Rove op-ed reveals he had inside information about probe

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by Larisa Alexandrovna
Raw Story
August 20, 2009

Lawyer declines to say how he found out accuser didn’t talk to Justice Department

Karl Rove’s latest attempt to proclaim his innocence and demand apologies from those who have accused him of being behind the prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman may backfire if it turns out that Rove was improperly receiving inside information after leaving his position as Deputy White House Chief of Staff.

“For more than two years,” Rove writes in the Wall Street Journal, “House Judiciary Committee Democrats and the New York Times editorial board have argued that I personally arranged for Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman to be prosecuted in 2004 for corruption and ordered the removal of eight U.S. attorneys in 2006 for failing to investigate Democrats. The Washington Post editorial board also echoed this last charge. The Times and the Post have published a combined 18 editorials on these issues, which were also catnip to House Judiciary Committee Democrats.”

[…]

via Raw Story » Rove op-ed reveals he had inside information about probe

see

“All Roads Lead to Rove”: David Iglesias on New Evidence Linking Bush Admin to Firings

House Judiciary Committee Releases Rove and Miers Interview Transcripts and Over 5,400 Pages of Bush White House Documents

from the archives:

US Attorneys

Rove-Karl

Siegelman-Don

Gonzales-Alberto

US Attorney Firings/Gonzales/Rove

Hersh did not say Cheney ordered Bhutto assassination

Dandelion Salad

By Stephen C. Webster
Raw Story
May 18, 2009
Updated 1 day ago

UPDATE below: Wall Street Journal removes links

Wall Street Journal, The American Spectator linked phony reports

In a telephone conversation with RAW STORY, Pulitzer-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh refuted reports that he told an Arab television network that former Vice President Dick Cheney ordered the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Numerous Internet and mainstream publications picked up the story on Monday. Even The Wall Street Journal linked to unverified sources carrying the story. (Screenshot.) U.S. conservative magazine The American Spectator also published a blog with the false information. (Screenshot.)

Hersh told RAW STORY Investigative News Editor Larisa Alexandrovna that he made no such statements.

Following RAW STORY’s Monday evening report, the Journal removed the links from its Web site. (Screenshot.)

“We’ve tried to reach out to people in the media that we know and correct this,” confirmed Alexa Cassanos, director of public relations at The New Yorker, speaking to this reporter. “We’re not even sure where this came from.”

[…]

via Raw Story » Hersh did not say Cheney ordered Bhutto assassination.

***

I did not say ’special death squad’ made by Cheney killed Benazir: Hersh

http://www.thaindian.com
May 19th, 2009 – 12:39 pm ICT by ANI

Dick Cheney Lahore, May 19 ANI: US journalist Seymour Hersh has contradicted news reports being published in South Asia that quote him as saying a “special death squad” created by former US vice president Dick Cheney had killed Benazir Bhutto.

The award-winning journalist described as “complete madness” the reports that the squad headed by General Stanley McChrystal, the new commander of US Army in Afghanistan, had also killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafique Al Hariri and a Lebanese Army Chief.

[…]

via I did not say ’special death squad’ made by Cheney killed Benazir: Hersh.

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US journo claims Bhutto was killed on Cheney’s orders

‘You can’t authorise murder’: Dick Cheney headed a secret assassination wing that targeted America’s enemies (Hersh interview)

Did newly announced top Afghan general run Cheney’s assassination wing?

Seymour Hersh: Secret US Forces Carried Out Assassinations

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One of my sources died in a plane crash last night… by Larisa Alexandrovna

Dandelion Salad

by Larisa Alexandrovna
At Largely
December 20, 2008 Continue reading

Abramoff said he had agreement with White House aide just a month after Bush took office

Dandelion Salad

by Larisa Alexandrovna
Raw Story
Monday November 17, 2008

Email noting relationship with White House came just a month after Bush took office

Convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff told his colleagues at his former law firm that he had an “agreement” regarding communications with a former assistant to then-Deputy Chief of Staff, Karl Rove, perhaps the most substantial documented tie between Abramoff and the White House to date.

