The US inches ever closer to attacking Iran

Monday, September 03, 2012

Israel is still demanding US commitment to Iran war

09-03-12 - Israel is still demanding US commitment to Iran war

Here are some of the latest articles having to do with Israel's continued attempts to get the United States to commit to a war with Iran.

Priority is given to the analysis by former CIA officer Philip Giraldi of the latest news regarding Iran/Israel:

  • Entangled With Israel by Philip Giraldi. His article is a must read.


    Critics like Arnaud de Borchgrave have correctly noted that many former generals and intelligence officers in the United States and Israel have, in fact, decided that the basic premise is wrong. Iran does not pose a threat that could not be contained even if it does some day make the political decision to obtain a crude nuclear device. Launching a new war in the Middle East to prevent it from doing so would create “mayhem” throughout the region...

    ... Israel is by its own volition not an ally of the United States in any technical sense because alliances are troublesome things that require rules of engagement and reciprocity, limiting the partners’ ability to act independently. If Israel obtains a virtual commitment from the United States to go to war in 2013, it would mean that Tel Aviv would enjoy the benefits of having a powerful patron to do its fighting without any obligation in return, beyond delaying unilateral military action until a more suitable time. A guarantee from Washington for Israel’s security which still permits unilateral action by Tel Aviv is all too reminiscent of the entangling arrangements that led to World War I.

  • Next up is another must read: a recent piece by Gareth Porter who routinely gives analysis on the facts about Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program:

  • Report Shows Iranian Nuke Restraint


    The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report made public Thursday reveals that Iran has actually reduced the amount of 20-percent enriched uranium available for any possible “breakout” to weapons grade enrichment over the last three months rather than increasing it.

    Contrary to the impression conveyed by most news media coverage, the report provides new evidence that Iran’s enrichment strategy is aimed at enhancing its bargaining position in negotiations with the United States rather than amassing such a breakout capability.

    ....But although that reduction of the stockpile of enriched uranium of greatest concern to the United States was the real significance of the new report, it was not conveyed by the headlines and leads in news media coverage. Those stories focused instead on the fact that production of 20-percent enriched uranium had increased, and that the number of centrifuges at the underground facility at Fordow had doubled. “Nobody has put out the story that their stockpile is shrinking,” said Joe Cirincione, president of the Ploughshares Fund and a leading independent specialist on nuclear weapons policy, in an interview with IPS.

  • A Reuters article posted today:

    U.S. denies Israeli newspaper report of secret Iran contacts


    The White House on Monday denied an Israeli newspaper report that accused Washington of secretly negotiating with Tehran to keep the United States out of a future Israel-Iran war....

    ...Administration officials have also made clear they regard the prospect of an Israeli attack on Iran with alarm. General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was quoted in Britain's Guardian newspaper as saying of a prospective Israeli attack on Iran: "I don't want to be complicit if they choose to do it."

  • Article posted in yesterday's NY Times on the subject:

    To Calm Israel, U.S. Offers Ways to Restrain Iran


    United States intelligence officials have said they have no evidence that Iran’s top leaders have decided to take the final steps toward a weapon. Iran’s intentions remain unclear, intelligence officials say.

    Last week, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported an increase in the number of centrifuges that Iran has installed in an underground enrichment plant that is largely invulnerable to Israeli attack, but also indicated that Iran has converted some of its most highly enriched fuel to a form that would be difficult to use in a weapon.

It is becoming abundantly clear that the US is not too keen on going along with Netanyahu's demands. And that is a good thing. I hope top military brass and anyone else in our government protest in the clearest possible terms that our interests must remain in the fore in this ongoing battle with Israel over its insistence that America go along with its plans to attack Iran. Let us keep in mind George Washington's wise words in his Farewell Address which can be found found here.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Israel's Claims About American Intelligence Reports on Iran's Alleged Nuclear Weapons Program Refuted

08-23-12 - Barak’s Blunder

A great article by (former CIA) Philip Giraldi about Israel's latest claims regarding Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program and the latest US intelligence reports. Must read. Here is an excerpt:

... Barak was quite possibly misrepresenting a U.S. intelligence-generated report to serve his own purposes, and he was also leaking information that had been given to him in confidence with the understanding that he would only use it to guide internal Israel deliberations, not to discuss it with the media. The CIA was reportedly furious over the leak and, in an unusual move, the White House quickly gave a green light for the National Security Council to actually rebuke Israel, with an NSC spokesman commenting that “We continue to assess that Iran is not on the verge of achieving a nuclear weapon.”

