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Some preliminary questions about the alleged Iranian terror plot

Israel/Palestine
on 155 Comments

Earlier today the FBI issued a press release stating that two Iranian men have been criminally charged in a New York court for allegedly plotting to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States, Adel al-Jubeir. Here are some examples of how the U.S. mainstream media initially headlined the story:

ABC News: Iran ‘Directed’ Washington, D.C., Terror Plot, U.S. Says

New York Times: U.S. Accuses Iranians of Plotting to Kill Saudi Envoy

Washington Post: Iran behind alleged terrorist plot, U.S. says

So from the looks of things, Iran has been planning a terrorist plot on U.S. soil, right? Wrong, at least for now that is. There are many holes in this story that need to be filled before the government of Iran can be credibly accused of committing what could be interpreted as an act of war. For a summary of related events so far, read Jim Lobe’s report, and following are some preliminary questions that need answering:

1) Who has the authority to operate on behalf of the Iranian government?

If a relative of a member of the U.S. military or CIA plans a murder on foreign soil and claims he was ordered to even though the U.S. denies it, would we consider that a terrorist plot by the U.S.?

The accused named in the FBI press release are Manssor Arbabsiar, a 56-year-old Iranian-American from Texas with dual citizenship, and Gholam Shakuri, an alleged Iran-based member of Iran’s secretive Quds Force. What does the U.S. have that proves they were acting on behalf of the Iranian government, which, by the way, quickly denied the charges?

2) Who approached who first?

If Arbabsiar approached the agent first, how did he find them? If the FBI put Arbabsiar under surveillance for suspicious activities and then lured him into direct communication (which could have been the initial point of contact), was the FBI involved in other persuasive activities as well? Considering the loony aspects of this story which even Hillary Clinton has alluded to, is it wrong to question the sanity of Arbabsiar? Is it unfathomable that the FBI could have found a crazy and/or impressionable person who was acting on his own accord but was in some way related to elements of the Iranian government?

Update: A report in the Washington Post by Greg Miller and Julie Tate sheds some light on who Arbabsiar really is. According to House intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.):

It is my belief he was recruited for this particular operation

3) What are the exact details of Arbabsiar’s confession and under what conditions was it made?

4) While in FBI custody, Arbabsiar made calls to his “cousin” in Iran who is allegedly a “big general” in the Iranian army and a “senior member of the Qods Force”. How did the FBI verify his cousin’s identity?

Did the cousin verify his identity on the phone? If yes, why would he do that if they knew one another? Would the alleged cousin really have been that imprudent while speaking to someone that he was planning an assassination plot with?

5) Why is the “cousin” unnamed?

6) Why would a government that is constantly accused of conniving to build nuclear weapons so that it can allegedly wreak destruction upon its adversaries attempt to assassinate someone as insignificant as the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. in such a poorly conducted plot and with the use of such low-level assailants?

While nothing is impossible, Iran has shown its capabilities in Lebanon and Iraq and this plot is not its style. You would think that after surviving for 32 years with the most powerful countries in the world against it, the leaders of the Islamic Republic would have learned a few things about carrying out high-risk operations with diligence and maximum impact — clearly not the case here.

7) What could Iran gain from this plot?

Certainly tensions have increased between Iran and Saudi Arabia over the past year, but Iran has been battling the Saudis in other ways, by exerting influence over Iraq’s government, for example. As Jim Lobe points out, if this plot is really Iran’s doing, it will only lead to more strangling sanctions and bring the threat of war closer. Unless you are among the misguided group of people who think that Iran’s current government is suicidal, taking part in an event like this is simply not in Iran’s interest.

8) What can Iran lose from this plot?

As Lobe and Josh Rogin have pointed out, anti-Iran, pro-Israel advocates and hawks are having a field day with this story. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) immediately called for the U.S. to collapse Iran’s central bank and unsigned opinion pieces are urging further action (what comes after sanctions?) against the Iranian “threat.” This story was also broken on the same day that further OFAC sanctions were announced, with more on the way.

I am not doubting that suspicious and worrisome events took place with regard to Arbabsiar or that Iran has animosity towards Saudi Arabia and the U.S. and vice versa (recall Saudi Arabia urging the U.S. to bomb Iran), but do we really have enough evidence to claim that the government of Iran directly attempted to carry out an assassination plot on U.S. soil? That’s a serious, game-changing charge. Even if you don’t want to accept Iran’s official denial, you need to produce more facts before you can make the case. It remains to be seen whether the mainstream media will do its job and provide us with them.

This post originally appeared on Lobelog.

About Adam Horowitz

Adam Horowitz is Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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155 Responses

  1. eee
    October 11, 2011, 11:47 pm

    Just look at the difference in evidence that you require to accuse Iran relative to the evidence you require to accuse Israel.

    With ZERO evidence against Israel people here were saying it was plausible that Israel was involved in the events in Egypt. But here, with an abundance of evidence pointing to Iran, you are preaching not to jump to conclusions. Amazing.

    • annie
      October 12, 2011, 12:53 am

      huh? i thought i read holder said there was no evidence iranian gov was implicated. i will have to read the post…

      • Hostage
        October 12, 2011, 8:45 am

        huh? i thought i read holder said there was no evidence iranian gov was implicated. i will have to read the post…

        Oh yeah, Eric Holder started off the Press Conference by flatly stating that the deadly plot was directed by factions of the Iranian government and described one of the individuals named in the indictment as an Iranian based member of the Quds Force who is still at large. He said that the other individual had confessed to his role and that of the Iranian government. He said that, in addition to holding the individuals accountable, the United States intends to hold Iran accountable.

        I thought he went over the top with the mock outrage over this violation of US and international law. After all, US government officials have routinely directed deadly plots right under Holders nose. They have targeted persons for assassination in all of the countries neighboring Iran (Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, & etc.) – and they have been doing that for more than a decade. During that time, Iranian scientists and engineers have developed a nasty habit of getting themselves assassinated too. The press here routinely reports on Israeli and Saudi officials and their discussions with US officials regarding the desirability of launching preemptive strikes against Iranian nuclear facilities. Neo-Con PACs spam us with political television ads which explain why it would be in the US interest to preemptively bomb Iran. All of that violates US and international law too.

      • Shingo
        October 12, 2011, 9:14 am

        Oh yeah, Eric Holder started off the Press Conference by flatly stating that the deadly plot was directed by factions of the Iranian government….

        And yet, when asked whether the plot was even known about by the top echelons of the Iranian government, Holder said the Justice Department was not making that accusation.

        http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/10/us-will-not-respond-militarily-to-iran-over-assassination-plot-2/

        But they are still pinning the blame on them anyway.

        Go figure.

    • POA
      October 12, 2011, 1:05 am

      “But here, with an abundance of evidence pointing to Iran….”

      Because you say so???

      Or perhaps because the known proffessional liars in DC say so, eh???

      Or, uh, is it our infamous “Fourth Estate” that has you convinced?

      Funny, you jackasses are pretty vocal about all this untold “evidence” you’ve been told exists, but ain’t got no answers to the glaring holes this tale rips in common sense and logic.

      Only an idiot would think this is a winning plot for the Iranians. Do you REALLY think the Iranian government is this fuckin’ stupid to pull a stunt like this at this time?

      If this bullshit flies with the American public, we REALLY ARE a nation of brainwashed partisan dolts.

    • Chaos4700
      October 12, 2011, 1:08 am

      There are more FBI and CIA agents pretending to be al-Qaeda at this point then there are actual al-Qaeda operatives. You can run interference for your terrorist brothers and sisters all you like, Zeeealot, but if you drop even a single bomb on Iran, Israel is doomed.

      • DBG
        October 12, 2011, 1:32 am

        How exactly is Israel doomed Chaos? please explain.

      • Chaos4700
        October 12, 2011, 8:11 am

        Because hateful people like you will choose war with “the other” over peace. There isn’t an Israel that has ever existed without the Occupation and while people like you and some Israelis make token gestures toward saying it should end, none of you are actually willing to end it. And so you go on, justifying one atrocity after another. For the want of the horseshoe nail…

      • DBG
        October 12, 2011, 9:36 am

        There isn’t an Israel that has ever existed without the Occupation

        you sure about that?

        how am I going to end the occupation Chaos? Should I call up Bibi, my 25th cousin once removed, and ask him to pretty please end the occupation?

      • mig
        October 12, 2011, 9:43 am

        “ask him to pretty please end the occupation?”

        ++++ Good idea. Do you need phone number ?

      • Kathleen
        October 12, 2011, 2:29 pm

        Never.
        Sure about that.

    • justicewillprevail
      October 12, 2011, 2:23 am

      Do you understand the meaning of the word ‘plausible’? With a track record like Israel’s, the USS Liberty being a prime example, along with the neocons’ ‘evidence’ of WMD, ‘yellow cake’, spy rings etc etc, it is not surprising people are suspicious of events, the way they are reported and what passes for fact in the MSM. Personally I would call it a healthy scepticism.

      • DBG
        October 12, 2011, 9:37 am

        all of that is ‘plausible’ justice, but this Iranian plot is out of the question?

      • Shingo
        October 12, 2011, 6:38 pm

        So tell us DBG.

        In light of all the previous entrapments like:

        – the Miami 7 who wanted to block up the Sears Tower in Chicago even though they didn’t know what it looked like and had never been to Chicago
        – the Lackawanna 6
        – the Firt Dix Six
        – the so called plot to blow up and flood the Holland Tunnel, even though the tunnel lies on bedrock and is above sea level
        – the plot to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge….with a blow torch of all things
        – the farce over Jose Padilla, where charges went from using a dirty bomb, to plottign to blow up an aprtment building with gas cylinders

        And the fact that the US government has been forcing informants to go around looking for Muslims they can trick into saying “jihad” nito a microphone.

        Do you believe this plot line or not?

    • American
      October 12, 2011, 2:33 am

      We are being set up for a attack or war on Iran and someone(s) don’t want it to look like we are doing for Israel because it would be seen as the Jews causing a war for the US.
      Hence this “Iranian attack on America” ploy.
      Pretty obvious.

    • DBG
      October 12, 2011, 9:33 am

      that is what gets me the most, Israel has been blamed for 9/11, mass genocide, false flags in basically every Palestinian/Arab terror attack since Christ, but this is impossible for them to believe, talk about blinders.

      • Hostage
        October 12, 2011, 10:21 am

        Israel has been blamed for 9/11, mass genocide, false flags in basically every Palestinian/Arab terror attack since Christ, but this is impossible for them to believe, talk about blinders.

        In fairness Israel and the US have confessed to false flags, psudeo-Palestinian/Arab terror attacks, and previous illegal plots and schemes involving the government of Iran. After all, many of them can be easily verified from declassified US and Israeli archive sources, including Moshe Sharett’s diary, the investigations of the Lavon Affair, Kermit Roosevelt’s account of the 1953 Iranian coup d’état, Poindexter and North’s testimony in the Iran-Contra hearing, & etc.

      • DBG
        October 12, 2011, 10:43 am

        The government of Iran (Quds force/IRGC) and its proxies have been implicated in attacks against the US and Israel also. Beirut, Buenos Aires, Iraq, Afghanistan, Southern Lebanon, Gaza Strip.

        You’ll of course cite some obscure nonsense ‘disproving’ all of this, but in the real world they have been implicated and there is evidence against them.

