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Iran Lies

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."

See? It's just the "packaging." They've got solid proof, and they're even being extra careful in presenting it to us, because we were so hard on them last time. In fact, you can tell just how careful these senior officials are being from the fact that in all the articles in all the newspapers, so many of them (or is it all one guy?) are never identified by name.

The New York Times has even abandoned its stated policies in order to rush these careful claims out without naming any sources:

And shockingly, according to one, possibly apocryphal, account, the Times has acknowledged that its reporter Michael Gordon is actually a voice-activated answering machine:

This is brought into doubt, however, by an Email exchange one reader had with Gordon this weekend, in which the apparently real reporter explained:

"I am well aware of the controversy over the WMD intel. I think this case is different. The US intelligence community is not on the outside looking in, as was the case with the WMD intel. The US is in Iraq and this largely reflects intelligence gathered on the battefield. At any rate, I spend some time talking to a range of officials on this issue and quoted the intel reports accurately." [sic]

So, you see? This case is DIFFERENT. This time we can TRUST the "intelligence" sources. Because, last time, we'd merely had crews of trained inspectors swarming the country for years, and they denied that there were any WMD there. This time, we have amateurs observing the situation in the middle of guerrilla warfare, and they say they've got the goods but can't reveal them. So, you see, it's DIFFERENT.

The headline on the latest AP story (a story written by Katherine Shrader and Anne Gearan) reads "U.S. Considers Proof About Iran: Government Weighs How Much to Divulge About Iraq Connection." Shrader and Gearan assure us that there is 200 pages of proof, but that sadly and inexplicably it's classified. Of course, "No one who has seen the files has suggested the evidence is thin." Another way to say this might be: "No one who would suggest the evidence was thin has been permitted to see the files." It sounds less impressive that way though.

Who has seen the 200 pages? Well, Shrader and Gearan report that "officials from several intelligence agencies scrutinized the presentation to make sure it was clear and that 'we don't in any way jeopardize our sources and methods in making the presentation,' State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said." Now, does anyone recall any concerns that previous presentations have been unclear? My memory suggests that the reason for the "drubbing the administration took" was that they blatantly lied, not that they wrote poorly. And, since when does one PR flack at the State Department get to explain the concerns of several intelligence agencies?

National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley claims the White House is the reason for the delay in making public the "proof," and he claims the White House is trying to get the intelligence community (is it really a community?) to weaken, not strengthen, its claims. However, the National Review reports:

"At least twice in the past month, the White House has delayed a PowerPoint presentation initially prepared by the military to detail evidence of suspected Iranian materiel and financial support for militants in Iraq. The presentation was to have been made at a press conference in Baghdad in the first week of February. Officials have set no new date, but they say it could be any day.

"Even as U.S. officials in Baghdad were ready to make the case, administration principals in Washington who were charged with vetting the PowerPoint dossier bowed to pressure from the intelligence community and ordered that it be scrubbed again."

The AP seems to agree that the "intelligence" services, not the White House, caused the delay. Of course, we all would know this without being told if we simply stopped to think for a moment. The AP article says:

"Privately, officials say they want to avoid the kind of gaffe akin to former Secretary of State Colin Powell's case for war before the United Nations in 2003."

Well that's lovely, and it's nice of them to make their "private" comments so… um, publicly. But do they have no concern over avoiding the kind of "gaffe" President Bush made in his 2002 speech in Cincinnati or on numerous television appearances and in a memorable State of the Union address, or the kind of "gaffes" that Cheney and Rice made over and over again to assure the public and the Congress that Iraq had WMD and ties to 9-11? In other words, has anybody noticed that the same people are still in charge who lied us into the last war?

Now, Robert Gates is out and about claiming that he's got serial numbers that amount to "pretty good" proof of Iranian support for Iraqis. And someone has shown something to select Congress Members, resulting in Joe Lieberman declaring "I'm convinced from what I've seen that the Iranians are supplying and are giving assistance to the people in Iraq who are killing American soldiers." Lieberman, by the way, voted for the last war, and said recently that he does not regret that vote, supports escalating the war, and opposes setting any date by which to end it.

