying reason why we have a Cindy Sheehan in the first place and why a majority of Americans express a sympathy for the kind of things she is highlighting then we would have the beginnings of conversation that might mean something.
    BTW, I have a sneaking suspicion that if the president had been someone else he would have used a bit of fairly basic political charm and cut her off at the knees well before she had a chance to become an issue. Basic political incompetence and large slabs of insulated arrogance inherent in the Bush operation precluded anything so sensible. Anyway, the application of simple Political Charm 101 would not have stopped the underlying issues coming back, but it may have made the Sheehan phenomenon a non-starter.
    The correlation between attack emails like the one you sent me and the coordinated talking points that right wing talking heads and politicians spout in Washington is high. Indeed, it is recognised now as a new or at least highly improved form of political warfare – grassroots all the way to the top and coordinated. The academics are now getting stuck in with the promise of interesting results.
    The thing I most regret is the loss of a civil dialogue between the various elements of American political society. It was still there in the ’90s when I was in Washington though I did see the first serious signs of the loss when Newt Gingrich took over the Reps in ’94. You sometimes refer to people whose eyes continue to glow when the lights go out. I can attest to the truth that such people exist, I saw it in dealing with Newt’s new Congress. New staffers came in who did not want to know about facts but did see a world through extreme ideological eyes. I recall writing cables trying to explain the new dynamics and how it would affect our own dealings with the Americans. Some of the crazier staffers, known to folks on both sides of the aisle as “special” and in need of managing for the good of all, were now rising stars. People like Republican staffers with whom I had had rational discussions (and considered friends who helped me understand Congressional dynamics) now became relative strangers, objectivity was a major casualty. It was explained to me by one staffer that it was not wise these days to be too even-handed and anyway “we own the place” and we can do anything we want. Such trends became a sadly almost permanent fact of life when Bush Jr took over.
    You once asked me why I should care or be at all interested in what America did. Indeed, what right had I? Well, apart from being married to an American, liking Americans, perhaps one day having to live in America, having a profound respect and affection for the underlying values of America, having studied America and seen the political process in action, my nation is an American ally and what America does quite literally shapes my daily life. Those are all individually valid reasons, their totality, in particular the fact that what America does affects me and mine directly, are overwhelming. I have every right both as a friend, as a true and long-standing ally and as an inhabitant of planet earth. The US is not a struggling minor post-colonial offshoot on the other side of two great oceans, the US is everywhere and what it does affects the whole world.
    I have spent my entire life under a belief that whatever America was, good and bad, at the end of the day it was fundamentally good. Its values were triumphant, its institutions were to be admired, and its peoples to be liked. A world shaped by America would generally be in my interest.
    What happens when that America goes wrong? There is nothing in my personal or collective national experience to suggest a solution. I confess that I am worried. America has gone wrong. America now is the least like, least trusted, least respected by almost everyone, close allies included, than at any time in my lifetime, perhaps in the history of the Republic. That is not a good place for America. Even rocket scientists get it.
    Five years of Bush’s incoherent conservatism has got us to a place where the world is less safe than it was, where stupid policies rule and affect us all, and where even common sense is casualty. A point of view that holds my political side right or wrong, my president right or wrong, where patriotism is tied to these knee jerk stupidities is in my humble opinion truly the last refuge of fools. To my mind the true patriot is the man who first wonders what the hell is going on, takes a rational view of the consequences and starts, if needs be, to call for change, starts to look for a way to make his nation whole and strong again. A man who loves the totality of his country and wants it back.
    Don’t get me wrong, I do not hate or despise America. I am profoundly nonplussed and disappointed, perhaps even hurt. I want America to be true to its promise again. I want the USA to be the force of international good again. Whether America likes it or not, the rest of the world, in particular its friends and close allies, wants America to return to rationality and the promise inherent in its system.
    If I have one impression of my times in America since 9/11 it is that right now Americans are still scared and still seem perfectly willing to agree to actions that makes no rational sense but does serve to let you think you are striking back somehow. It is not a good feeling to realise that the most powerful country in the history of the world is scared shitless, does not realise this and is not necessarily rational.
    It might be a bit of an overstatement but I tend to believe that America is broken right now. Its fundamental institutions and values have been under continuous attack to their and our collective long term detriment. The corruption of its political institutions is the worst perhaps for over a century, some political scientists are finding it hard to find a parallel ever. Its foreign and defence policies are an incoherent joke and persistent failures. Its military, according to its most honoured warriors, is broken. It is a debtor that holds the whole world in ransom. America’s (and our) enemies have become stronger over the past five years (and where is OBL?). We are all less safe now.
    I live in China, a nation that should be a human rights pariah but when it is taken to task it simply and plainly points to modern America and asks what is so different?
    If and when your email writer can answer the why and where to next without recourse to personal attacks that make you feel good but are entirely irrelevant to the questions at hand then maybe we have the beginnings of a solution.
    So, there you have it, mate, you flushed the covey and got me!
    If I have one bit of advice for you Colonel dear it would be to cut down on the amount of Fox alleged news channel you watch. Its bad for your world-view, worse than cane sugar for diabetics. It is the least reliable purveyor of news in America, its high on propaganda but reliably and consistently judged as very low on fact, and the sad thing is that outfits like CNN think the best solution for their bottom line is to emulate the Fox approach. I do know that the US can be a pretty poor place to get real news, especially if you distrust the public broadcasting system, but you really should try to get news into your entertainment. The only positive thing I do note is that your station selections on the car are just about mine and I didn’t hear Rush Limbaugh once and I know that NPR is in there somewhere. There might just be hope for you, my crusty curmudgeon, after all.

