The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder

Dandelion Salad

By Vincent Bugliosi
ICH
05/10/08 “

There is direct evidence that President George W. Bush did not honorably lead this nation, but deliberately misled it into a war he wanted. Bush and his administration knowingly lied to Congress and to the American public — lies that have cost the lives of more than 4,000 young American soldiers and close to $1 trillion.

A Monumental Lie

In his first nationally televised address on the Iraqi crisis on October 7, 2002, six days after receiving the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), a classified CIA report, President Bush told millions of Americans the exact opposite of what the CIA was telling him -a monumental lie to the nation and the world.

On the evening of October 7, 2002, the very latest CIA intelligence was that Hussein was not an imminent threat to the U.S. This same information was delivered to the Bush administration as early as October 1, 2002, in the NIE, including input from the CIA and 15 other U.S. intelligence agencies. In addition, CIA director George Tenet briefed Bush in the Oval Office on the morning of October 7th.

According to the October 1, 2002 NIE, “Baghdad for now appears to be drawing a line short of conducting terrorist attacks with conventional or CBW [chemical and biological warfare] against the United States, fearing that exposure of Iraqi involvement would provide Washington a stronger case for making war.” The report concluded that Hussein was not planning to use any weapons of mass destruction; further, Hussein would only use weapons of mass destruction he was believed to have if he were first attacked, that is, he would only use them in self-defense.

Preparing its declassified version of the NIE for Congress, which became known as the White Paper, the Bush administration edited the classified NIE document in ways that significantly changed its inference and meaning, making the threat seem imminent and ominous.

In the original NIE report, members of the U.S. intelligence community vigorously disagreed with the CIA’s bloated and inaccurate conclusions. All such opposing commentary was eliminated from the declassified White Paper prepared for Congress and the American people.

The Manning Memo

On January 31, 2003, Bush met in the Oval Office with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. In a memo summarizing the meeting discussion, Blair’s chief foreign policy advisor David Manning wrote that Bush and Blair expressed their doubts that any chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons would ever be found in Iraq, and that there was tension between Bush and Blair over finding some justification for the war that would be acceptable to other nations. Bush was so worried about the failure of the UN inspectors to find hard evidence against Hussein that he talked about three possible ways, Manning wrote, to “provoke a confrontation” with Hussein. One way, Bush said, was to fly “U2 reconnaissance aircraft with fighter cover over Iraq, [falsely] painted in UN colors. If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach” of UN resolutions and that would justify war. Bush was calculating to create a war, not prevent one.

Denying Blix’s Findings

Hans Blix, the United Nation’s chief weapons inspector in Iraq, in his March 7, 2003, address to the UN Security Council, said that as of that date, less than 3 weeks before Bush invaded Iraq, that Iraq had capitulated to all demands for professional, no-notice weapons inspections all over Iraq and agreed to increased aerial surveillance by the U.S. over the “no-fly” zones. Iraq had directed the UN inspectors to sites where illicit weapons had been destroyed and had begun to demolish its Al Samoud 2 missiles, as requested by the UN. Blix added that “no evidence of proscribed activities have so far been found” by his inspectors and “no underground facilities for chemical or biological production or storage were found so far.” He said that for his inspectors to absolutely confirm that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction (WMD) “will not take years, nor weeks, but months.”

Mohamed ElBaradei, the chief UN nuclear inspector in Iraq and director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, told the UN Security Council that, “we have to date found no evidence or plausible indication of the revival of a nuclear weapon program in Iraq.”

The UN inspectors were making substantial progress and Hussein was giving them unlimited access. Why was Bush in such an incredible rush to go to war?

Hussein Disarms, so Bush … Goes to War

When it became clear that the whole purpose of Bush’s prewar campaign — to get Hussein to disarm — was being (or already had been) met, Bush and his people came up with a demand they had never once made before — that Hussein resign and leave Iraq. On March 17, 2003, Bush said in a speech to the nation that, “Saddam Hussein and his sons must leave Iraq within 48 hours. Their refusal to do so will result in military conflict.” Military conflict — the lives of thousands of young Americans on the line — because Bush trumped up a new line in the sand?

The Niger Allegation

One of the most notorious instances of the Bush administration using thoroughly discredited information to frighten the American public was the 16 words in Bush’s January 28, 2003 State of the Union speech: “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” The Niger allegation was false, and the Bush administration knew it was false.

Joseph C. Wilson IV, the former ambassador to Iraq, was sent to Niger by the CIA in February 2002 to investigate a supposed memo that documented the sale of uranium yellowcake (a form of lightly processed ore) to Iraq by Niger in the late 1990s. Wilson reported back to the CIA that it was “highly doubtful” such a transaction had ever taken place.

On March 7, 2003, Mohamed ElBaradei told the UN Security Council that “based on thorough analysis” his agency concluded that the “documents which formed the basis for the report of recent uranium transactions between Iraq and Niger are in fact not authentic.” Indeed, author Craig Unger uncovered at least 14 instances prior to the 2003 State of the Union address in which analysts at the CIA, the State Department, or other government agencies that had examined the Niger documents “raised serious doubts about their legitimacy — only to be rebuffed by Bush administration officials who wanted to use them.”

On October 5 and 6, 2002, the CIA sent memos to the National Security Council, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, and to the White House Situation Room stating that the Niger information was no good.

On January 24, 2003, four days before the president’s State of the Union address, the CIA’s National Intelligence Council, which oversees all federal agencies that deal with intelligence, sent a memo to the White House stating that “the Niger story is baseless and should be laid to rest.”

The 9/11 Lie

The Bush administration put undue pressure on U.S. intelligence agencies to provide it with conclusions that would help them in their quest for war. Bush’s former counterterrorism chief, Richard Clarke, said that on September 12, 2001, one day after 9/11, “The President in a very intimidating way left us — me and my staff — with the clear indication that he wanted us to come back with the word that there was an Iraqi hand behind 9/11.”

Bush said on October 7, 2002, “We know that Iraq and the Al Qaeda terrorist network share a common enemy — the United States of America. We know that Iraq and Al Qaeda have had high level contacts that go back a decade,” and that “Iraq has trained Al Qaeda members in bomb-making and poisons and deadly gasses.” Of Hussein, he said on November 1, 2002, “We know he’s got ties with Al Qaeda.”

Even after Bush admitted on September 17, 2003, that he had “no evidence” that Saddam Hussein was involved with 9/11, he audaciously continued, in the months and years that followed, to clearly suggest, without stating it outright, that Hussein was involved in 9/11.

On March 20, 2006, Bush said, “I was very careful never to say that Saddam Hussein ordered the attack on America.”

Vincent Bugliosi received his law degree in 1964. In his career at the L.A. County District Attorney’s office, he successfully prosecuted 105 out of 106 felony jury trials, including 21 murder convictions without a single loss. His most famous trial, the Charles Manson case, became the basis of his classic, Helter Skelter, the biggest selling true-crime book in publishing history. The Prosecution of George W. Bush For Murder is available May 27.

For more information visit www.prosecutionofbush.com

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see this post for a review of his book:

http://incogman.wordpress.com/2008/06/09/will-someone-please-arrest-this-murdering-sob/

Bush-Cheney Israel Disinformation Campaign to Justify an Attack on Iran

Dandelion Salad

by William H. White
Global Research, May 2, 2008
www.concordbridge.net

Campaign’s Overall Design and Objectives

The Bush administration and Israeli government appear to be operating a joint disinformation campaign, whose objective is to establish a media based alternative reality from which to accuse Syria/Iran of developing nuclear weapons with help from North Korea, by using a real event combined with planted stories establishing a defining narrative. This accusation in turn is augmented with stories about Iranian sponsored “Special Groups killing US troops in Iraq” and purported naval incidents the Persian Gulf, creating self-reinforcing, media based crisis.

The immediate purpose of this disinformation campaign is apparently to help justify the planned US attack on a wide range of Iranian industrial and military targets. And, as in the Israeli attacks on Lebanon, the objective is to swiftly inflict substantial damage to the national infrastructure of Iran, followed by an abrupt cessation of attacks and a call for a cease-fire to prevent substantial Iranian retaliation. Again, as in the Israeli attacks on Lebanon, the US likely will resist calls for a cessation of the attacks until a significant portion of the Iranian target set has been addressed, then it will accept calls for a cease-fire and demand Iran do the same.

Any subsequent attacks by Iran would probably be characterized by the US as Iranian aggression, further justifying US follow-up attacks on remaining Iranian assets as defensive measures. The transparent duplicity of such US actions and claims is not a problem because US corporate media is prepared to report repeatedly the administration’s claims with little or no criticism or mention of alternative assessments. In other words, subjecting its audience to blatant propaganda masquerading as journalism, which is effective as it is because of US corporate media’s quantitative monopoly on information provided the public.

As far as can be determined, no credible or even plausible evidence for any of these claims has been presented by the Bush administration, let alone by any independent verification of such claims. Instead, in the pattern similar to the disinformation campaign before the invasion of Iraq, questions about these claims, when raised at all, are ignored or “answered” with repeated or additional claims. Essentially this disinformation campaign, as all such campaigns, is an elaborate set of lies to deceive an enemy, in this case the Unites States Congress and the American people, in pursuit of Bush administration secret policy objectives for the benefit of a foreign government.