      • Hostage
        October 12, 2011, 1:10 pm

        You’ll of course cite some obscure nonsense ‘disproving’ all of this

        No because you didn’t cite any specific sources that need to be disproved and its time to put the trolls on a diet anyway.

      • Kathleen
        October 12, 2011, 2:29 pm

        Must be taking lessons from the US and Israel

      • Shingo
        October 12, 2011, 7:10 pm

        The government of Iran (Quds force/IRGC) and its proxies have been implicated in attacks against the US and Israel also.

        And every one of those allegations has turned out to be false.

        Beirut, Buenos Aires, Iraq, Afghanistan, Southern Lebanon, Gaza Strip.

        Gareth Porter revealed that the FBI claim sit has no evidence of Iranian involvement in the Buenos Aires attack.

        T// the Wall Street Journal reports that it was pressure from the Bush Administration, along with Israeli and Argentine diplomats, that secured the Interpol vote.
        http://www.thenation.com/doc/20080204/porter

        There is no evidence of Iranian backed attacks on the US in Iraq. Less than 1% of weapons recovered in Iraq could even be traced to Iran.
        http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=44720

        The same thnig with Afghanistan. Robert Gates said that Iranian involvement in Afghanistan was vastly exaggerated .
        http://www.newstatesman.com/uk-politics/2011/09/iran-blair-tony-afghanistan

        Southern Lebanon were attacks against military targets by Lebanese resistance groups.

        Gaza Strip were attacks against Israeli targets by Palestinian resistance groups.

        You’ll of course cite some obscure nonsense ‘disproving’ all of this, but in the real world they have been implicated and there is evidence against them.

        Actually, when investigated, there is vistually no evidence to speak of. In every case, the convemtional wisdom can usualyl be traced back to repeated allegationsn from Washington that were never challenged by journalists.

        Of course, I do recall that some Israelis were apprently implicated in the 911 attacks too, which explains why a US official was quoted in Carl Cameron’s Fox News report on the Israeli spy ring as saying that:

        Evidence linking these Israelis to 9/11 is classified. I cannot tell you about evidence that has been gathered. It’s classified information.”

      • DBG
        October 12, 2011, 8:39 pm

        sure they did Shingo

      • Chaos4700
        October 12, 2011, 11:33 pm

        Atrocity denier at work.

      • DBG
        October 13, 2011, 1:32 am

        Chaos, wth are you talking about? do you even read the threads anymore? or do you just see my name and spout some random ad-hominem. What atrocity was I denying here exactly?

    • Kathleen
      October 12, 2011, 12:41 pm

      “alleged, alleged, alleged” Curveball, false WMD intelligence, magical Iranian laptop, Seymour Hersh has written a fair amount about Mossad and US special forces in Iran, the killing of Iranian nuclear scientist, Israeli cyber attacks on Iranian nuclear facilities. A long list of reasons to logically question these allegations.

      • Shingo
        October 12, 2011, 8:46 pm

        Speaknig of Curveball etc. I just read this wonderful and funny comment by a commenter who calls himself Ahzeld over at Greenwald’s blog”

        There is nothing to see here. Neither the US or Israel has ever wanted to attack Iran. The US govt. has never lied the nation into a war and Obama has never started one by executive fiat. We are only spending 30 million per hour on the wars now, so isn’t it high time we increased that number? Doesn’t “Curveball” deserve a second chance to get things right this time?

    • NorthOfFortyNine
      October 12, 2011, 4:39 pm

      With ZERO evidence against Israel people here were saying it was plausible that Israel was involved in the events in Egypt.[Emph added.]

      Look up the word “plausible”, eee. A synonym might be “believable.” It is entirely plausible that Israel is stirring the pot in Egypt, if for no other reason than it has a demonstrable history of stirring the pot in foreign countries.

      As for Iran setting up a hit on a Saudi on US soil, this is less plausible, if for no other reason than Iran has little or no history of meddling in other people’s affairs. -N49.

    • jayn0t
      October 12, 2011, 7:49 pm

      I’m no conspiracist. For example, I think the idea that the US government was behind the September 11th 2001 massacre is ridiculous. And when people hold up signs at pro-Palestine events trying to link Israel with that atrocity, I feel deeply embarrassed.

      But this – the claim that the Iranian government tried to co-operate with Mexican drug dealers to blow up the Saudi ambassador and hundreds of US civilians in downtown DC – is obviously a conspiracy. It is true that there is no evidence of Israeli involvement. Perhaps the FBI is simply reflecting the ideas of its political masters – get at Iran by any means. These ideas are entirely a result of the subordination of the US political establishment to the interests of the Jewish state.

      • NorthOfFortyNine
        October 13, 2011, 2:50 am

        I’m no conspiracist.

        What does that mean? -N49.

  2. DBG
    October 11, 2011, 11:48 pm

    ahhh damage control on Mondoweiss. Fun stuff

    • POA
      October 12, 2011, 12:49 am

      Actually, its YOU thats doin’ damage control.

      This absurd propaganda dingleberry gettin’ hung up, DBG? Funny how common sense and logic can slay the absurd, isn’t it?

      How about you attempt to answer some of the questions that leave gaping holes in this latest bit of DC horseshit?

      Naaaah, on second thought, I’d miss your ignorant bray. Carry on, Eyore.

      • DBG
        October 12, 2011, 12:56 am

        POA, you’ve already presented your best evidence against this:

        Why should we believe one single thing that comes out of the mouths of these lyin’ sacks of shit in Washington DC?

        i think that basically sums it up.

      • Chaos4700
        October 12, 2011, 1:10 am

        Gee, it’s great you could pull your nose from out of behind eee to come over here and comment too.

      • POA
        October 12, 2011, 1:12 am

        “POA, you’ve already presented your best evidence…blablablah..”

        And your evidence???

        “Because they said so”

        I think that basically sums it up.

      • Kathleen
        October 12, 2011, 2:30 pm

        dbg agrees with you poa

    • Chaos4700
      October 12, 2011, 1:06 am

      “Damage control?” Did you find those nukes in Iraq yet, by the way?

      • DBG
        October 12, 2011, 2:52 pm

        Nukes in Iraq? any nuclear program in Iraq was taken care of in ’81. I think it was chemical and biological weapons. I didn’t buy into the Iraq war, so no, I haven’t found any WMD yet.

      • Shingo
        October 12, 2011, 7:35 pm

        any nuclear program in Iraq was taken care of in ’81.

        Wrong as always DBG.

        The bombing of Osirak (a civlian reactor) was actually a mistake on Israel’s part. Until then, Saddam had no nuclear wepoans program, but the baltant attack infuriated Saddam and convinced him he needed nukes to deter a repeat performance.

        After 1981, Saddam took his nuclear program underground.

      • Chaos4700
        October 12, 2011, 11:34 pm

        Nobody believes you, DBG. We both know you’re talking out of your ass.

  3. POA
    October 12, 2011, 12:09 am

    “….some preliminary questions that need answering…”

    Lets start with the most obvious one;

    Why should we believe one single thing that comes out of the mouths of these lyin’ sacks of shit in Washington DC?

  4. POA
    October 12, 2011, 12:17 am

    “…..you need to produce more facts before you can make the case. It remains to be seen whether the mainstream media will do its job and provide us with them”

    Oh, of course our media will give us the “facts”. Perhaps they can recruit Judith Miller and the NYTs to lead the effort.

    Bend over, people, here come the facts.

  5. POA
    October 12, 2011, 12:38 am

    Hey, check it out. Steve might be trying to grow a new set. I wish him luck.

    But, uh, odds are they’ll atrophy when his boss tells him to put a cork in it, or else.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/steve-clemons/

    Iran’s Logic in Assassinating a Saudi Ambassador?

    International Oct 11 2011, 6:33 PM ET

    My colleague at The Atlantic Max Fisher has written a thoughtful essay questioning why Iran would consider assassinating Saudi Ambassador to the US Adel Al-Jubeir on US soil when, as he argues, it would re-energize a weakening US-Saudi alliance, animate weak Arab states in the region to more strongly oppose Iran’s pretensions as a regional hegemon, and open Iran to the possibility of full frontal attack from the US, Saudi Arabia and potentially other allies.

    Fisher is careful to point out that Attorney General Eric Holder’s action against alleged agents of Iran may prove to be true — but the story’s weird points — like the recklessness of wiring funds cross border into a US bank, talking about the plot on cell phones, and working through a Mexican drug cartel raise red flags about the solvency of the Justice Department’s case. It’s just hard for some to believe that Iranian agents would operate so unprofessionally or trigger events that could seriously harm Iran’s regional and global position rather than enhance it.

    continues……

    • pabelmont
      October 12, 2011, 10:03 am

      Atlantic article by Steve Clemons and referenced article by Max Fischer: Neat!

      Wish someone had asked similar questions similarly quickly about why a bunch of Saudis flying airplanes into USA buildings (9-11) justified a 10-year war in Afghanistan. Although clearly those Saudis were really intending to do what they in fact did, the questions about who they BELIEVED put them up to it (and who REALLY put them up to it) is necessarily so clouded as to reside in the never-never-land of political and “intelligence” (gotta love that word) manipulation.

    • Kathleen
      October 12, 2011, 12:45 pm

      Steve is far more compassionate, fair minded and seeking justice far more than some give him credit for.

      thanks for linking POA. I think you have far more in common with Clemons than you imagine

  6. munro
    October 12, 2011, 12:49 am

    Arbabsiar tried to recruit a Mexican drug cartel gunman for the assassination. The gunman was an FBI informant. This happens as Atty Genl Eric Holder awaits a subpoena in the Fast and Furious gunwalking scandal in which the ATF allegedly allowed thousands of assault rifles and other weapons into the hands of suspected traffickers for Mexican drug cartels in order to track them.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/10/11/earlyshow/main20118456.shtml

    • annie
      October 12, 2011, 12:54 am

      This happens as Atty Genl Eric Holder awaits a subpoena in the Fast and Furious gunwalking scandal in which the ATF allegedly allowed thousands of assault rifles and other weapons into the hands of suspected traffickers for Mexican drug cartels in order to track them.

      Fast and Furious gunwalking scandal is huge in the msm…interesting

      • marc b.
        October 12, 2011, 10:04 am

        it is very interesting, annie. there are recent reports that similar programs were run throughout the BushII administration. see also this case which is not getting any MSM attention, concerning allegations of cooperation between the sinaloa cartel and US agencies:

        At the heart of Zambada Niebla’s defense is a Mexican attorney named Humberto Loya Castro, who, both the US government and Zambada Niebla agree, has worked as a contracted cooperating source, an informant, for the US government since at least 2005.

        Loya Castro, according to Zambada Niebla’s court pleadings, served as an intermediary between US government agents (including the DEA and FBI) and the leadership of the Sinaloa organization — which includes Zambada Niebla; his father Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada Garcia; and the top capo of the Sinaloa drug organization, Joaquin Guzman Loera (Chapo).