So Israel was saying that the Iranian threat had been demonstrated based on U.S. intelligence while Washington claimed the contrary. It all might have ended there, but intelligence leaks have a tendency to spill over and turn out to be difficult to contain...

Additionally, Patrick J. Buchanan weighs in (as he has done several times in recent weeks) on the same issue in an article entitled ‘The Most Dangerous Man in the World’?

Sixteen U.S. intelligence agencies stated unanimously in 2007 and reaffirmed in 2011 their conviction that Iran does not have an active nuclear weapons program. In the Standard piece, John Sawyer, head of the British Intelligence Service MI-6, “flatly stated in July that we have two years left before the Iranians can build a weapon.”

Giraldi and Buchanan are of the scant few political commentators in America that dare speak the truth on this issue. God bless 'em.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Israel Demands the US to commit to an Attack on Iran

08-14-12 - Israeli demands from Obama

I'm too pissed off to comment. I'll just leave you with the byline to the article.

Analysis: If US wants to prevent Israeli jets from taking off en route to Iran, it must commit to attack on nuclear sites after elections in case sanctions, talks fail

Friday, August 10, 2012

Israel urgently goading the US into war with Iran

08-10-12 - War with Iran seems much more likely, Israel is trying its level best to get it

I'd like to see mutiny by top US military brass and CIA over any government support of Israel's coveted war with Iran.

Israel media talk of imminent Iran war push

The front-page report in the biggest-selling daily Yedioth Ahronoth came amid mounting speculation - fuelled by media leaks from both the government and its detractors at home and abroad - that war with Iran could be imminent even though it might rupture the bedrock ties between Israel and the United States.

U.S., Israel at odds over Iran nuke program intelligence

On Thursday, Israel's Haaretz newspaper reported that Obama had received a new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE)—the consensus assessment of the American intelligence community—that "Iran has made surprising, notable progress in the research and development of key components of its military nuclear program." The daily cited unnamed "Western diplomats and Israeli officials."

Carney declined to comment on the news report, but some American officials bristled at what they saw as a naked Israeli effort to pressure Washington into taking a more hawkish line.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

US sees Israel, tight Mideast ally, as spy threat

By Adam Goldmanmatt Apuzzo on July 28, 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) — The CIA station chief opened the locked box containing the sensitive equipment he used from his home in Tel Aviv, Israel, to communicate with CIA headquarters in Virginia, only to find that someone had tampered with it. He sent word to his superiors about the break-in.

The incident, described by three former senior U.S. intelligence officials, might have been dismissed as just another cloak-and-dagger incident in the world of international espionage, except that the same thing had happened to the previous station chief in Israel.

It was a not-so-subtle reminder that, even in a country friendly to the United States, the CIA was itself being watched.

In a separate episode, according to another two former U.S. officials, a CIA officer in Israel came home to find the food in the refrigerator had been rearranged. In all the cases, the U.S. government believes Israel's security services were responsible.

Such meddling underscores what is widely known but rarely discussed outside intelligence circles: Despite inarguable ties between the U.S. and its closest ally in the Middle East and despite statements from U.S. politicians trumpeting the friendship, U.S. national security officials consider Israel to be, at times, a frustrating ally and a genuine counterintelligence threat.

In addition to what the former U.S. officials described as intrusions in homes in the past decade, Israel has been implicated in U.S. criminal espionage cases and disciplinary proceedings against CIA officers and blamed in the presumed death of an important spy in Syria for the CIA during the administration of President George W. Bush.

The CIA considers Israel its No. 1 counterintelligence threat in the agency's Near East Division, the group that oversees spying across the Middle East, according to current and former officials. Counterintelligence is the art of protecting national secrets from spies. This means the CIA believes that U.S. national secrets are safer from other Middle Eastern governments than from Israel.

Israel employs highly sophisticated, professional spy services that rival American agencies in technical capability and recruiting human sources. Unlike Iran or Syria, for example, Israel as a steadfast U.S. ally enjoys access to the highest levels of the U.S. government in military and intelligence circles.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to talk publicly about the sensitive intelligence and diplomatic issues between the two countries.

