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As Atrios notes, CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr said this morning:
The bottom line, Heidi, is the US certainly does have intelligence tying these Iranian weapons shipments to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah ali Khamenei. It’s not something that the Bush White House wants to talk about in public too much because they really do not want to ratchet up tensions with Iran, the facts aside.
By Mark St.Clair, Stars and Stripes
Mideast edition, Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Some 8,500 soldiers from 43 units in Germany and Italy have received official word that they will be deploying to either Iraq or Afghanistan later this year, U.S. Army Europe officials announced Monday.
Part of the 2007-2009 force rotation announced by the Defense Department in November, all the affected units are preparing for yearlong deployments in support of operations in Iraq or Afghanistan, USAREUR said.
By DEMOCRACY NOW!
"From the Wonderful Folks Who Brought You Iraq": Craig Unger on How the Neoconservatives Are Pushing For An Attack on Iran
"Once again, neocon ideologues have been flogging questionable intelligence
about W.M.D.," Unger writes. "Once again, dubious Middle East exile groups are
making the rounds in Washington-this time urging regime change in Syria and
Iran. Once again, heroic new exile leaders are promising freedom."
Gen. Pace Equivocates, Tony SnowJob Reamed in WH Press Conference...
Pace Questions Whether Iran Arming Iraq JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) - The top U.S. military officer said Tuesday the discovery that roadside bombs in Iraq contained material made in Iran does not necessarily mean the Iranian government was involved in supplying insurgents.... (more w/video)
The New York Times | Editorial
Before things get any more out of hand [or too many people read our articles], President Bush needs to make his intentions toward Iran clear. And Congress needs to make it clear that this time it will be neither tricked nor bullied into supporting another disastrous war.
How little this administration has learned from its failures is a constant source of amazement. It seems the bigger the failure, the less it learns.
Al-Sharq al-Awsat reports in Arabic that the Iraqi government
distanced itself on Sunday from US charges against Iran. Maryam
al-Rayyis, National Affairs Adviser to PM Nuri al-Maliki, said that
Iraq has deep respect for Iran and other neighbors. She said that the
Iraqi constitution prohibits Iraq from being an arena of contestation
between other countries.
The same report says that Nassar al-Rubaie, a parliamentarian of the
By Marjorie Cohn
It's déja vu. This time the Bush gang wants war with Iran. Following a carefully orchestrated strategy, they have ratcheted up the "threat" from Iran, designed to mislead us into a new war four years after they misled us into Iraq.
Like its insistence that Iraq had WMD, the Bush administration has been hyping claims that Iran seeks nuclear weapons. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), however, has found no evidence that Iran is building nuclear weapons. IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei says there is plenty of time for negotiation with Iran.
1. "Congressional Digest" Ad
Today's weekly edition of the "Congressional Digest" should have a full page ad against an attack on Iran sponsored by the Center for Arms Control and Physicians for Social Responsibility.
The ad is also booked for the daily edition of the CD on the 13th and 15th February, says Carah Ong, the Iranian Policy Analyst. She has told the 50 peace and church organizations working for a non violent resolution of the Iranian impasse that she has camera ready artwork for groups to run the ad in their local and university student newspapers. You can also request this at email@example.com
By Jean-Pierre Perrin, Liberation
President Ahmadinejad's isolation relaunches a new phase in negotiations with the UN.
Is Iran poised to decide to suspend uranium enrichment as the international community has been demanding it do? Signs in Tehran make this hypothesis ever more plausible. The first is the entry onto the scene of Ali Velayati, the Islamic Regime's longtime, indefatigable Foreign Affairs Minister, and now Supreme Guide Ali Khamenei's diplomatic advisor.
By David Swanson
Aiding a nation against a foreign invasion is not grounds for war. The US aided France against Germany and still brags about it.
WMD possession is not grounds for war. The US has more of them than anyone.
The motivation for attacking Iran was laid out in 2000 by the PNAC, and as early as 1992 in defense planning guidance -- written for then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney by then-Pentagon staffers I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, World Bank Chief Paul Wolfowitz, and ambassador-nominee to the United Nations Zalmay Khalilzad.