Campaign’s Origin

The origins of this disinformation campaign was the the Bush administration’s appreciation in the late summer of 2007 that the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) subsequently released in November 2007 would undermine its attempts to claim Iran was developing nuclear weapons, the then primary justification for an attack on Iran. When it became clear to the Bush administration that the intelligence community would issue the 11/7/07 NIE, completely undermining the administration’s claims of Iranian nuclear weapons development, they apparently decided, instead of accepting this judgment or objecting to it within official channels, that an alternative foundation needed to be established for its planned attack on Iran. This alternative would bypass not only the US intelligence community’s collective assessments, but also the judgments of the United States’ Joint Chiefs of Staff military command.

Essentially, the Bush administration, in cooperation with a foreign government, Israel, decided to bypass the intelligence community as well as the military commands of the United States, in order undertake attacks by US military forces on a foreign nation, Iran, by deliberately ignoring and undermining the judgments of authorities charged by law with informing the US Congress about such data so it can make sound judgments in exercise of its US Constitutional authority over matters of war and peace. Apparently the Bush administration hopes for a fait accompli after attacks on Iran, leaving the next administration with a region-wide tar baby, with Israel the only remaining “friend” in the region, otherwise populated with outright enemies or alienated former allies.

In addition, a likely last minute Israel-Palestinian peace deal negotiated with the unelected Fatah based faction, in which Israel would be granted costly long term aid and security assurances, in exchange for Israeli commitments of limited value and voracity. With Israel positioned to attempt an alliance with the Kurds upon the expected partition of Iraq, following an inevitable US withdrawal. Again, as with the invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration’s planning is front loaded, focused on the mechanics of military operations or manipulating public and official opinion, with little or no thought given to what happens next, let alone second or third order consequences, except the general intention to take maximum political advantage of any resulting crisis.

On the face of it, some elements of the Bush administration’s undertaking appear to be acts of treason, by giving aid and comfort to an enemy of the United States, in as much as it aided Israel to act in its own interests and without regard for, or to the detriment of, the manifest interests of the United States; however, we defer such judgments to another, more appropriate venue, and only pursue our limited assessment of the administration’s actions with regard to their immediate objectives.

First Overt Act

The first known overt act in pursuit of this effort, besides Israel’s attack on Syria, was a letter Bush wrote to the North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, as reported by the BBC on December 6, 2007, wherein Bush asked the Korean leader to reveal any assistance to others in the development of nuclear weapons. While a matter of speculation, this letter combined with other demands by the US government, were meant to pressure the North Korean government into making accusations against Syrian and Iran, in exchange for concessions in the form of released impounded funds and oil shipments promised as by part of the US-North Korean agreement on its weapons development program. According to the NYTimes Dec 15, 2007 report, Bush wrote a letter to the North Korean leader demanding, among other things, he reveal who he have helped with his nuclear technology, as specified in the nuclear declaration or so-called “come clean” section of the US-North Korean agreement.

Because the usual glacial movements of North Korea’s foreign policy were incompatible with Bush administration’s Iranian timetable, attempts were made to pressure North Korea to give in sooner to US demands by the end of the year, but as U.S. Will Hold North Korea to Nuclear Commitments by Reuters 01/03/08 reports, these efforts failed thus far. Instead, North Korea made a forthright statement, North Korea Says Earlier Disclosure Was Enough by The New York Times 01/05/08, which repudiated such claims. Since this was contrary to Bush administration objectives, it was apparently largely ignore by US corporate media. Pressure continues on North Korea to make such admissions.

Change of Policy

Overall, it appears the sudden US agreement with North Korea, after years of the usual “Bush diplomacy” whereby he refuses to speak to the other side until they concede every major point of contention, was an attempt to clear the decks for attacks against Iran. Among the most informed and insightful observers of national security affairs, Seymour M. Hersh, in a video interview at The New Yorker, suggested that a US agreement with North Korea would be among the clearest signs of US preparation for an attack on Iran. He further discusses, in an interview with Al Jazeera on Feb 7, 2008, US intentions and the likelihood Cheney may have overrode US Joint Chiefs of Staff objections to the attack.

As part of the administration’s disinformation campaign, Israel attacked a Syrian site, which was later linked to North Korea through a set of stories released over time to give the impression of information being slowly revealed over time, hoping to establish “facts” more firmly than making accusations at the time of the attack on Syria.

US Corporate Media’s Role in the Nuclear Weapons Development Story

It appears that certain media outlets were a party to the disinformation campaign, in that they misled their readers and others with stories clearly designed to establish the impression that North Korea was helping Syria, and likely Iran, to develop a nuclear program, to be conveniently confused in the public’s mind with the far more costly and complex development of nuclear weapons. Among those noted, Harretz, the Washington Post and New York Times appear to have been willing conduits of this disinformation campaign, since it would strain all credulity to believe they themselves were deceived, especially since no effort was made to report on other observers who question the validity of these claims:

Israelis ‘blew apart Syrian nuclear cache’, Sunday Times, Sept 16, 2007

Israel, U.S. Shared Data On Suspected Nuclear Site, Washington Post, Sept 21, 2007

Israel Admits To Sept. Air Attack In Syria, CBS News Oct 2, 2007

Israel Struck Syrian Nuclear Project, Analysts Say, NYTimes Oct 14, 2007

Photographs Said to Show Israeli Target Inside Syria, Washington Post Oct 24, 2007

North Koreans said killed in IAF strike on alleged Syria nuclear reactor site, Harretz Staff and Reuters, Apr 28, 2008

It should be noted: All of these ginned-up, hand ringing stories about programs “to develop the capability; to learn technologies; to establish potentials for securing; etc.,” not once mention that Israel is armed with several hundred nuclear warheads, some of which are aboard submarines capable of attacking Europe, Russia and the US.

A New Casus Belli: “Iran Is Killing US Troops”

The Bush administration has augmented and subordinated the nuclear issue and naval incidents as casus belli to the “Iran is killing US troops” propaganda offensive, which immerged with the invention of the so-called “Special Groups” by the US military command, first mentioned by the US Military Command in Iraq on July 2, 2007. They took on new life at the end of March 2008, as reported by Agence France-Presse (AFP) on March 26, 2008, when military spokesman Major General Kevin Bergner, as part of the US Military’s effort to “document” Iranian sponsored operations in Iraq, revealed these Iranian-supported Special Group criminals” were apparently and suddenly everywhere.

Within a month, hundreds of stories in the US corporate media reported all about these “Special Groups”, almost without exception identifying them as Iranian trained and fielded. The NYTimes reported by April 24, 2008 that, 73 percent of fatal and other harmful attacks on American troops in the past year were caused by roadside bombs planted by so-called ‘special groups.’” according to “Senior officers in the American division that secures the capital.” As far as can be determined no credible or even plausible evidence for such groups has been presented by the US Military command in Iraq. Clearly, weapons stamped with Iranian manufacturing labels, while subject to counterfeiting, would mean little, even if genuine, in as much as such small arms are trafficked throughout the Middle East and indicate nothing about the actions of the government of Iran. Instead, in a pattern similar to the run up to the invasion of Iraq, questions about these claims, are ignored or met with additional claims.

By the time General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker testified before the US Congress in early April, the “special groups” were an established element in the alternative reality maintained by official Washington and US corporate media. In addition, the ever compliant Congress allowed the two to testify for just a single day before the Senate and another day before the House committees in a mockery of oversight, during which not much was made of the question as to whether these claims about “special groups”, even if true, legally justified attacking Iran under international law.

It is highly likely arrests of “Iranian agents” and weapons store seizures of “Iranian weapons” will continue, along with “counter infiltration” operations along the Syrian and Iranian borders.

The New York Times Particularly Duplicitous

The New York Times in particular, after its public vows to do better following exposure of its reporter Judith Miller, who made a significant contribution the “Weapons of Mass Destruction” disinformation campaign run out of Cheney’s office prior to the invasion of Iraq that ultimately proved to be totally false, now seems to have slipped back into its old habit of blatant pro-Israel coverage and disinformation, while objecting in its editorial page to the very policies it advances in its reporting, making its practices especially duplicitous and irresponsible, given its undisputed influence both on official Washington and the rest of US corporate media.

In another example, a NYTimes Apr 26, 2008 article “Questions Linger on Scope of Iran’s Threat in Iraq” that nominally purports to question the US claims about Iranian/Iraqi “Special Groups” and Iranian involvement in training and arming fighters in Iraq; in fact, reinforces such claims using “directly or indirectly quoted unnamed officials an astounding 30 times,” according to an insightful analysis of the article by Jeff Huber “When Did Iran Start Beating Its Wife Again?”. The importance of the “Special Groups” claims is clear in that the Bush administration has shifted part of justification for a war with Iran to the charge that “Iran is kill US troops in Iraq”, adding to this to its “warnings” about naval incidents in Persian Gulf and nuclear weapons development as Casus Belli options.

Recent encounters involving US and Iranian naval vessels show a evolution toward a much more aggressive and manipulative posture in the Bush administration’s characterization of these events. The widely reported incident between US and Iranian vessels on January 6, 2008 in the Strait of Hormuz was actually the third such recent encounter. The first two encounters occurred in December 2007, during one of which on December 19, 2007 the USS Whidbey Island fired warning shots toward an approaching Iranian vessel, causing the Iranian vessel to alter course. The first two encounters passed unreported at the time and were largely routine for the area of operations.