        “The central contention of all of [Zambada Niebla’s] motions is that Humberto Loya Castro, a high-ranking member of the Sinaloa Cartel, entered into an agreement on behalf of the Cartel lincluding the defendant Zambada Niebla] with several agencies of the United States Government to serve as an informant against rival Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations,” Zambada Niebla’s recently filed court pleadings allege. “In return for the information he [Zambada Niebla] and others provided, the government agreed it would not share any of the information that it had about the Sinaloa Cartel and/or the leadership of the Sinaloa Cartel with the Mexican government in order to ensure that the Cartel’s operations would not be disrupted and its leaders would not be apprehended.

        http://narcosphere.narconews.com/notebook/bill-conroy/2011/10/us-government-accused-seeking-conceal-deal-cut-sinaloa-cartel

      • annie
        October 12, 2011, 10:37 am

        Zambada Niebla’s lawyers claim that the prosecution has, at this point, withheld evidence it is required to provide to the defense and is now attempting to cover its tracks and assure that evidence remains cloaked by arguing that it affects US national security.

        that sounds familiar. is that what Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA) was designed for?

      • Shingo
        October 12, 2011, 8:31 pm

        that sounds familiar. is that what Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA) was designed for?

        To that effect, Greenlwald as a wonderful summantion:

        On NPR this morning, Ray Takeyh of the Council on Foreign Relations — and Ken Pollack’s co-author on Iran — said this when asked if he has any doubts about the accuracy of U.S. government statements: “The only unusual aspect of this is actually having a terrorist operation on American territory. I don’t know what the evidence about this is, but I’m not in a position to doubt it.” That perfectly summarizes the political, media and “expert” class’ attitude toward U.S. Government claims: they’re keeping everything secret about their accusations, so there’s no reason to doubt what they’re claiming . The National Security Priesthood that uncritically amplified every U.S. Government claim and fanned the flames of war against Iraq is alive, well, and more mindless and dutiful than ever.

      • pabelmont
        October 12, 2011, 8:50 pm

        You bet. If they want to prosecute you, they refuse to show secret stuff. If you want them to defend you by showing classified stuff, they will refuse. The courts seem always to go along with this. The “right” to confront the evidence against one is thrown out if that evidence is secret — you cannot see it, but the government can assert its existence and perhaps show some of it to the judge. It is a horrible perversion of justice. Normally refusing to “produce” evidence reasonably demanded by the opposing party makes you lose your case. But not if yoiu are the government and the evidence is “secret” (because you say it is).

      • Kathleen
        October 12, 2011, 1:01 pm

        Eric Holder and Clinton let Marc Rich off the hook. And let’s not forget who Rich was doing big big business with.

        “Rich has been credited with having created the spot market for crude oil in the early 1970s, revolutionizing commodity trading.[4] His tutelage under Philipp Brothers afforded Rich opportunities to strike deals with various dictatorial régimes and embargoed nations, such as Iran, using a special relationship with Ayatollah Khomeini, the leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution which saw the overthrow of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran. Despite the American embargo, Iran would become Rich’s most important supplier of crude oil for more than 15 years.[5] He earned billions selling oil for the Iranian ayatollahs.”

        AND WHO WAS PUSHING FOR THE Marc Rich PARDON
        “On January 20, 2001, hours before leaving office, Clinton granted Rich a presidential pardon. Because Rich’s former wife had made large donations to the U.S. Democratic Party and the Clinton Library during Clinton’s time in office, Clinton’s critics alleged that Rich’s pardon had been bought. Marc Rich had made substantial donations to Israeli charitable foundations. Clinton explained his decision by noting that similar situations were settled in civil, not criminal court, and cited clemency pleas from Israeli government officials, including then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak. Federal Prosecutor Mary Jo White was appointed to investigate. She stepped down before the investigation was finished and was replaced by James Comey. Comey was critical of Clinton’s pardons and Eric Holder’s pardon recommendation.[9] According to Rich’s attorney, Holder advised to circumvent standard procedures and to submit the pardon petition directly to the White House.[10]”

        Eric Holder and Obama never interested in prosecuting Bush administration war criminals, he and Obama agreed to allow the telecommunication companies off the hook for illegally wiretapping,

        Holder and Obama essentially let the Aipac espionage investigation/trial be swept out the door.

        U.S. Drops Case Against Ex-Lobbyists

        By Jerry Markon
        Washington Post Staff Writer
        Saturday, May 2, 2009
        “Lawyers for Rosen and Weissman attributed the withdrawal of the case in part to the Obama administration. “We are extremely grateful that this new Administration . . . has taken seriously their obligation to evaluate cases on the merits,” the lawyers, Abbe D. Lowell, John Nassikas and Baruch Weiss, said in a statement. ”
        ———————————————————-

        I attended Eric Holder ‘s nomination hearing in DC. I stopped counting how many times he said “no one is above the law” at 25. Feinstein, Leahy, Feingold all kept saying “no one is above the law” They all know that this is bullshit and that the American people have little to no faith in this often repeated and very hollow statement. Or for that matter little to no faith in the so called justice system.

        I would never trust Holder. And would never trust what the FBI, CIA the OBama adminstration say about Iran.

        Go to the website Race for Iran if you want information about Iran that you can trust

  7. biorabbi
    October 12, 2011, 1:05 am

    Nothing in this story makes sense. Why would anyone trust the Mexican drug cartels to murder a foreign diplomat on US soil? This sound like a bad joke. I also think Holder is trying to deflect a sh$t storm heading his way.

    • ToivoS
      October 12, 2011, 3:22 am

      “Nothing in this story makes sense”

      So true. I hope we have sufficient time for the facts to come forth.

      If not the horrible scenario of war against Iran is the alternative.

      • anonymouscomments
        October 12, 2011, 3:38 am

        We would never go to war over such an absurd plot which we tracked from inception, and was not even carried out. But I think this is just groundwork, seeding our minds with Iran as the demon, as has occurred over years.

        The war will come in one of two ways I think. A false flag on US interests or in the US itself, or we simply follow Israel into the war which they initiate (the lobby ensuring it translates into a US war hours after it is kicked off… very easy to ensure with the nature of congress and the MSM).

        If Israel starts stuff on the Lebanon border and the pundits start talking about the Iranian support for hez then I fear it will be the Israel initiation route. Of course, attacking Iran is so insane I hope the cooler heads will continue to prevail, and prevent such madness. But you never know.

      • RoHa
        October 12, 2011, 3:55 am

        “Of course, attacking Iran is so insane I hope the cooler heads will continue to prevail, and prevent such madness. But you never know.”

        Over the last sixty-five years I have learned to never underestimate the stupidity and insanity of governments.

      • ToivoS
        October 12, 2011, 5:03 am

        Over the last sixty-five years I have learned to never underestimate the stupidity and insanity of governments.

        My experience is only 40 years but yes I agree with you on this one. There does seem to be a force for war against Iran. I do hope that there remains some rational voice inside the current regime that prevents such an outcome.

      • Shingo
        October 12, 2011, 6:37 am

        Over the last sixty-five years I have learned to never underestimate the stupidity and insanity of governments.

        Or the ruthlessness and cynicism.

    • Shingo
      October 12, 2011, 6:36 am

      \Nothing in this story makes sense. Why would anyone trust the Mexican drug cartels to murder a foreign diplomat on US soil?

      What is even more bizzare, is the story that an FBI agent (ie. informant) just happened to be posing as a member of a Mexican drug cartel, and just happened to be in the right place at the right time when this Iranian approached him for help in killing a Saudi diplomat. This wreaks of yet another in the latest string of FBI sting/entrapment operations.

      http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/08/fbi-terrorist-informants

      The timing of this is also suspect.

      The Iranians have just tried to revive the uraniun swap deal and Ahmadinejad just offered to stop all enrichment above 20% if America agrees to the deal. Obama has been pressured by the pragamtists to accept the Iran’s offer, but that would have put him in the bad books with the Israeli Lobby, so what better way to torpedo the deal without having to openly reject it?

      Remember that the last time the US and Iran were negotiating the uraniun swap deal, Obama sabotaged that opportunity by parading in front of cameras and pretending to expose the “secret enrichment facility” near Qom, that Iran had declared to the IAEA a week earlier.

      • Shingo
        October 12, 2011, 7:14 am

        Further to biorabbi ‘s point about Holder is trying to deflect a sh$t storm heading his way, I take it he was referrign to the “Fast and Furious” FUBAR for which Obama seems to be throwing Holder under the bus.

      • annie
        October 12, 2011, 11:58 am

        hey shingo i was just reading that motherjones article yesterday. can’t remember what i was googling but it popped right up.

    • iamuglow
      October 12, 2011, 11:30 am

      Its sounds like a plot line from Scarface.

      • Taxi
        October 12, 2011, 12:34 pm

        LOL ianuglow!

    • Kathleen
      October 12, 2011, 1:03 pm

      “This sound like a bad joke.”

      I smell Micheal Ledeen and Micheal Rubin. Follow the dead bodies

  8. American
    October 12, 2011, 2:42 am

    I find Hillary particulary amusing:

    “The idea that they would attempt to go to a Mexican drug cartel to solicit
    murder-for-hire to kill the Saudi ambassador, nobody could make that up,
    right?” she was quoted as telling AP”

    Wrong Hillary …..the bumbling fools in DC would make it up . All we have to do is look at the language in the comments of the ‘officials” to see that this is made up. I guess this is the new double fake flag….make up something so ridiculous as a agent of Iran’s government going to for hire killers of a Mexican drug cartel that it’s very ridiculousness makes it believable? ROTFLMAO.

  9. annie
    October 12, 2011, 2:52 am

    just my hunch..remember that saudi nyt op ed ‘veto palestinian state loose an ally?’ me too. so, kill 2 birds w/one stone. attack iran and set the US up as the great defender of SA against an assassination attempt. actually that is 3 stones because it cements US/SA alliance against iran and also peels away SA loyalty to palestine ahead of the UN vote. very clever but not really/ too transparent.

    we’re newbies/not good as this. the chinese could have pulled this off w/more finesse, heck lots of countries could of pulled this off w/more finesse. we just look like doofuses. the mexican mafia? utterly ridiculous.

    • anonymouscomments
      October 12, 2011, 3:10 am

      Wasn’t Iraq too transparent? Hell, I think wtc7 was transparent coupled with ferrous microspheres etc. But then again…. TPB got away with their transparent machinations…. So what may be “too transparent” apparently is not too transparent when they keep getting away with it.

      Isn’t Israeli expansionism ridiculously transparent?

      Essentially I think once you know how dirty our games are, you soon sit in awe at raw power and how it gets what it wants, no matter how obvious to an informed and skeptical observer. The more I know the more absurd it all seems. The more impotent I feel. But I’ve learned to not doubt the ability for TPB to do something, no matter how clearly BS the stated fairytale gets.

      • annie
        October 12, 2011, 11:22 am

        i’m not sitting in awe at raw power anon.

        So what may be “too transparent” apparently is not too transparent when they keep getting away with it.

        somethings gotta give, you just can’t fool all the people all the time.

      • anonymouscomments
        October 12, 2011, 6:20 pm

        But can they keep fooling enough of the people all the time?

        But I relent, I don’t treat this as a spectator sport, and have sincere hope we can make significant changes. Why else do I follow it, raise my voice, and remain active? How bad it gets before change is debatable. How much we can change it is debatable. But we are a force (and you and other MW sages especially notable). Change is the only constant.

        As far as feeling impotent- I just mean if they do Iran it will be like Iraq but so much more painfully obvious I might have to leave the country. Setting up then bombing Iran I’ve declared my last straw long ago. It might mean I go live elsewhere, but at the same time I’d feel the need to stay and fight for my perspective…. but paying taxes to such a war machine is already hard enough.

