Today: Marcy Wheeler, Grant F. Smith, Ted Snider
February 15, 2014 FFF, ISFL, Washington DC
The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare
Since the middle of December yall have spent almost $10,000 at Amazon.com by way of scotthorton.org/amazon, resulting in about $500 worth of kickbacks to the show from them.
Thanks very much yall! I sure appreciate it.
Part of being an American today is being trained to be afraid all of the time and to want people all over the world killed for us in order to feel save. Our TV tells us to be scared of the entire world and that we live under constant danger.
This fear is the glue that now holds our system of government together. It makes us loyal to the government and also enables the military-industrial complex to make a lot of money.
It is this fear that makes so many of us willing to sit there as the Bill of Rights become eroded and replaced by a total surveillance national security deep state.
And it enables people like those in this video to make money off of our tax dollars:
There are two groups that essentially control the US government – Wall Street bankers and military-contractors.
These are the corporations that fund our Congress and represent their biggest donors.
Half the people in Congress are bothered by NSA programs, but half of them support them and many refuse to do anything about them in fear that they will lose their donor money. They sit there as the Bill of Rights is eroded and seem to care nothing about it.
Through the influence of Wall Street over the Federal Reserve we live in a situation in which the US economy has been devastated by crazy boom and bust monetary policies that are sending the nation towards an ultimate inflation explosion.
At the same time the defense contractors do not live in a free market in which prices are dictated by normal market forces of supply and demand, but in a state socialist system for the rich that acts as a parasite on the real economy and sucks the life out of the system.
To make us worship this system and thereby remain unquestionably obedient to it we must always be presented with an enemy to fear and hate.
I grew up during the Cold War and once it ended we had no real enemy for a few years.
During that time forces inside the Pentagon searched for a new mission and new enemy to position themselves against.
They first tried to position themselves as drug warriors. In the months after the invasion of Panama some in the Pentagon wanted to tool the army as a force to intervene throughout Central and South America to fight drug wars.
That move didn’t last long as a better idea came to the forefront – protecting the United States against “rogue states” and nations trying to create weapons of mass destruction. At the same time people inside the intelligence community tried to position themselves as people protecting the nation against terrorists.
The latter people didn’t do a very good job of this as they dropped their pants in the weeks leading up to the 9/11 terror attacks.
Saddam though provided a great villain enemy for all of us to fear and hate.
So Bush got him!
And terror boys in Afghanistan got smashed too.
That war is now winding down.
But we must always have an enemy to hate and fear so we can always be mobilized and loyal to the government and dependent on it for our survival… and crave more weapon spending out of our pockets.
And the truth is there is a segment of all populations that love to worship the government they are a citizen or subject of for the sense of belonging it gives them just as sports fans enjoy cheering their favorite team. History shows that these type of people will support any war or any killing on their behalf and will believe any form of propaganda that is fed to them. They love to have an enemy to hate. It doesn’t matter to them if that enemy is inside their nation or outside their nation or weak or strong. They must have their enemy.
So Iran today plays that role for them – and the big message pounded into our heads on Fox News and MSNC is that it is developing nuclear weapons and wants to destroy Israel.
Yes there are threats in the world. Iran is not our friend, but the threat and danger it represents is vastly overstated in the US media.
According to the CIA Iran has no nuclear weapons program at all and yet talking heads appear on American TV every day proclaiming that they have one. Many of these talking heads are flat out paid by defense lobby groups or militaristic political action committees to spread this message. Many were chickenhawks who never served in the military themselves – many avoided service in the Vietnam War – and yet they always promote wars for others to fight in when they never would have done so when they were younger. They pushed for the war in Iraq and many of them pushed for a war in Syria last year.
How many times have you been told in the past ten years that we were just a few months away from Israel bombing Iran and a new big war starting? I probably have gotten a hundred emails over the years from people asking what will happen to the stock market if Israel attacks Iran. None of this was ever going to happen. These war scares happened several times and every time it was a disinformation lie told to you.
In reality this Iran story is more fantasy than reality as investigative reporter and historian Gareth Porter details in his new book Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of The Iran Nuclear Scare.
If you want to learn about the world and go beyond sound bite TV check out this book by going here.
by Gareth Porter, February 22, 2014
The Barack Obama administration’s insistence that Iran discuss its ballistic missile program in the negotiations for a comprehensive nuclear agreement brings its position into line with that of Israel and senators who introduced legislation drafted by the pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC aimed at torpedoing the negotiations.
But the history of the issue suggests that the Obama administration knows that Iran will not accept the demand and that it is not necessary to a final agreement guaranteeing that Iran’s nuclear program is not used for a weapon.
White House spokesman Jay Carney highlighted the new U.S. demand in a statement Wednesday that the Iranians “have to deal with matters related to their ballistic missile program.”
