Friday, August 05, 2005

Forging Ahead 

Courtesy of our august colleague Michael Miller at Public Domain Progress: Former CIA counterterrorism officer Philip Giraldi reported in the August 1 issue of Pat Buchanan's American Conservative magazine that Dick Cheney has ordered the Air Force to prepare for air strikes, possibly involving tactical nuclear weapons, against Iran. Scott Horton of Antiwar.com has since interviewed Giraldi (streaming audio here; MP3 here), who is of the opinion that the notorious Niger forgeries at the heart of the Plame case were in fact the handiwork of "[A] couple of former CIA officers . . . associated with a certain well-known neoconservative who has close connections with Italy." That gentleman's initials are M. L. -- other letters in his name include I, C, H, A, E, L and E, D, E, E, N -- and he and his colleagues are by no means content with having messily toppled the former regime in Iraq:
. . . 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 Salafist Sunnis. 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 . . . .

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 . . . 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.
Horton links to a Newsweek article from last fall on the possibility of a pre-emptive strike against Iran:
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.'
For more on Ledeen, see Michael Miller's useful compendium of links at PDP.

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