      • annie
        October 13, 2011, 9:38 am

        sometimes it’s just faith in humanity that keeps me going anon. we can make a difference…you are me and the rest of us, we can.

    • Formerly T-Bear
      October 12, 2011, 8:39 am

      Mexico has been used before sans raison as set-up to begin war. See what wiki has to say about the Zimmerman note. Funny how it was exposed just before the Lusitania was torpedoed off the Cork coast while awaiting military protection to proceed (that protection cancelled by orders from the Admiralty 1st Lord, Winston Churchill iirc). This current play looks like a rerun of that, why let a successful ploy go to waste, just rearrange the deck chairs a little and no-one will remember the Titanic either.

      • annie
        October 12, 2011, 11:29 am

        meanwhile, i’m curious if there is any crossover of the FBI informants or cartels in these cases (linked by marcb upthread)

      • Formerly T-Bear
        October 12, 2011, 2:24 pm

        Occam’s razor is required when full pertinent facts are either unknown or unknowable. ¿What is the least complex way something can be explained? The actors and the “war on drugs” itself are hidden from public scrutiny, mendacity and corruption are rife, the interests of promoters and their opposition coincide in continuing the status quo, and the judicial system is fully corrupted. If it is ever exposed to the full light of day, it would not be surprising what crawls out from under any overturned rock involved in the war on drugs.

  10. Taxi
    October 12, 2011, 5:10 am

    American and israeli zionism are in such a tightass and desperate bind that they’ve just about reached their state of ‘masadia’: a simultaneous suicidal and homocidal state of mind. I say Masadia is the opposite of nirvana – and we know that nirvana is the ultimate desirable state of mind. (I don’t care for buddhism, nirvana’s just a word I’m using cuz it has nice music in it)

    Heck I barf on zionism’s insanely criminal scheming to hold on to power in the middleast. Iran, whether we like it or not, is the rising-star power in the middle east. Not us and not that Apartheid freakshow israel. No war is gonna change that equation for the foreseeable future. Their army is bulkier than ever, they got long-range missiles, they already produce THEIR OWN drones, we know they’re ‘nuke-curious’, they’ve got 37,ooo sworn suicide-bombers ready to change the world, they got the harmuz straights, they got our men hostage in Iraq, in Afghanistan too, they got russia, they got china, they got a chunka south america, they got two-third of the Arab world and a giant piece of Africa. Sure they may not be as big as us but they sure as heck can fuck us up real good and quick: financially, morally and physically.

    But I gotta say there’s something real stupid about this ‘set-up’. I mean what if a chunk of America actually ENJOYED the assassination of a suadi ambassador even on usa soil? Didn’t mind it one bit and instead applauded it and wanted more of the same – you know, for 9/11 etc. What would the freaky-deaky neoconzionistchristians do if this happens?

    Oh dear me, back to the single drawing board with christian zionists tryna figure out how to bring jesus back through an armagaddon, the israeli zionists tryna figure out how to keep stealing land and lives of children without the pathologically paranoid threat of iran, and the neocon corpo arms dealers tryna figure out how to turn an ocean of blood into an ocean of money without anyone noticing.

    And THAT, dear mondoweizerz, is what I call the round table conference of the axis of evil.

    • patm
      October 12, 2011, 8:10 am

      “Oh dear me, back to the single drawing board with christian zionists tryna figure out how to bring jesus back through an armagaddon, the israeli zionists tryna figure out how to keep stealing land and lives of children without the pathologically paranoid threat of iran, and the neocon corpo arms dealers tryna figure out how to turn an ocean of blood into an ocean of money without anyone noticing.”

      Excellent rant! “axis of evil” it surely is, Taxi.

    • marc b.
      October 12, 2011, 9:34 am

      that’s the problem, taxi. the sub-geniuses who reduced iraq to a simmering civil war took the only regional player off the board that could act as a counter weight to iran (as the US and Sovs so cynically used iraq against iran in the decade-long, 1980s atrocity.)

      • DBG
        October 12, 2011, 11:25 am

        I think Saudi Arabia and the GCC is becoming a pretty big counter-weight to Iran. With the inevitable fall of the Assad regime and Turkey’s reluctance to side with Iran, they are becoming more isolated than before.

      • Taxi
        October 12, 2011, 2:28 pm

        Dear DBG,
        Thank you for your hello-magazine probing analysis. We are all the safer and wiser for your immense contribution to global political un-understanding.

        Now for the adult-targeted segment of my post: Syrian regime is staying put. Why? Cuz israel NEEDS Assad’s regime and for you morons out there (you know who you are) the reason is simple: isreal, usa and europe DO NOT want the Syrian islamic brotherhood to take the reigns of power right at the doorstep of isreal. If that were to happen, then isreal will practically be COMPLETELY surrounded by moslem power: hizb, hamas, egyptian ninjas and syrian brotherhood – leaving only a most unhinged door in jordan. Yeah yeah yeah we’ve been sanctioning and shamnctioning syria and doing backflips in the nude to offend it BUT IT’S ALL AN ACT FOR DOMESTIC CONSUMPTION. The west and israel don’t have any choice but to let the Assad regime sit it out and the only thing they can do is stir shit up for Assad internally to punish him with a few sleepless nights. Let’s be clear here: if the unexpected occurs (which can happen in the mideast) and Assad falls, then israel is finished as his fall will activate regional war and regional war means israel will be hit simultaneously from EVERY SINGLE (stolen) border.

        Better the devil you know. This is the very essence of politics.

        Caveman style.

      • eee
        October 12, 2011, 3:40 pm

        Since Assad will be gone in 6-24 months, your BS will be clear to everyone. Barak has clearly said that Israel wants Assad out and that he will surely fall.

        Assad will fall and there will most likely be no regional war as Syria would be very weak and so would Hezbollah and Jordan and Egypt have no interest whatsoever in war. And if there will be a war, Israel will easily win and suffer 1/1000 the casualties that those who start the war will suffer.

        So what if Israel is surrounded by weak Islamist countries? Israel was surrounded by countries espousing Arab nationalism and handily beat them. The Islamist would be easier to handle since they will run the economies of their countries to the ground and make them even weaker. Plus, they will not be able to buy Western weapons from anybody.

      • Taxi
        October 12, 2011, 4:06 pm

        Not my problem if you buy into barak’s political charades eee.

        Clearly if Barak had said otherwise, he woulda had 5 million eeez like you freaking out and he woulda surely been chased out into a political desert (like Gadaffi eh).

        Politicians will ALWAYS tell you what YOU WANT TO HEAR, not what’s really-really-really-really-really-really going on. But I guess this concept is alien to you eee.

        You wanna believe that Apartheid israel and usa aren’t on a continuing strategic decline, well you just go right ahead.

        It’s good though that you’re thinking so fancifully inside your bubble.

        The more deluded you are, the quicker the war, the sooner the peace.

      • annie
        October 12, 2011, 4:14 pm

        great comment taxi

      • eee
        October 12, 2011, 4:24 pm

        You guys are funny. If Hamas say something, they really mean it. If an Israeli politician says something, he never means it, unless of course it supports your point of view.

        If you want to believe that Arab states with crumbling economies and on the verge of civil war are a threat to Israel, go right ahead. If you want to believe that the first thing Syrians want to do when they get rid of Assad is get into a war with Israel go right ahead. But that is just false. Syrian want good jobs and a good economy for all and they know they will not get it through war with Israel.

        If you want to believe the Lebanese are interested in war with Israel go right ahead. That is just false. The Lebanese are also interested in economic development, not war.

      • annie
        October 12, 2011, 4:30 pm

        good jobs and a good economy for all and economic development….sounds like what iraq wanted! lotta good it did them. oh, and palestine..isn’t that the economic peace plan? got anymore feel good flowers we can smell.

      • eee
        October 12, 2011, 4:40 pm

        “good jobs and a good economy for all and economic development”

        It is what everybody wants. I think you agree. So why do you think they will go to war as Taxi says? What interest will drive them to war? The Lebanese and Syrians did not fire ONE shot at Israel during Cast Lead. So what exactly changed that makes them interested in an all out war with Israel?

      • Taxi
        October 12, 2011, 6:11 pm

        Of course eee knows EXACTLY what arabs want. Being a settler idf hazbeen and all.

      • Shingo
        October 12, 2011, 6:23 pm

        Hezbollah are as strong as they’ve ever been.

        And if there will be a war, Israel will easily win and suffer 1/1000 the casualties that those who start the war will suffer.

        Unless they start a war with Hebollah, in which case, Israel will surely lose – as they’ve dione twice already.

        Israel was surrounded by countries espousing Arab nationalism and handily beat them.

        Except n 1973, when they needed Nixon to save their butts.

      • Shingo
        October 12, 2011, 6:26 pm

        If you want to believe that Arab states with crumbling economies and on the verge of civil war are a threat to Israel, go right ahead.

        Panetta certianly seems to think so, but I disagree with him. The threat to Israel is the crumbling Western economies, on which Israel is completely reliant.

        If you want to believe the Lebanese are interested in war with Israel go right ahead. That is just false.

        Agani I agree. Lebanon has never been interested in war with Israel, but Israel is obsessed with havign another war with Hezbollah.

      • eee
        October 12, 2011, 6:58 pm

        Shingo,

        Let’s be clear, as time passes it has become clear that Hezbollah lost the war in 2006.
        Since then Israel’s border with Lebanon has never been more quiet. There hasn’t been ONE attack on the Sheba Farms which Hezbollah have declared to be occupied. Nasrallah himself admitted he lost the war saying that if he knew how Israel would respond he would not have started it:
        http://www.haaretz.com/news/nasrallah-we-wouldn-t-have-snatched-soldiers-if-we-thought-it-would-spark-war-1.199556

        In short, Hezbollah was so severely trounced they did NOTHING during Cast Lead. They did not fire even ONE rocket at Israel.

      • eee
        October 12, 2011, 7:01 pm

        Taxi,

        Please explain why now is different than during Cast Lead. During Cast Lead both Hezbollah and Syria did nothing. Why will they do anything now? No Arab country is going to risk a war with Israel for the Palestinians. What interest will drive them to war?

      • annie
        October 12, 2011, 7:04 pm

        My only question is how do Witty, eee, DBG, hophmi, and now, A-R, decide who goes first?

        they race for it!

      • Shingo
        October 12, 2011, 7:24 pm

        No eee,

        As time passes it has become ever more obvious that Hezbollah WON BIG TIME in 2006. Not only did they survive Isael’s onslaught (and kick IDF butt), but Hezbollah are now part of the ruling coalition in Lebanon.

        Olmert on the other hand, has since been booted out of office.

        Some defeat huh?

        Furthermore, the US and Israel tried to use the UN to corner Heazbollah with the kangaroo commission investigating the Harriri assasination. That too went pear shaped for them, because it led to the removal of Harriri’s son from power and put Hebolah’s coalition in power.

        Since then Israel’s border with Lebanon has never been more quiet.

        This argument keeps poppoing up, but I don’t know how that’s supposed to prove your point. One could just as easily argue that it’s quiet because Israel is staying out of Southern Lebanon.

        In actual fact, the border is as quiet now as it was between 2000 and 2006, so your argument is moot.

        There hasn’t been ONE attack on the Sheba Farms which Hezbollah have declared to be occupied.