Among the things we have not fully looked into yet are, not only the way the White House sold the last war [ ] but also the way the media lapped up those lies [ ]. As Gilbert Cranberg asked recently, "Why did the Associated Press wait six months, when the body count began to rise, to distribute a major piece by AP's Charles Hanley challenging Powell's evidence and why did Hanley say how frustrating it had been until then to break through the self-censorship imposed by his editors on negative news about Iraq?"

More urgently, why – after the AP published a full debunking by Hanley of the last war's lies [ ] -- is the AP playing along with the new ones? Is this all part of selling us on the idea that the old ones don't matter? It's likely to have the effect of making them matter even more. The current display of media credulity in the face of an absence of evidence is serving to remind the public of how we got into the war in Iraq that continues and worsens to this day.

Here's a collection of the growing list of Iran War Lies:

Add it to the endless list of Iraq War Lies:

But let's keep one thing in mind as we demand a thorough investigation of both sets of lies – lies made by the same set of people: In neither case, even were every single claim 100 percent true and accurate, would anyone have established a legal case for war. If a nation's possession of WMDs were grounds for launching a war against it, the United States would be subject to legal invasion immediately. So, while debunking the fanciful claims of Bush, Cheney, and Gates may be entertaining, we may actually do more good if we brush them aside and point out that it does not matter whether their claims are true or not. Aiding a nation in repelling a foreign occupation is not grounds for war. The U.S. still brags about having done this in France 50 years ago. If Iran were doing it in Iraq now, which no evidence yet suggests, the crime would lie in the foreign invaders' refusal to leave, not in the aide supplied by the Iranians.

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"Fool me twice..........ya can't get fooled again."

After reading this Shrader-Gearan masterpiece in my local paper here in Bryan, Texas this morning, I was moved to send them the following letter:

To the Editor of The Eagle,

The premise of your front-page story (Feb. 11), “U.S. Double-checking Intel” is that our government is working overtime to provide unshakeable evidence to back up its claim that Iran is undercutting U.S. efforts toward victory in Iraq. “[H]aunted by the history of intelligence blunders… officials say they want to avoid the kind of gaffe” made by Colin Powell in his notorious dog and pony show at the U.N. in 2003.

Unfortunately, it was not “blunders” or “gaffes” that built the case for war with Iraq, but deliberate deception. The ongoing Libby trial, revealing the administration’s systematic manipulation of the news media, and the just-released (Feb. 9) report of the Inspector General of the Pentagon, documenting how “evidence” of supposed WMDs and Iraq’s alleged ties to Al-Qaida, both now known to be false, was gamed into the intelligence system by the Pentagon’s “Ofice of Special Plans,” run by Douglas Feith, show how the Bush administration deceived the country into a disastrous war. The report, according to Greg Miller in yesterday’s LA Times, documents “the unusual efforts of defense Department policymakers to bypass regular intelligence channels and influence officials at the highest level of government.” “[A]nalysts from the CIA and other agencies ‘disagreed with more than 50 percent’ of 26 findings the Pentagon team laid out…”

Throughout, the press was used as the mouthpiece for false and misleading government propaganda. Everything in your article betrays exactly the same M.O. It is unsourced – “U.S. officials” said this, and “senior officials” said that. A few names are given, but Sean McCormack is, as the article says, not a source, just a spokesman for these unnamed sources; Defense Secretary Gates “did not say how the U.S. knows” that weapons and technology in Iraq were provided by Iran, “and officials in Washington declined comment”; and this is “backed up” by Sen. Joe Lieberman -- “I’m convinced from what I have seen” – a person who, as perhaps the most gung-ho of anyone in Congress to attack Iran, can hardly be considered an objective source. And even if he were, we have no idea what it is he may or may not have seen.

