Writing in The American Conservative's
Aug. 1 issue, former military
intelligence and CIA counterterrorism officer Philip Giraldi, now a partner
in Cannistraro Associates, says
that the vice president (who, according to the U.S.
Constitution, has no authority but to break a tie vote in the U.S. Senate
up to and until the day the president keels over or is removed from office)
has instructed the Air Force to begin preparing plans for a full-scale air war
against Iran's "suspected"
nuclear weapons sites using the excuse of the next terrorist attack. Giraldi's
piece is short enough to cite here in its entirety:
"In Washington it is hardly a secret that the same people in and around
the administration who brought you Iraq are preparing to do the same for Iran.
The Pentagon, acting under instructions from Vice President Dick Cheney's
office, has tasked the United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM) with drawing
up a contingency plan to be employed in response to another 9/11-type terrorist
attack on the United States. The plan includes a large-scale air assault on
Iran employing both conventional and tactical nuclear weapons. Within Iran there
are more than 450 major strategic targets, including numerous suspected nuclear-weapons-program
development sites. Many of the targets are hardened or are deep underground
and could not be taken out by conventional weapons, hence the nuclear option.
As in the case of Iraq, the response is not conditional on Iran actually being
involved in the act of terrorism directed against the United States. Several
senior Air Force officers involved in the planning are reportedly appalled at
the implications of what they are doing – that Iran is being set up for an
unprovoked nuclear attack – but no one is prepared to damage his career by
posing any objections."
Wow, I guess the neocons took it
pretty hard when they found out that Chalabi had played
them with all his pro-Israel promises,
and had in fact been working
for Iran all along.
It turns out the
mullahs wanted Saddam gone as bad as Bush,
or bin Laden.
I wanted to know more, and since the reaction of the mass media was deafening
silence, I decided to interview Giraldi myself [stream]
(Since then, one
reporter asked White House spokesman Scott McClellan about it. He had no
comment. There was no follow-up.)
As transcribed by Justin Raimondo earlier
in the week, Giraldi confirmed to me that former(?)
warrior and neoconservative writer Michael
Ledeen and his CIA buddies were the origin of the forged Niger
uranium documents used
by the administration to fool
Americans into supporting the invasion of Iraq. In answer to my question, "Who
forged the Niger documents?" Giraldi said, "[A] couple of former CIA
officers who are familiar with that part of the world who are associated with
a certain well-known neoconservative who has close connections with Italy."
I said that must be Ledeen, member of the Italian
fascist P-2 lodge (I said P-3 in the interview, d'oh!).
Giraldi said, "Mm, hmm."
He added that the still unnamed ex-CIA men "also had some equity interests,
shall we say, with the operation. … A lot of these people are in consulting
positions, and they get various, shall we say, emoluments in overseas accounts,
and that kind of thing."
It will be interesting to see how long Ledeen and his co-conspirators in and
out of the executive branch spend locked in prison. Or is it a crime to fabricate
lies to justify a premeditated campaign of mass murder?
In any case, Philip Giraldi seems quite concerned that Cheney
and the neocons are pushing for the design of war plans for their next target,
Iran, using the excuse of another terrorist attack. These, of course, were the
same men who used 9/11 as their
excuse to attack Iraq. Giraldi noted the implausibility of Iran working
with al-Qaeda, as they have a clear antipathy toward each other. Iran is run
by conservative Shi'ite
mullahs, while bin Laden and his followers are radical
Further, why would Iran strike at the U.S. with terrorism when they have been
doing everything possible
to avoid a war that would devastate their country? Yet the U.S. government is
following the same script
as with Iraq: this Axis of Evil member has ties to terrorism and a nuclear weapons
program, the UN won't act, so we have to at least bomb the hell out of them
from the air, if not invade and give them democracy.
Also, once again, there is a convergence of interests between those who plan
long-term energy strategy and those whose primary objective is protecting Israel.
