By Jason Leopold
t r u t h o u t | Report Monday 05 November 2007
While Dick Cheney has been talking tough over the years about Iran’s alleged nuclear activities, the vice president has been quietly pursuing nuclear ambitions of his own.
For more than two years, Cheney and a relatively unknown administration official, Deputy Energy Secretary Clay Sell, have been regularly visiting the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to ensure agency officials rewrite regulatory policies and bypass public hearings in order to streamline the licensing process for energy companies that have filed applications to build new nuclear power reactors, as well as applications for new nuclear facilities that are expected to be filed by other companies in the months ahead, longtime NRC officials said.
Before being sworn in as deputy energy secretary in March 2005, Sell, a lawyer whose roots extend to Bush’s home state of Texas, was a White House lobbyist working on energy issues. He had also participated in secret meetings with Cheney’s Energy Task Force.
In April, Sell and Cheney had both met with NRC officials to sign off on the final regulatory policies related to new nuclear reactors. Following the meeting, Sell had alerted a group of energy companies they could begin to take advantage of the faster application process, NRC officials said.
NRC officials said that Cheney has expressed a desire to see applications for nuclear reactor projects approved by the NRC when he and Bush leave the White House in January 2009.
Bush and Cheney are steering the U.S. into a collapse. Only strong public voices by influential people can prevent the coming disaster. We desperately need for men and women who are known to the public and have credibility to speak up in the critical period ahead to avoid catastrophe.
- A few weeks ago, Israel bombed a alleged nuclear facility in Syria. This is a warm-up for an attack on Iran.
- In the last few days, the U.S. unilaterally tightened sanctions on Iran. Russia and China do not support this move.
- A week ago Bush warned Iran that its attainment of nuclear arms would lead to World War III.
- Russia, which has been assisting Iran in its nuclear construction program for decades, regards Western military action against Iran as unacceptable.
- China has been arming Iran with missiles. Its relations with Iran have been improving for years.
We know that Bush and Cheney are capable of pre-emptive attack. We know that Bush will act if he believes he is right no matter what the costs are. In his distorted worldview, Iran with nuclear weapons is a scenario worth any cost to avoid.
We know that Bush, Cheney, and Rice have repeatedly warned Iran of meaningful consequences if Iran arms itself with nuclear weapons. We know that their terms in office end in 15 months. These are the critical months.
But it is by no means clear that the front-running candidates for office who may replace them hold substantially different views. Hillary Clinton has publicly called for sanctions against Iran and has called Iran a threat to Israel.
Why may an unprovoked attack on Iran lead to WWIII and why may it lead to the collapse of the U.S.?
Sunday September 30, 2007
John Bolton: ‘I think we have to look at a limited strike against their nuclear facilities.’ Photograph Win McNamee/Getty Images.
John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the United Nations, told Tory delegates today that efforts by the UK and the EU to negotiate with Iran had failed and that he saw no alternative to a pre-emptive strike on suspected nuclear facilities in the country.Mr Bolton, who was addressing a fringe meeting organised by Lord (Michael) Ancram, said that the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was “pushing out” and “is not receiving adequate push-back” from the west.
Just an interesting bit of information.
Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadi Nejad was born in 1956 in the village of Aradan in the city of Garmsar. He moved and stayed in Tehran together with his family while he was still one-year old and completed his primary as well as his low and high secondary education there. In 1975, he successfully passed the university entrance exam with high marks and started his academic studies on the subject of civil engineering in the Science and Technology University in Tehranp>
by Michel ChossudovskyIn late August, reported by the Military Times, a US Air Force B-52 bomber flew from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana with six AGM advanced cruise missiles, each of which was armed with a W-80-1 nuclear warhead. “… Missiles were mounted on the pylons under its wings. Each of the warheads carried a yield of up to 150 kilotons, more than ten times as powerful as the US bomb that leveled Hiroshima at the close of the Second World War.”
Before the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, discussion of Iraqi oil was largely taboo in the American mainstream, while the “No Blood for Oil” signs that dotted antiwar demonstrations were generally derisively dismissed as too simpleminded for serious debate. American officials rarely even mentioned the word “oil” in the same sentence with “Iraq.” When President Bush referred to Iraqi oil, he spoke only of preserving that country’s “patrimony” for its people, a sentiment he and Great Britain’s Prime Minister Tony Blair emphasized in a statement they issued that lacked either the words “oil” or “energy” just as Baghdad fell: “We reaffirm our commitment to protect Iraq’s natural resources, as the patrimony of the people of Iraq, which should be used only for their benefit.”
