What bothers me about Iran

Now that the drums are beating which will eventually make war with Iran look like it was unavoidable, two significant items stick in my brain. First, of course is the nebulous “evidence” which no one has seen about Iran’s nuclear ambitions. I took note last May that one side-effect of the leak of a CIA operative’s name may well have been to degrade the capability we have of knowing whether or not Iran’s nuclear ambitions are for the purposes of developing weapons, or not. On May 1, 2006,

MSNBC correspondent Shuster reported that intelligence sources told him that Wilson was part of an operation three years ago “tracking the proliferation of nuclear weapons material into Iran.” And the sources asserted, he said, “that when here Wilson’s cover was blown, the administration’s ability to track Iran’s nuclear ambitions was damaged as well.”

It’s unthinkable that in the Office of the Vice-President of the United States, there could have been someone who would think it a Good Thing to make us less capable of knowing what Iran is up to — less capable of knowing whether or not Iran’s claims that its nuclear ambitions are for energy, not weapons, comports with the facts. It is unthinkable — isn’t it?

Meanwhile there is a new dribble, dribble, dribble of commentary masquerading as news to the effect that Iran is involved somehow in the guerrilla ground war in Iraq; not implausible, but again, no actual evidence has been produced, and what few, mostly old, bits of information that might be construed as evidence in that direction are being fed through the megaphone and into the echo chamber. Have we seen such a pattern before?

The second thing that bothers me is a short passage from Page 224 of Bob Woodward’s book, State of Denial, which contains the following short narrative. The scene is the White House, after Jay Garner, the first person appointed to run post-invasion Iraq, has returned from Iraq, having been replaced by L. Paul Bremer.

As Garner got up to leave, Rice stopped him and extended her hand. “Jay, you’ve got to stay in touch with us,” she said….

….. On the way out, Bush slapped Garner on the back. “Hey, Jay, you want to do Iran?”

Seemingly, The Decider already had plans on his mind, way back then, for how to administer Iran post-invasion. The same Iran concerning which the official line has been that we want to solve its issues “diplomatically” while at the same time refusing to have an actual conversation with its leaders.

Whaddya bet The Decider “runs out of patience” at some politically convenient time, after concluding that the (non-existent) “diplomacy” has “failed”?


2 thoughts on “What bothers me about Iran

  1. When the New York Times carried its series of screaming front-page “scoops” about WMD and Saddam’s (non-existent) Al Qaeda connection before the Iraq war, the byline belonged to the now universally discredited Judith Miller.

    But some of those carried a junior byline, one Michael Gordon. He still works for the Grey Lady, and this morning (Saturday the 10th) there was an extensive front page piece blaring with authoritative certainty that tons of evidence now proves Iran is supplying GI-killer weapons to insurgents. Glenn Greenwald does his usual evisceration of the propaganda here.

    The evidence is all secret, of course. The sources for the story are all anonymous, of course. None of the skeptical voices that the LA Times has been reporting on for the last couple of weeks are mentioned. Clearly, Gordon has stepped into Miller’s job description.

    And the description isn’t “reporter”. It is “war drum beater.” The Times is disgracing itself again.

  2. Glenn Greenwald says, among many other things, “But why are these sources granted anonymity? All they are doing is passing along the standard, official line of the Bush administration, supposedly revealing the most inflammatory conclusions that the administration will “unveil” in just a few days.”
    I’d lay a small wager that this “unveiling,” when it comes, will rely heavily on the authority of the New York Times, without providing much, if anything, in the way of actual new information. That was the gambit with the Judith Miller articles, and the playbook looks identical. Any takers?

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