Thursday, August 23, 2007

Another day, another assessment of the likelihood of an Iran attack

Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern offers still grim view of likely attack on nuclear attack. Certainly not the first time we have reported this story, but it shows hows monomaniacal the Bush Cabal has been in involving the US in another failed war.

Bush League War Drums Beating Louder on Iran

by Ray McGovern

It is as though I’m back as an analyst at the CIA, trying to estimate the chances of an attack on Iran. The putative attacker, though, happens to be our own president.

It is precisely the kind of work we analysts used to do. And, while it is still a bit jarring to be turning our analytical tools on the U.S. leadership, it is by no means entirely new. For, of necessity, we Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) have been doing that for almost six years now—ever since 9/11, when “everything changed.”

Of necessity? Yes, because, with very few exceptions, American journalists put their jobs at grave risk if they expose things like fraudulent wars.

The craft of CIA analysis was designed to be an all-source operation, meaning that we analysts were responsible—and held accountable—for assimilating information from all sources and coming to judgments on what it all meant. We used data of various kinds, from the most sophisticated technical collection platforms, to spies, to—not least—open media.

Here I must reveal a trade secret and risk puncturing the mystique of intelligence analysis. Generally speaking, 80 percent of the information one needs to form judgments on key intelligence targets or issues is available in open media. It helps to have been trained—as my contemporaries and I had the good fortune to be trained—by past masters of the discipline of media analysis, which began in a structured way in targeting Japanese and German media in the 1940s. But, truth be told, anyone with a high school education can do it. It is not rocket science.

Reporting From Informants
The above is in no way intended to minimize the value of intelligence collection by CIA case officers recruiting and running clandestine agents. For, though small in percentage of the whole nine yards available to be analyzed, information from such sources can often make a crucial contribution. Consider, for example, the daring recruitment in mid-2002 of Saddam Hussein’s foreign minister, Naji Sabri, who was successfully “turned” into working for the CIA and quickly established his credibility. Sabri told us there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

My former colleagues, perhaps a bit naively, were quite sure this would come as a welcome relief to President George W. Bush and his advisers. Instead, they were told that the White House had no further interest in reporting from Sabri; rather, that the issue was not really WMD, it was “regime change.” (Don’t feel embarrassed if you did not know this; although it is publicly available, our corporate- owned, war profiteering media has largely suppressed this key story.)

One former colleague, operations officer-par-excellence Robert Baer, now reports (in this week’s Time) that, according to his sources, the Bush/Cheney administration is winding up for a strike on Iran;” that the administration’s plan to put Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps on the terrorism list points in the direction of such a strike; and that the delusional “neo-conservative” thinking that still guides White House policy concludes that such an attack would lead to the fall of the clerics and the rise of a more friendly Iran.

Hold on, it gets even worse: Baer’s sources tell him that administration officials are thinking “as long as we have bombers and missiles in the air, we will hit Iran’s nuclear facilities.”

Article continues here

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