In sum, the article is patently deceptive: the problem in 2003 was not “blunders” that intelligence failed to double-check, but disinformation that was in fact strongly questioned by intelligence but accepted anyway because it supported the administration’s preconceived desire to attack Iraq. And this disinformation was systematically fed to the Washington stenographers, euphemistically called journalists, who trumpeted the WMDs, aluminum tubes, Mohammed Atta at the Iraqi embassy in Prague, and all the rest of the lies, to a frightened public.

In closing it should be noted that the article incorporates a tried-and-true rhetorical trick known as “paromologia” – conceding a point in order to make a stronger one: “After mistakes on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, U.S. officials recognize there is skepticism about U.S. intelligence claims.” We are supposed to understand that this time they are going to be really -- really and truly, cross their hearts and hope to die -- accurate.

No, I think our president put it much better: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice… we can’t get fooled again.” The American public knows that as bad as the situation is in Iraq, extending the war to Iran would make it incalculably worse. And they understand a lot better now how the “con” in neo-con works.

Right ON, David.

And another classic piece of propaganda from Joe Lieberman:
"I'm convinced from what I've seen that the Iranians are supplying and are giving assistance to the people in Iraq who are killing American soldiers."

To say nothing, of course, of the Beltway warmongers who are sending them to be killed, not for our freedom, security, democracy or any other worthy cause, but solely to serve the imperial neocon agenda.

Tell us Joe, how did they snag you to join their ranks? Did they threaten to reveal a nasty skeleton(s) in your closet? Promise you a nice fat percentage of Middle East oil revenues? Set you up with a cushy AIPAC-funded retirement package?

Anybody who takes the time to look can see right through you, Joe Lieberman. I am thoroughly disgusted and ashamed to call you a sentator from my state.
Demanding Truth, Accountability and Justice.

Cover by the Regime

On 26 January, the Washington Post reported a comment by a Bush administration official: "The Iranians respond to the international community only when they are under pressure, not when they are feeling strong." Though this is a valid statement, the Iranian regime’s response with or without pressure is going to be deceitful, even more deceitful when under pressure. The Guardian reported just the day before that a close ally of Hashemi Rafsanjani (the latter a so-called moderate and ex-president during years of Iran’s clandestine nuclear activity who is now under arrest warrant for ordering the bombing of a cultural centre in Argentina) had stated that on the nuclear issue, it “is necessary to take one step backwards now, in order to take two steps forwards later.”!

Over the three decade history of Iranian theocracy, the regime has systematically deployed shift of clerical and other figures on its front political stage in order to deceive outsiders and protect a highly dangerous core. Sometimes those at the front stage pretend moderation in order to save the regime, but remain privately fiercely loyal to the radical core presided by the Supreme Leader, Khamenei. An example is Mr Khatami, the ex-president who never acted up to people’s expectations to curb the regime core’s tyranny. On the other hand, when the regime feels more confident, the front players are left free to openly and brazenly advocate some of the terrorist policies of the core. A prime example is Ahmadinejad who has been till now relatively free to reveal some of the aims of the core. The core, coward, fascist, deceitful and uncompromising as it is, manipulates the front players and can replace them if and when necessary for its own survival.

Considerations of the historical and social psychological structure of the Iranian society help understand why diplomacy is not going to work with the Iranian regime. Iranian clerics of all political convictions have one important feature in common: moderate or radical, they collaborate extensively to help the regime as they all have a vested interest in its survival. The government in Iran consists of a despotic system led by about 15 Ayatollahs who mostly possess, in common, a particular psychological structure, characterized by paranoia, with two elements to this paranoid trait, the first, a grandiosity related to their shared belief that their version of Islam is the most enlightened ideology in the world, past, present and future; and the second, their extreme suspicion and fear of the ‘outsider’, the ‘enemy’, and the ‘over thrower’ of the regime. These persecutory beliefs torment them and, to the same degree that they feel threatened, they execute, torture, intimidate, and spread fear in their own population. The experience of the past 28 years demonstrates that, when popular discontent increased, Mullahs’ fear for their survival led to a direct increase in the number of arrests, tortures and executions, as well as terrorist activities abroad in which hundreds of Iranians as well as other nationalities including Americans lost their lives. The latter happened in Europe against Iranian exiles and in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Iraq against Sunnis and the allied forces. Both in relation to dissident, Sunnis or multinational forces, the regime kills and maims direct or by proxy trying to leave no trace.