However, the third encounter on January 6, 2008 was not only characterized as a far more grave “incident” by official Washington, accompanied by reports by official US sources of threats made against the US vessels, based on video and voice transmission “evidence” released by the Pentagon to vast coverage by US corporate media. Examination of the voice transmission recordings indicated the actual segment containing the only threat was of doubtful authenticity; and, a later release of an Iranian video of the same incident indicated the Pentagon had mischaracterized its own video, revealing another blatant disinformation effort, but received little coverage in US corporate media.

Another two naval incidents have been hyped by US corporate media, one in the Persian Gulf where a US military chartered cargo vessel, Western Venture, fired warning shots at approaching unidentified small boats without known injuries or damage. While the media attention added to regional tensions and increased oil prices, the incident was much like the other incident at the entrance to Suez Canal, except in that case a boat borne local vendor was shot to death by personnel aboard a US military chartered vessel Global Patriot. Needless to say the dead vendor was of little note in US corporate media.

Finally, the Accusations and Warnings

Perhaps the most transparent effort to link the alleged Syrian and North Korean reactors is the Apr 25, 2008 report in the BBC, which included pictures provided the CIA that “said to have been obtained by Israel – showed striking similarities between the Syrian facility and the North Korean reactor at Yongbyon, the US said.” The report goes on to note: “The CIA briefing and statement coincides with the end of a two-day meeting between US and North Korean officials on Pyongyang’s nuclear programme, which both sides say have gone well – fuelling speculation that a deal may be imminent.” What this “deal” is remains to be seen, but bribes paid to a foreign government (North Korea) in exchange for accusations against another foreign government (Syria), in order to justify claims against a third foreign government (Iran) are hardly the stuff upon which grave policy decisions (going to war with Iran) should be made. Unless your objective is to lead the US into yet another war no matter what the facts actually are, as the Bush administration and Israel appear to be trying to do.

Finally, we have Bush himself taking the money shot in the Israeli press, with a truly bizarre parlaying of the accusations against Syria into a warning to Iran: Bush: Revealing details of attack on Syrian site was message to Iran, in a Haaretz Staff and Reuters, Apr 29, 2008, stating that “U.S. President George W. Bush said yesterday he released U.S. intelligence about the nuclear facility that Israel bombed in Syria in September so as to put pressure on North Korea and send a message to Iran that it could not hide its own nuclear program.” Apart from the fact that a nuclear reactor is not proof of a weapons program in Syria, Iran is not Syria, any more than Saddam Hussein had anything to do with the 9/11 attacks on the US.

These Bush “warnings” have become a mainstay of US corporate media, in which often baseless threats against others are portrayed as “last, best efforts” to change alleged behavior before action is reluctantly taken, after giving the ever-preferable “diplomacy” a chance. The most blatant example of this is the number of times Saddam Hussein was “warned” about “weapons of mass destruction” and we were all warned about not letting the “smoking gun being the mushroom cloud” as well as warning about his final chances to “come clean.” The added virtue of “warnings” is they contain an embedded assertion that the warned party knows full well the truth of the accusation as does the one issuing the warning, as well implying a reasonableness in that the target need only comply to avoid getting what they would otherwise deserve.

Should North Korea finally agree, at likely unknown cost, to “come clean” and mention help to Syria or Iran, such bribery is likely to be no more credible than confessions of tortured prisoners in the Bush administration’s special prisons, whether they be “Iranian Agents” or “Terrorists” turned over to US authorities as part of the US’s far flung bounty programs. After all, we have all become prisoners to the attendant lunacies of the Bush administration and US corporate media’s alternative reality, in which new “warnings” based on disinformation lurk: hair-trigger “facts” poised to “provoke” the US into “defending” itself by attacking Iran, including nuclear program/weapons development; “Special Groups” killing US troops in Iraq; and, hostile naval incidents. By the time time the attack on Iran comes, the US corporate media will be asking why it took the US so long to “react.”

author’s website: www.concordbridge.net

The CRG grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author’s copyright must be displayed. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: crgeditor@yahoo.com

www.globalresearch.ca contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: crgeditor@yahoo.com
© Copyright William H. White, Global Research, 2008
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8880

see

Secret Bush “Finding” Widens War on Iran-Democrats OK Funds for Covert Ops

Is War With Iran Imminent? This time, it’s more than a rumor…

Iran dumps U.S. dollars in oil transactions

The March 20, 2008 US Declaration of War on Iran by John McGlynn

UK: Iran supports Iraqi militants

The Clock is Ticking for an Attack on Iran by Dave Lindorff

Iran: Friends or Enemies? (video)

Dandelion Salad

linktv

The heat is rising and it is time to take a fresh look at our enemy, Iran. Is Iran the new Iraq in U.S. foreign policy? Are the people of Iran anti-U.S. or only the current regime? And, is there an effective difference? An American journalist, an Iranian journalist and a Professor of Iranian culture, politics and history demystify Iran in this expert panel on the so-called “Axis of Evil” member. This panel, which took place at San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club, features Link TV’s Jamal Dajani, producer of Mosaic: World News from the Middle East, and the weekly Mosaic Intelligence Report.

PANELISTS
Barbara Slavin – Diplomatic Reporter, USA Today; Author, Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies
Abbas Milani – Director of Iranian Studies, Hoover Institute at Stanford University
Jamal Dajani – Director and Producer Middle Eastern Programming, Link Tv — Moderator


see

Iraq Year Six and You + The Day After the Bombing of Iran by David Swanson (videos)

Why the US sees Iran as a threat (video)

Iran

Beware an Attack on Iran by Prof. Marjorie Cohn

Dandelion Salad

by Prof. Marjorie Cohn
Global Research, March 17, 2008

Is the Bush administration ramping up for an attack on Iran? The signs seem to point in that direction. On March 11, Navy Adm. William Fallon, commander of the U.S. forces in the Middle East, retired early because of differences with Washington on Iran policy. And now, Dick Cheney’s current Middle East tour may be designed to prepare our Arab allies for an imminent “preemptive” war against Iran.

Continue reading

As alliances shift, Iran wins. Again By Pepe Escobar

Dandelion Salad

By Pepe Escobar
ICH
03/06/08 “Asia Times

It’s no secret that a great deal of the alleged success of the George W Bush administration’s “surge” – or at least the way it’s being spun in the US – is related to a diminished flow of Iranian-made weapons towards militias in Iraq. The weapons anyway were being sold by Iranian and or Gulf black market dealers – and not by the central establishment in Tehran.

At the same time, the publication of the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) in the US virtually debunked the idea that Iran was conducting a secret nuclear program for military use.

These two overlapping developments have alarmed Israeli intelligence – which believes that Washington and Tehran have concluded a secret deal brokered by Saudi Arabia. That’s what’s being spun, for instance, by the Debka website – which is basically an Israeli military intelligence outlet.

The Bush administration, according to this narrative, is developing a new multi-point strategy for the Middle East (it’s useful to remember that no one even mentions Bush’s spun-to-death “democratic” Greater Middle East anymore). And Saudi Arabia is the new strategic go-between.

…continued

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

The Increasing Encirclement of Iran By Daan de Wit

Dandelion Salad

By Daan de Wit
ICH
Translation by Ben Kearney
02/17/08 “DeepJournal

Earlier this month the Annual Threat Assessment was released by the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, Michael McConnell. The assessment, provided as a testimony for the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee, offers an insight into the current outlook of the president’s most important intelligence advisor. In his testimony McConnell emphasizes Iranian attempts to enrich uranium as well as Iran’s capacity to fire long-range weapons. The combination of these two are now being presented at the highest levels of power as the central argument for branding Iran as a danger to world peace. As if the National Intelligence Estimate never even existed.

The Annual Threat Assessment that Michael McConnell presents is the first important document to be released on this matter since the publication of the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) in December of 2007. McConnell says that, looking back, he would like to have seen the now infamous NIE formulated differently: ‘If I had ’til now to think about it, I probably would change a few things. […] I would have included that there are the component parts, that the portion of it, maybe the least significant, had halted’. In his Threat Assessment he corrects the balance regarding something that he feels was relatively unimportant – an Iranian program to develop nuclear warheads. The testimony of ‘the leader of our entire intelligence community’, as President Bush calls him, makes it clear once and for all: The American government was, and apparently still is, on a collision course with Iran.

…continued

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg: Bush Likely to Attack Iran, Impeachment a Must By Sari Gelzer

Dandelion Salad

By Sari Gelzer
TruthOut.org
February 7, 2008

The American public and media have not picked up on the urgency surrounding a pending war with Iran.

Daniel Ellsberg, perhaps the country’s most famous whistleblower, fears that before the Bush administration leaves office, it will try to attack Iran.

Indeed, Ellsberg’s argument gained merit as George W. Bush increased his rhetoric against Iran when he delivered his final State of the Union Address. Bush accused Iran of training militia extremists in Iraq and emphasized the United States will confront its enemies.

In a wide-ranging interview with Truthout, Ellsberg uses insight from his experience as a Pentagon analyst under the Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon administrations to discuss Bush’s plans to begin a war with Iran, the role of the press to give whistleblowers exposure and how American democracy can be restored.

Due to Ellsberg’s experience working within the government, I wanted his insight into how the Bush administration is attempting to begin a war with Iran.

When I highlighted his experience working for Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara in 1965 to draft a speech with the goal of rationalizing and gaining public support for the Vietnam War, Ellsberg gave a very long sigh.

“That was not my finest hour that I look back on. That was something that I am ashamed of,” he tells me with a heavy heart.