        Nor was there any attack before 2006.

        Nasrallah himself admitted he lost the war saying that if he knew how Israel would respond he would not have started it:

        No, Nasrallah expressed regreat over the cost, but declared victory.

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/14/AR2006081400514.html

        In fact, it was not Nasrallah that started it. As the Winograd Commission concluded, Israel started it. Meanwhile, Olmert was forces to appoint Winograd to investigate why the war was such a failure for Israel.

        In short, Hezbollah was so severely trounced they did NOTHING during Cast Lead.

        False again. While Hezbollah were appaled at the Gaza massacre, they never had any strategic interest in what was taking place in Gaza. Hezbollah are renowned for their discipline and staying out of other people’s business.

        As Ethan Bronner reported, Israel actually claimed that Cast Lead enabled Israel to re-establish it’s deterrance capability . which they clearly they believed they lost in 2006.

        They really pathetic reality is that Israel had to go and pick on Gaza, rather than take on Hezbollah a 3rd time to convince themseves they had regained credibility.

        Nothign could be further from the truth.

      • eee
        October 12, 2011, 7:30 pm

        And here is some evidence that both Hezbollah is weakened and that Iran has severe economic problems:
        http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Politics/2011/Oct-12/151111-iran-cutting-financial-aid-to-hezbollah-report.ashx##axzz1ac4i9XDP

      • Taxi
        October 12, 2011, 7:36 pm

        “Please explain why now is different than during Cast Lead.”

        Honestly eee dude, how many times have you and I gone back and forth on this very topic? Why you wanna go shaking that leafless tree for fruit?

        I got better things to do with my limited blogging time than rewind and repeat for the benefit of your dopey memory.

      • Shingo
        October 12, 2011, 8:54 pm

        And here is some evidence that both Hezbollah is weakened and that Iran has severe economic problems:

        Wow you’re such an idiot eee.

        So Iran is looking to cut foreign aid. Gee, I wonder what other country might be having severe economic problems?

        http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9P4OVNO0.htm
        http://www.chinapost.com.tw/business/global-markets/2011/09/21/317319/IMF-downgrades.htm

        I wonder what country might be looking to cut foreign aid?
        http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/04/us/politics/foreign-aid-set-to-take-hit-in-united-states-budget-crisis.html?pagewanted=all

        Furthermore, this does not prove that Hezbollah is weakened. Now that Hezbollah runs the Lebanese state, it doesn’t need Iranian aid. It can fund itself through taxation.

      • American
        October 13, 2011, 1:52 am

        “So what if Israel is surrounded by weak Islamist countries? Israel was surrounded by countries espousing Arab nationalism and handily beat them. The Islamist would be easier to handle since they will run the economies of their countries to the ground and make them even weaker. Plus, they will not be able to buy Western weapons from anybody”

        eee,eee,eee..where do you get your grandiose ideas?
        The only reason Israel was able to defeat the Arabs in “any” war was because of US supplied weapons and equipment.
        And I hate to tell you this but Russia is no slacker in advanced weapons and in fact has a hell of sunburn missile perfect for the Persian Gulf against which the US hasn’t yet come up with a deterrent for.
        If you think Russia won’t sell their advanced weapons to Iran or any other Arab country you are mistaken.
        Suggest you go to the arms data base at the FAS site and check out who has what before you go off thinking only the US/israel has the really good stuff.

      • Shingo
        October 13, 2011, 2:15 am

        Well put American,

        The Russians are a good 10 years ahead of the US in missile technology. Following the fall of the the Soceit Union, the Russians decided that rather than spend billions building aircraft carriers, they could spend a fraction as much building missiles to sink them.

        Asine from the Sunburn and it’s predecessor, Russia’s granit missile is withuot equal. It makes the Tomohawk look like a toy.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBCeYQAeLcU

        The granit, as well as Russia’s long range balistic missiles were also the first to be able to vary their trajectories, making them impervious to missile defense shields.

      • American
        October 13, 2011, 2:45 am

        “And if there will be a war, Israel will easily win and suffer 1/1000 the casualties that those who start the war will suffer”

        Well eee… why don’t you attack Iran and see how many casualties you suffer….after all you have 7 million Israelis and Iran has 77 million Persians. You should listen to people who know something.

        Former Israeli intelligence chief to Netanyahu: Don’t attack Iran
        NUCLEAR WEAPONS

        June 02, 2011|By Kevin Flower, CNN

        Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) with former Mossad director Meir Dagan in Jerusalem on January 2.Israel’s former top intelligence official says the country does not have the ability to stop Iran’s nuclear program and that a pre-emptive attack against the Islamic Republic would result in a regional war that would pose Israel with an “impossible” challenge.

        “We do not have the ability to stop Iran’s nuclear program. In the best case scenario we can push it off a bit,” said former Mossad chief Meir Dagan in widely reported remarks to a Tel Aviv leadership conference Wednesday.

        It is important to know what the outcome of an attack on Iran would be, what would happen on the day after and what situation Israel would find itself in on the international stage,” Dagan said.

        “An attack on Iran would mean regional war, and in that case you would have given (Iran) the best possible reason to continue the nuclear program because the Iranians would then claim, ‘We have been attacked by a foreign country that is reported to have a military nuclear capability. Now we have no choice but to defend … against a country with strategic capabilities — a compelling and principled argument for them to move to a large nuclear program,” he added.

        “It is important to know that that war would not just be against Iran. It would be a regional war that would include Syria — if we needed to attack Hezbollah targets in Syrian territory. The regional challenge that Israel would face would be impossible.”

        The blunt public comments, which have been printed in various Israeli newspapers, are not the first from Dagan, who spent the last eight years heading the Israeli spy agency. Dagan left his position in January and in recent weeks has made a series of comments that have been at odds with the public policy positions of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the sensitive issue of Iran and it’s nuclear program.

        Netanyahu has repeatedly maintained in public that all options including military force should be considered to force Iran to halt its nuclear program. Both Israel and the United States believe Iran is developing nuclear weapons — an allegation leaders in Tehran deny, maintaining the program is for civilian use only.

        In his comments, Dagan compared the strategic environment facing Israel to the eve of the Yom Kippur war in 1973 and warned that the country should go to war only if it was attacked “or if there is a gun to your head — that is to say, conflict is unavoidable and the only way to minimize the threat is to use violence.”

      • RoHa
        October 13, 2011, 3:23 am

        I have heard that the official line of the US Navy is that their ships will be completly safe from even the fiercest Russian anti-ship missiles as long as the ships are docked in Denver.

        The Chinese have also developed some pretty good anti-ship missiles. Iran has a bundle of anti-ship missiles, and I believe they are mounted on mobile launchers.

        One of the dirty little secrets of the Kuwait war was that, in spite of the best efforts of the SAS to locate Saddam’s SCUD launchers, and the RAF’s low-flying ground attack skills, a lot of the launchers survived. In the broken, hilly, fringe of the Gulf, taking out all the Iranian launchers would be a pipe dream.

        Now imagine a carrier group in the Gulf. Very little room to manouver. And an attack consisting of a salvo of fifty old, cheap* , missiles, with a dozen of the best Russian jobs mixed in. What would happen?

        No-one knows. It’s never been tried. The SeaRam system is supposed to be able to handle multiple missiles, and might succeed.

        But if it is tried, I’d like to be right here in Brisbane and far from the action.

        *Cheap for missiles. Still a bit more than $9.99 a dozen.

      • DBG
        October 13, 2011, 9:40 am

        If you think Russia won’t sell their advanced weapons to Iran or any other Arab country you are mistaken.

        Hmm how does the S-300 work into this equation?

        http://zeenews.india.com/news/world/iran-puzzled-over-scrapped-arms-deal-with-russia_735978.html

        They won’t sell them a 12 year old SAM system, but will sell them a newly produced anti-ship missile? You guys are laughable.

        Iran is still using pieced together F-14’s for God sakes, when are they going to get their hands on the new T-50? soon from your estimates I am sure, LOL!

      • Shingo
        October 13, 2011, 5:55 pm

        Hmm how does the S-300 work into this equation?

        How does this?

        “Iran has obtained four S-300 surface-to-air missiles despite Russia’s refusal to deliver them to Tehran under a valid contract, a semi-official Iranian news agency claimed on Wednesday.”
        http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-world/iran-obtains-surfacetoair-missiles-20100804-11fee.html

        They sold them the technology instead, which is hwo Iran weer able to build their own. As for 12 year old technology, it is stil regarded in Washington and Israel as a game changer had Iran gotten their hands on the s300’s.

        http://www.deccanherald.com/content/188559/iran-unveils-surface-air-missile.html

        The same thing happend with the high speed torpedos based on Russian designs that Iran has developed.

        http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/HD20Ad03.html

      • Hostage
        October 13, 2011, 9:16 pm

        They won’t sell them a 12 year old SAM system, but will sell them a newly produced anti-ship missile? You guys are laughable.

        Just for the record, GlobalSecurity​.org says the missile that hit the IDF’s Hanit was a

        C-802, an Iranian-made variant of a stealthy, turbojet-powered, Chinese weapon. It’s “considered along with the US ‘Harpoon’ as among the best anti-ship missiles” in the world.

        You really only need adequate weapons, since most vessels aren’t equipped with very good missile defense systems.

      • DBG
        October 14, 2011, 12:00 am

        Hostage and Chaos, again, you are both talking about domestically produced weapons, I was responding to Iran getting brand new Russian weaponry.

        As for the attack on the Hanit, all of the defense systems were in standby mode, and even with that the ship wasn’t sunk. Sure it is an amazing weapon, but it isn’t sinking any US carriers in the Gulf.

        http://www.strategypage.com/militaryforums/36-22440.aspx

      • Hostage
        October 14, 2011, 7:18 am

        Hostage and Chaos, again, you are both talking about domestically produced weapons, I was responding to Iran getting brand new Russian weaponry.

        I am talking about a country ten times the size of Israel that can produce its own world class weapons. They also produce spare parts for their F-14 Tomcats and have purchased airframe and engine upgrades from the Russians for them. BTW, the F-15 and F-16 aircraft in Israel’s inventory are the same upgraded 1970s technology.

        Sure it is an amazing weapon, but it isn’t sinking any US carriers in the Gulf.

        I spent several years of my adult life on the headquarters Combat Operations (DO) staff of Gen. Wilbur Creech, who among other things was the Commander-in-Chief of the Air Forces Atlantic. I can assure you that US aircraft carriers are sitting ducks for cruise missile attacks, even when they have an air cap and are surrounded by a fleet equipped with Phalanx systems. BTW, you don’t need to sink a carrier to prevent it from launching and recovering aircraft.

      • RoHa
        October 14, 2011, 7:59 am

        “I can assure you that US aircraft carriers are sitting ducks for cruise missile attacks”

        I have read that the latest Yakhont missile is fitted with software that enables it to pick out carriers from among the other ships, and then attack them. All while flying just above the waves at blistering speed and weaving back and forth to confuse the opposing radar.

        I don’t know whether any of this is true. I haven’t tried it myself.

      • Shingo
        October 14, 2011, 9:15 am

        I’m sure it’s sophisticated guidance systems that help it strike the aircraft carriers.

        I also heard that the Yakhont travels at such a speed that it can sink a carrier from it’s kinetic inpact alone – no nuke warhead needed. I’m not to sure about that cut it would surely wreak havoc.

