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'Fixing' Iran Intelligence

By John Prados, www.tompaine.com

John Prados is a senior fellow with the National Security Archive in Washington. His forthcoming book is Safe for Democracy: The Secret Wars of the CIA (Ivan Dee Publisher).

More and more it appears that the pattern of manipulation and misuse of intelligence that served the Bush administration in the drive to start a war with Iraq is being repeated today for its neighbor Iran.

View on-line Capitol Hill Public Forum(s) on Iran

As a reminder and by way of background, the 64-Member Congressional Progressive Caucus began hosting open forums on Capitol Hill in late May on U.S.-Iran relations. Because of escalating tensions on this front these days, we want to encourage you to watch the expert testimony provided on this important foreign policy challenge. For starters, the first CPC-hosted forum is on-line at the Progressive Caucus website: http://cpc.lee.house.gov

Intelligence officials doubt Iran uranium claims, say Cheney receiving suspect briefings

By Larisa Alexandrovna, www.rawstory.com

The Bush administration continues to bypass standard intelligence channels and use what some believe to be propaganda tactics to create a compelling case for war with Iran, US foreign experts and former US intelligence officials tell RAW STORY.

One former senior intelligence official is particularly concerned by private briefings that Vice President Dick Cheney is getting from former Office of Special Plans (OSP) Director, Abram Shulsky.

Is Lebanon the 'Trigger' for U.S. War With Iran?

By Larisa Alexandrovna, AlterNet
http://www.alternet.org/story/40042

For over a year now I have been reporting on activities that appear to be leading the United States into direct confrontation with Iran. Aside from Sy Hersh and a few others, the majority of the U.S. media largely has ignored this march toward war, mainly because it helped disseminate the pre-war propaganda prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq. But failing to connect the dots on Iran is just as bad, if not worse, because Iran is by no means Iraq. A war with Persia will be a catastrophe of unimaginable consequences and the trigger for that action may have already begun.

Nevada site may be out for the blast test

Delayed again: Director of Pentagon agency to assess other locations
By Robert Gehrke, The Salt Lake Tribune

WASHINGTON - The Defense Department said Tuesday it won't conduct a massive weapons test known as Divine Strake until several months into 2007 at the earliest and it is considering moving the detonation from the Nevada Test Site to a new location.

The Divine Strake test was originally planned for June 2 but was postponed indefinitely after a lawsuit was filed and members of Congress challenged the plans for the test. In late May, the National Nuclear Security Administration withdrew its initial environmental study while it rechecked the data. A few weeks later, the agency said the test would not go forward until September at the earliest.

The Bush Administration’s Iran-Friendly Foreign Policy

By Ivan Eland, http://www.independent.org

Despite growing world outrage, the Bush administration's continued backing of Israel's over-the-top military action in Lebanon can only help Hezbollah and its patron Iran. The administration's foreign policy could not be more pro-Iranian if the White House had become infested with Iranian agents.

Even after the carnage in the Lebanese town of Qana, the administration continues its nonsensical rhetoric about seeking a "sustainable cease fire" in Lebanon as Israeli military action continues. Most casual observers employing any logic would conclude that it would be difficult to determine the sustainability of any ceasefire unless it was first attempted. Obviously, the administration's rhetoric is designed to give Israel more time to damage Hezbollah. Of course, Israel's original and implausible goal was to eradicate Hezbollah without invading Lebanon and becoming bogged down in another quagmire there. Israel has found, however, much like the Bush administration has in Iraq, that guerrilla organizations, especially ones as competent as Hezbollah, are not that easily eliminated. Israel has found Hezbollah's infrastructure and combat skills to be much more formidable than anticipated.

Iran: The Next War

Even before the bombs fell on Baghdad, a group of senior Pentagon officials were plotting to invade another country. Their covert campaign once again relied on false intelligence and shady allies. But this time, the target was Iran. BY JAMES BAMFORD
Read the Article

Mideast Conflict Boosts Chances of Iran-US Showdown

By Jim Lobe, Inter Press Service

WASHINGTON - The week-old Israeli-Hezbollah conflict is likely to boost the chances of U.S. military action against Iran, according to a number of regional experts who see a broad consensus among the U.S. political elite that the ongoing hostilities are part of a broader offensive being waged by Tehran against Washington across the region.