If the motivation for attacking Iran was aid to Iraqi resisters, the U.S. would be attacking Saudi Arabia too.
There is no evidence that Iran has nukes. NIE in 2005 said 2015 was the earliest Iran could have them.
There is no evidence that the government of Iran is involved in aiding Iraqis, a fact that Peter Pace and the CIA agree with.
By Paul Krugman, New York Times
Attacking Iran would be a catastrophic mistake, even if all the allegations now being made about Iranian actions in Iraq are true.
But it wouldn’t be the first catastrophic mistake this administration has made, and there are indications that, at the very least, a powerful faction in the administration is spoiling for a fight.
Before we get to the apparent war-mongering, let’s talk about the basics. Are there people in Iran providing aid to factions in Iraq, factions that sometimes kill Americans as well as other Iraqis? Yes, probably. But you can say the same about Saudi Arabia, which is believed to be a major source of financial support for Sunni insurgents — and Sunnis, not Iranian-backed Shiites, are still responsible for most American combat deaths.
Here's the slideshow the U.S. military is using on reporters.
By Ray McGovern, www.tompaine.com
Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in Washington, DC. During his 27 years as a CIA analyst, he chaired NIEs and prepared the president’s daily brief. He is now on the steering group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.
An understated headline moved me yesterday; it was atop AP’s explosively formed story about the “explosively formed penetrators” traced to Iran that are killing our troops in Iraq: “Democrats Skeptical of Starting Row With Iran.” Yawn.
By Dave Lindorff, www.thiscantbehappening.net
If reporters could all stop the heavy breathing for a moment, they might ask the folks at the White House and in the Pentagon to explain why those bombs that they displayed as "evidence" of Iranian perfidy had English words and numbers on them, instead of Persian.
I understand that Iranian manufacturers use English to identify products produced for export, but these devices--if they are Iranian--aren't really part of their general export product list.
By Larisa Alexandrovna, Raw Story
The escalation of US military planning on Iran is only the latest chess move in a six-year push within the Bush Administration to attack that country. While Iran was named a part of President George W. Bush's "axis of evil" in 2002, efforts to ignite a confrontation with Iran date back long before the post-9/11 war on terror.
Congressmen John Conyers and Dennis Kucinich have suggested that they are for impeachment of Bush if he attacks Iran. Here's a two-and-a-half-minute audio clip of both of them being interviewed by John Nichols. Here's the full broadcast from which this is taken. Here's a statement Kucinich made on the floor of the House, which he refers to in this broadcast: "The degree to which this President continues to take steps to go to war against Iran without consulting with the full Congress is the degree to which he is increasingly putting himself in jeopardy of an impeachment proceeding."
By Michael Hirsh and Maziar Bahari, Newsweek
Jalal Sharafi was carrying a video game, a gift for his daughter, when he found himself surrounded. On that chilly Sunday morning, the second secretary at the Iranian Embassy in Baghdad had driven himself to the commercial district of Arasat Hindi to checkout the site for a new Iranian bank. He had ducked into a nearby electronics store with his bodyguards, and as they emerged four armored cars roared up and disgorged at least 20 gunmen wearing bulletproof vests and Iraqi National Guard uniforms. They flashed official IDs, and manhandled Sharafi into one car. Iraqi police gave chase, guns blazing. They shot up one of the other vehicles, capturing four assailants who by late last week had yet to be publicly identified. Sharafi and the others disappeared.
By US Army Reserves Colonel (Retired) Ann Wright
George Bush is going to war again. We see it in the Bush administration’s rhetoric about Iran’s nuclear program. We see it in the Bush administration’s commentary on Iran’s reported role in training and equipping Iraqis who are fighting US forces that have invaded and occupied that country. We see it in the Bush administration’s criticism of Iran’s role in funding and equipping Hezbollah in Lebanon. We see it in the Bush administration’s direction to the US military to detain Iranian diplomats in Iraq and breach diplomatic facilities and capture or kill Iranian operatives in Iraq. We see it in the deployment of the third US Naval carrier group (20 more ships) to the Gulf.