That May, not long after the President declared “major combat” at an end in Iraq, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz did point out the obvious — that Iraq was a country that “floats on a sea of oil.” He also told a Congressional panel: “The oil revenue of that country could bring between 50 and 100 billion dollars over the course of the next two or three years. We’re dealing with a country that could really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.”
But his relatively obscure comments, as well as his oil-based miscalculations, passed largely unnoticed in the mainstream. Had Iraq then produced a significant percentage of the globe’s toys rather than possessing the planet’s third largest oil reserves, the pre-war media would undoubtedly have been chock-a-block full of worried discussions about our children and the coming video drought; on the other hand, that there might have been any significant connections between the motivations of top administration officials planning an invasion and global oil flows or the garrisoning of the oil heartlands of the planet was clearly a laughable thought. It didn’t matter that our Vice President, when the CEO of a major energy firm, had worried quite publicly about global energy supplies, that our President had failed in the oil business, and that our national security advisor had once had a Chevron double-hulled oil tanker, the Condoleezza Rice, named in her honor. Now, it turns out that, among the simpleminded was former Federal Reserve head Alan Greenspan.
When you see one person and nation being demonised, you have to assume that it is for a purpose. It is time for some perspective: why should we take it for granted that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the supreme evil being and a superklutz at the same time?
The ungracious introduction to Ahmadinejad’s talk by Lee Bollinger, the Columbia University president, read more like a plea to Fox News and the ADL to give him a break for not calling off the event. Think of all the people who took umbrage at President Bush’s intellect and morals being belittled last year. Did Bollinger not realize that he was doing Hugo Chavez imitations?
As the born-again atheist author of Rum, and a not infrequent imbiber, I am no great fan of Ahmadinejad. But he was elected by a much clearer majority, with a much bigger turnout, than his equally religious, teetotalling colleague President Bush. And for those impressed by that sort of thing, the Iranian president volunteered for the front in the war against Saddam Hussein – in contrast to Bush, who dodged the draft, and most of the present White House team, who were then enthusiastic backers of Saddam.
By Sebastian Alison and Henry Meyer
Sept. 18 (Bloomberg) — A U.S. military strike on Iran would have “catastrophic consequences,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov said.
“Bomb attacks on Iran would be a wrong move leading to catastrophic consequences,” Losyukov said in an interview with newspaper Vremya Novostei, published on the ministry’s Web site.
Losyukov’s remarks come two days after French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said the world should “prepare for the worst” in the crisis over Iran’s nuclear program, and that “the worst is war.” In Moscow today, Kouchner said everything must be done to avoid war and called for all sides to “negotiate, negotiate, negotiate without a break.”
Iran says it’s pursuing a nuclear research program to generate energy. The U.S. accuses it of enriching uranium to make a nuclear bomb. The State Department is trying to rally support for a third round of United Nations sanctions against Iran at the Security Council in New York.
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said his country must prepare for the possibility of war against Iran over its nuclear programme, but he did not believe any such action was imminent.
Seeking to ratchet up the pressure on Iran, Kouchner also told RTL radio and LCI television that the world’s major powers should use further sanctions to show they were serious about stopping Tehran getting atom bombs, and said France had asked French firms not to bid for tenders in the Islamic Republic.
“We must prepare for the worst,” Kouchner said in an interview, adding: “The worst, sir, is war.”
By Philip Sherwell in New York and Tim Shipman in Washington
Last Updated: 3:20am BST 16/09/2007
Senior American intelligence and defence officials believe that President George W Bush and his inner circle are taking steps to place America on the path to war with Iran, The Sunday Telegraph has learnt.
Dick Cheney (‘The Man’) with George W BushPentagon planners have developed a list of up to 2,000 bombing targets in Iran, amid growing fears among serving officers that diplomatic efforts to slow Iran’s nuclear weapons programme are doomed to fail.
Pentagon and CIA officers say they believe that the White House has begun a carefully calibrated programme of escalation that could lead to a military showdown with Iran.
Now it has emerged that Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state, who has been pushing for a diplomatic solution, is prepared to settle her differences with Vice-President Dick Cheney and sanction military action.
In a chilling scenario of how war might come, a senior intelligence officer warned that public denunciation of Iranian meddling in Iraq – arming and training militants – would lead to cross border raids on Iranian training camps and bomb factories.
The top US diplomat in Iraq sat down with the Washington Post Wednesday to push the Bush administration’s case that harsher action needs to be taken against Iran because of allegations that country’s leaders are funding and training militants in Iraq.Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker, coming off two days of congressional testimony, told the Post that the administration was building support for a third United Nations resolution that would impose harsher sanctions against Iran. He accused Tehran of pursuing a “fairly aggressive strategy” on the ground in Iraq, according to the Post.