In the email, dated Feb. 27, 2001, Abramoff reprimands a colleague who asked him to use Susan Ralston – Special Assistant to the President George W. Bush and then-Bush senior adviser Karl Rove – to arrange a meeting with the President for one of his clients.

In response, Abramoff writes that Ralston and he have an “agreement with her as to what we are going to ask her and when.”

[…]

via The Raw Story | Abramoff said he had agreement with White House aide just a month after Bush took office

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see

Judge sentences former lobbyist Abramoff to four years

Abramoff/DeLay/Ney

Welcome to the final stages of the coup… by Larisa Alexandrovna

Dandelion Salad

by Larisa Alexandrovna
http://www.huffingtonpost.com
September 20, 2008

Graffiti "4 More Years of Fascism"

Image by Dandelion Salad via Flickr

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. ~ Julius Caesar

In 2000, the long fought for and long admired democracy of the United States of America began a slow and steady decline toward fascism – a Bush family tradition – with the installment of a president – a man the citizens overwhelmingly rejected (although the funny math told a still believed myth) – by a few corrupt judges on the US Supreme Court. That coup is now nearly complete and checkmate is all but unavoidable.

Continue reading

Justice Department investigating two US Attorneys for political prosecution

Dandelion Salad

by Larisa Alexandrovna
rawstory.com
Thursday June 5, 2008

Mississippi US Attorney said to share tax returns of one of his targets with “unauthorized personnel”

The US Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) is investigating the conduct of at least two specific US Attorneys in the “selective prosecution” of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman, sitting Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Oliver E. Diaz Jr., and Mississippi attorney Paul Minor, according to attorneys close to the investigation.

In a May 5 letter sent to House Judiciary Committee chairman John Conyers (D-MI), OPR Director H. Marshall Jarrett wrote that OPR “currently has pending investigations involving, among others, allegations of selective prosecution relating to the prosecutions of Don Siegelman, Georgia Thompson, Oliver Diaz and Paul Minor.”

Don Siegelman: Former Alabama Democratic Governor Don Siegelman was defeated in the 2002 Alabama gubernatorial race by Republican Bob Riley. A consultant to Riley’s campaign, Bill Canary, is a long-time business associate of Karl Rove, former White House Deputy Chief of Staff and senior aide to the president.

Canary’s wife, Leura Canary, was appointed to be the US Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama by President George W. Bush. Ms. Canary’s office investigated Siegelman on charges of bribery and corruption, twice allegedly timing indictments for maximum impact on upcoming elections. Ms. Canary has stated that she recused herself from the Siegelman case, but no evidence has been furnished by the Justice Department to prove that Ms. Canary did in fact recuse herself.

…continued

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The WH Politically Motivated Conviction of Siegelman & Rove’s Role

Dandelion Salad

Buzzflash

June 2, 2008

A BUZZFLASH INTERVIEW

“Rove’s dream was to recreate the landscape of the judicial system, and to install judges that were either pliable, malleable, and/or very, very pro-corporation. Essentially that is what he did in Alabama in the early Nineties. That is what this is all about. If you control the governor in the states where the justices are not elected, you control who gets on the supreme court. And that’s essentially what this is all about for Rove ultimately. But to get those kinds of things done, you have to eliminate the governor you don’t want and install the governor you do want. There are a lot of corporate interests funding this. So it intersects in that sense. It’s buying the law and restructuring the state judiciary.” — Larisa Alexandrovna

Alexandrovna was born in the Soviet Union and knows a thing or two about people getting framed by the state. So, among her many investigative projects, she became drawn to the plight of one Don Siegelman, the former Democratic governor of Alabama, who became an apparent victim of the DOJ “Prosecutor-Gate.” His sin was protesting an election that appears to have been stolen from him, literally, in the dead of night.

If you think that “Prosecutor-Gate” ended with the resignation of Alberto Gonzales, you are wrong. Siegelman is only out of jail after a lengthy campaign to get him released on bond while his case is on appeal. Karl Rove still is at large and free to bloviate for dollars on the corporate media, while Siegelman has to battle to prove that he is an innocent victim of a DOJ that became a tool of partisan prosecutions.

continued at http://www.buzzflash.com/articles/interviews/111

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.