  25. Eleanor Roosevelt says:

    And not one mention of the Afghanistan debacle in this whole thread!?

  26. Michael Murry says:

    Regarding your American friend and whatever comments he may have made (or forwarded to you) about Cindy Sheehan, I’ve written a poem (“Metrics for Measure”) and a short essay (“Take Me To My Leader”) in her honor and posted both on my primitive, imitation website (http://www.themisfortuneteller.com) under the “Poetic License” and “Pet Press” links, respectively. I don’t know if these would serve as a response (or antidote) to your American friend’s remarks, but in any event I would appreciate comments or suggestions you might have regarding them. With the notable exception of Christopher Hitchens, I have generally found the British good judges of English literature — even the American variety.
    As an ex-patriot (not a misselling) American living in Taiwan, I too can see America much as people here see the once-great country: namely, with puzzlement and some sense of anxiety about the effects its seemingly suicidal demise may have on those not far enough away to escape the impending tsunami

  27. Arun says:

    The question was – why the truthiness in the report about Iran?
    I’ll add to the reasons given in previous comments – it may be because of an inability to deal with ambiguity – mentally, politically. I think that for this Administration life would seem much easier if either Iran was definitely going for the bomb or if Iran’s nuclear facilities were shut down. This enriching of uranium, but only to power-plant grade but with the inherent capability of enriching it further is too confusing. After all, enrichment to power-plant grade is permitted by the Non-Proliferation Treaty. How does one build the necessary coalition, and put together the necessary carrots and sticks to head off Iran from going down the path to the bomb, when the situation is so murky? It is beyond this Administration’s capability (but e.g, not outside Bush Sr.’s range or Clinton’s) and so of necessity, they must simplify.