Ellsberg wishes he had spoken out against the Vietnam War sooner. As a civilian working for the government, he says his oath was always to the Constitution, and he violated that oath until the day he decided to leak the Pentagon Papers in 1971 to reveal the war was unlawful.

Ellsberg now spends his time ardently encouraging and supporting whistleblowers to come forward when they see constitutional violations. He emphasizes the importance of documents as evidence and of timeliness so that lies are exposed before an actual war occurs.

Pending war with Iran or Gulf of Tonkin deja vu

The recent announcement in December by the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) revealed, counter to the president’s claims, that Iran did not have an active nuclear program. This was unexpected, says Ellsberg.

The administration had said, weeks before this release, it had no intention of putting out NIE summaries, Ellsberg says. However, the information was released because, according to newspaper reports, there was a threat of leaks:

“As one news story put it, intelligence officials were lined up to go to jail if the administration did not release those findings,” says Ellsberg, emphasizing his creed in the need to take risks for the sake of revealing truth.

“I wish I could say it made an attack on Iran zero, and it hasn’t, but it has reduced it and confirms, in my opinion, the power of being willing to risk prosecution, willing to give up your career, your clearance, which these people would have done if they’d put that information out — and the mere threat was enough to get it out in this case,” emphasizes Ellsberg.

Ellsberg says Bush will simply find a different pretext from the nuclear program.

“After all, it was about a year ago that he really stopped pressing the nuclear program as the main reason to start attacking Iran and start talking about what they were doing against U.S. forces in Iraq,” says Ellsberg, who claims people in the military have recently undercut this statement by saying there is no evidence of Iran’s involvement against U.S. forces in Iraq.

Bush could also use an incident that is blamed on Iran as a means to begin a war with them.

Early this year, Ellsberg experienced deja vu when the White House and a complicit media portrayed an incident in the Strait of Hormuz that deeply paralleled the Tonkin Gulf incident of 1964.

The Gulf of Tonkin incident was an alleged attack by North Vietnamese ships upon American boats. As a result of this alleged aggression, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which gave former President Johnson the permission to expand the Vietnam War.

The recent incident involving Iran alleged serious threats were being made to U.S. ships by Iranian speedboats. Within days of the events in the Straight of Hormuz, information revealed the details of the entire event had been fabricated. Ellsberg sees promise in the quickness of this revelation because, in contrast, it was only in 2005 and 2008 that the inaccuracies and deceptions of the Gulf of Tonkin incident were revealed by the declassification of National Security Administration reports.

Ellsberg is worried Congress has not put forth an effort to demand it be informed before an attack on Iran should occur. Currently, there is a Senate resolution to demand Congress be consulted in the event of plans to attack Iran, but it has not gotten out of committee.

Instead, the Senate has virtually endorsed the president’s power to begin a war with Iran, says Ellsberg, with the passage of legislation last September declaring that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps is a terrorist organization.

“To say that the Revolutionary Guards in Iran are a terrorist organization … is very close to saying that the president is able to attack them at his discretion. Now to give this president that discretion is inexcusable, outrageous,” says Ellsberg.

The Democratic Congress should be having open hearings on Iran, says Ellsberg, as well as on how we got into the war against Iraq and regarding Guantanamo. But the Democratic chairmen are not holding such hearings.

The American public, and media in general, have not picked up on the urgency surrounding a pending war with Iran, Ellsberg says. For over two years, Sy Hersh and others have been writing detailed articles stating operational plans against Iran are being updated to the minute, so that within hours or a day they can be implemented.

The problem with these articles, says Ellsberg, is not that Hersh, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, lacks credibility, it’s that his sources are not willing to go beyond their anonymity. Ellsberg emphasizes the sources in Sy Hersh’s reports, and others within the government, must reveal documents, risk their career and testify before Congress if they wish to profoundly alter the course of a pending war with Iran.

Gateway for whistleblowers: the press

Whistleblowers depend strongly on the press to relay their information to the American public, who will then be able to exert pressure in politics. When I ask Ellsberg if he believes the press is doing a good job of this, he gives me the most matter-of-fact answer of the evening: “No.”

In October of 2004, whistleblowers gave the New York Times knowledge of an illegal and unconstitutional domestic spying program that was being carried out by the U.S. government. The newspaper waited a year to reveal this information.

This was not just any year, says Ellsberg. The Times held this information at the request of the White House until after the 2004 election, avoiding the possible impact it could have had in swaying voters.

The New York Times, says Ellsberg, was pressured to publish the article because its internal reporter, James Risen, was going to release a book regarding the Times‘ decision to remain silent at the White House’s request.

The New York Times received a Pulitzer Prize for releasing this story. Ellsberg says he believes not only reporters but whistleblowers who reveal important information should also receive a prize in recognition of their public service. This is not a retroactive attempt on his part, he says, to receive an award.

Ellsberg smiles. “In my case my prize was the indictment,” which he says he has taken to be as great an honor as he needs in life.

The press in America, says Ellsberg, is currently avoiding the story of an explosive whistleblower by the name of Sibel Edmonds. A former FBI translator of Turkish and Persian, he says she has been attempting to speak before Congress for five years.

Early last month, Sibel Edmonds appeared on the front page of the London Sunday Times to reveal information she learned as an FBI employee. Ellsberg describes her claims that the U.S. government is giving nuclear materials, equipment and expertise to countries, including Turkey, which in turn sell them to other countries, including Pakistan. In effect, says Ellsberg, criminal bribery is occurring.

Ellsberg says Edmonds is also revealing the U.S. government is allowing a drug trade that finances terrorist operations, such as al-Qaeda, to continue. Ellsberg describes her revelations further, saying the U.S. government is turning a blind eye to the drug trade of U.S. allies such as Turkey and Pakistan, as well as countries such as Uzbekistan, where the United States wants to gain military base rights.

These allegations are only part of the knowledge Edmonds wishes to share before Congress, and she awaits the chance to do so, claiming she knows people in the FBI, CIA and NSA who will corroborate her statements, says Ellsberg.

This is in direct parallel, says Ellsberg, to what happened to Catherine Gunn, a British whistleblower whose actions, he believes, were more important than the release of the Pentagon Papers, because she provided information early enough to have prevented the Iraq war.

Gunn, who worked as an employee for British Intelligence, Government Communication Headquarters, revealed a document showing the United States was “tapping the U.N. Security Council members in order to influence their votes in support of an aggressive war, which was about to take place,” says Ellsberg.

This was front-page news, not only in London, says Ellsberg, but all over the world, except the United States, where it did not appear for about 11 months. Ellsberg says it was reasonable to believe Gunn could have stopped the war, and he believes she prevented a U.N. Security Council vote in support of the war.

“The same thing is happening to Sibel Edmonds as we speak,” says Ellsberg, intensely.

How to restore American democracy

As the days of Bush’s final term in office dwindle, Ellsberg emphasizes that, no matter how much time is left, impeachment is one thing that must happen for the sake of preserving American democracy.

Impeachment proceedings are essential, says Ellsberg, “both for the information that it will produce and above all to make it clear that Congress perceives the illegal and unconstitutional acts taken by this administration to be high crimes and misdemeanors, and for the deterrent effect that they will have on future presidents.”

In addition to impeachment hearings, Ellsberg says Congress must reverse the laws that have “outrageously” passed under “intimidation” by Bush. These include say Ellsberg: “The Patriot Act; the Military Commissions Act, which among other things essentially denies habeas corpus; the signing statements, which essentially give the president the power to ignore constraints on torture; and they could change the so-called Protect America Act which legalized much of the unconstitutional surveillance that the NSA was doing without Congress even knowing what they were legalizing.”

For those things that Congress cannot overturn, Ellsberg suggests hearings by Congress to show, for example, that “not only was torture illegal, it should continue to be illegal because it hurts our national security.”

None of these changes will happen without an active American movement, says Ellsberg, which must demand Congress members uphold their oath to support the Constitution rather than their political career.

Looking at the current primaries and the future presidential election, Ellsberg says the American public must create priorities that are different from those offered by the current candidates.

The changes that need to occur are drastic, and given the stakes, Ellsberg believes the American public should be willing to invest its time so that the crisis we currently find ourselves in can be met with strong action:

“If enough people simply look clearly at what we are doing in our course towards an abyss right now, they do have the power with the remaining democracy we have still in this country to turn it around.”

h/t: CURRENT EVENTS BLOG: Society, Media, & Justice
FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

How The Pentagon Planted a False Hormuz Story by Gareth Porter

Is Bush preparing the world for another USS Liberty? by Trevor Murphy

The American Media’s Complicit Failure to Investigate & Report on the Sibel Edmonds Case By Daniel Ellsberg

A Pre-election Attack on Iran Remains a Possibility By Leon Hadar

Interview: Seymour Hersh By Sarah Brown

A Strike in the Dark – What did Israel bomb in Syria? by Seymour M. Hersh

Seymour Hersh: What did Israel bomb in Syria? (video)

A Pre-election Attack on Iran Remains a Possibility By Leon Hadar

Dandelion Salad

By Leon Hadar
ICH
06/02/08 “Nieman

President Bush still believes the Iranians are developing nuclear weapons – and so do the Israelis. So for journalists to assume that neither the U.S. nor Israel will attack Iran before the November election could constitute another failure of imagination. Cato’s Leon Hadar suggests questions the press should ask the presidential candidates about what they think the American response should be to various scenarios in the region – including a Gulf-of-Tonkin-like alleged provocation.