Should the U.S. strike the nation of Iran we will engage in dramatic nonviolent direct action, risking arrest, and hopefully filling up the jails. At 5 p.m. on the same day, or at 9 a.m. the following day (whichever happens sooner) we will go to our nearest places of government (state or federal buildings), and block all entrances until removed by law enforcement. We will make our appearance and the action itself as dramatic as possible.
Post information on an event that doesn't have a date yet, as a comment below.
Flyer attached below in Word. Please print on yellow paper.
Some senior administration officials still relish the notion of a direct confrontation. One ambassador in Washington said he was taken aback when John Hannah, Vice President Cheney's national security adviser, said during a recent meeting that the administration considers 2007 "the year of Iran" and indicated that a U.S. attack was a real possibility. Hannah declined to be interviewed for this article.
John Hannah replaced Scooter Libby as Cheney's national security adviser when Libby resigned. He also was a primary author of the case on Iraq that Cheney's staff wanted Colin Powell to use at the UN, but Powell threw out as crap. And given what Powell did use, that must have been some pretty crappy crap.
(Thanks to Seth Ackerman for pointing this out.)
By David Swanson
Here's the latest reason they must be telling the truth about Iran and the need for a new war: they lied about the last one. That's right, according to the latest dispatch from the Associated Press,
"No one who has seen the files has suggested the evidence is thin. But senior officials – gun shy after the drubbing the administration took for the faulty intelligence leading to the 2003 Iraq invasion – were underwhelmed by the packaging."
The New York Times today published a front-page story by Michael Gordon which recites administration claims about Iran’s involvement in Iraq “without the slightest questioning, investigation, or presentation of ample counter-evidence.” Greg Mitchell notes, via Glenn Greenwald, that it was Gordon “who, on his own, or with Judith Miller, wrote some of the key, and badly misleading or downright inaccurate, articles about Iraqi WMDs in the run-up to the 2003 invasion.”
Despite denials, Pentagon plans for possible attack on nuclear sites are well advanced
By Ewen MacAskill, The Guardian
A second battle group has been ordered to the Gulf and extra missiles have already been sent out. Meanwhile oil is being stockpiled. Photograph: Reuters
US preparations for an air strike against Iran are at an advanced stage, in spite of repeated public denials by the Bush administration, according to informed sources in Washington.
Michael Scheuer, former head of the CIA’s Bin Laden unit, analyzes the conclusions of the National Intelligence Estimate, refuting its contention that Al-Qaeda’s Iraq presence has any bearing on the group’s international planning and that the Iranians have been more active than “key Sunni regimes” in supporting their proxy militias in Iraq. In an interview with National Interest online editor, Ximena Ortiz, Scheuer also said that in broad strokes, the document provides an impressively frank description of the dire conditions in Iraq.
By Spencer Ackerman, TPMuckraker
I just got off the phone with Flynt Leverett, a former CIA Mideast analyst and National Security Council staffer during President Bush's first term. Leverett says he finds it "really quite curious" that Secretary Rice is pleading a memory lapse on an Iranian offer shortly after the Iraq war to, among other things, recognize Israel.
By Parisa Hafezi, Reuters
Iran's top authority, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said on Thursday the Islamic Republic would target U.S. interests around the world if it came under attack over its disputed nuclear program.
His comments were accompanied by an Iranian naval commander's statement that the Revolutionary Guards had test fired missiles that could sink "big warships" in the Gulf, the waterway where a second U.S. aircraft carrier is now heading.
hmmm, sounds less than convincing peacemakers.... we might have to add this to the Iran War Lies...
Gates: U.S. Can Prove Iran's Iraq Role
SEVILLE, Spain (AP) - Serial numbers and markings on explosives used in Iraq provide "pretty good" evidence that Iran is providing either weapons or technology for militants there, Defense Secretary Robert Gates asserted Friday. Offering some of the first public details of evidence the military has collected, Gates said, "I think there's some serial numbers, there may be some markings on some of the projectile fragments that we found," that point to Iran....
With hardly a trace of irony, this Friday, Feb. 9, the History Channel will be broadcasting a propaganda show, "Iran : The Next Iraq?" And it has been airing off and on for some time.
It calls Iran "perhaps the most clear and present danger to American security" and promises to "examine evidence that shows Iran is secretly pursuing a nuclear weapon and just may intend to use on the United States or its allies."