Carney cited United Nations Security Council resolution 1929, approved in 2010, which prohibited any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including missile launches. “So that’s completely agreed by Iran in the Joint Plan of Action,” he added.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif not only explicitly contradicted Carney’s claim that Iran had agreed to discuss ballistic missiles but warned that a US demand for discussion of its missile program would violate a red line for Iran.
“Nothing except Iran’s nuclear activities will be discussed in the talks with the [six powers known as the P5+1], and we have agreed on it,” he said, according to Iran’s IRNA.
The pushback by Zarif implies that the US position would seriously risk the breakdown of the negotiations if the Obama administration were to persist in making the demand.
Contrary to Carney’s statement, the topic of ballistic missiles is not part of the interim accord reached last November. The Joint Plan of Action refers only to “addressing the UN Security Council resolutions, with a view toward bringing to a satisfactory conclusion the UN Security Council’s consideration of this matter” and the formation of a “Joint Commission” which would “work with the IAEA to facilitate resolution of past and present issues of concern”.
It is not even clear that the US side took the position in the talks last fall that Iran’s missile program had to be on the table in order to complete a final agreement. But in any event it was not part of the Joint Plan of Action agreed on Nov. 24.
Past US statements on the problem of the Security Council resolutions indicate that the administration had previously acknowledged that no agreement had been reached to negotiate on ballistic missiles and that it had not originally intended to press for discussions on the issue.
The “senior administration officials” who briefed journalists on the Joint Plan of Action last November made no reference to ballistic missiles at all. They referred only to “possible military dimensions” of the Iranian nuclear program and to “Iranian activities at Parchin”.
The demand for negotiations on Iran’s missile program originated with Israel, both directly and through Senate Foreign Relations Committee members committed to AIPAC’s agenda.
Citing an unnamed senior Israeli official, Ha’aretz reported Thursday that Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs Yuval Steinitz had met with Sherman and senior French and British foreign ministry officials before the start of the February talks and had emphasized that Iran’s missile program“must be part of the agenda” for negotiation of a final agreement.
By early December, however, Israel was engaged in an even more direct effort to pressure the administration to make that demand, drafting a bill that explicitly included among its provisions one that would have required new sanctions unless the president certified that “Iran has not conducted any tests for ballistic missiles with a range exceeding 500 kilometers.”
Since Iran had obviously tested missiles beyond that limit long ago, it would have made it impossible for Obama to make such a certification.
Although the bill was stopped, at least temporarily, in the Senate when enough Democratic members refused to support it, Republicans on the committee continued to attack the administration’s negotiating position, and began singling out the administration’s tolerance of Iranian missiles in particular.
At a Feb. 4 Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, the ranking Republican on the Committee, Sen. Robert Corker, ranking Republican on the Committee, ripped into Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman, the chief US negotiator in the nuclear talks with Iran.
After a highly distorted picture of Iran’s readiness to build a nuclear weapon, Corker asked, “Why did you all not in this agreement in any way address the delivery mechanisms, the militarizing of nuclear arms? Why was that left off since they breached a threshold everyone acknowledges?”
But instead of correcting Corker’s highly distorted characterization of the situation, Sherman immediately reassured him that the administration would do just what he wanted them to do.
Sherman admitted that the November agreement covering the next months had not “shut down all the production of any ballistic missile that could have anything to do with delivery of a nuclear weapon.” Then she added, “But that is indeed something that has to be addressed as part of a comprehensive agreement.”
Sherman also suggested at one point that there would be no real need to prohibit any Iranian missile if the negotiations on the nuclear program were successful. “Not having a nuclear weapon,” she said, “makes delivery systems almost — not wholly, but almost — irrelevant.”
That admission underlined the wholly political purpose of the administration’s apparent embrace of the Israeli demand that Iran negotiate limits on its ballistic missiles.
The Obama administration may be seeking to take political credit for a hard line on Iranian missiles in the knowledge that it will not be able to get a consensus for that negotiating position among the group of six powers negotiating with Iran.
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Rybakov clearly implied that Moscow would not support such a demand in a statement Thursday that Russia “considers that a comprehensive agreement must concern only and exclusively the restoration of trust in a purely peaceful intention of Iran’s nuclear program.”
Although US, European and Israeli officials have asserted consistently over the years that Iran’s medium-range ballistic missiles are designed to carry nuclear weapons, Israel’s foremost expert on the Iranian nuclear program, Uzi Rubin, who managed Israel’s missile defense program throughout the 1990s, has argued that the conventional analysis was wrong.
In an interview with the hardline anti-Iran Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control in September 2009, Rubin said, “The Iranians believe in conventional missiles. Not just for saturation but also to take out specific targets…. Remember, they have practically no air force to do it. Their main striking power is based on missiles.”