The Mullahs use the idea of ‘the enemy’, the ‘outsider’, ‘the plotters’ along with a pathological interpretation of Islam extensively, in their brainwashing of the Army, Revolutionary Guards, Basijis (plain-clothed violent militia), and other informal militia, Ansar-e-Hezbollah (Helpers of the Party of God), and the 25000 strong Army of Suicide Bombers (Headquarters for the Commemoration of the Martyrs of the International Islamic Movement) as well as in school children, and in their media, radio and television, addressed to both their people and Arab nations in the region.

The danger of a fascist system is not so much its being a dictatorial system, but its being based on a pathological interpretation of human relations. This pathological stance in fascist leaders is based on one common, essential experience in their life history: a pervasive, deep-rooted feeling of humiliation. In the case of the governing Ayatollahs and their cronies in Iran, this humiliation is exacerbated by their realization that Western intellectual, philosophical, technological and scientific advancements are a threat to their historical belief that they the universe centre. Indeed, this more or less unconscious self-doubt is a deep feature of the psychology of the governing Mullahs in Iran. They have proved to have an unconscious and tormenting dilemma whether they are ‘Evil’ themselves, and the proof is their forceful projection of the idea of the ‘Great Satan’ onto the US. The United States with all its power and might is, to Mullahs, the reminder of their humiliation, and this is why they refer to the US as ‘The World Arrogance’ which is indeed another form of projection of their own stance on the world. But these projections would not end in a world without the US. There are Sunni countries, Western Europe, and then non-Islamic countries of the world to target. Yet, paranoia dictates choosing the biggest ‘adversary’ for now, as after ‘defeating’ the US, it would be easier to exterminate other ‘adversaries’.

In the same way that a cancerous tissue invades healthy organs of the body, a fascist system corrupts and destroys democratic textures of other societies. The long-term ambitions of the Mullahs is to overthrow the governments in the world replacing them with political systems copied from themselves, yet as they have thought this is going to be the work of several generations, they have learned to act slyly in order not to be attacked in retaliation. Killing through proxies with cowardice, they have learned to deceitfully adapt their political positions to the circumstances of the day in order not to attract any suspicion about their undercover work. So, getting on headlong with their dangerous, undercover killing and maiming, they enter, when necessary, into disingenuous ‘diplomacy’, replace the front figures to pretend to their dissidents or to gullible foreign politicians that they have changed their nature but in fact the ominous fascist activities runs ahead with full force.

In his Editorial in Washington Times, on 15 January, Lord Waddington refers to Mullahs as “masters of deception”. Though lying, dissimulation and diplomacy can be elements of any political system, the double-dealing, dishonesty, and hypocrisy in the Iranian regime is fundamental to its very strategy. The deceit directed both at the Iranian people, and at the world, is based on the belief that power must be secured, in the long-term, by any means including deception, duplicity, pretence, and underhandedness. In this sense, the regime cannot be trusted with any agreement, as according to the fundamental belief of the core of the regime, there is no written text above Koran as interpreted by the Supreme Leader and all agreements and tactical undertakings, if any, are merely means to the strategic end.

Understanding the symbolic manifestations of the barriers and shields between the inside and the outside in the Iranian society is of huge political importance. If the West misses this concept they will never be able to figure out the meaning of the Iranian political shifts, and take the right action.