Break-ins plague targets of US Attorneys

Dandelion Salad

by Larisa Alexandrovna, Muriel Kane and Lindsay Beyerstein
Raw Story
Thursday May 1, 2008

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA – In two states where US attorneys are already under fire for serious allegations of political prosecutions, seven people associated with three federal cases have experienced 10 suspicious incidents including break-ins and arson.

These crimes raise serious questions about possible use of deliberate intimidation tactics not only because of who the victims are and the already wide criticism of the prosecutions to begin with, but also because of the suspicious nature of each incident individually as well as the pattern collectively. Typically burglars do not break-into an office or private residence only to rummage through documents, for example, as is the case with most of the burglaries in these two federal cases.

read more | digg story

h/t: Mary

see

House committee threatens Rove with subpoena

Rove caught in his own worst nightmare… By Larisa Alexandrovna

Dandelion Salad

By Larisa Alexandrovna
at-Largely
April 02, 2008

Apparently Karl Rove’s interest in going after whistle-blower, Dana Jill Simpson, has gotten him so unhinged that he has stepped straight into a trap that he himself would have laid not too long ago – when he had the power to do so – against a political “enemy.” Now he has stepped into a trap laid for him by the reality of the situation, that is, by his own ego in an interview with GQ.

GQ decided to go interview Rove – for reasons I am still trying to grasp, given that Rove is not much of a cover-seller. I have it on good authority, however, that Rove was adamant that GQ ask questions about Jill Simpson – and guess what? They asked him about Ms. Simpson:

“[rolls his eyes] Will you do me a favor and go on Power Line and Google “Dana Jill Simpson” [the Republican lawyer who told 60 Minutes that Rove asked her to take a picture of Governor Siegelman cheating on his wife]? She’s a complete lunatic. I’ve never met this woman. This woman was not involved in any campaign in which I was involved. I have yet to find anybody who knows her. And what the media has done on this… No one has read the 143-page deposition that she gave congressional investigators—143 pages. When she shows up to give her explanation of all this, do you know how many times my name appears? Zero times. Nobody checked!”

…continued

Alabama Democrats are Under Attack By Larisa Alexandrovna

Dandelion Salad

By Larisa Alexandrovna
Huffington Post
Mar 11, 2008

If you are not familiar with the Don Siegelman case, then you have some catching up to do. See HERE and read through the links.

Now for the latest nightmare – the brown-shirts arrive. Honestly, this is so unreal, I have no words (emphasis mine):

“Montgomery, AL — Alabama Democratic Party Executive Director Jim Spearman today called into question the method by which U.S. Marshals attempted to serve legislators subpoenas to appear to testify in a grand jury proceeding. Reporters were apparently tipped off by calls stating U.S. Marshals were coming to the Alabama Statehouse to serve some legislators. “The drama surrounding these actions and the U.S.

Department of Justice’s disruption of a legislative session for the routine serving of a summons to appear in court sends a poor signal to Alabama citizens who are already complaining about partisan political interference into the federal prosecution of former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman,” says Spearman.

These ladies and gentlemen have not been charged with a crime and could have been served by other means in their local communities, not in Montgomery during a legislative session in front of TV cameras and reporters.” Spearman stated. State law actually prohibits serving members of the legislature while they are in session. Section 29-1-7 of the Alabama Code protects members from this kind of action by U.S. Marshals yesterday. In fact, the Marshals could have violated this law by their disruption of the session and have been charged with a misdemeanor.

Thursday’s action only strengthens our resolve to insist that the U.S House and Senate as well as the U.S. Attorney General immediately launch an inquiry into Alabama’s federal justice system to assure Alabama citizens that politics and partisanship have not been used in prosecutions or in the serving of subpoenas. If Republican operatives had any advance knowledge of yesterday’s serving of subpoenas at the Statehouse, they should have to testify before Congress under oath.” Spearman concluded.”

Exactly. This a subpoena to appear before a grand jury (and strangely, for quite a few Democratic state legislators). This is NOT a failure to comply with a subpoena (like Miers, Rove, and Bolton have done). So why were US Marshals used as part of this spectacle and on whose authority?