Unfortunately, the Likud First
wings of the Republican
party think it's
the burden of Americans to confront Iran over their funding of Hezbollah,
even though Hezbollah has never attacked America. Giraldi notes that the neoconservatives
have made no secret
of the fact that Iran is next on the hit list, and that they
want a full-scale clash of civilizations. An unprovoked nuclear attack on
Iran by the U.S., or by Israel itself, as Dick
Cheney suggested on Inauguration Day, is a sure way to guarantee one.
Let us not forget how cooperative the Israelis were in creating excuses for
invading Iraq. Julian Borger, writing
in the Guardian, has said that Ariel Sharon had the same problem
with Mossad that Dick Cheney had with the CIA: they'd
lie a little but not
enough. To solve this problem, he created an Office
of Special Plans in Israel to help the boys in our Pentagon's "Gestapo
office" get the job done right. In the interview with CIA retiree Giraldi,
he offered that this story had been relayed to him separately from the Borger
piece, presumably from someone who knew it firsthand. Lt.
Col. Karen Kwiatkowski's escorting of Israeli
generals to Douglas
Feith's office at the Pentagon would seem to further corroborate this claim.
An Iran specialist from Feith's office by the name of Larry Franklin has been
[.pdf] for passing secret Iran-policy papers to Israel. Two of his co-conspirators,
Rosen and Keith
Weismann at the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee have now also
[.pdf] and may
join him in prison.
But back to Iran. Giraldi confirmed information I had heard about Air Force
Intelligence currently in Qatar
picking targets. He added that the special forces were also already in Iran
hunting for "suspected sites."
Former Marine and UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter wrote an
article last April saying that Air Force officers had told him that they
were working on plans for war against Iran that were to be ready by June of
this year. When I asked Giraldi about this he said these were different "tactical"
plans as opposed to the ones being drawn up by the Strategic Air Command that
were leaked to him. Ritter has also written
that the plans he was briefed on have already been put into motion, that the
invasion will come from U.S. bases in Azerbaijan, that the U.S. is already flying
in Iranian airspace, and that the Marxist
terrorist cult, Mujahedin
e-Khalq, is committing terror bombings against civilians in Iran on U.S.
orders. He writes
"Americans, and indeed much of the rest of the world, continue to be
lulled into a false sense of complacency by the fact that overt conventional
military operations have not yet commenced between the United States and Iran.
"As such, many hold out the false hope that an extension of the current
insanity in Iraq can be postponed or prevented in the case of Iran. But this
is a fool's dream."
Do they get al-Jazeera
in Persia? It's hard to believe they elected the
We face the very real
possibility that individuals in charge of the government actually intend
to launch a major air war on "hundreds of possible sites" inside Iran, even, according to Giraldi, to use tactical nuclear weapons. A land invasion
is – or at least ought to be – out of the question. Iran is four times the size
and has three
times the population of Iraq, where U.S. forces have had plenty of trouble despite
the majority Shia,
for the most part,
not even fighting. Demographics
suggest Iran's population is heavy on fighting-age males. Most of the country
is mountainous. To invade from Iraq can't be done, as the Shia would finally
be unleashed against U.S. forces, who would then have to fight from both front
and rear. A general Shia uprising in Iraq would be a likely result of bombing
Iran, with or without ground troops. Land invasion would definitely require
the mass enslavement
known as conscription, and the soccer
moms won't like that – fighting
is for poor people.
The aforementioned felon Michael Ledeen and his
neoconservative friends have a theory that if the U.S. bombs untold thousands
of Iranians to death, the rest, seeing their government's weakness, will rise
up, regime-change the government and install an America-friendly, nuclear-free
puppet dictator in their place.
Reasonable people, at this point in the article, must be thinking this is crazy.
And it is. There are many reasons why invading Iran is unwise. For starters,
Iran has never attacked America. That ought to be the end of it, but let's go
ahead and add that "experts" have come out and said what Antiwar.com's
has been saying
Iran is 10 years away from
being able to make their own nuclear weapons – if they were to begin trying,
which they haven't. The only exception to this is the possibility that they
have obtained all the necessary ingredients, already prepared, from the
black market. If they scored plutonium, Prather tells me, this would necessitate
the construction of much more complicated weapons than a "gun"-type
uranium fission bomb. The state may say it's so, but for some
reason, I don't believe them. In any case, Iran still wouldn't be able to
deliver a nuke to North America. According to Giraldi (and to those who still
use common sense), the only incentive Iran has to make nukes is its own defense
from aggressors – namely, us.