“We know what you’re doing in Iraq. It needs to stop,” Crocker told his Iranian counterpart in Baghdad, he said in the Post interview.
by Larry Chin
Global Research, September 12, 2007
The 2008 US presidential dance has already been decided: the winner will be a corrupt elite warmonger who will intensify and expand Bush-Cheney’s criminal “war on terrorism” into Iran and beyond, and with the full support of an acquiescent US populace. The latest rhetoric from Bush, and the candidates, spells this out in black and white.
“First Afghanistan, then Iraq, then Iran”
Covert destabilization and increasing military escalation towards a full-scale Iran attack have been underway for months. In recent weeks, the bellicose, cocky and certifiably insane George W. Bush named Iran as the “world’s leading supporter of terrorism.” His administration is openly constructing an attack plan against Tehran.
As astutely noted by Patrick Buchanan in “Phase III of Bush’s War,” “those who hoped that . . . America was headed out of Iraq got a rude awakening. They are about to get another.” Remarking on the “astonishing” rhetoric from a Bush who is “brimming with self-assurance,” Buchanan notes, “Confident of victory this fall on The Hill, Bush is now moving into Phase III in his ‘War on Terror’: First, Afghanistan, then Iraq, then Iran . . .” and that “U.S. forces may already be engaged in combat operations against Iranians. Who or what can stop this drive to war? . . . What is to prevent Bush from attacking Iran and widening the war, sooner than we think? Nothing and no one.”
Oh, Oh, another announcement from a Bush insider!!
Published: Monday, September 10, 2007
Ron Kessler, the New York Times bestselling writer with extraordinary access to the CIA, FBI and White House, says his top worry is a nuclear strike on the U.S. by al-Qaeda.
“It would be the real thing,” he says, “a nuclear device brought into the country in a small package. It may not be a dirty bomb, but a real device that could kill hundreds of thousands of people.
“I’ve just interviewed (FBI chief Robert) Mueller,” he told the Citizen recently, “and he talked about (a nuclear strike) as his biggest concern. It’s something he wakes up thinking about at night.”
United Nations chief weapons inspector Mohamed ElBaradei spoke to SPIEGEL about Iran’s last chance to convince the world of the peaceful nature of its nuclear program, his problems with the US government and his fear of nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorists.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Mohamed ElBaradei.
SPIEGEL: Mr. ElBaradei, the international community suspects that Iran aims to build nuclear weapons. Tehran denies this. Have we now reached the decisive phase in which we will finally get an answer to this central question of world politics?Mohamed ElBaradei: Yes. The next few months will be crucial for the overall situation in the Middle East. Whether we move in the direction of escalation or in the direction of a peaceful solution.
by Prof. Jean Bricmont
Global Research, September 6, 2007
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Many people in the antiwar movement try to reassure themselves: Bush cannot possibly attack Iran. He does not have the means to do so, or, perhaps, even he is not foolish enough to engage in such an enterprise. Various particular reasons are put forward, such as: If he attacks, the Shiites in Iraq will cut the US supply lines. If he attacks, the Iranians will block the Straits of Ormuz or will unleash dormant terrorist networks worldwide. Russia won’t allow such an attack. China won’t allow it — they will dump the dollar. The Arab world will explode.
All this is doubtful. The Shiites in Iraq are not simply obedient to Iran. If they don’t rise against the United States when their own country is occupied (or if don’t rise very systematically), they are not likely to rise against the US if a neighboring country is attacked. As for blocking the Straits or unleashing terrorism, this will just be another justification for more bombing of Iran. After all, a main casus belli against Iran is, incredibly, that it supposedly helps the resistance against U.S. troops in Iraq, as if those troops were at home there. If that can work as an argument for bombing Iran, then any counter-measure that Iran might take will simply “justify” more bombing, possibly nuclear. Iran is strong in the sense that it cannot be invaded, but there is little it can do against long range bombing, accompanied by nuclear threats.
Why the hubbub over a B-52 taking off from a B-52 base in Minot, North Dakota and subsequently landing at a B-52 base in Barksdale, Louisiana? That’s like getting excited if you see a postal worker in uniform walking out of a post office. And how does someone watching a B-52 land identify the cruise missiles as nukes? It just does not make sense.
So I called a old friend and retired B-52 pilot and asked him. What he told me offers one compelling case of circumstantial evidence. My buddy, let’s call him Jack D. Ripper, reminded me that the only times you put weapons on a plane is when they are on alert or if you are tasked to move the weapons to a specific site.
Then he told me something I had not heard before.