Once again I ask, why are Democrats the target of these investigations? Where the hell is Congress? When will these police-state tactics be enough finally? Or do we just wait for the rest of the brown shirts to arrive?

Time to head to Alabama folks, a state in our union that appears to be under siege.

I am not very good at organizing anything, but perhaps this request might just be enough. Let’s go to Montgomery and occupy every corner of it with our peaceful bodies and shut the city down. No business. No government. No school. Nothing, but orange scarves and ourselves, just simply sitting it out until Congress finally acts. If you care even just a little about defending the Constitution — as is your duty as a citizen of this country — I ask that you now show your patriotism in a peaceful way and get up, get in your cars, get on a plane, get on a train, but just get going. If you do not, then your words of outrage are nothing but hollow complacency and you deserve to lose the most precious of freedoms. I am not a Democrat. But I am an American. Are you?

h/t: After Downing Street

see

Mr. Blackledge’s Black Helicopters By Scott Horton

A Brain-Dead Press by Scott Horton (Siegelman)

Journalism interrupted, The Right Wing Attack Machine Churns… (Siegelman)

Scott Horton on Democracy Now: Don Siegelman case & FCC Probe

Dan Abrams: Call For Don Siegelman Release Pending Appeal

Don Siegelman is a Political Prisoner of the Bush Administration

The Siegelman Case — A Political Prosecution Exposed

It Does Happen In America – The Political Trial of Don Siegelman + Siegelman Updates

60 Minutes: Don Siegelman (vids) + Parts of Broadcast Blocked in Alabama…

Siegelman-Don
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.

Journalism interrupted, The Right Wing Attack Machine Churns… (Siegelman)

Dandelion Salad

by Larisa Alexandrovna
at-Largely
March 07, 2008

So you folks recall the active smear-campaign by Eddie Curran – a  former reporter with the Mobile Press Register who has been actively vomiting up propaganda on behalf of the Siegelman prosecutors and the Alabama GOP, right? Just in case you have indeed forgotten the failed career of Curran and his hopes of selling a book on Siegelman’s prosecution, see HERE.

The latest attack effort launched by Curran is to recruit right-wing blogs via a letter he has been distributing and which is now prominently featured on the Alabama GOP website.  My pal in Alabama, Legal Schnauzer, has some words for Curran and describes the latest antics that show exactly why Curran has proved himself not remotely credible:

“Eddie Curran is in a fightin’ mood. But is this war of aggression from the erstwhile Mobile Press-Register

Not content to throw rhetorical bolo punches at Republican whistleblower Jill Simpson and Harper’s60 Minutes. And we’re not talking about a private missive to the folks responsible for the recent story on the prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman.

No, our guy Eddie apparently has disseminated his letter to a number of right-wing blogs. It can be found at several sites, including Granddaddy Long Legs here. Curran’s letter also appears at the Web site of the Alabama Republican Party.

Most mainstream reporters I’ve know in my almost 30 years in journalism would be horrified to see something they had written touted on a political party’s Web site. But I’ve got to give Curran credit: He’s given up all pretense of being an objective reporter.

You should read the whole thing. It is stellar. …

…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.

see

Scott Horton on Democracy Now: Don Siegelman case & FCC Probe

Dan Abrams: Call For Don Siegelman Release Pending Appeal

Don Siegelman is a Political Prisoner of the Bush Administration

The Siegelman Case — A Political Prosecution Exposed

It Does Happen In America – The Political Trial of Don Siegelman + Siegelman Updates

60 Minutes: Don Siegelman (vids) + Parts of Broadcast Blocked in Alabama…

Siegelman-Don

FBI documents contradict 9/11 Commission report + Who is Bayoumi?

Dandelion Salad

by Larisa Alexandrovna
Raw Story
Thursday February 28, 2008

Hijacker had post-9/11 flights scheduled, files say

Newly-released records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request contradict the 9/11 Commission’s report on the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and raise fresh questions about the role of Saudi government officials in connection to the hijackers.

The nearly 300 pages of a Federal Bureau of Investigation timeline used by the 9/11 Commission as the basis for many of its findings were acquired through a FOIA request filed by Kevin Fenton, a 26 year old translator from the Czech Republic. The FBI released the 298-page “hijacker timeline” Feb. 4.