    • annie
      October 12, 2011, 4:21 pm

      wow taxi, i’m just catching up w/the thread. you’re on a roll!

      that Apartheid freakshow israel

      loving your verbiage today.

  11. upsidedownism
    October 12, 2011, 6:14 am

    the usa and israel are at war with iran, have been for sometime. US MSM giving tons of exposure to an alleged assasination which didn’t happen, while virtually ignoring the actual assasinations of iranian scientists. We may never know the full involvement of US in the murders of Darioush Rezaie this year and Majid Shahriari in 2010. But it doesn’t matter if there was no direct involement of US personnel because Israel is fully supported by US and the intelligence and defense agencies of the two countries are joined at the hip.

    Its a new cold war, and its just a question of if or when the shooting begins.

  12. atime forpeace
    October 12, 2011, 7:54 am

    Justin Raimondo peels the onion just enough to water your eyes.

    “Fake, fake, fake – I’m talking about the latest anti-Iranian propaganda coming out of Washington, which claims the Iranian Revolutionary Guards were involved in a “plot” to take out the Saudi ambassador to the US and blow up both the Saudi and Israeli embassies. The narrative reads like a formulaic melodrama: two Iranians, one a naturalized US citizen, purportedly approached someone they thought was a member of a Mexican drug cartel – according to the indictment [.pdf], it was a “sophisticated” drug cartel, not the plebeian sort – and proposed paying him $1.5 million to murder Adel al Jubeir, the Kingdom’s ambassador in Washington – oh, and by the way, the Iranians supposedly said, “Are you guys any good with explosives?”

    The key to understanding just how fake this story is can be found in the New York Times report, which informs us:

    “For the entire operation, the government’s confidential sources were monitored and guided by federal law enforcement agents, Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District, said in the news conference. ‘So no explosives were actually ever placed anywhere,’ he said, ‘and no one was actually in ever in any danger.’”

    Translation: the whole thing is phony from beginning to end.

    This is another one of US law enforcement’s manufactured “anti-terrorist” triumphs, where the feds set somebody up, fabricate a “crime” out of thin air, and then proceed to “solve” a case that never really existed to begin with. This has been the general pattern of our “anti-terrorist” operations in the US since the beginning – because finding and catching real terrorists is much too hard, at least for our Keystone Kops. Instead of going out and actually, you know, looking for the Bad Guys, and then apprehending them, they lure some unsuspecting Muslim immigrant into a trap, and spring it when the time is right.”

    http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2011/10/11/iranian-terror-plot-fake-fake-fake/

  13. Theo
    October 12, 2011, 8:59 am

    This whole story of an iranian plot to kill an arab ambassador in the USA sounds like the worst TV shows being made in Hollywood, written by an imbecile. Just how stupid are we, according to our fearless leaders in Washington, to swallow such a primitive invention?

    This is nothing, but another israeli plot to get us ready for an attack on Iran.
    Since our MSM lies about most anything concerning the ME, I watch Al Jazzera, Russia Today, France24, CCTV, BBC, Skynews and other international TV stations to get at the root of any news.
    Nobody outside Mr. Holder and his cronies believe that the iranians would be that stupid even to consider such a plan. It is nothing but a crude effort to make us to believe that Iran needs to be destroyed, just as Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam and a few other nations were, in order to remove any treath to israeli dominance of the area.
    How many more people, iranians, arabs and americans must die for Erez Israel?

  14. POA
    October 12, 2011, 9:21 am

    “The idea that they would attempt to go to a Mexican drug cartel to solicit murder-for-hire to kill the Saudi ambassador? Nobody could make that up, right?” Clinton said ……..

    Yeah, right.

  15. richb
    October 12, 2011, 9:57 am

    Did anybody else see Rachel Maddow last night?

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/vp/44868350#44868350

    She was in fine form with the short skirt and the pom poms. She should know better concerning the Republicans. She was going on and on about “see how government works”. The Republicans will give Obama zero credit and will call for war rather than going through a court case, particularly if the case ends up falling apart.

    She made the mistake of actually quoting from the criminal complaint that pointing to evidence for entrapment and a definite possibility that this will end up as a Curveball II. We don’t have on tape who brought up the bomb first. Supposedly the informant was to attack the Saudi embassy. But what was on tape was an attack on a restaurant. It was the informant rather than the suspect that brought up if innocents might get killed in the context of where the ambassador was to be killed. So how did an attack on the embassy (off tape) turn into an attack on a restaurant with the killing of innocents being an afterthought? When asked EXACTLY what does the Iranian general wanted the suspect answered he wants you to kill this guy (not blow up the embassy like Al Qaeda did in Africa). The suspect goes on to say they wanted the ambassador done if the hundred get killed f em. Hmm. Sounds like a drone killing of a Hamas leader in Gaza.

    Here’s how the suspect was characterized by people who knew him:

    Tomscha said Arbabsiar, 56, a naturalized U.S. citizen who holds an Iranian passport, was likeable, a bit lazy and “no mastermind.”

    “I can’t imagine him thinking up a plan like that. I mean, he didn’t seem all that political. He was more of a businessman … He was sort of a hustler,” he said.

    • richb
      October 12, 2011, 11:19 am

      Rachel Maddow ironically may have provided the evidence to blow this whole thing all apart. The start of the segment above was on Rachel’s experience trying to buy German T-shirts. As an amateur she was unaware of the $40 fee for international wire transfers and that as an American she had to go through a New York bank. She noted that apparently neither was the suspect aware of the fee where he stiffed who he thought was an assassin $80 from his promised $100,000 and his wire transfers also went through a New York bank. Which brings us to the lack of evidence against the second suspect.

      The transcript of the informant’s wire would get you a wiretap warrant in any court. Furthermore, since there was alleged state-sponsored terrorism a warrant is not required in advance under the Patriot Act. As far as I can tell there are no intercepted calls between the two alleged co-conspirators to send the money. Remember, the suspect told the informant the money was not his but coming from his cousin which brings us back to the New York banks and the Iran-Contra affair.

      The Reagan administration wanted to get money to Latin America even though Congress forbade it. So, Ollie North came up with the “brilliant” scheme of giving weapons to the Iranians and they in turn would send money to the Nicaraguan Contras that wasn’t traceable back to the United States.

      So, if the allegations of the Iranians being behind this murder-for-hire plot then it would not go through New York banks and they would have paid the $80 to make sure the assassin gets all of his $100,000. Rachel just assumed that the suspect’s international wire transfer went through a New York bank and her international wire transfer went through a New York bank that ALL international wire transfers between Iran and Latin America go through a New York bank. If on the other hand, it’s all the suspect’s doing and this was amateur hour then the facts would be exactly as we see them.

      When investigating all criminal conspiracies follow one rule: follow the money.

    • Kathleen
      October 12, 2011, 1:05 pm

      She went along. Although she did say “alleged” but no tough questions

  16. AhVee
    October 12, 2011, 10:07 am

    So, if a man in Yemen is declared a threat to the USA (by the USA), that justifies a US drone attack on Yemeni soil, but Iran – let’s assume for a second that this story isn’t pulled out of the US of A’s ass entirely – doesn’t have the right to do something similar on US soil to someone they’d like to see dead for their own self-declared reasons without Teh Righteous Sanctionhammer getting ready to be put to use in defence of themselves and the Saudi Arabians?
    That’s one way of teaching Arab countries the way the game’s played. Do as the US do on the Palestine issue and you’re in their good books as a country, regardless of how revolting your leadership may be (Saudi Arabia), but dare you have a revolting leadership and be pro-Palestinian, now that’s just the icing on the cake, isn’t it. That will make you our most hated enemy within mere years!

    They’ve been pushing for an Iran war for ages now, and the European press has – to my knowledge – been publishing cynical commentary asking when they’ll ‘start on Iran’ way back when they were barely in Iraq. If I’m surprised it’s because it took them this long to start orchestrating a thin justification for it. (Too busy in other parts of the Muslim world, I take it) I’ll admit the mafia part is a bit of a weak point in the plot, though. No special forces trained for such things available at the time? That’s too bad. But never mind, the most important thing is that Haleburton, Lockheed-Martin and Carlyle are currently jizzing themselves in glee at these developments. only evil Muslim-loving communists would be indecent enough to ask for solid proof at a time like this.

    ps. May the proof be delivered in form of a powerpoint presentation?

  17. dimadok
    October 12, 2011, 10:08 am

    It must be a ‘hunting season’ in Mondotown for the conspiracy loons.
    Oh boy, oh boy- Egypt interfaith violence, killing of Egypt soldiers at the Israeli border, Iranian plot, Hezbollah international indictments, Syrian violence, Turkey going tough. It is all about Mossad and CIA plots.
    In series of posts here they forgot to mention Euro troubles, unemployment in US, but fortunately didn’t forget to slip the issue of Israel’s aid.
    I think I’ve covered most of the “burning” issues in those scorching brains of posters here.
    Now lets ask the question : “Cui bono?”
    My answer would be Iran, since surge in oil prices, economic meltdown in US and Europe would be beneficial both to Iran and Russia, Syria would be forgotten, Egypt will restrain itself and Israel will suffer the increase in gas prices.
    Any sane counterarguments?

    • Hostage
      October 12, 2011, 10:54 am

      It must be a ‘hunting season’ in Mondotown for the conspiracy loons.

      The report of a conspiracy here came from the AG, Eric Holder.

      Now lets ask the question : “Cui bono?” My answer would be Iran . . . Any sane counterarguments?

      Surely. The report of a conspiracy in that instance came from the AG, Eric Holder. another conspiracy loon.

    • kapok
      October 12, 2011, 11:27 am

      sane counterarguments? sure, your lust to see Iran laid waste has blinded you.

    • Shingo
      October 12, 2011, 6:47 pm

      Now lets ask the question : “Cui bono?” My answer would be Iran . . . Any sane counterarguments?

      If the Iranians are bankign on an economic meltdown, all they need to do is sit back and watch the show. It’s already headed our way. The meltdown is Europe and the US is innvevitable. The only peopel pretendin otehrwise are our politicians. Israel is already suffering from the increase in gas prices. In fact, they may soon be suffereing from no gas at all.

      Any sane counterarguments?

      Where’s the sanity in your theory? As I explained above, those outcomes that you believe woudl benefit Iran are innnevitable, so why risk a war with the US to hasten it?

      How does Iran benefit from this farcical mess if indeed they were behind it? The Iranian civlization has been around for thousands of years. They didn’t survive that long by being as stupid as you would like to believe.

      BTW. What do you make of the fact that Holder is blaming the Iranians, while denying he made any suggestion the Iranain leadership knew about it?

  18. Les
    October 12, 2011, 10:10 am

    Juan Cole’s headline picks up from the Bloomberg Report

    Is an Iranian Drug Cartel Behind the Assassination Plot against the Saudi Ambassador?

    http://www.juancole.com/2011/10/is-an-iranian-drug-cartel-behind-the-assassination-plot-against-the-saudi-ambassador.html

    • richb
      October 12, 2011, 12:01 pm

      Juan Cole’s hypothesis that it’s an Iranian drug cartel behind this is more plausible than the Iranian government. But, even this has a problem. Drug cartels would know just as Iranian intelligence operatives do about the $10,000 money laundering trigger. Also, if they are going to bring in an amateur like here they would also bring in someone who doesn’t have a criminal record. So far, everything points to no conspiracy at all and it’s Curveball II.

