Talk Nation Radio for July 29, 2010
Gareth Porter Triages MidEast News, to include plan for an Iran Attack?
Investigative historian and journalist Gareth Porter joins us as we discuss his recent stories in Inter Press Service News, and US intelligence strategies that could include an attack on Iran. Special interests in the US and Israel have been working to change public opinion to facilitate an attack on Iran despite intelligence that indicates that this is neither necessary nor wise.
--According to Gareth Porter, the controversial scientist claiming to have been kidnapped by the CIA, Shahram Amiri, was actually a 'walk in' to the CIA, a likely double agent, and he actually told the CIA that Iran has no nuclear bomb programme.
Yet, militant forces within the U.S. Military and Intelligence apparatus and Israel want the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate rewritten to show Iran as more of a threat.
Gareth Porter explains that Shahram Amiri, who returned to Iran via Pakistan, was here to be turned into the new 'Curveball,' an Ahmed Chalabi-like source who would have offered information about an Iranian WMD program. He didn't fit the bill.
Gareth Porter writes in his Inter Press story (July 19, 2010) that: ‘Contrary to a news media narrative that Iranian scientist Shahram Amiri has provided intelligence on covert Iranian nuclear weapons work, CIA sources familiar with the Amiri case say he told his CIA handlers that there is no such Iranian nuclear weapons programme, according to a former CIA officer'. IPS Story here.
'Philip Giraldi, a former CIA counterterrorism official, told IPS that his sources are CIA officials with direct knowledge of the entire Amiri operation’. Gareth Porter's July 19, 2010 story on Amiri here.
Produced by Dori Smith in Storrs, Connecticut and Syndicated Nationally with Pacifica Network
Download at Pacifica's Audioport here and at Archive.org and Radio4all.net (More of our interview with Gareth Porter next week.)
Investigative historian and journalist Gareth Porter's articles appear regularly in Inter Press Service and other news outlets. He specializes in U.S. national security policy and is author of the book, "Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam".
Gareth Porter discusses several of his most recent stories in Inter Press News Service on US intelligence and military policy in the Middle East. He also lets Talk Nation Radio listeners know of his decision to write a new book about U.S. military strategies that rely on preconceived notions about Iran. The assumptions have been carefully cultivated by special interests, especially but not only AIPAC.
Gareth Porter also scrutinizes an April story by Joby Warrick and Greg Miller who claimed that Shahram Amiri had provided sensitive information about a long-hidden Iranian uranium-enrichment plant. Their source was actually the political arm of the MEK, Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK), classified by the US State Department as a terrorist organization. MEK has a stated aim of toppling the Iranian government. Interestingly, the US reconsidered their classification as a terrorist organization recently. Recently their status as a terrorist group was reconsidered.
Listen to Part 1 from last week by clicking below or go here for downloads.
GARETH PORTER, ON CURVEBALL and AMIRI:
July 27, 2010 to Talk Nation Radio during interview with Dori Smith:
'They did indeed apparently hope for the kind of revelations that 'Curveball', this former Iraqi official who claimed to have personal knowledge of Saddam’s mobile bio-weapons labs which of course turned out not to exist; They hoped for somebody like that who could provide, if not personally, then lead them to somebody who could provide that kind of personal testimony about Iranian covert nuclear weapons work. Instead of course what they got was somebody who said gee I don’t really have personal knowledge but the folks that I talk to who are nuclear scientists say no, there is nothing like that going on'.
'So obviously a bitter disappointment all around for the CIA and even more so and more importantly a bitter disappointment for those political forces who were putting pressure on the CIA to do exactly this, to come up with a ‘Curveball’, and then I’m talking here about you know not only the Israelis the European three, the UK, Germany and France who have lined up solidly with the Israeli position saying that yes we’re sure that Iran is hell bent to get nuclear weapons, and have bent their own intelligence reporting and analysis to conform to that conclusion to that sort of preconceived idea about the Iranian program, and I’m talking as well about officials and political figures in the United States who have been pushing for a revision of the National Intelligence Estimate ever since it came out in 2007, as well as the quality news media'.
'The Washington Post and the New York Times, particularly the New York Times being the worst offenders here, continuing to write stories that, month after month year after year, hammer away at the theme that its obvious that this 2007 NIE was wrong, that it was politicized, that it must have been that the CIA was trying to use the Intelligence Estimate to force the Bush administration not to carry out a military option against Iran and so forth'.
'All of these forces I think, have been working, not so much in a conspiratorial manner, not that there are secret meetings you know that sort of plot the next steps week by week month by month, but rather working from the same set of biases about the Iranian program which spring from the entire history of the western world, and particularly the American mistakes in its view of Iran and its nuclear program going back all the way to the beginning of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
There is a whole history there that really needs to be subject to a revision, which is by the way something that I’m hoping to do in a book that I’m starting to work on'.
We also asked Gareth Porter about the general importance of the office of Director of National Intelligence, an office held by Dennis C. Blair until recently. On Thursday July 29th, shortly after our interview with Gareth Porter, Retired Air Force lieutenant General and Defense Department intelligence chief James Clapper was confirmed as Blair’s replacement. Clapper famously asserted in 2003 that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had moved weapons to Syria. Iraq did not have WMD according to later reports.
We hear a clip of Clapper being questioned by Senator Levin during confirmation hearings as he discusses confusion about order of command issues, the fact that the DCI, Director of Central Intelligence, reports information to the National Intelligence Director.
Underwriting for this program was brought to you by JeremyRHammond.com, political analysis from outside the standard framework. Jeremy R. Hammond is founder and editor of ForeignPolicyJournal.com and a recipient of the Project Censored 2010 Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism for his work covering Israel's assault on Gaza and the U.S. role. He has been a guest on Talk Nation Radio to discuss the 2009 presidential election in Iran and its aftermath. (More from Hammond on Iran here.) RECENT stories at JeremyRHammond.com, include an analysis of the legality of Israel's naval blockade of Gaza and the attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla that left 9 Turkish peace activists dead.