The FBI timeline reveals that alleged hijacker Hamza Al-Ghamdi, who was aboard the United Airlines flight which crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center, had booked a future flight to San Francisco. He also had a ticket for a trip from Casablanca to Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia.

…continued

***

Page 2: FBI documents contradict 9/11 Commission report

by Larisa Alexandrovna
Raw Story
Thursday February 28, 2008

Who is Bayoumi?

Much has been reported about Omar al-Bayoumi and his alleged relationship with the government of Saudi Arabia. In his recent book, The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation, New York Times reporter Phillip Shenon discusses at length the questions surrounding Bayoumi and his ties to the Saudi government.

“Bayoumi seemed clearly to be working for some part of the Saudi government,” Shenon wrote on page 52. “He entered the United States as a business student and had lived San Diego since 1996. He was on the payroll of an aviation contractor to the Saudi government, paid about $2,800 a month, but apparently did no work for the company.”

…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.

US intelligence does not show Syrian nuclear weapons program, officials say by Larisa Alexandrovna

Dandelion Salad

by Larisa Alexandrovna
Global Research, October 21, 2007
Raw Story October 18, 2007

Cheney hand seen behind leaks of ‘misleading’ stories

Allegations that a Syrian envoy admitted during a United Nations meeting Oct. 17 that an Israeli air strike hit a nuclear facility in September are inaccurate and have raised the ire of some in the US intelligence community, who see the Vice President’s hand as allegedly being behind the disinformation.

A United Nations press release discussing the General Assembly’s Disarmament Committee meeting mistranslated comments ascribed to an unnamed Syrian diplomat as saying that Israel had on various occasions “taken action against nuclear facilities, including the 6 July attack in Syria.”

The UN has since gone through the tape recordings of the meeting and found that there was no mention of the word “nuclear” at all. According to the UN, the error was one of translation, involving several interpreters translating the same meeting.

Recent news articles, however, continue to make allegations and suggest that a nuclear weapons facility was hit — something that the Syrian government has denied, the Israeli government has not officially confirmed and US intelligence does not show.

According to current and former intelligence sources, the US intelligence community has seen no evidence of a nuclear facility being hit.

US intelligence “found no radiation signatures after the bombing, so there was no uranium or plutonium present,” said one official, wishing to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the subject.

“We don’t have any independent intelligence that it was a nuclear facility — only the assertions by the Israelis and some ambiguous satellite photography from them that shows a building, which the Syrians admitted was a military facility.”

Their statements come as officials claim Syria has begun to ‘disassemble’ the site. An article today quotes former Administration hawk and onetime Bush United Nations Ambassador John Bolton, who links Syria’s alleged action with Iran.

Israel has not spoken publicly about the air raid, other than to confirm that it happened. The confirmation came nearly a month after the Sept. 6 bombing, and provided only that “Israeli officials said the strike took place deep inside Syria.”

“‘Radiation signatures’ are just the particular type of radiation that some activity would give off,” Dr. Ivan Oelrich, a nuclear weapons expert at the Strategic Security Project at the Federation of American Scientists, told RAW STORY. “For example, a nuclear bomb would produce a lot of radioactivity and a nuclear reactor explosion would produce a lot of radioactivity but if you measure it carefully so you can tell, not just that it is radioactive, but exactly what particular isotopes are contributing, then it is easy to tell the difference.

“If a reactor explodes or is blown up then I can, with careful measurements of the particular types of radiation, tell what the fuel was for the reactor and how long the reactor had been running when it was hit,” Oelrich added. “It gets complicated because you have to take into account how different species are transported in the air, how fast they decay, etc. but it can be done.”

An earlier report by Raw Story cited Vincent Cannistraro, Director of Intelligence Programs for the National Security Council under President Ronald Reagan and Chief of Operations at the Central Intelligence Agency’s Counterterrorism Center under President George H. W. Bush, as saying that what the Israelis hit was “absolutely not a nuclear weapons facility.”

The Central Intelligence Agency, through a spokesman, declined to comment.

