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By Avner Cohen and William Burr
Washington Post, April 30, 2006; Page B01
On Sept. 9, 1969, a big brown envelope was delivered to the Oval Office on behalf of CIA Director Richard M. Helms. On it he had written, "For and to be opened only by: The President, The White House." The precise contents of the envelope are still unknown, but it was the latest intelligence on one of Washington's most secretive foreign policy matters: Israel's nuclear program. The material was so sensitive that the nation's spymaster was unwilling to share it with anybody but President Richard M. Nixon himself.
After hyping Iraqi nuclear threat in 2002-03, conservative media now doing the same with Iranian nuclear program
Media Matters for America
Summary: On the third anniversary of President Bush's premature declaration of victory in Iraq, Media Matters has compiled examples of media that sounded alarms over Iraq's purported weapons of mass destruction capabilities now sounding similar alarms over Iran.
In recent months, Media Matters for America has noted numerous instances in which conservative commentators and media sources have hyped Iran's progress in developing a nuclear capability and have made assertions that contradict the public estimates provided by the United States intelligence community and independent experts. Many of these same commentators similarly touted Iraq's purported efforts to develop nuclear weapons in 2002 and early 2003 while making the case for war. On the third anniversary of President Bush's premature declaration of victory in Iraq, Media Matters has compiled examples of media that sounded alarms over Iraq's purported weapons of mass destruction capabilities now sounding similar alarms over Iran:
May 1 (Bloomberg) -- Iran is asking United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the Security Council to take unspecified action in response to what it says is the threat of a U.S. attack against its nuclear facilities.
A letter from Javad Zarif, Iran's ambassador to the UN, describes ``public and illegal threats of resort to force'' by the U.S., according to a copy provided by Iran's mission to the world body. Zarif seeks an ``urgent, concerted and resolute response'' from Annan and the Security Council.
Dennis Kucinich speaking from the Floor of the House
Speaking in opposition to H.R. 282, the Iran Freedom Support Act, Congressman Kucinich said:
"Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Texas [Ron Paul] for the point that he made that is well taken.
"With all due respect to my colleagues who may have a difference of opinion about this bill, I think that most American people know that this administration has already made a mess of international relations with respect to the illegal and unwarranted invasion of Iraq.
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iranian forces again shelled a border area used by Iranian Kurdish rebels, forcing some families to flee their homes Monday but causing no casualties, a Kurdish official said.
Mustafa Qader, a member of the political bureau of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan party, said the shelling began at about 9 a.m. Sunday and continued until 5:30 a.m. Monday.
"It was so heavy that it forced families in these villages to flee the area to find shelter with their relatives," Qader said in a telephone interview from Sulaimaniyah, which is 160 miles northeast of Baghdad. advertisement
By LAUNCE RAKE, Las Vegas Sun
LAS VEGAS -- Contrary to the Pentagon's earlier denials, a government official overseeing a test explosion at the Nevada Test Site in June says the blast could help with the development of nuclear weapons.
The detonation could simulate "a number of weapon concepts," said Doug Bruder, director of the counter-weapons of mass destruction program for the Defense Department's Defense Threat Reduction Agency.
IN THIS NEWSLETTER
1) IRAN: THINK IT WON'T HAPPEN? THINK AGAIN.
2) THE COST OF ONE US SOLDIER IN IRAQ
3) REGISTER ONLINE FOR THE STW CONFERENCE
4) HEAR NEIL YOUNG'S ANTI-WAR BARRAGE FOR FREE
YNet News reports we are at the threshold of the most terrifying moment in human history: a pre-emptive nuclear strike on Iran. Contrary to the public story, the Bush Administration is proceeding full speed ahead, Congressional authorization be damned:
Turkey won't let U.S. attack Iran from its land
Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said Sunday that his country refused a request from the United States to attack Iran from its Air Force base in Incirlik, despite the U.S. offer of a nuclear reactor, according to a report in Al Biyan.
Communication could help alleviate tension from historical grievances.
By John K. Cooley, http://www.csmonitor.com
ATHENS - It's time to soften the Bush administration's hard position against direct talks with Iran. A good time for both Washington and Tehran to begin overtures toward such talks would be following the UN Security Council's April 28 deadline for Iran to suspend uranium enrichment, which Iran rejects.
"It's time to divorce ourselves from King George the XLIII before he destroys innocent people and whatever's left of this country's once-good reputation."
The Spectrum, UT, http://www.thespectrum.com
Uh-oh, if Orrin Hatch is getting nervous about a military project, we'd better all be nervous.
The Republican senator from Utah sent his aides to the Nevada Test Site to check out the location where a 700-ton ammonium nitrate-fuel oil bomb will be exploded on June 2.
By Robert Parry, http://www.consortiumnews.com
In a replay of the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction charade, neoconservative supporters of George W. Bush are pushing the U.S. intelligence community to take a more alarmist view about Iran’s nuclear program – only this time, the nation’s top spy John Negroponte is resisting the pressure unlike former CIA chief George Tenet.