While Israel-centred neo-conservatives have been the most aggressive in arguing that Hezbollah's Jul. 12 cross-border attack could only have been carried out with Iran's approval, if not encouragement, that view has been largely accepted and echoed by the mainstream media, as well as other key political factions, including liberal internationalists identified with the Democratic Party.

Western Shoshone honored for opposition to nuclear weapons tests

By Brenda Norrell / Indian Country Today

Photos courtesy Deanna Taylor -- Carrie Dann, executive director of the Western Shoshone Defense Project, spoke to a crowd gathered at a test site on May 28. The First National Conference on Precaution honored Western Shoshone organizations for their efforts to halt future nuclear testing and contamination in Western Shoshone homelands. Below -- Western Shoshone, environmentalists and other activists marched to the Nevada Test Site over Memorial Day weekend earlier this year, calling for a halt to nuclear and chemical weapons testing at the site. The Western Shoshone were awarded the Pioneer of Precaution award for their struggle against such testing.

Seymour Hersh: Senior Pentagon Officials Challenging President Bush's Iran

www.democracynow.org

Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh reports that the Defense Department has been drawing up plans, at President Bush's direction, for a major bombing campaign inside Iran. Hersh says that generals and admirals have told the Bush Administration the bombing campaign will probably not succeed in destroying Iran's nuclear program and that war planners are not
even sure what to target.

Opposed to Divine Strake

By Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
The Spectrum, UT

On many of my visits to Southern Utah, I am stopped by citizens who tell me about hardships they have faced because of exposure to nuclear testing during the Cold War. I always feel deep compassion for these individuals and empathize with their frustrations and sorrow - and I'll do everything I can to make sure no one else has to suffer like this again.

LAST STAND

LAST STAND
The military’s problem with the President’s Iran policy.
by SEYMOUR M. HERSH, New Yorker
Issue of 2006-07-10
Posted 2006-07-03

On May 31st, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced what appeared to be a major change in U.S. foreign policy. The Bush Administration, she said, would be willing to join Russia, China, and its European allies in direct talks with Iran about its nuclear program. There was a condition, however: the negotiations would not begin until, as the President put it in a June 19th speech at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, “the Iranian regime fully and verifiably suspends its uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities.” Iran, which has insisted on its right to enrich uranium, was being asked to concede the main point of the negotiations before they started. The question was whether the Administration expected the Iranians to agree, or was laying the diplomatic groundwork for future military action. In his speech, Bush also talked about “freedom for the Iranian people,” and he added, “Iran’s leaders have a clear choice.” There was an unspoken threat: the U.S. Strategic Command, supported by the Air Force, has been drawing up plans, at the President’s direction, for a major bombing campaign in Iran.

Hersh - The Generals are resisting an attack on Iran

Hersh - The Generals are resisting an attack on Iran
by deepsouthdoug, Daily Kos
Sun Jul 02, 2006

That is according to Seymour Hersh regarding a possible attack on Iran in a new article up on the New Yorker website. Sy was also on CNN this morning discussing the new story with John Roberts.

The bad news is the serious planning is still underway for an attack. And......to prove he's not trainable, Hersh reports that Rummy thinks an attack on Iran will be a cakewalk - just like Iraq was.

LAST STAND

The military’s problem with the President’s Iran policy
By SEYMOUR M. HERSH, http://www.newyorker.com

On May 31st, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced what appeared to be a major change in U.S. foreign policy. The Bush Administration, she said, would be willing to join Russia, China, and its European allies in direct talks with Iran about its nuclear program. There was a condition, however: the negotiations would not begin until, as the President put it in a June 19th speech at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, “the Iranian regime fully and verifiably suspends its uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities.” Iran, which has insisted on its right to enrich uranium, was being asked to concede the main point of the negotiations before they started. The question was whether the Administration expected the Iranians to agree, or was laying the diplomatic groundwork for future military action. In his speech, Bush also talked about “freedom for the Iranian people,” and he added, “Iran’s leaders have a clear choice.” There was an unspoken threat: the U.S. Strategic Command, supported by the Air Force, has been drawing up plans, at the President’s direction, for a major bombing campaign in Iran.