The counterintelligence worries continue even as the U.S. relationship with Israel features close cooperation on intelligence programs that reportedly included the Stuxnet computer virus that attacked computers in Iran's main nuclear enrichment facilities. While the alliance is central to the U.S. approach in the Middle East, there is room for intense disagreement, especially in the diplomatic turmoil over Iran's nuclear ambitions.

"It's a complicated relationship," said Joseph Wippl, a former senior CIA clandestine officer and head of the agency's office of congressional affairs. "They have their interests. We have our interests. For the U.S., it's a balancing act."

The way Washington characterizes its relationship with Israel is also important to the way the U.S. is regarded by the rest of the world, particularly Muslim countries.

U.S. political praise has reached a crescendo ahead of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's scheduled meeting Sunday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. Their relationship spans decades, since their brief overlap in the 1970s at the Boston Consulting Group. Both worked as advisers for the firm early in their careers before Romney co-founded his own private-equity firm. Romney said in a speech this past week that Israel was "one of our fondest friends," and he criticized Obama for what he called the administration's "shabby treatment" of the Jewish state.

"The people of Israel deserve better than what they've received from the leader of the free world," Romney said in a plain appeal to U.S. Jewish and pro-Israel evangelical voters.

Obama, who last year was overheard appearing to endorse criticism of Netanyahu from then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy, has defended his work with Israel. "We've gotten a lot of business done with Israel over the last three years," Obama said this year. "I think the prime minister — and certainly the defense minister — would acknowledge that we've never had closer military and intelligence cooperation."

An Israeli spokesman in Washington, Lior Weintraub, said his country has close ties with the U.S. A text message Saturday from the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the report "false."

"Israel's intelligence and security agencies maintain close, broad and continuous cooperation with their U.S. counterparts," Weintraub said. "They are our partners in confronting many mutual challenges. Any suggestion otherwise is baseless and contrary to the spirit and practice of the security cooperation between our two countries."

The CIA declined comment.

The tension exists on both sides.

The National Security Agency historically has kept tabs on Israel. The U.S., for instance, does not want to be caught off guard if Israel launches a surprise attack that could plunge the region into war and jeopardize oil supplies, putting American soldiers at risk.

Matthew Aid, the author of "The Secret Sentry," about the NSA, said the U.S. started spying on Israel even before the state was created in 1948. Aid said the U.S. had a station on Cyprus dedicated to spying on Israel until 1974. Today, teams of Hebrew linguists are stationed at Fort Meade, Md., at the NSA, listening to intercepts of Israeli communications, he said.

CIA policy generally forbids its officers in Tel Aviv from recruiting Israeli government sources, officials said. To do so would require approval from senior CIA leaders, two former senior officials said. During the Bush administration, the approval had to come from the White House.

Israel is not America's closest ally, at least when it comes to whom Washington trusts with the most sensitive national security information. That distinction belongs to a group of nations known informally as the "Five Eyes." Under that umbrella, the United States, Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand agree to share intelligence and not to spy on one another. Often, U.S. intelligence officers work directly alongside counterparts from these countries to handle highly classified information not shared with anyone else.

Israel is part of a second-tier relationship known by another informal name, "Friends on Friends." It comes from the phrase "Friends don't spy on friends," and the arrangement dates back decades. But Israel's foreign intelligence service, the Mossad, and its FBI equivalent, the Shin Bet, both considered among the best in the world, have been suspected of recruiting U.S. officials and trying to steal American secrets.

Around 2004 or 2005, the CIA fired two female officers for having unreported contact with Israelis. One of the women acknowledged during a polygraph exam that she had been in a relationship with an Israeli who worked in the Foreign Ministry, a former U.S. official said. The CIA learned the Israeli introduced the woman to his "uncle." That person worked for Shin Bet.

Jonathan Pollard, who worked for the Navy as a civilian intelligence analyst, was convicted of spying for Israel in 1987 when the Friends on Friends agreement was in effect. He was sentenced to life in prison. The Israelis for years have tried to win his release. In January 2011, Netanyahu asked Obama to free Pollard and acknowledged that Israel's actions in the case were "wrong and wholly unacceptable."

Ronald Olive, a former senior supervisor with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service who investigated Pollard, said that after the arrest, the U.S. formed a task force to determine what government records Pollard had taken. Olive said Israel turned over so few that it represented "a speck in the sand."