Since the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran was issued at the end of the last year, much of the reporting and analysis in the MSM has been promoting the conventional wisdom in Washington: That a U.S. attack on Iran is now “out.”

The Bush Administration had been warning that it might use its military power to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. But with U.S. intelligence agencies making it clear that Iran wasn’t developing nuclear weapons, the administration had suddenly lost its casus belli. Without one, the conventional wisdom suggested, President Bush would not be able to mobilize American and international support for an attack on Iran, which in any case would have been a very costly operation.

And yet, even as this conventional wisdom was taking hold, the following events also took place:

1. Reports from Israel during Bush’s recent to the Middle East suggested that the president made it clear he didn’t consider the NIE a reliable source of guidance as far as his policy towards Iran was concerned. It was not difficult to conclude based on reports quoting “sources” that Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney seemed to be marginalizing the significance of the NIE – recalling a similar kind of disdain they exhibited towards the conclusion of the Iraq Study Group. In fact, based on Bush’s behavior then – increasing the number of U.S. troops contrary to the recommendation for establishing a timeline for a withdrawal – members of the press should be considering the possibility that he is just as likely to act against Iran as he was before.

2. The incident in the strategic Strait of Hormuz during which Iranian speedboats buzzed three US navy ships and the Pentagon said that US forces were “literally” on the verge of firing on the Iranian boats. That incident should have led journalists to put the scenario in which the United States strikes Iranian nuclear sites on the backburner – and instead consider the possibility that a military confrontation between U.S. and Iranian forces in the Persian Gulf could take place as a result of (a) a provocation by the Iranians (b) a provocation by the Americans or (c) a misunderstanding.

3. Israeli officials also dismissed the NIE conclusions. Moreover, the Israelis expressed concern that Washington seemed to be losing its will to confront Iran and warned that they might have no choice but to launch an Osirak-like unilateral strike against Iran’s nuclear installation. Neither officials in the Bush Administration nor Republican or Democratic lawmakers in Congress have challenged Israel’s right to take such a unilateral action, especially against a regime whose leaders have disputed the legitimacy of the Jewish state and even made Holocaust-denying statements. The media should consider the possibility that the Israelis could take action – and that since they believe that a Democratic administration would not be quite as supportive of the Israeli position as the Bush administration, they could decide to take action against the Iranians before or after Bush leaves office.

So here are some of the questions American journalists could be asking the likely Democratic and Republican presidential nominees:

Q.  The recent incident in the Strait of Hormuz highlighted the danger that provocations by either side or just misunderstanding could ignite a Tonkin-Gulf-like military confrontation between the U.S. and Iran that could degenerate into an all-out war. Do you believe that President Bush has the legal power to retaliate militarily against an alleged Iranian provocation without Congressional authorization?

Q.  Are you concerned about a so-called “surprise” in a form of a Tonkin-Gulf-in-the-Persian-Gulf that could affect the outcome of the election? Have you or your aides raised this issue with officials in the administration or discussed it with your colleagues in Congress?

Q. Under what circumstances can President Bush count on your support if he decides to strike Iran before the election in November? Under what circumstances would he not have your support?

Q. The Israelis have also warned that they could take a unilateral action and strike against Iran’s nuclear sites if the U.S. and the international community fail to prevent the Iranians from pursuing their nuclear military program. Should the president demand that Israel get U.S. permission before deciding to strike Iran’s nuclear sites? What should the consequences be if Israel attacks without U.S. permission?

Q. Would you agree to supply Israel with bunker busting bombs to help it destroy the Iranian installations?

Q. Can the Israeli government count on your support if it decides to strike Iran before the election in November?

E-mail: LeonHadar@aol.com

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Great Northern Whitewash Over Afghanistan by Eric Margolis

Dandelion Salad

by Eric Margolis
January 28, 2008

The report on Afghanistan delivered by the Manley Panel to Canada’s government last Monday was deeply flawed and most disappointing. Its totally predictable findings could have been written without the panel of instant Afghan experts wasting millions of taxpayer money.

This whitewash was designed to provide political cover for the Conservative government of PM Stephen Harper, which has faithfully followed the Bush Administration’s party line on Afghanistan. PM Harper has hung his political hat on the failing war in Afghanistan. By threatening to quit the conflict if NATO does not provide more troops, the Manley report provided the government with a handy escape hatch if things go terribly wrong in Afghanistan and the 2,500 Canadian troops there are forced to cut and run.

The Manley report provides the latest doleful example of the opposition Liberal’s pathetic failure to demand Ottawa answer tough questions about the growing mess in Afghanistan. Canada’s opposition has done even worse than the Democrats in Washington. Both are petrified to oppose a war that no matter how futile and foolish risks provoking charges of ‘not supporting our boys,’ and ‘being soft on terrorism.’

Most disturbing, the report claimed continued military operations in Afghanistan, which had so far cost 79 Canadians dead and untold billions, were necessary to ‘enhance’ Canada’s international influence. Two days later, another Canadian soldier died in action, presumably reinforcing the report’s contention about enhanced image.

As one who spends half his time abroad, I can attest that Canada’s military role in Afghanistan is virtually unknown to Americans, save occasional pats on the back to the Harper government from Bush Administration officials. Many Americans can’t find Canada, never mind Afghanistan, on the map.

In Europe and Asia, most people regard the Afghanistan conflict as a 19th century-style colonial war over future oil pipeline routes, and NATO’s role there the result of severe arms-twisting by Washington. That’s why most NATO troops are kept out of combat. Canada, by contrast, foolishly sent its small troops contingent into one of Afghanistan’s most dangerous regions due to the ignorance of its military and political leaders.

Canada’s position as one of the world’s most respected, admired nations has nothing to do with its military role in Afghanistan. Quite the contrary. Ottawa’s rash blunder into a tribal civil war in Afghanistan, and one-sided policy in the Mideast, has put Canada squarely in the gun sights of violent anti-western groups, and makes it appear an eager spear carrier in the Bush/Cheney wars in the Muslim World. Every bombed Afghan village breeds new enemies for Canada.

Ottawa is hiding the full truth about Afghanistan from Canadians. Its flag-waving media has further obscured the facts. When did one last see a report filed from the side of Taliban and its growing number of allies? The North American media has done as lousy a job in reporting Afghanistan as it did Iraq.

The report’s claim that Afghanistan’s US-imposed regime is ‘democratic’ is absurd. CIA ‘asset’ Hamid Karzai was installed by Washington and is kept in power by US troops and a stream of cash payoffs to drug-dealing tribal chiefs. His rigged ‘election’ was supervised by US troops and bought with $100 bills.

Afghanistan’s so-called ‘national army’ is made up of US-paid mercenaries. The ‘army’ does not need more training, as Manley claims. It needs loyalty to a legitimate national government – which does not exist.

Half of Afghanistan’s population, the Pashtun tribes (the source of the Taliban religious movement), has been largely excluded from political power. Until included, there will be no stability, never mind democracy. But Washington and Ottawa, have painted themselves into a corner by so demonizing Taliban and making enemies of the Pashtun (half of Afghanistan’s population), that overt negotiations with the movement or its growing number of allies is impossible.

Ominously, the Afghan war is steadily spreading into Pakistan, threatening the kind of ‘mission creep’ seen in Vietnam. Meanwhile, Canada is hypocritically backing Musharraf’s ugly dictatorship in Pakistan while claiming to be fighting for ‘democracy’ in Afghanistan.

The Manley report also soft-soaped government corruption. It ignored the 800 lb gorilla in Kabul: senior government officials up to their turbans in the heroin trade. Canada, the US and NATO find themselves patrons of the world’s leading narcostate, which supplies 90% of the world’s heroin and runs on drug money. The drugs are exported through Pakistan, another key western ally being corrupted by billions in drug money. Taliban eliminated the drug trade before being overthrown in 2001.

Most important, Manley’s report completely ignored the biggest problem of all. Canada has no political objective in this aimless war beyond making high-ranking Ottawa officials feel self-important at NATO meetings.

The Karzai regime, which rules only Kabul, would not last a week without western troops. There is no prospect of national political consensus until Taliban and its allies are brought into the process. The reborn Afghan Communist Party (now known as the Northern Alliance) is again a dominant influence in Kabul, including running torture prisons to which the US and Canada have been sending captives.

If the Afghan conflict is a vital matter of national security, as Canada claims, then maintaining a mere 2,500 troops in Afghanistan is no more than a gesture that wastes the lives of its soldiers. If fighting Taliban is that important, then Canada should mobilize and send 100,000 troops, not a handful. If it’s not, then Canada should withdraw its troops and let the Afghan tribes get on with resolving their differences. One either wins a war or goes home.

Canada is not being ennobled by this sordid, ugly, drug-fueled war, as Mr. Manley wrongly believes. To the contrary, Canada’s honor and reputation are being injured, and its security endangered. The Manley report is the political equivalent of a sub-prime mortgage. It does the nation a disservice.

Copyright Eric S. Margolis 2007
FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Showdown with Iran: GAO deals Blow to Bush’s anti-Iran Sanctions Policy by Muriel Mirak-Weissbach

Dandelion Salad

by Muriel Mirak-Weissbach
Global Research, January 23, 2008

If the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report hammered a nail into the coffin of the Bush-Cheney Iran war policy, a new report may do similar damage to the same duo’s anti-Iran sanctions policy. Just as the NIE stated that Iran has no nuclear weapons program, and implied, therefore, that this could not be used as a casus belli, so a report issued on December 18, by the Government Accountability Office, said that sanctions of the type Washington is pushing would be worthless. The GAO report sports a somewhat understated, yet unambiguous, title: “Iran Sanctions: Impact in Furthering U.S. Objectives Is Unclear and Should Be Reviewed”

(www.gao.gov/docsearch/abstract.php?rptno=GAO-08-58 for PDF file).