  28. confusedponderer says:

    Well, don’t know what the eventual aim is, but certainly the US distortions (indeed, probably Fleitz at work again) have been made in an effort to kick up dirt. There are currently negotiations within the EU negotiations about how to deal with Iran.
    It seems plausible to me that the recent ever-alamist report was made in an effort not only to propagandise at the home-front, but to also influence the European audience to a more pro-US position. Still, the very impressive US information gathering capabilities give US assessments weight, especially in ‘new europe’. The ‘poodle’ is on board anyway.
    At the very least the Bush crew wants to keep the heat up on Iran, facts nonwithstanding. The administration is clearly repeating the argumentum ad nauseam as they did on Iraq.
    And it works. The US press routinely talks about the ‘Iranian nuclear weapons program’, no matter that could not be determined to be a fact.
    The Iranians certainly have the capability to have one, given the time. In ‘deterrence’ they also have an interest, if not for Saddam’s attack in the 1980s, then at least for the US infasion of Iraq and subsequent US bellicosity, and de facto encirclement. And then there is nuclear Pakistan.
    And there also is the mullah’s religious poisition on WMD – that they are immoral. They still used them in retaliation against Iraq, but only in retaliation. I think that Iran wants nuclear energy – fossil fuel makes more sense to them as an export commodity – but that they want the capability to make nuclear weapons, if the need arises.
    But all this is irrelevant for the poeple who simply reduce the matter to: Iran is evil (in the sense that they don’t submit to US pressure), an enemy, now they have a foulmouthed president too, and we want them gone, nukes or not. And then there are the eager cheerleaders who did well under the shah and want the old times back, dead-enders you know.
    The neo-cons never needed nukes to want war or regime change with Iran.
    And in the case of Cheney and Rumsfeld, I simply think they got their brains scarred in the hostage crisis. They’ll never forgive an Iran under the current system of government.

  29. FB says:

    You may well be right. You refer to Orwell’s 1984. If you, or other readers of this blog, want to see what the US would be like afterwards, read Margaret Attwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale”. Real scary!

  30. zanzibar says:

    The neo-con cohorts ratchet up the rhetoric on Iran strike.
    The Teheran Calculus
    I am personally not convinced even with all the signs of neo-con rhetoric and propaganda that Bush will order strikes on Iran. The backlash will be too strong even for the “Decider” and he does not have the unquestioning loyalty of all the Republicans on the Hill right now. The fact that Warner, McCain abandoned Bush on the Gitmo trials and Article 3 and the Democrats seem to be unified in opposition to the Specter legalization of warantless spying on Americans shows that at the current moment the political winds are moving in the opposite direction. That of course could change if the Republicans manage to hold their majority in Congress.

  31. J says:

    would you not agree that rep. hoekstra, and sen. roberts as intel cmte heads have violated their sworn oaths regarding the following and therefore should be ‘removed’ from their cmte head positions?:

  32. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Mostly I suspect that this is for domestic (US and perhaps EU) consumption specially on the “eve” of elections in US.
    US & EU tried to intimidate Iran over the past 4 years. That game is over.
    But I might be wrong.

  33. Green Zone Cafe says:

    Charles Krauthammer was beating the war drums in his column today, saying the decision to attack is less than a year away.

  34. pbrownlee says:

    Politics – simple but far from pure. The Mayberry Machiavellis and elves are just doing what they do and getting a free pass in the Koolaid zone – as B. Clinton, McCain, Gore, Cleland, Kerry, H. Clinton and many others have discovered.

  35. confusedponderer says:

    Krauthammer is displaying what I have found to be the most common neo-con trait: Über-certainty, and self flattery.
    “There will be massive criticism of America from around the world. Much of it is to be discounted.
    The Europeans will be less hypocritical because their visceral anti-Americanism trumps rational calculation. We will have done them an enormous favor by sparing them the threat of Iranian nukes, but they will vilify us nonetheless.”
    For Krauthammer America is the tough guy who does what he got to do, to then ride in the sunset to live happy erver after. And he’s glorious part of his posse. There are also Western, where the hero fails and dies.
    The Euros will whine, but are to be discounted. They are irrational. Unlike the U.S. who alone have the capacity for moral clarity to see the world in black and white (as it the world is supposed to be anyway). They *know*. And do what they *believe* is right. Facts nonwithstanding.
    It seems to elude him that Europe does have firm interests in opposing US policy, without being anti-american as I like to stress. The firmest interest would be that the current US strategy is bound to fail because the GWOT as conceived by the Bushies cannot possibly succeed. In fact it is by design destined to backfire. European criticism is to a good extent aimed on sparing the US and themselves this. In a sense, they are friends trying to talk a particularly stubborn intoxicated out of drunk driving.
    The longer the US has troops in the Arabian peninsula and the longer they have troops in Iraq, the greater the probability of another 911. In this respect, I strongly recommend reading Robert Pape’s “Dying to win”, that should explain what I mean.
    Bombing Iran will only make things still worse than they already are. Even if the succeed in destroying Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, they will give Iran the exact justification why to want WMD. They also will to have to continue bombing for a decade or more to prevent Iran from rebuilding, much as their bombing of Iraq after the first Gulf War (the US vs. Iraq variant). Iran will not sit back idle while their infrastructure and a 20 year effort of post-war reconstruction go down the drain under US bombardment. Such an approach is unsustainable and will erode US support in the region even further. The US position in Iraq and Afghanistan is very unlikely to improve after attacking Iran.
    But Mr. Krauthammer just *knows* better. It will work. Well, he was persistently wrong about Iraq, why should his judgement be any better about Iran? Bleh.

  36. Green Zone Cafe says:

    Many good comments on this thread.
    Krauthammer and I believe that Iran will retaliate against the US in Iraq and Afghanistan if they are attacked. Where we differ is that I believe that retaliation would likely make US and coalition presence in Iraq unsustainable.
    Who’s to say what surprises they have in their playbook? Bahrain, with a Shia majority and a US naval base, is vulnerable. Qatar also. Why shouldn’t they look at Oman, the base on Masiyrah?
    If you stuck Iran, you’d have to make sure there was regime change, otherwise they will make all sorts of trouble all over the world. Guaranteeing regime change is something the US does not have the forces for right now.
    The UK or other Euros will not get on board this train, not even token contingents.
    The danger is that the nuts will prevail and the US will strike Iran anyways. This will produce a general conflagration in the Gulf, economic disaster as oil goes up to $200 a barrel or whatever, and Iranian sponsored terrorist strikes everywhere. Who knows, maybe Venezuela would even be involved passively withholding oil at least, and the shit will hit the fan in Pakistan.
    Then it will be World War (III or IV, who knows?), the US will be losing it massively, and the call to general mobilization will be made.
    The domestic pressures will then be tremendous, the future of the US as a free democratic power in question.
    All this, when we could have focused on Bin Laden and his rag-tag group of fanatics in caves and got rid of them five years ago and made Afghanistan a shining example. Even if we did Iraq, but did it right, things would be a lot better now.

  37. zanzibar says:

    “But Mr. Krauthammer just *knows* better. It will work. Well, he was persistently wrong about Iraq, why should his judgement be any better about Iran?” – confusedponderer
    That’s exactly the point. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and all the other neo-con dittoheads have demonstrated atrocious judgement repeatedly. They have no credibility. Why does anyone in America even listen to them anymore or vote for them – just beats me!

  38. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Ayatullah Khamenei has already stated: “You cannot protect the energy resources.”
    Enough said.

  39. fasteddiez says:

    Green Zoner,
    You stated — Then it will be World War (III or IV, who knows?), the US will be losing it massively, and the call to general mobilization will be made…..
    Going one step further, before general mobilization (with the understanding that they (Administration) are still nuts, or probably more so) will use Nukes. This will put Senior generals in a bind as to whether or not to comply if they think the situation does not warrant it. National Command Authority (NCA) finds suitable generals and proceed. The use of Nukes shocks the not so slack-jawed anymore American people even more and complicates the red white and blue mobilization attempts. NCA goes even more Gonzoid.
    Just Ruminating here.
    Fasteddiez, Out!

  40. Green Zone Cafe says:

    Yeah, fasteddiez, I forgot about the small-yield nuke rumors.
    How little time would it take for the USA to bring itself down?

  41. Got A Watch says:

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