In the wake of Pollard, the Israelis promised not to operate intelligence agents on U.S. soil.

A former Army mechanical engineer, Ben-Ami Kadish, pleaded guilty in 2008 to passing classified secrets to the Israelis during the 1980s. His case officer was the same one who handled Pollard. Kadish let the Israelis photograph documents about nuclear weapons, a modified version of an F-15 fighter jet and the U.S. Patriot missile air defense system. Kadish, who was 85 years old when he was arrested, avoided prison and was ordered to pay a $50,000 fine. He told the judge that, "I thought I was helping the state of Israel without harming the United States."

In 2006, a former Defense Department analyst was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison for giving classified information to an Israeli diplomat and two pro-Israel lobbyists.

Despite the Pollard case and others, Olive said he believes the two countries need to maintain close ties "but do we still have to be vigilant? Absolutely. The Israelis are good at what they do."

During the Bush administration, the CIA ranked some of the world's intelligence agencies in order of their willingness to help in the U.S.-led fight against terrorism. One former U.S. intelligence official who saw the completed list said Israel, which hadn't been directly targeted in attacks by al-Qaida, fell below Libya, which recently had agreed to abandon its nuclear weapons program.

The espionage incidents have done little to slow the billions of dollars in money and weapons from the United States to Israel. Since Pollard's arrest, Israel has received more than $60 billion in U.S. aid, mostly in the form of military assistance, according to the Congressional Research Service. The U.S. has supplied Israel with Patriot missiles, helped pay for an anti-missile defense program and provided sensitive radar equipment to track Iranian missile threats.

Just on Friday, Obama said he was releasing an additional $70 million in military aid, a previously announced move that appeared timed to upstage Romney's trip, and he spoke of America's "unshakable commitment to Israel." The money will go to help Israel expand production of a short-range rocket defense system.

Some CIA officials still bristle over the disappearance of a Syrian scientist who during the Bush administration was the CIA's only spy inside Syria's military program to develop chemical and biological weapons. The scientist was providing the agency with extraordinary information about pathogens used in the program, former U.S. officials said about the previously unknown intelligence operation.

At the time, there was pressure to share information about weapons of mass destruction, and the CIA provided its intelligence to Israel. A former official with direct knowledge of the case said details about Syria's program were published in the media. Although the CIA never formally concluded that Israel was responsible, CIA officials complained to Israel about their belief that Israelis were leaking the information to pressure Syria to abandon the program. The Syrians pieced together who had access to the sensitive information and eventually identified the scientist as a traitor.

Before he disappeared and was presumed killed, the scientist told his CIA handler that Syrian Military Intelligence was focusing on him.


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Contact the Washington investigative team at dcinvestigations(at)


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Is Israel Finally Going to Start WWIII?

07-18-12 - Israel finally going to start WW3 ?

"This is an Iranian terror attack that is spreading throughout the entire world. Israel will react powerfully against Iranian terror [said Netanyahu]"

Israeli prime minister blames Iran for Bulgaria bomb

Number of US ships in the region have increased recently:

"A U.S. navy ship that had been slated for decommissioning has been sent instead to the Gulf to help mine-clearing operations, the U.S. Fifth Fleet based in Bahrain said, the latest move in a gradual U.S. build-up as tensions with Iran smoulder."

U.S. beefs up Gulf naval force amid tension with Iran

Monday, June 04, 2012

45 year anniversary of Israel's attack on the USS Liberty

06-04-12 - 45 years on, justice still not served.

It has now been ten years since I first learned of Israel's attack on the USS Liberty - I saw a special about it on The History Channel in 2002. Since then, I haven't shut up about it.

Friday June 8 marks the 45th anniversary of the assault. Most Americans know nothing of this attack, nor is it widely commemorated like it is in the case of the USS Cole and other assaults on American servicemen.

In fact, recently John McCain calls a heckler a 'jerk' when he asks McCain about the USS Liberty. McCain (and his father) are noted Israel supporters. The 'Raw Story' news outfit subsequently branded Morris and all those that take the side of the USS Liberty survivors as 'conspiracy theorists'.

Watch this video:

An excellent read by the folks at the VFW from a few years ago: In honor of the unsung heroism of those aboard the USS Liberty.