It is addressed to the ranking member on the Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Christopher Shays, and copies of the draft have been sent out to the most important government departments, as well as the NSC and the Officer of the Director of National Intelligence.

Although relatively little has been published in the establishment press about the GAO report, which was released to the press on January 15, it merits careful attention, especially in light of the ongoing efforts to ram through yet another set of sanctions against Iran at a Berlin meeting of foreign ministers of the 5+1 group on January 22. One wonders if the hastily-announced resignation of State Department sanctions man Nicholas Burns, had anything to do with the GAO’s findings.

The report reviews the three categories of sanctions imposed by the U.S. since 1987: the investment and trade ban by the Treasury; State Department-administered sanctions hitting foreign parties dealing in “proliferation or terrorism-related activities;” and, financial sanctions, imposed by both Departments on the same perpetrators, which include freezing assets and cutting access to the financial system in the U.S. The problem has been that, even though penalties have been meted out against violators, loopholes have allowed some U.S. trade to continue, for example, through third parties. Or violators, even though repeatedly punished, have simply continued unperturbed. Although the official line has been that ‘sanctions work,’ the GAO questions this. “Since 2003,” they write, “the Iranian government has signed contracts reported at about $20 billion with foreign firms to develop its energy resources.” (This finding must have made a special impression on the authors, as the sentence is repeated verbatim several times in the text.) “Further,” the GAO states, “sanctioned Iranian banks may fund their activities in currencies other than the dollar.” And, Iran “continues to enrich uranium, acquire advanced weapons technology, and support terrorism,” according to the report.

The most damning evidence of the failure of the policy is the fact that “Iran’s overall trade with the world has grown since the U.S. imposed sanctions.” A graph shows that between 1987 and 2006, Iran’s annual exports grew by a rate of 8.6% (from $8.5 billion to $70 billion) and imports, by 7.0% (from $7 billion to $46 billion). And, among the imports, were weapons and nuclear technology. That neither category of imports is forbidden to a sovereign nation under international law, including the NPT, is not mentioned by the authors.

The GAO concludes, “the overall impact of sanctions and the extent to which these sanctions further U.S. objectives, is unclear.” This is also due to the fact that no mechanisms have been developed to assess the impact. The report recommends that the Administration and Congress rectify this, so as to gain a “better understanding” of the impact of the policy. This should be done through a collaborative effort of the NSC, the State Department, Treasury, Energy and Commerce, together with intelligence agencies, to “(1)collect, analyze and improve data on Iran sanctions and conduct a baseline assessment of the impact and use of sanctions; (2) develop a framework for assessing the ongoing impact of U.S. sanctions, taking into consideration the contribution of multilateral sanctions; and, (3) report periodically to Congress on the sanctions’ impact.”

“It’s The Economy, Stupid!”

After Bill Clinton’s election in 1992, advisor James Carville explained the victory by referring to a fundamental fact of life for any nation or people: the health or sickness of an economy will shape political choices. This is not only true of election campaigns. If President Bush understood anything about the economy — and his recent “stimulus” proposal proves he does not — he would grasp the fact that sanctions aimed at crippling trade with a strategically important country like Iran are doomed to fail. As the GAO points out, Iran’s strategic role is defined by its geographical location and its massive raw materials resources, holding “the third largest proven oil reserves and the second largest reserves of natural gas worldwide.” Countries like China are unlikely to allow sanctions to deter them from purchasing fuel, or from investing to develop Iran’s energy sector.

Thus, it should come as no surprise that, if U.S. trade with Iran plummeted after sanctions were introduced, “Iran’s trade with the rest of the world has increased, in large part due to increases in oil prices between 2002 and 2006. Asian countries, particularly China, are increasing their trade with Iran. Countries such as China and Russia continue to provide Iran with sensitive goods.” To wit, 16% of Iran’s total exports before the 1987 sanctions, went to the U.S., then plunged to 0.1%. This corresponded to a collapse in Iran’s exports to the U.S. from $2 billion worth in 1987 to below $1 million a year in the 1990s. At the same time, Iran’s other exports and imports zoomed, as noted above. “Iran has been able,” the report notes, “to readily replace the loss in U.S. trade with other countries,” especially with Europe and Asian countries. Trade with the latter “has nearly doubled since 1994,” with China and Japan heading the list. In the same time period, Iran’s imports from Middle Eastern countries went from 8% to 13%, especially from the UAE.

Considering these facts and figures, one is justified in going further than the GAO, to argue that the impact of the sanctions, far from being “unclear,” is pretty straightforward: the sanctions are a failure. And, to pose the question: who is losing out? For sure, the Islamic Republic of Iran has felt the brunt internally, but, as the report makes clear, its global trade and investments picture is not bad. What, then, of the United States of America? The American economy, stock market and entire financial system are crashing, and are threatening to take the rest of the world into the abyss. In this context, the GAO’s remarks about the impact of financial sanctions, to stop Iran’s alleged support of “proliferation” and “terrorism,” may harbor a hidden message. Reviewing the sanctions slapped on Bank Saderat in 2006 and Bank Sepah in 2007, which deprived them of trading in dollars, the GAO writes that Iran has found alternatives: “sanctioned Iranian banks may turn to euro or other currency transactions to support Iranian government activities.” Indeed, Iran has increasingly shifted to the euro, at a time when, due to the dollar’s collapse, many other countries are doing the same, and are even considering lifting their pegs to the U.S. dollar. These include leading economies in the Gulf Cooperation Council, with whom Iran has been intensifying economic and political cooperation. Such moves, presented as “diversifying” foreign exchange reserves, are certainly not the {cause} of the greenback’s fall, but they will not contribute to stopping it. In addition, as PressTV reported January 4, Iran will open its Oil Bourse, for trade in gas, oil and petrochemicals, in non-dollar currencies. Finance Minister Davoud Danesh-Jafarai said the bourse, located on the island of Kish, would be inaugurated in early February, on the anniversary of the Islamic revolution.

Arabs Reject Bush’s “Peace-Through-War” Mission

Such economic factors rank high on the list of considerations that shaped the response given Bush on his recent trip, by Arab leaders of the Persian Gulf states. By all accounts, including those in government-linked press organs, Bush’s performance was an abysmal failure. After having mouthed nice-sounding phrases about peace, while in the Occupied Territories and Israel, Bush unveiled the true content of his mission, in a never-ending series of diatribes against Iran, culminating in his official lecture in Abu Dhabi. As reported at length in the international media, Bush again depicted Iran as the source of all evil in the world, supporter of terrorism, seeker of nuclear weapons, and so on. Again, he made clear that the military option was not off the table.

But his Arab hosts were not amused. Whether in Kuweit, Bahrain or the UAE, Bush was informed quite explicitly that if he had plans to attack Iran, he could not count on any of them to offer their territory, albeit with U.S. bases, as launching-pads. The foreign minister of America’s most important Gulf ally, Saudi Arabia, rejected any hint of war against Iran even before Bush landed. “We have relations with Iran and we talk to them,” said Saud al-Faisal on January 10, “and if we feel there is any danger (in the region) we will talk to them about it.” The pro-government paper Al-Riyadh also delivered the same message, just prior to Bush’s arrival. “We refuse to be used to launch wars or tensions with Iran.” It added, “If the president [of the U.S.] wants to obtain the solidarity of all the Arabs, … he must focus, rationally, on the most important issue which is the question of peace.” Gulf News, from the UAE, commented that “There’s little enthusiasm in the Arab world to be labeled as a ‘Friend of George’ by signing up to this anti-Iranian alliance.” On the heels of Bush’s stopover in Kuweit, the foreign minister of that close ally, Mohammad Sabah al-Salem al-Sabeh, joined with Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki in a Tehran press conference, to announce: “My country knows who is our friend and who is our enemy, and Iran is our friend.”

Almost overlapping Bush’s visits in the region, Iranian diplomats were meeting with regional partners. Iran’s ambassador to Bahrain, Hossein Amir Abdollahian met with the head of that country’s Chamber of Commerce, Osam Abdullah Fakhro, to discuss expansion of economic cooperation, a subject which is to be further explorted in the fifth meeting of the High Economic Cooperation Council, to be held soon.

More important, prior to Bush’s touchdown in the region, the most powerful institutions of the region had signalled inequivocably their commitment to ally with Iran against any and all war scenarios emanating from Washington. The first major initiative was the official invitation of the Gulf Cooperation Council, to Iranian President Ahmadinejad, to attend their summit in Doha December 3-4. This was the first time since the founding of the GCC that an Iranian leader had been accorded such an honor. Ahmadinejad did attend, and presented a proposal for cooperation in 12 points, which was warmly received. The proposal outlined plans for “regional security and economic pacts” without foreign influence, IRNA reported on December 16. Iranian sources have told this author that, following that historic event, Iran sent a letter out to its Arab neighbors, calling for the establishment of a working group to study his proposals further, and that another meeting on the issue will be held. Following that summit, an invitation was sent the Iranian President from the most influential Arab leader of the region. Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al Saud personally invited Ahmadinejad to attend the Hajj prilgrimage, again an unprecedented event, — the first time in 1,400 years — which, Iranian sources assured this author, could not be underestimated.