      • DBG
        October 12, 2011, 12:20 pm

        isn’t Curveball II a conspiracy in itself?

      • richb
        October 12, 2011, 1:22 pm

        Curveball was a loud mouth self-serving individual who was merely saying what the Americans wanted to hear. How in the world do you a conspiracy with only one person?

      • Chaos4700
        October 12, 2011, 11:37 pm

        You were expecting DBG to say something logical? That’s quaint.

      • Shingo
        October 13, 2011, 12:33 am

        I suspect that DBG is standing in for Witty whie he’s on hiatus.

  19. eee
    October 12, 2011, 10:12 am

    What is hard to believe here? The Iranian government screwed up. Governments do that all the time. Hasn’t the US screwed up? Hasn’t Israel? So the only government that is perfect is Iran? Sure it is.

    All the “why would it be in their interest to do it” questions “why did they screw up” are nonsense. Iran is becoming desperate because of its economic problems and is making mistakes.

    • Hostage
      October 12, 2011, 11:11 am

      All the “why would it be in their interest to do it” questions “why did they screw up” are nonsense.

      I thought I made it perfectly clear that I thought the US and Saudi Arabia had conspired to do the same and much worse to the government of Iran.

      Do you suppose the defense can enter all of those Wikileaks cables into evidence which describe Saudi King Abdullah’s repeated approaches through the Ambassador urging the United States to attack Iran? I think that the theory of preemptive self-defense may be relevant and that US-Saudi unclean hands should be considered in mitigating any punishment imposed;-)

    • POA
      October 12, 2011, 11:27 am

      “All the “why would it be in their interest to do it” questions “why did they screw up” are nonsense. Iran is becoming desperate because of its economic problems and is making mistakes”

      Yeah, hatching a plot that is clearly against their own best interests qualifies as a “mistake”, allright.

      You gotta be kidding me.

      Citing “evidence” that has neither been revealed nor outlined, and refusing to address the blatant holes in this latest FBI concocted fairy tale, your argument on this issue is shallow beyond belief.

      Oops, Iran just “mistakingly” hatched an inept, inexpert, doomed to fail and absurd plot against the United States and Saudi Arabia, with the able asistance of an FBI operative who just happened to be at the right place at the right time to catch these two Iranian terrorist geniuses.

      You should be embarrassed, eee. Your arguments are even more absurd than the fairy tale you’re defending.

      But I gotta admit, it is kinda ironic seeing you carrying water for Holder.

    • Shingo
      October 12, 2011, 6:53 pm

      The Iranian government screwed up. Governments do that all the time.

      Actually they usually don’t eee. Government’s get caught out when they try to lay it on thick and pull a scenario likethis one out of the asses.

      Hasn’t Israel?

      Not to this extent. Even in Dubai, Israel achieved what they set out to do. They didn’t send out a bunch of half crazed bums to do the job.

      Iran is becoming desperate because of its economic problems and is making mistakes.

      Bullshit. Every country in the world has economic problems. before considering whether this was a mistake, ask yourself, what would Iran possibly hope to gain by targetting such an insignificant figure as this Saudi diplomat? Even if the plot had succeeded, what could they hope to gain by taking such enormuos risks for such little benefit?

      Do yuo seriously believe Iran wants to go to war with the US?

      • eee
        October 12, 2011, 7:12 pm

        Iran is a terrorist state and it was trying to intimidate KSA and the USA. It wanted to show them that it could bring the war to them and also show the Saudis that the US cannot protect them, as even their ambassador in the US itself is vulnerable. Just as Israel by killing Mugniyeh in Damascus showed Hezbollah that Syria cannot protect them and that Israel can get them anywhere.

        Iran plays games of brinkmanship all the time, for example with its nuclear capabilities. This is another example of brinkmanship, just this time they fell off the brink. It is very similar to the case of Syria murdering Hariri. Sometimes your belief that terror works proves wrong and backfires even when you succeed.

      • Shingo
        October 12, 2011, 9:07 pm

        Israel is also a terrorist state and has lways to intimidated it’s neighbors and the West with threats to launch nukes on them if they don’t get their way.

        It wanted to show them that it could bring the war to them and also show the Saudis that the US cannot protect them, as even their ambassador in the US itself is vulnerable.

        Makes no sense. There are a million more effective ways to being war to the US, than writing a cheque that would set off red flags around the world and hand it to a used car salesman. If they wanted to show that it could bring the war to them, then it chose the most innefective measn to do so.

        Just as Israel by killing Mugniyeh in Damascus showed Hezbollah that Syria cannot protect them and that Israel can get them anywhere.

        On the contrary. Israel killed Mugniyeh beacsue he was a soft target in a trritory across their border. That’s a competely different scenario than tryng to hit someone insignificant in the US of all places – on teh other side of the world.

        Israel has tried and failed to kill Hezbollah targets in Lebanon. Why waste their time going after Mugniyeh? If Israel can can get them anywhere, then why haven’t they hit Nasrallah?

        Iran plays games of brinkmanship all the time, for example with its nuclear capabilities.

        False. It doesn’t play any games with its nuclear capabilities becasu there is nothing to hide. What has been happeneing is that the IAEA contionues to demand more and more information about areas in which it has no business, so now adn then Iran wil put it’s foot down and say no.

        It is very similar to the case of Syria murdering Hariri.

        No it isn’t. Al Qaeda elements confessed to the murer of Hariri. The US simply seized on the murder in order to put pressure on their enemies. First they blamed Syria – based on false testimony. Then they blames Hezbollah based on a flimsy case that Hebollah members were using cell phones on with a few miles of Hariri at the time he was asassinated.

        You and DBG are sounding more unhinged and deluded today than usual.

      • NorthOfFortyNine
        October 13, 2011, 2:57 am

        Iran is a terrorist state and it was trying to intimidate KSA and the USA.

        eee, You don’t really believe this, do you? -N49.

  20. pabelmont
    October 12, 2011, 10:26 am

    On the other hand, Hollywood movies haven’t been so hot recently, and USA is a land that lives on “entertainment” (if they have no jobs, let ’em go to the movies or read about Iranian plots” — especially if a few of ’em have realized that what they REALLY should be doing is organizing against the WALL STREET OCCUPATION OF THE USA).

  21. MHughes976
    October 12, 2011, 10:40 am

    There seems to general agreement that the Iranian government and ruling class is highly factionalised. I wouldn’t be too surprised if one faction or another became involved in a foolhardy plot.
    Still, the remarks of Hillary Clinton – ‘a message must be sent to Iran’ – doesn’t seem to me to have the ring of an ultimatum rather than of normal propaganda, perhaps leading to some more rather pointless sanctions.

    • annie
      October 12, 2011, 10:53 am

      a message has repeatedly been sent to Iran and i’m sure they have heard it by now.

      • MHughes976
        October 12, 2011, 2:59 pm

        Yes, I suppose the message is ‘We hate and despise you and will crush you when we can’ – but it’s more reassuring to have that message repeated than to have an ultimatum-style ‘Do this or else’.

      • annie
        October 12, 2011, 3:50 pm

        hmm, the message was the same for saddam. in his own way he tried to get out of it but they wanted to crush country so they did. the difference with iran is they haven’t been living under sanctions for a decade and they’re much stronger than saddam at the time we invaded. i’m so over this saber rattling.

    • Kathleen
      October 12, 2011, 1:23 pm

      Clinton has been banging on the bad bad bad Iran drum for years now. She has repeated ridiculous things about Iran.

      Some sane voices over at RACE FOR IRAN.
      Leverett on al Jazeera: Thin U.S. Charges of Terror Plot Escalate Tension with Iran
      Hillary Mann Leverett appeared on al Jazeera, please see video link above, shortly after news broke that the Obama Administration has accused Iran of trying to arrange the assassination of Saudi Ambassador to the United States, Adel al Jubeir. According to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and the formal criminal complaint released today, the planners envisioned killing Ambassador Jubeir in a crowded Washington, DC restaurant, where, the Administration charges, tens if not hundreds of other people could also have died. The central figures in the alleged plot are an Iranian-American dual national living in Corpus Christi, Texas and his cousin, allegedly a Revolutionary Guard general working in the Quds Force. The Iranian government has denied the charges and denounced them as a fabrication.

      Please go to Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews blogs etc and demand that they have some sane and well informed voices about Iran on their programs. Push them please

      • Kathleen
        October 12, 2011, 1:31 pm

        Hillary Mann Leverett over at RACE FOR IRAN”plot without logic”
        “mainstream pundits all ready calling for retaliation”

        “most senior US officials all ready saying the Iranian government will be held accountable” Based on allegations.

        Last night Chris Matthews immediately jumped on the let’s go get Iran bus. Basically demanding retaliation. Chris Matthews is too chicken shit to have Flynt or Hillary Mann Leverett on his program to discuss Iranian issues intelligently. The Leveretts would flatten him

  22. Dan Crowther
    October 12, 2011, 11:00 am

    Greenwald for the Win:

    http://www.salon.com/writer/glenn_greenwald/
    GG:

    So facially absurd are the claims here — why would Iran possibly wake up one day and decide that it wanted to engage in a Terrorist attack on U.S. soil when it could much more easily kill Saudi officials elsewhere? and if Iran and its Quds forces are really behind this inept, hapless, laughable plot, then nothing negates the claim that Iran is some Grave Threat like this does — that there is more skepticism expressed even in establishment media accounts than one normally finds about such things. Even the NYT noted — with great understatement — that the allegations “provoked puzzlement from specialists on Iran, who said it seemed unlikely that the government would back a brazen murder and bombing plan on American soil.” The Post noted that “the very rashness of the alleged assassination plot raised doubts about whether Iran’s normally cautious ruling clerics supported or even know about it.” The Atlantic‘s Max Fisher has more on why this would be so out of character for Iran.

    But while some attention has been devoted to asking what motive Iran would have for doing this, little attention has been paid to asking what motive the U.S. would have for exaggerating or concocting the connection of Iran’s government to this plot. Aside from the benefits the FBI and DOJ receives when breaking up a “very scary” plot — the bigger, the better — it has been one of Obama’s highest foreign policy priorities to isolate Iran and sanction it further: as a means of placating Israel and punishing Iran for thwarting America’s natural right to rule that region. As Ignatius explains, the U.S. Government instantly converted this plot into a vehicle for furthering those policy ambitions:

    With its alleged plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington, Iran has handed the United States an opportunity to undermine Tehran at a moment when U.S. officials believe the Iranian regime is especially vulnerable. . . . “We see this as a chance to go out to capitals around the world and talk to allies and partners about what the Iranians tried to do,” the [White House] official said. “We’re not going to tolerate targeting a diplomat in Washington. We’re going to try to use this to isolate them to the maximum extent possible.”

    • richb
      October 12, 2011, 12:24 pm

      And given the fact that we’ve admitted to doing false flags in order, for example, to get the Shah installed we are doing something very, very dangerous. That is, put Iran in the position of if we’re going to get blamed it might as well be for something true. Idiots.

    • Proton Soup
      October 12, 2011, 11:31 pm

      G-D bless Glenn Greenwald !