Tenet joined in Bush’s hyping of the WMD evidence about Iraq – famously telling the President that the case was a “slam dunk.” But Negroponte is defying hardliners who want a worst-case scenario on Iran’s capabilities. Instead, he is citing Iran’s limited progress in refining uranium and their use of a cascade of only 164 centrifuges.
Ben Frank, www.uruknet.info
As if Iraq isn’t a big enough mess, the House of Representatives has just voted to 'hold Iran accountable and support a transition to democracy’. Sound Familiar? Only this time Iran is a democracy. They just held an election where their president was actually elected by the people. How refreshing.
After everything that has been exposed…the lies, the profiteering, the long list of war crimes, 397 'Representatives’ gave Bush the go ahead on attacking Iran. Only 21 Patriots voted Nay. Sad to say but these are the only people we can trust…
House passes 'Iran Freedom Support Act'
by Justin Raimondo
It is "a steppingstone to war," said Rep. Dennis Kucinich, during the debate over the so-called Iran Freedom Support Act, and if this vote is any measure of the degree of congressional opposition to the looming prospect of war with Tehran, then we have a lot to worry about.
Only 21 members of the House stood up against the overwhelming bipartisan wave of support for the bill, which would impose economic sanctions on the Iranians – and openly proclaims the goal of effecting "regime change." Rep. Ron Paul, a Texas Republican, said the bill reminds him of a 1998 congressional resolution – the Iraq Liberation Act – that paved the way for the Iraqi debacle. Yet most of the "antiwar" contingent in the House of Representatives caved and voted in favor, including Democrats John Conyers, Maxine Waters, Jack Murtha, Bernie Sanders, Barbara Lee, and Lynn Woolsey.
Wednesday, May 3, 2006
Conference Room 6
United Nations, New York
This panel will explore the intricate connection between nuclear energy production and the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Participants will explain why nuclear power is not the answer to climate change and why it will not play a major role in slowing the rate of greenhouse gas emissions.
Steve Sawyer, Climate Policy Director, Greenpeace International
By Leslie Feinberg, Workers World
“Divine Strake”—the strange name for a scheduled test blast of 700 tons of explosives on Western Shoshone land on June 2—is nothing but a Pentagon end-run around the ban on nuclear weapons testing. It is scheduled at a time when a wing of the U.S. military and political establishment is considering the use of a new generation of tactical nuclear “bunker-bus ters” that they hope can drill far deeper underground into case-hardened facilities.
By Judy Fahys, The Salt Lake Tribune
Add Gov. Jon M. Huntsman to the list of Utahns with suspicions about a huge upcoming explosion at the Nevada Test Site.
Speaking Thursday at his monthly news conference, the Republican governor shared a demand voiced this week by Utah members of Congress: that the Pentagon and the Energy Department must do more to prove the June 2 "Divine Strake" won't harm Utahns.
Pentagon apparently looks for an optimal size of a 'bunker buster'
by Robert Gehrke, Salt Lake Tribune
Washington - A powerful blast scheduled at the Nevada Test Site in June is designed to help war planners figure out the smallest nuclear weapon able to destroy underground targets. And it has caused a concern that it signals a renewed push toward tactical nuclear weapons.
The detonation, called Divine Strake, is intended to "develop a planning tool to improve the warfighter's confidence in selecting the smallest proper nuclear yield necessary to destroy underground facilities while minimizing collateral damage," according to Defense Department budget documents.
“How can we have a nuclear program when we actively discourage (other countries’) nuclear programs?”
By RYANN RASMUSSEN,
Southern Utah University Journal
The U.S. Department of Energy will detonate a 700-ton non-nuclear bomb on June 2 at the Nevada Test Site, but some Iron County residents and officials are concerned.
They are afraid the expected 10,000-foot debris cloud will have a negative effect on public health.
A so far little noticed plan to simulate a nuclear strike on an underground bunker will be carried out this summer in Nevada. It has so far been given little attention. The sheer clutter of daily news stories indicating that our government is off its rocker has served well to desensitize us to these frequent and shocking revelations.
The bomb, named Divine Strake will involve detonating an ungodly amount of explosives in order to help design a new line of 'smart nukes' to use against bunkers, specifically with Iran in mind. A group of scientists have written the president and explained that even a small, one ton device in Iran would likely kill millions of people by the fallout and spread of radiation to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. Google it.
Wednesday April 26,
5 PM, Lafayette Park, opposite the White House, Washington, DC
NUCLEAR OPTION OFF THE TABLE
An adhoc group of activists will join
Dr. Jorge E. Hirsch: Professor of Physics, UCSD
To deliver the letter to President Bush
Hirsh has been widely published in progressive and mainstream
publications. See a collection at http://antiwar.com/hirsch/
The Urgency of stopping the US next war in Middle East is upon us.
By Sherwood Ross, Middle East Times
NEW JERSEY -- American troops are already in Iran "to collect targeting data and to establish contact with anti-government ethnic-minority groups", according to a report in the April 17 issue of The New Yorker, published in New York City.
The covert military units have been working with the Azeris, in the north, the Baluchis, in the southeast, and the Kurds, in the northeast, wrote Seymour Hersh, a prize-winning investigative reporter. A government consultant with close ties to the Pentagon told Hersh the troops "are studying the terrain, and giving away walking-around money to ethnic tribes, and recruiting scouts from local tribes and shepherds".