It should be noted in this context, that very few, if any, of the Arab Gulf leaders fell for the line retailed by Bush in his earlier visits to Israel and the Occupied Territories. Though he preached peace, even venturing to declare that the territories occupied by Israel beginning in 1967, had to be liberated, what followed in the wake of his visit indicated that he had actually been on a wrecking mission. No sooner had he left Israel, than the Israelis acted with vengeance in Gaza, demolishing the Palestinian Interior Ministry, killing dozens of Palestinians, and closing off the entire area from vital supplies of humanitarian goods. Had he discussed this with Olmert?

Not only: after Bush left the region, the Lebanese crisis, which some had thought was nearing conclusion, erupted again, as the election of a President was again postponed. Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa said he believed it was a matter of the lack of political will. Unconfirmed reports in Al Akhbar on January 17 had it that Bush met secretly in Aqaba with Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, Majority leader Saad Hariri and Jordanian King Abdullah II, to discuss a naval blockade of Syria, a matter that Al Manar that same day said he had earlier discussed with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. As for the internal Lebanese situation, Bush had gone on the public record prior to his trip, saying that he supported the March 14 group’s bid to elect a President by “50% plus one” of the votes. In short: he was sabotaging the negotiation process aiming at national reconciliation and power sharing. As George Orwell taught: Peace is War and War is Peace.

The World vs. George W. Bush

The most welcome rallying of the Arab Gulf governments against Washington’s war option may be crucial, but it is in itself not sufficient to preserve peace. Even if all the regional powers say, “No, thank you,” to the Bush-Cheney bid for military aggression against Iran, that does not mean that plans for further political-economic aggression, in the form of a new U.N. Security Council resolution for sanctions, have been abandoned. And, as the case with Iraq has documented, sanctions are not intended only to inflict economic damage, but to create the political preconditions for justifying waging actual war.

The key factors in the sanctions fight will be Russia and China, and there are good reasons to hope that both will stick to their guns at the upcoming Berlin meeting. The National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report of December, provided Russia and China with precious ammunition — and from U.S. intelligence agencies no less! — to argue their case that Iran was not seeking nuclear weapons, but only nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, as guaranteed by the International Atomic Energy Agency and Non Prolifieration Treaty, both of which Iran had endorsed.

Both Russia and China have since then moved to manifest their resolve that the nuclear file will not be used as a casus belli and, also, that further sanctions against Iran would be unacceptable. Moscow responded to the issuance of the NIE report by announcing it would deliver nuclear fuel to Iran’s Bushehr plant. This was no minor event. Anyone who has followed the story of Iran’s fight for nuclear energy, knows that the Russians, who took over the task of completing the Bushehr plant after the Germans foolishly had abandoned it, have been playing cat-and-mouse with Tehran, promising to deliver the fuel, then always finding good reasons why such deliveries had to be postponed. Iran had not paid in full, they said, or there were other reasons. In reality, these were diplomatic excuses. Thus, when Russia finally made its first delivery of fuel to Bushehr on December 17, this was a political message: Russia will stand by its agreements with Iran. Sergei Shmatko, president of Atomstroiexport, the Russian contractor for the Iranian nuclear plant at Bushehr, was quoted by PressTV on December 18, saying, “We have resolved all the problems with the Iranians. We have agreed with our Iranian colleagues a timeframe for completing the plant.”

The second consignment of Russian fuel took place on December 28, the third, on January 18, and the fourth, on January 20. With this last shipment, Russia has delivered one-half the fuel required, that is, 44 tons out of a projected 82 tons. The last shipment is scheduled for next month. The Iranians say they hope that the Bushehr plant will finally be able to start functioning during the first half of 2008. If that occurs, it will not only chalk up a defeat for the war party, but also constitute a setback for the Malthusians who would like to deny all developing sector nations the access to nuclear energy technology.

But there is more. As Mohammad Saeedi, deputy head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, stated on December 19, the delivery of Russian fuel would lead to further strategic ties between Russia and Iran. Included in this growing strategic partnership are cooperative deals in the energy sector. On January 15, ITAR-TASS reported on Iranian expectations that Gazprom would present proposals for gas and oil cooperation. Also in the defense sector, Moscow is lending a helping hand to Tehran. On December 26, PressTV reported that Russia would deliver the S-300 long-range surface-to-air missile defense system to Iran.

As for China, the message has been similar in content though delivered in another format. Saeed Jalili, the new Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, and chief nuclear negotiator, was in Beijing January 17, for talks with top leaders on the sanctions issue. The Director-General of the Department of West Asian and North Africa of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Song Aiguo, told Jalili that his country and Russia were committed to reduce pressures on Iran regarding the nuclear issue. Jalili, for his part, reiterated Tehran’s commitment to continue cooperation with the IAEA. At the same time, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia-Pacific Affairs, Mahdi Safari, was also in Beijing, for talks with his Chinese counterparts.

Following his extensive discussions, Jalili announced on January 18, as reported by AP, that Beijing and Tehran agreed on crucial foreign policy issues. “Concerning the Iranian nuclear issues,” he told press, “we have a lot of areas where we are in agreement. We have a common view on sanctions and the right for every nation to peacefully use nuclear energy.” Xinhua reported that Tang Jiaxuan, China’s foreign policy chief, reiterated China’s position that the issue should be solved through diplomacy. “The international community,” he was quoted saying, “should beef up diplomatic efforts to facilitate the resumption of negotiations and achieve a comprehensive settlement of the issue.” Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi reportedly told Jalili that “The Iranian nuclear issue is now at a crucial moment,” and expressed hopes that all sides would resume talks. Yang had just met with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte, who had taken a diametrically opposed message to Beijing, pleading for China’s support for sanctions.

At the same time, if the pro-sanctions lobby had hoped for support from the IAEA, those hopes were dashed after leading representatives of the U.N. agency for nuclear energy had concluded satisfactory talks in Tehran. Following the visit of an IAEA delegation to Iran in early January, to clarify further unanswered questions regarding Iran’s program, the director general of the body, Dr. Mohammad ElBaradei, visited the Iranian capital for talks. He met not only with government and nuclear sector representatives, but also with the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. This was important. Khamenei does not routinely receive foreign guests. From accounts published in the Iranian press, it appears the encounter was not insignificant. According to IranManiaNews on January 13 (www.iranmania.com/News/Article View/viewprintablearticle.asp), Khamenei urged ElBaradei to preserve the independence of the IAEA as an international organization, and reiterated the Islamic Republic’s rejection of nuclear weapons on religious grounds. Khamenei then came to the central point: “America’s problem with Iran,” he was quoted saying, “goes beyond the nuclear issue,” suggesting that the U.S. wanted to exploit the nuclear issue to target Iran. He also stated that the entire dossier should be returned to the IAEA, as there is no justification for its being dealt with at the U.N. Security Council. It was agreed that Iran would have a month or so to clarify open questions.

As of this writing, it therefore does not look good for the sanctions lobby, not to mention the Cheneyite war party. Although the German government of Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Foreign Minister Walter Steinmeier (who should know better), have been lobbying for further sanctions, and actually issued the invitations for the January 22 meeting of foreign ministers in Berlin, there is little chance that anything other than bruised egos will come out of that meeting. In a rather uncharacteristic statement, U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack admitted on January 18, that Washington did not think it could force through its sanctions line this time around. “We are optimistic that we will eventually be able to get a resolution,” he was quoted by Reuters on January 18. “We would have wished that we had had one by now but that is multilateral diplomacy for you,” he said. When asked outright whether or not the Berlin meeting might yield a resolution for sanctions, McCormack was contrite: “It might take a little longer.” He added: “You might term it a brainstorming session, about what are the diplomatic pathways available to us, so that we can pressure the Iranian regime to make a different set of choices regarding its behavior in the international system. That’s the whole object of the exercise here,” he concluded.

Certain signals must have been registered, even in that political Disneyland known as Washington. Among them are Russia’s nuclear fuel deliveries to Iran, Moscow’s announcement, almost simultaneously, that it could, if deemed necessary, launch preemptive nuclear strikes to defend its territory as well as that of its allies, continuing Russian opposition to Washington’s plans for missile defense systems in the Czech Republic and Poland, as well as rejection of independence for Kosovo. Thus, it is to be expected that the meeting of the foreign ministers of the 5+1 in Berlin, will yield {no} consensus for sanctions against Iran. Opponents of the bellicose sanctions policy can refer readily to the NIE report as well as the recent GAO study, to assert, on the basis of documents issued by official government institutions of the United States that, (1) Iran has no nuclear weapons program and (2) that the sanctions policy has been a miserable failure.

The View From Tehran

The Iranian leadership has been pursuing a rather sophisticated two-track policy in the current juncture. On the one hand, it has rejected out of hand any talk of further sanctions, as being unwarranted, illegal, etc. On the other hand, Tehran has also sent important signals to all those with ears to hear and eyes to see, that it seriously seeks an end to the insane, hostile relationship with the U.S., and, by extension, with other nations of the West. In the time of the presidency of Seyyed Mohammad Khatami, Iran had extended its hand with an olive branch, and got little in return. Though ignored or denigrated by the international media, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has also proposed that the enmity dating from the 1979 revolution, be overcome. Letters he drafted to the President Bush, and to the American people, are still awaiting an answer.

