Iran’s nuclear ambitions known in 2000?

That seems to be the real scoop in James Risen’s book, says Michael Ledeen. Hmmm.

ML: Have you read that excerpt from the Risen book, State of War, that was in Thursday’s Guardian?

JJA: Indeed I have. I was hoping that’s why you called. It’s simply amazing. Unbelievable.

ML: You mean the buffoonery by the CIA operations directorate that Risen talks about?

JJA: Well, obviously. But the really amazing part is that Risen doesn’t even notice the truly horrible aspects of his own story. He doesn’t have the wit or the energy to think half a step beyond the tale he’s been told.

ML: Okay, let’s take them in order. The first one dates back to Clinton. It’s about an operation called “Merlin,” and consisted of feeding doctored information about the design of nuclear weapons to the mullahs via a Soviet scientist who had defected “years earlier” to the United States. The concept was to get the Iranians to use the snafued version in their bombs so that they would fizzle instead of explode.

JJA: Right. We’ve been doing such things for years, and for good reason. If you know that your enemies are trying to steal your blueprints, or buy good weapons on the clandestine market, you’re well-advised to try to get them to steal or buy things that won’t work, instead of running around trying to plug all the cracks in the dyke. Nothing wrong with the concept.

ML: Except that we never did it with nuclear stuff before, did we? And Risen’s got expert testimony that the Iranians could easily have sorted out the good parts of the blueprints from the disinformation, so that in the end we would have actually helped them.

JJA: Yes, I saw that. You can always get somebody to say that any given idea is idiotic. But you’d need to know a lot more than Risen knows to be able to judge it, in this specific case. And that points us to the really interesting question, the one that Risen doesn’t bother to ask, let alone answer.

ML: I’m following you. If we knew enough — in 2000, mind you — to be able to design an effective disinformation program, then…

JJA: Then (he started shouting in that gravelly voice of his) THEY KNEW THE IRANIANS HAD A NUCLEAR WEAPONS PROGRAM SIX YEARS AGO.

ML: But they were forever testifying, in those years, that they really didn’t know.

Meanwhile, Byron York explains why Rep. Murtha hopes nothing looks like victory.

Appearing at a town meeting in Arlington, Virginia, with fellow Democratic Rep. James Moran, Murtha said, “A year ago, I said we can’t win this militarily, and I got all kinds of criticism.” Now, Murtha told the strongly antiwar audience, “I worry about a slow withdrawal which makes it look like there’s a victory when I think it should be a redeployment as quickly as possible and let the Iraqis handle the whole thing.”

It seems to me that slow withdrawal or not, the day we turn security over to the Iraqis, will be a victorious day. It’s disturbing that Murtha apparently will only be happy if it’s called a failure.

My Democrat grandparents must be spinning like tops in their graves.

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin has more about the meeting in which Murtha made that statement – and the soldier who called him and Rep. Moran on their stands. A must read.

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  • Sigmund Carl and Alfred

    Irans nuclear ambitions have been known for decades.

    “The foundations for Iran’s nuclear program were laid in the 1960 under auspices of the US within the framework of bilateral agreements between the two countries. In 1967 the Tehran Nuclear Research Center (TNRC) was built and run by the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI). The TNRC was equipped with a US supplied 5-megawatt nuclear research reactor. Iran signed and ratified the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1968. With the establishment of Iran’s atomic agency and the NPT in place plans were drawn by Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi (Iran’s King) to construct up to 23 nuclear power stations across the country together with USA by the year 2000.

    By 1975, The US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, had signed National Security Decision Memorandum 292, titled “U.S.-Iran Nuclear Cooperation,” which laid out the details of the sale of nuclear energy equipment to Iran projected to bring U.S. corporations more than $6 billion in revenue. At the time, Iran was pumping as much as 6 million barrels of oil a day, compared with an average of about 4 million barrels daily today.

    President Gerald R. Ford even signed a directive in 1976 offering Tehran the chance to buy and operate a U.S.-built reprocessing facility for extracting plutonium from nuclear reactor fuel. The deal was for a complete “nuclear fuel cycle”.

    “Numerous contracts were signed with various western firms, and the German firm Siemens began construction on the Bushehr power plant. Work was halted with the 1979 Iranian Revolution and Siemens withdrew from the project. Shortly afterwards Iraq invaded Iran and the nuclear programme was stopped until the end of the war. In 1990, Iran began to look outwards towards partners for its nuclear programme; however, due to a radically different political climate and punitive US economic sanctions, few candidates existed. In 1995 Iran signed a contract with Russia to resume work on the half complete Bushehr plant.”

    What is new are the crazyy bastards that are in charge.

  • Joseph

    What is equally new was the absolute brainlessness of chasing after phantom WMD’s in Iraq, when Iran’s nuclear capacities and intentions were well documented, and Iraq’s incapacities to do anything but hide a few old CW shells were apparent to anyone with eyes.
    /
    Add to this the brainlessness of fighting two naval air wars [Afghanistan & Iraq] so close together that there was only one U.S. carrier left on the entire high seas for 13 months (!), giving the Iranians a year’s free pass from any serious disturbance of their nuclear program by the U.S. [Why? It's called "close air support" of invading troops and it largely comes from Naval aviators on aircraft carriers.]
    /
    Stir this up with half a year [late 2002] dithered away with no serious attempt to forestall the insurgency that any one with eyes could see coming–particularly when the stories of Saddam’s Army’s small arms disappearing started surfacing as early as June 2002, and nothing was done.

    What to you get? Three years of the entire active combat strength of the United States Army rotating through Iraq to put out brushfires and thus unavailable to do anything serious anywhere else. And a full 3 years’ free pass for the Iranians.

    You get a recipe for geopolitical disaster which even Martha Stewart could be proud of.

    Guess who the chef is.

  • Sigmund Carl and Alfred

    Are you on drugs, Joseph?

    The guy buried all his nuclear components- all easily reconstituted at will. That’s per the UN.

    No wonder Americans support Bush. It’s arguments like yours that make his best case.

    See Hitchens for a reality pill on Iraqi WMD’s.

  • http://none Darrell

    Joseph proves with every word why we can never let the Left(and that means Democrats for any of you not sure) gain control of this country again. Carry on, Joe.

    Now let’s discuss who gave that nuclear reactor to North Korea and refused to put any verification mechanisms in place. And what happened six months after the agreement was signed, according to the North Korean’s statements…

    I womder if there would have been more firepower within striking distance of Iran if the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars had not taken place? I pity you, Joe, the intellectual territory you are forced to defend.

  • http://none Darrell

    Joseph proves with every word why we can never let the Left(and that means Democrats for any of you not sure) gain control of this country again. Carry on, Joe.

    Now let’s discuss who gave that nuclear reactor to North Korea and refused to put any verification mechanisms in place. And what happened six months after the agreement was signed, according to the North Korean’s statements…

    I wonder if there would have been more firepower within striking distance of Iran if the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars had not taken place? I pity you, Joe, the intellectual territory you are forced to defend.

  • http://allthingsbeautiful.typepad.com Alexandra

    All Things Beautiful TrackBack The Murtha/Moran Duo Get Slam Dunked

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