Since 2008, the International Atomic Energy Agency has accused Iran of working on integrating a nuclear weapon into the Shahab-3 missile reentry vehicle in 2002-2003, based on a set of drawings in a set of purported Iranian documents. The documents were said by the George W. Bush administration to have come from the purloined laptop of a participant in an alleged Iranian nuclear weapons research program.
But that account turned to be a falsehood, as were other variants on the origins of the document. The documents actually came from the Mujahedin-e-Khalq, the anti-regime organization then listed as a terrorist organization by the US State Department, according to two German sources.
Karsten Voigt, who was the German foreign office coordinator, publicly warned about the MEK provenance of the papers in a November 2004 interview with the Wall Street Journal.
Voigt, who retired from the foreign office in 2010, recounted the story of how an MEK member delivered the papers to German intelligence in 2004 in an interview last year for a newly-published book by this writer.
Gareth Porter, an investigative historian and journalist specializing in US national security policy, received the UK-based Gellhorn Prize for journalism for 2011 for articles on the US war in Afghanistan. His new book Manufactured Crisis: the Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare, was published Feb. 14.
Inter Press Service
US Homeland Security says Israeli arms dealers have been sending spare military jet parts to Iran in breach of sanctions
Israeli arms dealers twice tried to send spare parts for fighter planes to Iran, The Telegraph has established, flouting an international arms embargo and openly contradicting the bitter enmity between the Jewish state and the Islamic regime.
The illegal shipments are now being investigated by the US Homeland Security Department after they were intercepted by authorities in Greece.
The potentially explosive revelation came as six world powers resumed negotiations with Iran in Vienna aimed at reaching a long-term agreement over Tehran’s nuclear programme.
Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, marked the event with a renewed call for increased pressure on Iran to force it to abandon a programme that Israel regards as a front for building an atomic bomb and a threat to its existence.
Visiting the Golan Heights on Tuesday, he accused Iran of “arming those who are carrying out the slaughter” in neighbouring Syria.
“I would like to tell the world, today, as the talks between the major powers and Iran are being resumed, that Iran has changed neither its aggressive policy nor its brutal character. Iran is continuing to support the Assad regime, which is slaughtering its own people,” Mr Netanyahu said.
But a court in Athens has told The Telegraph that parts appearing on an American list of forbidden military-grade materials had been shipped from Israel on two occasions, apparently destined for Iran.
The seized items comprised spare parts for military aircraft: a constant speed drive designed for the F-4 Phantom jet, and a voltage output sensor used in the F-14 Tomcat.
The parts were confiscated by Greece’s financial crimes squad and were being sent to the US for investigation, court officials said.
The defence and foreign ministries in Israel declined to comment on the seizures, which were first revealed by Kathimerini, a Greek newspaper.
The shipments – one in Dec 2012 and the other last April – were sent by courier from the Israeli town of Binyamina-Givat Ada, near Haifa, via a company in Greece, the newspaper reported.
The firm was later established to be a ghost company. Its contact number was said to belong to a British national in the Greek city of Thessaloniki, who could not be traced.
Israeli media carried only brief versions of the report, suggesting that the matter may be subject to the country’s strict military censorship.
Writing in Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel’s biggest-selling newspaper, Alex Fishman, a military-affairs commentator, suggested that the report may have been leaked by US officials as a coded warning to Israel not to try to sabotage the nuclear negotiations with Iran, which were continuing yesterday.
A blogger, Richard Silverstein pointed the finger at two possible culprits who he said were well-known arms dealers living in Binyamina-Givat Ada. The pair had come to the attention of Israeli and US authorities on suspicion of violating the arms embargo on Iran in the past, Silverstein wrote, but had never been charged or prosecuted. “There can be no doubt that they are colluding with Israeli intelligence,” he added.
Previous illicit Israeli arms shipments to Iran have come to the public attention, notably in the 1986 Iran-Contra scandal, when it emerged that Israel was acting as a conduit to send weapons to from the US to Iran in exchange for its help in winning the release of American hostages held in Lebanon.
In 1998, an Israeli court sentenced Nahum Manbar, a businessman and former decorated soldier, to 16 years in prison after he was convicted of secretly selling Iran equipment to make chemical weapons.
Iran’s ageing fleets of up to 75 US-made F-4 Phantoms and 19 F-14 Tomcats were purchased under the Shah, when the country was close to Washington. Israel, once the largest foreign operator of the Phantom, retired its last F-4s in 2004, suggesting that the spare sold may have been second hand. The Pentagon stopped selling spare parts for the F-14 in 2007, fearing that they might end up in Iran, the only country where the F14 is still in operation.
The US later shredded its own fleet to ensure that spare parts could not be acquired. Iran’s need of equipment for its Tomcats was exposed in Jan 2012 when one crashed shortly after take-off, killing both crew members.