Administration said to leak stories to press

One US intelligence source familiar with the events expressed concern about recent news reports describing Syria as having a functioning nuclear weapons program and cautioned against attributing those reports to the US intelligence community.

“The allegations that North Korea was helping to build a nuclear reactor have not been substantiated by US intelligence,” said this intelligence official, adding, “ but that hasn’t stopped Dick Cheney and his minions at the NSC, Elliot Abrams and Steve Hadley, from leaking the information [to the press], which appears to be misleading in the extreme.”

Requests for comment to the National Security Council went unanswered.

Elliot Abrams, who currently serves as the Deputy National Security Adviser for Global Democracy Strategy, was convicted during the Iran-Contra scandal for withholding information from Congress. He was pardoned by President George H. W. Bush along with other Iran-Contra players, some of whom have reappeared in the current Bush administration.

Iran Contra was a criminal scandal in which the Reagan-Bush White House sold weapons to Iran – an avowed enemy of the United States – then funneled the money to extremist anti-Communist group of guerrilla fighters called the Contras, who were fighting the democratically elected government of Nicaragua.

A failed coup in 2002 against Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, is also attributed to the approval of Abrams, according to an investigation by the UK Guardian.

Prior to the Iraq war, now-National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley was an integral part of misleading intelligence dissemination and approved clandestine meetings between Iranian arms dealer Manucher Ghorbanifar and members of a secretive cabal inside the Department of Defense’s controversial Office of Special Plans.

During a 2006 interview with neoconservative scholar Michael Ledeen, Raw Story was able to obtain the first on the record confirmation of the trips having been approved by the National Security Council, including the then National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice:

“Obviously Hadley did not unilaterally do anything. The Pentagon paid for the expenses of the two DOD officials, and the American ambassador in Rome was fully briefed both before and after the meetings,” Ledeen said.

What concerns intelligence officials is what appears to be manipulation of the press and strategic leaks to the public of false information, undercutting professional intelligence analysis, similar to what occurred before the Iraq war in an apparent effort to bolster support for engaging Iran.

Larisa Alexandrovna is managing editor of investigative news for Raw Story and regularly reports on intelligence and national security stories. Contact her at larisa@rawstory.com.

see

U.S. Assisted Israel In Syrian Attack

Why did Israel attack Syria? by Jonathan Cook

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

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The url address of this article is:
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Study: US preparing ‘massive’ military attack against Iran by Larisa Alexandrovna and Muriel Kane

Dandelion Salad

Larisa Alexandrovna and Muriel Kane
Raw Story
Published: Tuesday August 28, 2007

The United States has the capacity for and may be prepared to launch without warning a massive assault on Iranian uranium enrichment facilities, as well as government buildings and infrastructure, using long-range bombers and missiles, according to a new analysis.The paper, “Considering a war with Iran: A discussion paper on WMD in the Middle East” – written by well-respected British scholar and arms expert Dr. Dan Plesch, Director of the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London, and Martin Butcher, a former Director of the British American Security Information Council (BASIC) and former adviser to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament – was exclusively provided to RAW STORY late Friday under embargo.

“We wrote the report partly as we were surprised that this sort of quite elementary analysis had not been produced by the many well resourced Institutes in the United States,” wrote Plesch in an email to Raw Story on Tuesday.

Plesch and Butcher examine “what the military option might involve if it were picked up off the table and put into action” and conclude that based on open source analysis and their own assessments, the US has prepared its military for a “massive” attack against Iran, requiring little contingency planning and without a ground invasion.

The study concludes that the US has made military preparations to destroy Iran’s WMD, nuclear energy, regime, armed forces, state apparatus and economic infrastructure within days if not hours of President George W. Bush giving the order. The US is not publicising the scale of these preparations to deter Iran, tending to make confrontation more likely. The US retains the option of avoiding war, but using its forces as part of an overall strategy of shaping Iran’s actions.