A blast being planned for the Nevada desert revives some old atomic-age concerns
By MARGOT ROOSEVELT, Time Magazine
Will a 10,000-foot cloud of dust from a massive bomb spread radioactive particles across the West? It sounds like a nightmare scenario from the 1950s. But that’s the question a U.S. district court in Las Vegas will seek to resolve next month.
A Western Shoshone Indian tribe and representatives of two Salt Lake citizens groups have filed suit against the U.S. Defense Department to stop the June 2 detonation of a 700-ton ammonium nitrate and fuel oil bomb 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas. The test, announced by the Pentagon on April 4, and dubbed "Divine Strake," is designed to determine how a bomb might penetrate fortified underground bunkers. It will be the biggest open-air chemical blast ever conducted at the Nevada Test site — 280 times more powerful than the explosion that destroyed the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995. "The concern of downwind communities is ‘Here we go again,’" said plaintiff Stephen Erickson of the Salt Lake City-based Citizens Education Project. Though not a nuclear test, Erickson is afraid the huge blast "could kick up radioactive dust from previous nuclear testing," and claims "the Pentagon has sprung it on everybody with no examination of its effects."
"The more I look into this the more upset I become," Hatch said in a statement....Nevada Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Shelley Berkley were briefed on the planned test [Divine Strake], and said it could be conducted safely."
Concerns grow over possible dispersal of old radioactive material in Nevada
By Robert Gehrke, The Salt Lake Tribune
WASHINGTON - Sen. Orrin Hatch has joined a group of Congress members voicing concerns about "Divine Strake," a massive explosion planned this summer at the Nevada Test Site that critics say could have nuclear implications.
SALT LAKE CITY U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch wants reassurances that a massive explosion test planned for Nevada this summer won't disperse radioactive material from past nuclear weapons tests.
Hatch, R-Utah, has joined a group of Congress members voicing concerns about "Divine Strake," the detonation of a 700-ton ammonium nitrate and fuel oil bomb scheduled for June 2 over the Nevada desert.
Although the bomb isn't nuclear, there are concerns that it could shake loose radioactive material from past tests at the Nevada Test Site, about 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas.
“This is our lives and our children’s lives that are at stake. I ask of humanity what is so divine about a weapon with a name like Divine Strake that will contaminate all living life forms?” said Bennie “BlueThunder” LeBeau.
GOP Senator, shareholders offer support in crusades against Pentagon, mining company
Sam Lewin 4/25/2006
A Western tribe currently engaged in battles with two powerful opponents- the largest gold producer in the world and the Pentagon- - is now receiving moral and legal support from shareholders in the company involved in the former controversy and a Republican Senator concerned about the latter’s plan for a huge explosion.
ATHENS, April 25 (Xinhua) -- Visiting U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice asserted here on Tuesday that all options regarding Iran remain on the table, stressing that Washington's priority at this time was to intensify diplomatic efforts.
At the joint press conference after the meeting with her Greek counterpart Dora Bakoyannis, Rice told reporters that Washington was "aware that Iran was not Iraq," adding that U.S. President George Bush "has not withdrawn any options from the table."
"While the Pentagon calls it ''Divine Strake,'' Western Shoshone said there is nothing divine about a massive explosion on their traditional lands. "
By Brenda Norrell / Indian Country Today
ELKO, Nev. - Western Shoshone opposed the Pentagon's planned 700-ton detonation on aboriginal Western Shoshone land, as a delegation of Western Shoshone returned from Geneva, Switzerland, with support from the United Nations for protection of their human rights and territory.
Hatch said initially it was said the bomb site [Test called Divine Strake] was 2.5 miles from where nuclear testing had been done. However, he said, it seems like the detonation is creeping closer to the old test site. He is also concerned that the bomb could raise a cloud up to 10,000 feet.
Sen. Hatch talks to group at DRMC
By PATRICE ST. GERMAIN
ST. GEORGE - Speaking to a group at Dixie Regional Medical Center Thursday afternoon, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said he has been blasted and praised by Downwinders, but apologized for not being more effective and promised to keep working in their behalf.
Divine Strake -- Nobody knows much, or is speaking forthrightly, about this weapon.
The Spectrum, UT
The role of an aggressor is rarely empathetic. It smacks of imperialistic intentions based on jingoist jargon and embarrasses those who have a grasp of the world view.
Such is the sad state this nation finds itself in today as it stands on the threshold of Divine Strake, the test of a 700-ton bomb scheduled to take place at the Nevada Test Site on June 2.
In their suit, tribe officials say the test, dubbed "Divine Strake," would desecrate ancestral lands that the Western Shoshone say were not turned over to the U.S. government.
By Geoffrey Fattah, Deseret Morning News, UT
Two Utah anti-nuclear activists have joined with a Nevada Indian tribe in filing a federal suit to try to stop a planned large-scale non-nuclear explosion in the Nevada desert next June they say will kick up radioactive fallout left over from previous nuclear testing.