To consider the Iranian society to be like any other, is the greatest mistake we may make. The social psychological symbol of deceit in the Iranian politics is represented by the concept of ‘COVER’. Distinguished anthropologists such as DelVecchio Good MJ, Good BJ in their seminal paper “Ritual, the state, and the transformation of emotional discourse in Iranian society” in Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry suggest that in post revolutionary Iranian society, the distance between public and private domains is one of largest compared to that in all other human societies. In today’s Iran, one can do what one wishes, so far as it is not done in the public domain. Privacy is highly encouraged and rigorously practiced by the regime. There are reports that in Iran where prostitution is prohibited, men after having sexual intercourse with prostitutes, advise them to put their Chador on. This is a society in which the government emphasizes ‘surface’, appearance’, and ‘ritual’ in order to divert attention from what is dangerous to unveil: ‘private’, ‘secret’ and ‘deep truth’. The ‘inside’ is considered, by the system, as something that must remain ‘dark’, ‘cryptic’, ‘secret’ and ‘sacred’. The rule of propriety is to hide the private with a crust, mantle, or cloak (both literally and figuratively) to keep the appearance, and let the ‘inner process’ go on. Though wearing cloaks is common among religious men, it is used by the Iranian governing Mullahs to cover up an inside which is unconsciously considered by them as ‘dangerous to reveal’. The cloak needs to be most clean, of the finest material, and well adjusted to detract attention from the ‘inside’. Appearance should be always a decoy for the inner sinister plot.

Nothing better than a metaphor is going to clarify the nature of the ruling system in Iran. The Iranian political system resembles an onion, with the difference that the outside concentric layers are borrowed and do not identify its true species. Each layer, hiding a more central layer, acts as a mantle, protecting the underlying layer and hiding its real identity. Each layer is a cloak to provide an outside appearance to the layer it covers up. A more central layer can shed an outer layer, replacing it, as required, both to deceive onlookers and to protect the core, when the outer layer becomes useless or dangerous to the core’s survival.

Indeed, the concept of cover, surface and depth are reflected in the existence of the parallel forces in the regime, parallel financial institutions, parallel prisons, parallel courts, parallel police, parallel secret services, etc. in Iran. There is not one army, but two, a regular one and a revolutionary one. In the latter, there is one army for ‘protecting’ the ‘revolution’ inside Iran (Pasdaran), and another for exporting it outside (Quds Force). The core is the government behind the decoy government, having its parallel forces (Niroohaye Movazee): revolutionary guards, militia, secret service and additional independent finance through foundations called Bonyad. The core state has full control over the decoy government. It is this decoy government the Europeans had been trying to engage, a façade government with virtually no impact on the core, other than acting as one of its executive forces.

The hard core of the onion consists of the Ayatollahs, their ambition being to dominate the world by purging the ‘infidel’ governments and individuals from the earth, very similar to Al Queda’s strategy. The fundamental strategy of the regime can be compared with the ambitions of the SS High Command. There is dogma. No negotiation is allowed. The core is shielded by a ‘COVER’, a layer of cronies and forces, most conservative and reactionary, the Revolutionary Guards including the Quds Force, the shadowy informal militia, Basijis, and Ansar-e-Hezbollah, the plain-clothed security forces who kidnap people from the streets, and are involved in disappearances and political murders, as well as suicide-bomber trainers at the Headquarters for the Commemoration of the Martyrs of the International Islamic Movement. The heads of these groups are in direct contact with the ruling Ayatollahs in the central core, subserviently following their orders. They are mostly married into the families of the corrupt clergy, and their vested interest is beyond mere ideological complicity.

The next layer consists of the regular army in which especially the younger recruits, though bombarded by ideological courses, brainwashing, and indoctrination are well aware of the vested interests of their commanders and their links to the corrupt clergy, nevertheless, in order to protect themselves, a considerable number have to pretend allegiance to the regime while showing in private considerable discontent.