Innocent people would be killed – many of them. The Iraqi Shia majority,
who have been relatively cooperative with our unprovoked invasion and occupation
of that country, would undoubtedly turn on the U.S. soldiers there. Iraqi Prime
Minister Ibrahim Jaafari recently went
to Iran to lay a wreath at the grave of his hero, the Ayatollah
Khomeini, who protected
and the Da'wa Party from Saddam during the
Iran-Iraq war. (This failure on the part of the U.S., having basically
handed Iraq over to Iran, may be another reason for the hawks to push for war.
Maybe they could break them back up before anyone at CNN notices?)
Think of Iran
as a fancy Western word for Persia, its coastline comprising one side of the
Persian Gulf. Access to Saudi oil and the Arabian Sea could be easily halted,
which would destroy the world economy, and quickly.
If the U.S. were to bomb the
Bushehr reactor, not only would radioactive particles blast into the air
to fall back down to earth and coat the local environment (think dirty bomb),
but numerous Russians would also undoubtedly be killed. How might the U.S. react
if the Russians were to bomb a reactor full of Americans in, say, India?
According to Newsweek's article from last September, "War
Gaming the Mullahs":
"Newsweek has learned that the CIA and DIA have war-gamed the
likely consequences of a U.S. preemptive strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.
No one liked the outcome. As an Air Force source tells it, 'The war games were
unsuccessful at preventing the conflict from escalating.'"
Is it realistic to think, as Giraldi said, that neoconservatives really believe
their own lies about Western values being embraced throughout the Middle East
by our invasion of Iraq? Paul Craig Roberts has suggested
that spreading further destruction is their means if not their end. As Justin
Raimondo and Juan Cole
have pointed out, we have – conveniently enough for Likudniks – set
up the makings of a perfect storm between the Shia in Iran, Iraq, and Syria,
and the Sunnis in Iraq, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia.
The Israelis seem to be doing their part. As Seymour Hersh reported in a June
2004 New Yorker article entitled "Plan
B: As June 30th Approaches, Israel Looks to the Kurds," for which Giraldi
was a source, the Israelis, apparently having decided the Iraq war was a total
debacle only a month or so after Bush announced "mission
accomplished," immediately moved to send in intelligence agents to
start buying up Kurds. Giraldi told me he's heard reports that up to 800 Israeli
agents are combing Iraq. The story is that our soldiers train together. (Remember
about Israelis at Abu Ghraib?) According to Giraldi, however, their true purpose
is to sow instability and pressure for Kurdish
autonomy. This is another looming fault line in the brewing intra-Muslim
It seems that a lot of what we are learning about this war is coming from those
CIA retirees who fled during the neocons'
great purge of '04.
Although I'm not typically a CIA fan, my favorite kind of government employee,
as I've written before,
is the kind who rats
on current or former bosses. The steady flow of quality information to us regular
folks from insider enemies of the former
Trotskyite set in the
Department of Defense and the vice
president's office has been incredibly damaging to the administration and
The CIA refugees can't stand to see their former covert operations roles taken
over by soldiers, and they are having their revenge. Should it continue,
the pressure might just be able to stop these crazies from expanding the conflict.
We must be careful not to give Bush and his team any more reason for war. Even
bashing them could backfire on us. If it is generally
agreed this early in the second term that George W. Bush is the worst president
since Richard Nixon,
or even since Franklin
D. Roosevelt, and that he is destined to sit as a lame-duck
loser for the next three and a half years, then he may see only one chance left
to save his legacy: nuking Iran.
To the reporters who spend desperate, sleepless nights wondering how they could
have been such suckers,
and with such undying
credulity failing to uncover the lies that led to the last bloody war: an
opportunity for redemption now awaits.