Sunday, July 02, 2006

Hard Rain Journal 7-2-06: Sy Hersh Delivers More Insight on US Generals' Resistance to Bush-Cheney Eagerness for War with Iran

Hard Rain Journal 7-2-06: Sy Hersh Delivers More Insight in US Generals Resistance to Bush-Cheney Eagerness for War with Iran

The "Decider" says he listens to his commanders. But then why are they talking to Sy Hersh?

“There is a war about the war going on inside the building,” a Pentagon consultant said. “If we go, we have to find something.”

Sy Hersh is journalism at its best. His work exemplifies the role of investigative reporting in a democratic society, i.e., to enlighten and engage the public by exposing hidden truths and to provide a forum for those who serve, and are concerned that the public is not being given all the facts it deserves...

Here are some important excerpts, with a link to the full text, followed by a list of related posts:

A crucial issue in the military’s dissent, the officers said, is the fact that American and European intelligence agencies have not found specific evidence of clandestine activities or hidden facilities; the war planners are not sure what to hit. “The target array in Iran is huge, but it’s amorphous,” a high-ranking general told me. “The question we face is, When does innocent infrastructure evolve into something nefarious?” The high-ranking general added that the military’s experience in Iraq, where intelligence on weapons of mass destruction was deeply flawed, has affected its approach to Iran. “We built this big monster with Iraq, and there was nothing there. This is son of Iraq,” he said.
“There is a war about the war going on inside the building,” a Pentagon consultant said. “If we go, we have to find something.”

In late April, the military leadership, headed by General Pace, achieved a major victory when the White House dropped it insistence that the plan for a bombing campaign include the possible use of a nuclear device to destroy Iran’s uranium-enrichmen plant at Natanz, nearly two hundred miles south of Tehran....“Bush and Cheney wer e dead serious about the nuclear planning,” the former senior intelligence official told me. “And Pace stood up to them. Then th world came back: ‘O.K., the nuclear option is politically unacceptable.’ ” At the time, a number of retired officers, including two Army major generals who served in Iraq, Paul Eaton and Charles Swannack, Jr., had begun speaking out against the Administration’s handling of the Iraq war. This period is known to many in the Pentagon as “the April Revolution."

A European diplomat told me that his government would be willing to discuss Iran’s security concerns—a dialogue he said Iran offered Washington three years ago. The diplomat added that “no one wants to be faced with the alternative if the negotiations don’t succeed: either accept the bomb or bomb them. That’s why our goal is to keep the pressure on, and see what Iran’s answer will be.”

Mohamed ElBaradei, the director general of the I.A.E.A., said in a speech this spring that his agency believed there was still time for diplomacy to achieve that goal. “We should have learned some lessons from Iraq,” ElBaradei, who won the Nobel Peace Prize last year, said. “We should have learned that we should be very careful about assessing our intelligence. . . . We should have learned that we should try to exhaust every possible diplomatic means to solve the problem before thinking of any other enforcement measures.”
He went on, “When you push a country into a corner, you are always giving the driver’s seat to the hard-liners. . . . If Iran were to move out of the nonproliferation regime altogether, if Iran were to develop a nuclear weapon program, we clearly will have a much, much more serious problem.”

SEYMOUR M. HERSH, LAST STAND, The military’s problem with the President’s Iran policy, New Yorker, 7-10-06s


Words of Power #18: 48 Hours -- What Happens When Military and Intel Officers Must Challenge Political Leaders to Uphold the Rule of Law

Words of Power #16: Lt. Gen. Newbold Bears Witness, Sy Hersh Sounds the Alarm & Patrick Fitzgerald Raises the Stakes

GS3 Intelligence Special Supplement (2-4-06): Iran, Hamas, Islamic Fundamentalism, Terrorism, Geopolitical Hegemony, The Great Game & Danish Cartoons

Richard Power is the founder of GS(3) Intelligence and His work focuses on the inter-related issues of security, sustainability and spirit, and how to overcome the challenges of terrorism, cyber crime, global warming, health emergencies, natural disasters, etc. You can reach him via e-mail: For more information, go to

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