Monday, February 06, 2006
The left and selective intelligence.
Our friends on the left are apoplectic over the thought of a military response to Iran's approaching nuclear weapon. According to someone named Philip Giraldi at the American Conservative in August of 2005, the Bush administration is planning a nuclear attack on Iran to coincide with a 9/11 type attack on the U.S. (The American Conservative is the neo-isolationist webzine co-founded by Pat "Better in the Original German" Buchanan.)
In Washington it is hardly a secret that the same people in and around the administration who brought you Iraq are preparing to do the same for Iran. The Pentagon, acting under instructions from Vice President Dick Cheney’s office, has tasked the United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM) with drawing up a contingency plan to be employed in response to another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the United States. The plan includes a large-scale air assault on Iran employing both conventional and tactical nuclear weapons. Within Iran there are more than 450 major strategic targets, including numerous suspected nuclear-weapons-program development sites. Many of the targets are hardened or are deep underground and could not be taken out by conventional weapons, hence the nuclear option. As in the case of Iraq, the response is not conditional on Iran actually being involved in the act of terrorism directed against the United States. Several senior Air Force officers involved in the planning are reportedly appalled at the implications of what they are doing—that Iran is being set up for an unprovoked nuclear attack—but no one is prepared to damage his career by posing any objections.The obvious flaw in this argument being that the military always draws up contingency plans for any given scenario and the would not be told what would be a triggering event for implimentation of that plan. That would be a political decision. IOW, beyond their pay grade.
Buchanan has thrown his hat in with the loony left over the Iraq war and has flirted with the Hitler wasn't such a bad guy crowd in the past. Buchanan is giving way too much respect on the right which is embarrassing. Naturally, the neo-isolationists and the anti-war left have made common cause and feed off each other. This piece of intelligence appears to be a canard. Did Dick Cheney tell a high level military official that the plan was to attack Iran with nukes using the next terror attack as an excuse? The problem is that you can't prove this to be false. What you can do is say that this scenario is extraoridinarily unlikely. Cheney would have to be a boob of the first order to say, "Hey we want to nuke Iran a.s.a.p. so draw up that plan."
Of course when the left is confronted with intelligence that refutes one of their cherished beliefs, there were no WMDs in Iraq and Bush knew that and lied about it, then they become skeptics.
Nothing wrong with asking these questions. In fact, these, and others, must be answered in order to give Sada's claims credibility. But let's not jump to conclusions. Sada has claimed he heard this from two Iraqi pilots who can be tracked down. The specifications about the Boeing airplanes can be assertained. These are facts that can be verified. These are not anonymous sources in the Pentagon. I imagine that some intrepid reporter is working on these details at this moment. (From Reuters, hahahaha.)
First of all, in evaluating this claim, we have to take into account things that don't fit the facts. First of all, we don't even know what these WMD's supposedly were. How would we be able to fit them into a Boeing plane? If we are talking massive rockets or tubes, then it would be impossible to fit them into a commercial airliner, because the doors would simply not be wide enough for them to fit inside of a commercial airliner. Remember that Sada alleges that these were civilian aircraft.
Secondly of all, there were only two aircraft being used and 56 total flights (supposedly) between the two of them. It defies reason to suggest that merely 56 flights would be enough to get a whole country's WMD program out of Iraq into Syria without detection of any kind. Given the massive nature of the WMD program that Bush and Powell so hyped up, it would be impossible for Saddam to smuggle all of the evidence for his programs in just 56 flights in aircraft not designed for the purpose.
Thirdly of all, this tall tale defies the laws of physics. How could you smuggle these labs, alumunum tubes, rockets, and other such WMD's out of Iraq without weighing down the plane so much that it could not fly?
Sada might turn out to be wrong. That is something I think most people on the right are willing to accept. We want to know the truth about WMDs as much as the left. No scratch that. They want to have their preconceptions reinforced. For me, it doesn't matter whether WMDs are found or not. Sure it would be nice to have a "I told you so moment" but that would not change anything about what we are trying to accomplish on the ground in Iraq which is a peaceful, democratic government which was one if not the most important goal of the invasion. Yup, bringing democracy to Iraq was why we invaded. Bush said this before the invasion and after and we continue to see progress every day. Boy that must hurt.