The next layer consists of some spokespersons and judges scared of the change of the regime, for fear of retribution for injustice they have inflicted on people over the years, some journalists in pay of the regime, and groups who are either duped by the regime propaganda or have economic advantages by having the right connection with the clergy. The regime has also bought the service of a number of social psychologists who promote allegiance to the regime, using ardent, zealous interpretations of Islam exploiting the religious feelings readily available in the population. In this layer, there are also a large number of technicians, specialists, engineers and scientists brainwashed into collaborating with the regime.

There is a huge deceit in using the outermost layer, the decoy government, as a cover-up, to continue with extremely dangerous projects such as secret developments of weapons of mass destruction, at full speed. The core of the system has realized that, without atomic bombs, its survival is doubtful, and with it, almost no power could stop it.

The facades the regime has created around its core have contributed to years of delay in getting to the meaning and real nature of Iranian regime, while the core has found space, time and opportunity to strengthen its grip on the Iranian people and extending its tentacles throughout the middle east and beyond. The majority of people in Iran are dissatisfied with the regime. As their secret plans and involvement in terrorist activities come to surface, the regime will tend to make false reparations, replacing political puppets with others who will make other insincere promises to their people, or suggest negotiating with the outside world as a procrastination technique and out of fear of a military attack by the US, without having really moved an inch from their fundamental fascist dogmas.

In summary, the Iranian political organization is one of multilayer cover-ups for a deviant hard core which would not negotiate anything in a true sense. Therefore, some fractions of American politicians hoping to engage the system in Iran by attempts at negotiating with those in the surface layer are missing a hard fact, and will ultimately find themselves played in the hands of the core elements. Economic pressures will not work in Iran as the regime will be only delighted to put the general poverty and hunger on the account of ‘the World Arrogance’s interventions’. Those who try to change the regime’s behaviour through political, financial or military threats must know that the repression of a ‘cherished’ dogma will not make it die. There are no such entities as moderate and radicals in Iran, these are sham players pushed onto the political stage to justify tactical stances of the Supreme Leader, in direct service of the most ominous hard-core terrorism history has ever seen.

This is a subjective judgement, poorly sourced, with little evidence. You could have just linked to the article. btw, who is the current World Lying Champion?

What right-wing think tank did that come from? An attempt to make yet another unprovoked attack against Iran seem prudent and reasonable. And which coincidentally, supports the Bush Administration's pro-war position.

A grain of truth among the propaganda:

"In the same way that a cancerous tissue invades healthy organs of the body, a fascist system corrupts and destroys democratic textures of other societies."

Curious how the author can see fascism in a theocracy, but can't see the stark, fascist government-corporate alliance dismantling our democracy in the US, in plain view.

Perfect quote.

Seems to me this commintary is talking about the Bush neocons! That is in a word, a mirror image of what is happening in the Oval Office! One deceit after another one, right? One torture after another one, right? And on and on they go while our brave military are sacrificing their lives day after day for oil and Bushes agenda not for anyones freedoms!

this is just another neocon pile of shit who posted this horse crappola here, trying to incite an attack on Iran.

the neocon's know that any bullshit they put out, be it thru their typical right wing Sun Yung Moonies papers and media outlets, as well as the rest of the owned and operated by the neocon news outlets like Faux Newz and the rest of Ruppert Murdercock's gang, will be debunked by sane, rational people in nanoseconds of time.

however, this won't stop the Bush bastard from causing another Tonkin Gulf 'lie' incident or incitement that causes Iran to attack us 'retaliatorily' for something we did first in the Straits of Hormuz.

remember, we are still an AIPAC/PNAC owned and operated country, and as long as that is a fact, anything is possible, mass murder wise, by the neocon war machine.

anything, except rational, sane, cogent thought!

Gee for a minute there I thought he was describing this administration and what they have done to this country. Funny how much one resembles the other.......that mirror thing at work!

How long are these Congressional buggers gonna keep dicking around with Bush? The monkey's wrenching US within and without. LEAD US; follow Watada!

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