  • Any attack is likely to be on a massive multi-front scale but avoiding a ground invasion. Attacks focused on WMD facilities would leave Iran too many retaliatory options, leave President Bush open to the charge of using too little force and leave the regime intact.
  • US bombers and long range missiles are ready today to destroy 10,000 targets in Iran in a few hours.
  • US ground, air and marine forces already in the Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan can devastate Iranian forces, the regime and the state at short notice.
  • Some form of low level US and possibly UK military action as well as armed popular resistance appear underway inside the Iranian provinces or ethnic areas of the Azeri, Balujistan, Kurdistan and Khuzestan. Iran was unable to prevent sabotage of its offshore-to-shore crude oil pipelines in 2005.
  • Nuclear weapons are ready, but most unlikely, to be used by the US, the UK and Israel. The human, political and environmental effects would be devastating, while their military value is limited.
  • Israel is determined to prevent Iran acquiring nuclear weapons yet has the conventional military capability only to wound Iran’s WMD programmes.
  • The attitude of the UK is uncertain, with the Brown government and public opinion opposed psychologically to more war, yet, were Brown to support an attack he would probably carry a vote in Parliament. The UK is adamant that Iran must not acquire the bomb.
  • The US is not publicising the scale of these preparations to deter Iran, tending to make confrontation more likely. The US retains the option of avoiding war, but using its forces as part of an overall strategy of shaping Iran’s actions.

When asked why the paper seems to indicate a certainty of Iranian WMD, Plesch made clear that “our paper is not, repeat not, about what Iran actually has or not.” Yet, he added that “Iran certainly has missiles and probably some chemical capability.”

Most significantly, Plesch and Butcher dispute conventional wisdom that any US attack on Iran would be confined to its nuclear sites. Instead, they foresee a “full-spectrum approach,” designed to either instigate an overthrow of the government or reduce Iran to the status of “a weak or failed state.” Although they acknowledge potential risks and impediments that might deter the Bush administration from carrying out such a massive attack, they also emphasize that the administration’s National Security Strategy includes as a major goal the elimination of Iran as a regional power. They suggest, therefore, that:

This wider form of air attack would be the most likely to delay the Iranian nuclear program for a sufficiently long period of time to meet the administration’s current counterproliferation goals. It would also be consistent with the possible goal of employing military action is to overthrow the current Iranian government, since it would severely degrade the capability of the Iranian military (in particular revolutionary guards units and other ultra-loyalists) to keep armed opposition and separatist movements under control. It would also achieve the US objective of neutralizing Iran as a power in the region for many years to come.

However, it is the option that contains the greatest risk of increased global tension and hatred of the United States. The US would have few, if any allies for such a mission beyond Israel (and possibly the UK). Once undertaken, the imperatives for success would be enormous.

Butcher says he does not believe the US would use nuclear weapons, with some exceptions.

“My opinion is that [nuclear weapons] wouldn’t be used unless there was definite evidence that Iran has them too or is about to acquire them in a matter of days/weeks,” notes Butcher. “However, the Natanz facility has been so hardened that to destroy it MAY require nuclear weapons, and once an attack had started it may simply be a matter of following military logic and doctrine to full extent, which would call for the use of nukes if all other means failed.”

Military Strategy

The bulk of the paper is devoted to a detailed analysis of specific military strategies for such an attack, of ongoing attempts to destabilize Iran by inciting its ethnic minorities, and of the considerations surrounding the possible employment of nuclear weapons.

In particular, Plesch and Butcher examine what is known as Global Strike – the capability to project military power from the United States to anywhere in the world, which was announced by STRATCOM as having initial operational capability in December 2005. It is the that capacity that could provide strategic bombers and missiles to devastate Iran on just a few hours notice.

Iran has a weak air force and anti aircraft capability, almost all of it is 20-30 years old and it lacks modern integrated communications. Not only will these forces be rapidly destroyed by US air power, but Iranian ground and air forces will have to fight without protection from air attack.

British military sources stated on condition of anonymity, that “the US military switched its whole focus to Iran” from March 2003. It continued this focus even though it had infantry bogged down in fighting the insurgency in Iraq.

Global Strike could be combined with already-existing “regional operational plans for limited war with Iran, such as Oplan 1002-04, for an attack on the western province of Kuzhestan, or Oplan 1019 which deals with preventing Iran from closing the Straits of Hormuz, and therefore keeping open oil lanes vital to the US economy.”