Three Nuclear Ironies

By Tad Daley, www.CommonDreams.org

A nuclear first strike to forestall a nuclear Iran can only end with nuclear second strikes here.

An earlier version of this essay appears in the July/August 2006 issue of Tikkun magazine.

"With supreme irony," said historian James Harvey Robinson of the First World War, "the war to 'make the world safe for democracy' ended by leaving democracy more unsafe..." With comparable irony, a nuclear war to make the world safe from nuclear peril could end by leaving America more exposed to nuclear annihilation than at any time since the dawn of the atomic age.

Tomgram: Chip Ward on Pentagon Fireworks

http://www.tomdispatch.com

One of the least noticed success stories of George Bush's years in power has been his administration's ability to focus the world's attention so singularly first on Saddam Hussein ‘s "nuclear program" -- remember that yellowcake brick road? -- which had absolutely no basis in reality; then on a meager (though frightening) North Korean nuclear force (of questionable use), and finally on a questionable Iranian nuclear bomb, which, according to the latest National Intelligence Estimate, is perhaps ten years away and yet somehow has been ever in our midst.

US, Allies Set Deadline for Iran Nuke Talks

MSNBC News Services

Russian official says G-8 nations expect a response by July 5.
Moscow - The Group of Eight industrialized nations told Iran on Thursday to give a "clear and substantive response" next week to an offer by major powers over its nuclear program.

Iran has still not said whether it will accept a package of incentives given to it on June 6 by the five permanent, veto-wielding U.N. Security Council members - the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia - and Germany.

Desert Blast Could Be Precursor To Mini-Nukes

By Dan Rea

(CBS4) BOSTON In the desert outside of Las Vegas Friday, the United States was scheduled to detonate a huge explosion. That test has been stopped by a federal court. Opponents say it's possible this test could lead to a new class of small nuclear weapons or mini-nukes.

The story has received scant media attention except in the Nevada area, but it appears the U.S. government wants a new nuclear option - so-called small nuclear bunker busters that could be used against enemy bunkers containing stashes of chemical or biological weapons.

Because a Million Decent People Forced Him To, And the Same People Will Put You Behind Bars, Perle

Why Did Bush Blink on Iran? (Ask Condi)
By Richard Perle, www.washingtonpost.com

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran knows what he wants: nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them; suppression of freedom at home and the spread of terrorism abroad; and the "shattering and fall of the ideology and thoughts of the liberal democratic systems."

President Bush, too, knows what he wants: an irreversible end to Iran's nuclear weapons program, the "expansion of freedom in all the world" and victory in the war on terrorism.

NOOKULUR DEMOCKERY

http://www.riprense.com

There is no danger of the Bush administration using nuclear weapons against Iran, or any other country.

Nookulur weapons, on the other hand. . .

Yes, President “Vice-President” Dick Cheney and “President” George W. Bush would really love to bust some bunkers over there, using nookulur boom-booms. They are like kids with firecrackers, looking for a match. Doubt it?

Mixed signals received on Test Site blast

DOE says it plans to go ahead with Divine Strake
By Launce Rake and Lisa Mascaro, Las Vegas Sun

Despite claims to the contrary, the planned detonation of 700 tons of chemical explosives at the Nevada Test Site is not quite dead.

In a U.S. District Court hearing conducted by telephone last week, government officials said they had no immediate plans to move forward with the fuel oil-ammonium nitrate explosion, and agreed to a stipulation that the earliest the test could go forward would be September. Designed to simulate an atomic-sized blast on underground structures, the explosion was originally scheduled for June 2 but has been postponed because of the court challenge.

Why Bush Won't Attack Iran

By Gareth Porter, IPS News
http://www.alternet.org/story/37888

In every statement on Iran, officials of the George W. Bush administration routinely repeat the party line that "the president never takes any option off the table".

Despite the constant invocation of a possible military attack on Iran, however, a little-noticed section of the administration's official national security strategy indicates that Bush has already decided that he will not use military force to try to prevent Iran from going nuclear.

