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Just a few, random thoughts...
Am I paranoid enough yet? I’ve been mulling over this Iran thing for… 
22nd-Apr-2006 09:49 am
militant owl
Am I paranoid enough yet?

I’ve been mulling over this Iran thing for a few days now, and the more I think about it the more twisted of a scenario I paint. Suppose, for a moment, that our fearless leaders have been planning all along to get into Iran after Iraq. That the recent revelation of discussions of nuclear strikes against Iranian weapons facilities was actually planned to make a conventional attack seem more reasonable – ‘see, we’re taking measured, appropriate steps to deal with the situation because we aren’t using pre-emptive nukes, aren’t we sensible.’ In the lead-up to the Iraq war, they were having trouble controlling the intel. Annoying UN inspectors, who had actually been in Iraq looking for WMD, were going against the party line, and people like Joe Wilson were checking on the intelligence and thereby messing with their nice, neat propaganda campaign. What if you could go back in time and make sure that there simply wasn’t any checkable intelligence? What if you could disrupt the entire intelligence network before anyone got into fact-checking? Then you would have to rely solely on informers, who are much easier to manipulate and keep track of than information is.

Is it possible that the leak of Valerie Plame’s identity as a covert agent was not, in fact, directed at her husband? That the purpose of her outing was to disrupt the intelligence network she worked in? You know, the network that investigates and keeps tabs on Middle-Eastern WMD, including Iran’s nuclear capacities? After all, if you out a key member of an intelligence team, anyone else on the team who can be associated with that member is put at risk. It is a reasonable assumption that a number of agents had to be pulled out or put in harm’s way by her outing. I’m not proposing that there was not an attempt to smear Wilson, the lies that have been publicly told about him by high ranking officials make that point indisputable. But what if, in the process of investigating Wilson in order to smear him, someone noticed his wife’s line of work and decided that they could kill two birds with one stone? That by outing her in the process of discrediting his arguments, they could lay the groundwork for the propaganda campaign leading up to the next war, the one in Iran?

I’m not saying this is what happened. But, given the track record, it’s not implausible.
22nd-Apr-2006 11:44 pm (UTC)
As Inspector Clouseau proves (!) it's entirely possible to achieve genius-class results with dimwitted stumbling (sorry; heard a jazz trio playing Pink Panther Theme today and it stuck with me, and the image of a young Peter Sellars playing W....)

I'm not sure why they would go to so much trouble, when they did just fine ignoring the CIA last time. It's good cover, but it also means that they just might actually miss something important and get blamed for it....
23rd-Apr-2006 12:05 am (UTC)
I remember at the time thinking that they must be utterly frustrated by the drawn-out debate over information, the way they had to make their case before the congress, the UN, and the world, and how it seemed like they had already made up their minds and treated the evidentiary stage as nothing more than a nitpicky hurdle to be gotten through. The rhetoric on Iran is in many ways similar, but the nature of the discourse is different. There is no conversation about evidence, because there is little or no evidence to sift through. They can keep the focus on the threat, or at least are trying to.

If they had this in mind then, the opportunity to avoid the tedium of manipulating evidence by undermining it ahead of time would have been awfully tempting. For, you know, completely evil bastards with no consciences.

Again, not saying it happened, but it does have a certain perverse logic.

It wasn't very much trouble, and anything they missed they could just catch up on once they had troops on the ground. Besides, they have God on their side, so nothing could go wrong.
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