In this light it is extremely important to acknowledge that the highest authority of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has recently addressed the issue of relations with the U.S. Although largely ignored by the international press and, where noted at all, cast in a totally negative light, the statements attributed by Iranian media to the Supreme Leader are of historic importance. Speaking in Yazd on January 3, Khamenei, according to PressTV on January 6, “said … that although severing diplomatic ties with the U.S. has been one of Iran’s principle policies, Tehran had never indicated that it would be a permanent policy.” The wire service went on to report that, however, “The Leader also emphasized that with Washington going on with its current policies, the restoration of diplomatic ties with the US is not in the Iranian nation’s best interests.” In short, the message was, that Iran is eager to overcome the crisis in relations which began with the 1979 revolution. But the problem lies in Washington. With the Bush-Cheney Administration in power, such a perpective for reconciliation is nil. Were a different Administration in power, things would be different. The message is, indirectly, addressed to those in the Democratic Party primaries, who could respond with a signal of openness.

Iranian sources told this author that Khamenei’s statements should be taken very seriously. This is the first time that a Supreme Leader has made such reference to the possibility of restoring diplomatic relations with the U.S. Not only: the same sources pointed out that the Iranian offer made to the U.S. in 2003, to put all relevant issues on the table, had been an institutional decision, and one that could be made again today, were Washington receptive. According to VoA on January 5, State Department spokesman David Foley said that Khamenei’s remarks might open the way for resumption of diplomatic relations. He said that the U.S. interpreted the statements as a sign that Iran wanted better relations, something, he claimed, Washington also desired. This was of course contradicted by Bush’s blanket accusations against Iran during his recent tour. But, as this is an election year, everything could change, even in the U.S.

Muriel Mirak-Weissbach is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Muriel Mirak-Weissbach

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National Defense Authorization Act Shifts Burden From President Onto Congress by Dennis Kucinich

Dandelion Salad

by Dennis Kucinich

Kucinich Organizes 15 Members of Congress; Sent Letter To Senate Armed Services Committee Urging Withdrawal Of Section That Could Lead To War With Iran

Washington, Jan 18 – Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) sent a letter to the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee today, asking for a section from the National Defense Authorization Act to be removed when the bill is brought up for consideration in the Senate. The section lays the groundwork for authorization for a war with Iran.

“Congress is taking the responsibility for the Administration’s plans for war with Iran,” Kucinich said.

“This is intolerable, unconscionable and intellectually dishonest and this language must be stripped out of this bill.”

Kucinich, who led the charge on the floor of the House of Representatives this week in opposing the bill, organized 15 Members of Congress to sign onto the letter. Kucinich spoke out on the House floor, pointing out to his Colleagues that a section was left in the bill claiming Iran poses a nuclear threat, even after a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report proved otherwise.

“There is absolutely no intelligence to back up these erroneous claims made by the Administration. All they are doing is ratcheting up tensions between the United States and Iran. Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program. Let’s keep it that way by pursuing a policy of diplomacy instead of war,” Kucinich said.

The text of the letter is below:

January 18, 2008

Senator Carl Levin
Chairman
United States Senate Committee on Armed Services
228 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Chairman Levin:

We urge you to remove Section 229 of H.R. 4986, the National Defense Authorization Act before bringing this bill to a vote in the Senate. Removal of this section will reflect the findings contained in the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran that was released on December 3, 2007.
Section 229 states:

“Congress finds that Iran maintains a nuclear program in continued defiance of the international community while developing ballistic missiles of increasing sophistication and range that pose a threat to the forward-deployed forces of the United States.”

The remaining language in Section 229 states that it is therefore “policy of the United States” to develop an “effective defense” against that nuclear threat.

However, the NIE states:

“We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program… We assess with moderate confidence Tehran had not restarted its nuclear weapons program as of mid-2007…”

In voting for the bill, Members of Congress are therefore asked to endorse a US policy of weapons build-up based on pretenses now proven to be false. Such policy has not served us well in the recent past. We hope you agree the provision should be removed.

Sincerely,

Dennis J. Kucinich
Member of Congress

Raul Grijalva
Member of Congress

Tammy Baldwin
Member of Congress

Maurice Hinchey
Member of Congress

John Conyers, Jr.
Member of Congress

Jim McDermott
Member of Congress

Jim McGovern
Member of Congress

Peter DeFazio
Member of Congress

Donald Payne
Member of Congress

Bob Filner
Member of Congress

Lynn Woolsey
Member of Congress

Bobby Rush
Member of Congress

Luis Gutierrez
Member of Congress

Eleanor Holmes Norton
Member of Congress

Barbara Lee
Member of Congress

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

Kucinich Leads 45 Members In Opposing National Defense Authorization Act

Ask Congress to Investigate Pentagon Video of Iranian “Threat”

Kucinich demands Bush stop beating drums of war on Iran (video + transcript)

Kucinich: Evidence Undercuts Bush’s Rhetoric On Iran

Kucinich-Dennis

Kucinich Leads 45 Members In Opposing National Defense Authorization Act

Dandelion Salad

by Dennis Kucinich

Congress Votes To Intensify Tensions Between The US & Iran

Washington, Jan 16 – Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), who led the charge in opposing the National Defense Authorization Act on the floor of the House of Representatives today, released the following statement after voting against more war:

“This is a foreign policy blunder that needs to be remedied quickly,” Kucinich said.

Kucinich – who read the 1,513 page document – went to the House floor, objected to the bill and called for a recorded vote. The act passed by a vote of 369-46.

Kucinich pointed out to his colleagues the language in Sec. 229 of the Act. It states, in part:

Congress finds that Iran maintains a nuclear program in continued defiance of the international community while developing ballistic missiles of increasing sophistication and range that pose a threat to the forward-deployed forces of the United States.

However, just last month, a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report affirmed that Iran does not have an active weapons program. The NIE report concluded that if Iran were to end the freeze of its weapons program, it would still be at least two years before they would have enough highly enriched uranium to produce a nuclear bomb and it would be “very unlikely” Iran could produce enough material by then.

“There is absolutely no intelligence to back up these erroneous claims made by the Administration. All they are doing is ratcheting up tensions between the United States and Iran. There is no threat to the international community from Iran right now, nor will there be in the near future,” Kucinich said.

“Congress has given an undeserved victory to President Bush’s campaign to launch a second war — this time against Iran — by codifying this erroneous, unsupported claim.

“We have to be very cautious about building out an entire part of our defense, planning for an attack from Iran when we haven’t even made an effort to use diplomacy,” Kucinich said on the House floor today.

“Yet we are actually defining and making a connection between a nuclear capability, which Iran clearly doesn’t have at this moment, and ballistic missiles. And by creating that linkage we are actually creating an architecture of fear. I don’t think that is a sensible way for the greatest nation in the world to be pursuing its policy.”

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

Ask Congress to Investigate Pentagon Video of Iranian “Threat”

Kucinich demands Bush stop beating drums of war on Iran (video + transcript)

Kucinich: Evidence Undercuts Bush’s Rhetoric On Iran

How The Pentagon Planted a False Hormuz Story by Gareth Porter

Is Bush preparing the world for another USS Liberty by Trevor Murphy?

Kucinich: Evidence Undercuts Bush’s Rhetoric On Iran

Dandelion Salad

by Dennis Kucinich

President’s Deliberate And Calculated Comments Are Setting The Stage For More War

Washington, Jan 14 – Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) released the following statement after President Bush increased his rhetoric against Iran this weekend, labeling the Islamic country as the world’s leading sponsor on terror:

“This is the third time in two months that President Bush has actively and systematically sought to deceive the American public into thinking Iran is threatening security around the world,” Kucinich said.

Yesterday President Bush urged wary Persian Gulf allies to rally against Iran “before it is too late,” even as the International Atomic Energy Agency announced that the country had agreed, yet again, to answer outstanding questions about its nuclear programs within four weeks, reported The New York Times.

“After the lies and deception used to lead us to war in Iraq, the Bush Administration cannot be given leeway with aggressive statements that suggest a preemptive attack on Iran is necessary to avoid a larger war,” Kucinich said.

A National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report released just last month reaffirmed that Iran does not have an active weapons program, which is in direct opposition to unsubstantiated claims made by the Bush Administration over the last several months. Just last week, the Administration accused small Iranian boats swarming around U.S. warships in the Strait of Hormuz with harassment and provocation.

The Pentagon is now backing down from its initial version of the Iranian-boat encounter. The commanders of the two Navy ships involved in the incident said that a menacing radio message may not have come from the Iranian boats.

“It has been proven time and time again that Iran is cooperating with the international community. But that doesn’t matter to the Bush Administration because they are already intent on starting another war. They refuse to see the writing on the wall.

“Bush’s deliberate and calculated comments are setting the stage for more chaos in the world and in the process, are making the United States less safe. It is time to stop using war as an instrument of foreign policy. It didn’t work with Iraq and it won’t work with Iran,” Kucinich concluded.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

Al Jazeera: Bush: Confront Iran (videos)

Why is Iran Still in the Cross-Hairs? by Dr. Ellen Hodgson Brown

Toward Militarism, War, Empire, Caskets & Bankruptcy By Jacob G. Hornberger

Bush’s Mideast Visit & N. Korea Declaration Deadline By William H. White

Bush launches scathing attack on Iran (video)

Gulf Shenanigans: No Laughing Matter By Ray McGovern