Awaiting the Divine

The Bush administration proposes to explode a huge conventional bomb in the Nevada desert, but activists see a short leap to resumed nuclear testing
By PERRY CROWE, Los Angeles City Beat

America’s one-time nuclear weapons testing facility, the Nevada Test Site, is only 45 minutes north of Las Vegas, but it might as well be on the moon. The space between the two contains little more than desert, mountains, a prison, and an Air Force base. The gate on Highway 95 is called Mercury, and the peace camp at Mercury amounts to a dozen or so tents scattered amongst the sagebrush and rocks, hushed by a great sense of isolation. Cradled between two rows of mountains, the air is still and the vastness of the landscape swallows up most sound.

Congress quietly holds classified briefings on Iran as Democrats seek access to intelligence

By Larisa Alexandrovna, http://www.rawstory.com

In an effort to stave off what appears to be a Congressional blackout by the Bush administration with regard to Iran intelligence and policy, Senate Democratic leaders introduced the Iran Intelligence Oversight Act on Monday.

The amendment indicates that few in Congress have received access to US intelligence on Iran. Democrats' comments also signal that key lawmakers have yet to be briefed with regard to Administration policy.

Bush Wrongfooted as Iran Steps up International Charm Offensive

By Simon Tisdall, Guardian / UK

Bush administration officials like to describe Iran as a country isolated from the outside world. Its outlaw government's policies, and especially its nuclear activities, have earned it the distrust of the international community, the fear of its neighbours and, they say, the rightful label of a "rogue state".

But in recent weeks, as Tehran's uranium enrichment dispute with the US, Britain and other western European countries has moved towards a denouement, Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has launched an energetic diplomatic counter-offensive. Defying US containment efforts, Iran is pursuing its own policy of regional engagement. And to Washington's growing unease, it seems to be working.

Albright: Iraq Invasion Encouraged Others

Associated Press

Moscow - Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright criticized the U.S. invasion of Iraq, saying Monday it had encouraged Iran and North Korea to push ahead with their nuclear programs.

Albright, who served under President Clinton, said "the message out of Iraq is the wrong one."

"The message out of Iraq is that if you don't have nuclear weapons, you get invaded. If you do have nuclear weapons, you don't get invaded," she said after an investors' conference in Moscow.

A Negotiated Solution to the Iranian Nuclear Crisis is Within Reach

The US must take three basic steps to defuse this confrontation. The consequences of not doing so could be grim
By Noam Chomsky, Guardian/UK

The urgency of halting the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and moving toward their elimination, could hardly be greater. Failure to do so is almost certain to lead to grim consequences, even the end of biology's only experiment with higher intelligence. As threatening as the crisis is, the means exist to defuse it.

Iranian Peace Offers

Institute for Public Accuracy
915 National Press Building, Washington, D.C. 20045
(202) 347-0020 * http://www.accuracy.org * ipa@accuracy.org

Sunday's Financial Times story "Iran 'Ready To Limit Nuclear
Programme'" reports that "Iran's leadership is ready to limit its
nuclear programme but will not suspend uranium enrichment as a
precondition for talks, two regime insiders have told the Financial

Rep. Duncan Hunter Says Congress Irrelevant, Attack on Iran OK

From Hardball

MR. MATTHEWS: Let me ask you gentlemen both to look forward, not back, for a second here. A lot of Americans are worried about Iran and what we're going to do over there, if anything.

Does the president have to come to Congress for approval in advance if he's planning to attack Iran's nuclear potential?

Congressman Hunter.

REP. HUNTER: I think absent an absolute emergency he's got to have a heavy consultation with Congress --

Kanab rally decries possible risks of blast

Divine Strake: Locals say the Nevada weapons test may create a new group of downwinders
By Mark Havnes, The Salt Lake Tribune

KANAB - St. George resident Michelle Thomas was born at the beginning of nuclear-weapons testing at the Nevada Test Site in 1951. She has seen friends and family members die from what she attributes to the effects of radiation fallout from those explosions.

She talked about her experiences - and those of her mother, who never trusted the government's assurances of safety - at a rally Saturday at the Kanab City Library. She opposes plans for a non-nuclear blast - known as Divine Strake - planned for the test site later this year.

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