The Marines are not all tied down fighting in Iraq. Several Marine forces are assembling in the Gulf, each with its own aircraft carrier. These carrier forces can each conduct a version of the D-Day landings. They come with landing craft, tanks, jump-jets, thousands of troops and hundreds more cruise missiles. Their task is to destroy Iranian forces able to attack oil tankers and to secure oilfields and installations. They have trained for this mission since the Iranian revolution of 1979 as is indicated in this battle map of Hormuz illustrating an advert for combat training software.

Special Forces units – which are believed to already be operating within Iran – would be available to carry out search-and-destroy missions and incite internal uprisings, while US Army units in both Iraq and Afghanistan could mount air and missile attacks on Iranian forces, which are heavily concentrated along the Iran-Iraq border, as well as protecting their own supply lines within Iraq:

A key assessment in any war with Iran concerns Basra province and the Kuwait border. It is likely that Iran and its sympathizers could take control of population centres and interrupt oil supplies, if it was in their interest to do so. However it is unlikely that they could make any sustained effort against Kuwait or interrupt supply lines north from Kuwait to central Iraq. US firepower is simply too great for any Iranian conventional force.

Experts question the report’s conclusions

Former CIA analyst and Deputy Director for Transportation Security, Antiterrorism Assistance Training, and Special Operations in the State Department’s Office of Counterterrorism, Larry Johnson, does not agree with the report’s findings.

“The report seems to accept without question that US air force and navy bombers could effectively destroy Iran and they seem to ignore the fact that US use of air power in Iraq has failed to destroy all major military, political, economic and transport capabilities,” said Johnson late Monday after the embargo on the study had been lifted.

“But at least in their conclusions they still acknowledge that Iran, if attacked, would be able to retaliate. Yet they are vague in terms of detailing the extent of the damage that the Iran is capable of inflicting on the US and fairly assessing what those risks are.”

There is also the situation of US soldiers in Iraq and the supply routes that would have to be protected to ensure that US forces had what they needed. Plesch explains that “”firepower is an effective means of securing supply routes during conventional war and in conventional war a higher loss rate is expected.”

“However as we say do not assume that the Iraqi Shiia will rally to Tehran – the quietist Shiia tradition favoured by Sistani may regard itself as justified if imploding Iranian power can be argued to reduce US problems in Iraq, not increase them.”

John Pike, Director of Global Security, a Washington-based military, intelligence, and security clearinghouse, says that the question of Iraq is the one issue at the center of any questions regarding Iran.

“The situation in Iraq is a wild card, though it may be presumed that Iran would mount attacks on the US at some remove, rather than upsetting the apple-cart in its own front yard,” wrote Pike in an email.

Political Considerations

Plesch and Butcher write with concern about the political context within the United States:

This debate is bleeding over into the 2008 Presidential election, with evidence mounting that despite the public unpopularity of the war in Iraq, Iran is emerging as an issue over which Presidential candidates in both major American parties can show their strong national security bona fides. …

The debate on how to deal with Iran is thus occurring in a political context in the US that is hard for those in Europe or the Middle East to understand. A context that may seem to some to be divorced from reality, but with the US ability to project military power across the globe, the reality of Washington DC is one that matters perhaps above all else. …

We should not underestimate the Bush administration’s ability to convince itself that an “Iran of the regions” will emerge from a post-rubble Iran. So, do not be in the least surprised if the United States attacks Iran. Timing is an open question, but it is hard to find convincing arguments that war will be avoided, or at least ones that are convincing in Washington.

Plesch and Butcher are also interested in the attitudes of the current UK government, which has carefully avoided revealing what its position might be in the case of an attack. They point out, however, “One key caution is that regardless of the realities of Iran’s programme, the British public and elite may simply refuse to participate – almost out of bloody minded revenge for the Iraq deceit.”

And they conclude that even “if the attack is ‘successful’ and the US reasserts its global military dominance and reduces Iran to the status of an oil-rich failed state, then the risks to humanity in general and to the states of the Middle East are grave indeed.”

Larisa Alexandrovna is managing editor of investigative news for Raw Story and regularly reports on intelligence and national security stories. Contact: larisa@rawstory.com

Muriel Kane is research director for Raw Story.
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