  23. seanmcbride
    October 12, 2011, 12:30 pm

    Everything about the Global War on Terror (including 9/11, the 9/11 anthrax attacks, the Iraq War, etc.) has reeked of neoconservative fraud, deception, disinformation, lies, crude manipulation, etc.

    I am betting that this latest Iran terror plot belongs to the same series of events as:

    1. Bruce Ivins was behind the 9/11 anthrax attacks
    2. Curveball
    3. Iraq possessed WMDs
    4. Iraq War would be a cakewalk
    5. James Hatfill was behind the 9/11 anthrax attacks
    6. Jessica Lynch
    7. Muslims were behind the 9/11 anthrax attacks
    8. Niger forgeries
    9. OBL was behind the 9/11 anthrax attacks
    10. OBL was armed and resisted capture
    11. Pat Tillman
    12. Saddam/al-Qaeda alliance
    13. Saddam was behind 9/11
    14. Saddam was behind the 9/11 anthrax attacks
    15. World Trade Center bombing of 1993

    Seriously — shouldn’t it be easy for everyone by now to spot bogus neocon propaganda from the instant it is released? No matter how many times their lies are exposed, they keep coming back with more nonsense.

    Sean McBride
    http://friendfeed.com/seanmcbride
    http://friendfeed.com/mideast-politics

    • Kathleen
      October 12, 2011, 1:12 pm

      Great list. Add the Iranian magical laptop story. Hersh’s stories about Mossad and US forces on the ground in Iran for years now.

      Go get bad bad bad Iran has been up at Aipac and Jinsas website for close to a decade now.

    • LeaNder
      October 12, 2011, 4:11 pm

      Gleen Greenwald nails it: The most difficult challenge in writing about the Iranian Terror Plot unveiled yesterday is to take it seriously enough to analyze it. Iranian Muslims in the Quds Force sending marauding bands of Mexican drug cartel assassins onto sacred American soil to commit Terrorism — against Saudi Arabia and possibly Israel — is what Bill Kristol and John Bolton would feverishly dream up while dropping acid and madly cackling at the possibility that they could get someone to believe it. But since the U.S. Government rolled out its Most Serious Officials with Very Serious Faces to make these accusations, many people (therefore) do believe it; after all, U.S. government accusations = Truth. All Serious people know that. And in the ensuing reaction one finds virtually every dynamic typically shaping discussions of Terrorism and U.S. foreign policy.

      What do you think about the drug angle in the narrative? I will accept lists. But I am interested even in associative lines of thought.

  24. Kathleen
    October 12, 2011, 12:38 pm

    “Is it unfathomable that the FBI could have found a crazy and/or impressionable person who was acting on his own accord but was in some way related to elements of the Iranian government?”

    It is not unfathonable at all. Can anyone say “Curveball?” Israel and the Israeli lobby want to take out Iran so bad they can smell the dead and injured. How far will they go? Can you say being integral parts of creating and dessiminating false WMD intelligence about Iran. Could care less about the deadly and costly outcome in that unncessary war. Willing to go with any and all fabrications. We should all be questioning the credibility of the FBI and any other sources when it comes to claims about Iran.

    Soon after the invasion of Iraq ledeen, Reuel Marc Gerecht, Woolsey, Kristol, Gaffney, Cheney, Micheal Rubin, Bolton etc etc were all over the place repeating unsubstantiated claims about Iran. Rachel Maddow, Terry Gross and many other news outlet host allowed guest to repeat the unproven claims. Maddow, Charlie Rose and Gross repeated the false claims about Iran themselves. The only time I heard any MSM host challenged for repeating those claims was during Charlie Rose’s interview with former Bush administration official and former CIA middle east analyst Flynt Leverett. Leverett politely nailed Rose when he repeated the “Iran wants to wipe Israel off the map” hogwash. I have not heard one MSM host challenge the same Iraq warmonger culprits when they repeat these claims. Not one challenging question. One would think that is the very least they could do after the majority of the MSM went along with the Bush administrations lies.

    Then we had the Iranian magical “laptop” story.

    Scott Ritter On CIA´s Magical Laptop (go google and watch the interview with Ritter)

    Scott Ritter”An American laptop. The CIA owned it” “no direct to the Iranians” “this laptop has disinformation written all over it” “no supporting evidence to support this”

    That was the laptop that allegedly had proof that Iran had a nuclear weapons program.

    Last night Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, etc all covered this story. Chris Matthews went ape shit. Did not question the sources, the credibility nothing. Rolled over. Not one challenging question about sources etc. At least they kept saying “alleged”

    These are the same so called liberal press that would not even whisper about the Aipac Rosen/Weissman espionage investigation. Not a whisper. I guess it is just too much to ask our MSM to ask logical, challenging questions. Can anyone say “Curveball”

  25. American
    October 12, 2011, 1:13 pm

    Well this is the mini thwarted 911 to set the stage for an Iran attack.
    And it’s getting full court press.

    For those of you who use to follow Steve Clemons:

    “Progressive think-tank expert and Atlantic writer Steve Clemons decreed that if the DOJ’s accusations are true, then ”the US has reached a point where it must take action” and “this is time for a significant strategic response to the Iran challenge in the Middle East and globally,” which “could involve military.”

    Personally I quit reading him the day I saw his sell out…knew he had been castrated:

    TWN
    Monday, Dec 13 2010, 9:52AM
    In some of the comments posted in earlier entries, a mentor of mine posted a note to me:
    Steve, I have followed The Washington Note periodically and have been increasingly concerned to see in the “Comments” how your website has attracted progressively more and stronger reactions of the vilest racist kind in response to your repeated, usually reasonable but sometimes strident attacks on Israeli policy and critiques of US failure to toughen up its policy on the “peace process.”
    Of course, opposition to Israeli policy and anti-Semitism are hardly the same thing, but the Comments on your site are often obscuring the difference. I hope you realize that you are providing “acceptable” space for some truly hateful rantings. With “friends” like these that you are attracting, you don’t need enemies.
    Disappointed, a one-time mentor’

    Make no mistake…we are deja vu-ing Iraq WMD’s all over again. DC had to have something other than going to war for Israel to sell to the public and this is the beginning of the ploys, expect more.

    • POA
      October 12, 2011, 10:25 pm

      Ah yes, then he scapegoated ME as the reason behind his closure of the comment section. Never mind that I have a number of emails from him assuring me that my style of commenting was perfectly alright with him.

      Yes, it WAS a sell out, and the Atlantic now owns him, lock, stock, and barrel.

  26. Kathleen
    October 12, 2011, 1:19 pm

    Maddow brought up the “alleged” checks written to Manssor Arbabsiar. Is Stuart Levey still the Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence?

    This sure all smells fishy. We can be certain that the FBI will not be checking into any meetings that Ledeen, Gerecht, Woolsey, Pollack, Micheal Rubin may have had with these fellows.

    How can they expect any semi informed people to believe them when they claim these things about Iran or anyone else Israel or the neo cons want to take out? And when will Maddow, Chris Matthews etc ask any logical and sceptical questions about the sources , the credibility?

    Follow those checks

    • Theo
      October 13, 2011, 9:07 am

      As I understand the deal, there were no written checks, but an electronic transfer between banks, going through NYC.
      In this case you cannot find who sent the money, only the source bank and perhaps an account, if the sender was stupid enough to leave such a trace.

  27. annie
    October 12, 2011, 2:58 pm

    Spencer Ackerman

    It’s a fusion-cuisine salad bar of U.S. security anxieties. Crazy Iranian terrorists and violent Mexican narcotraffickers. No wonder FBI Director Robert Mueller called the plot straight out of Hollywood.

  28. seanmcbride
    October 12, 2011, 4:02 pm

    There can be no doubt now that Barack Obama is fully under the control of the same neoconservative wing of the Israel lobby that controlled the Bush/Cheney administration, destroyed its credibility and drove it (and the American economy) into the ditch. Apparently breaking Obama and whipping him into shape was a piece of cake for the neocons and their billionaire allies and associates in the Democratic Party.

    In every confrontation with Benjamin Netanyahu, Avigdor Lieberman, Likud, extremist Israeli settlers and AIPAC, Obama has retreated with his tail between his legs. If the Israel lobby commands Obama to attack Iran, do you have any doubt that he will obey and comply?

    This current manufactured excitement about Iran has the look and feel of the psyops that were deployed in the run-up to the Iraq War. And it has been given Barack Obama’s seal of approval.

    Sean McBride
    http://friendfeed.com/seanmcbride
    http://friendfeed.com/mideast-politics

  29. seanmcbride
    October 12, 2011, 4:32 pm

    A claim that should be looked into:

    http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/10/iranian-plot-in-us-more-info.html#

    “The Iranian plot in the US: more info”

    BEGIN QUOTE

    Well, Gulf students in Texas area have come up with an important detail about the accused. Apparently, he was an opponent of the Iranian regime. So wait: we have a new important detail. The Iranian government contacted an opponent of the regime to undertake an assassination and bombing plot in the US. So he went and sought the help of drug gangs in Mexico. OK. It is now making more sense.

    END QUOTE

    • MHughes976
      October 12, 2011, 5:04 pm

      They will say that he masqueraded as an opponent of the regime for the benefit of gullible students. That’s the fiendish cunning we have come to expect.

    • piotr
      October 12, 2011, 10:57 pm

      I think that Arbabsiar had to claim to be an opponent of the Iranian regime to stay in USA. Other stories claim that he was a crappy businessman, not-so-good used car salesman. So he could be in some deep financial troubles and easy to manipulate. Someone capable of making 100k wire transfer did the manipulation.

      The plot itself does not look like something done by a state-run intelligence agency. The most problematic element is hiring “local help”: I recall only two stories of that nature, and they are connected with Chechen warlord/president Kadyrov who clearly (a) does not command resources of Iran (b) his people knew what thugs they can hire, both in Vienna and Dubai, (c) secrecy was clearly a secondary consideration when one element of the hit was to leave a gold-plated pistol (it amounts to a business card of Mr. Kadyrov). It was clearly not the case of an Kadyrov’s agent scouring the bars and other places to find some assassin, or trying to find some gang with no prior contacts.

      In other words, I cannot recall ANY precedent for such a plot.

      Notably, Kadyrov was pursuing personal opponents, which follows another pattern: almost all assassinations by state agencies are of regime opponents, “traitors” if you will. Assassinating traitors can make a difference in the progress of anti-regime conspiracies. Assassinating foreign officials — not so much.

  30. Remax
    October 12, 2011, 10:12 pm

    This alleged Iranian plot looks like a piece of duct tape designed to patch US/Saudi relations following the fallout over the Palestinian UN bid. It is not supposed to be taken seriously, just to give the Saudis a face saving route back into the US bed.

  31. seanmcbride
    October 13, 2011, 11:18 am

    Regarding the discussion among eee and others about Israel’s ability to fend off military threats:

    The conversation is missing an important point: Jewish extremists are a much greater threat to the continuing existence of Israel than the military forces of Arab and Muslim nations.

    In fact, it is arguable that Jewish extremists have already guaranteed that Israel down the road will suffer a total cultural and political collapse, after radically alienating the Western democratic world.

    It will not be necessary to fire a single shot to take down Israel.

    For some time I have supported the Mideast peace process to help avert this worst-case scenario. Now, after realizing that the Israeli “left” was all along working in cahoots with Likud and Greater Israelists to stall and obstruct the peace process indefinitely, I don’t much care. Israel has made its bed, etc.

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