Thursday, May 28, 2015

2015-05-28 State of War - Operation Merlin - providing Iran with nuclear know-how

New York Times reporter James Risen Inline image 1
Risen, Sterling
  • The chapter title is "Rogue Operation". Really bizarre.
  • The start is the same as everywhere else: US gov makes various belligerent claims about Iran's nuclear program, but in fact, the US has zero intelligence on the subject.
  • The next step by CIA is ingenious: Providing Iran with advanced nuclear technology, which would take years to develop and test on its own... The way Risen's CIA sources describe it, even as they were going through it, they were wondering whether it was a legally approved operation, or some illegal rogue operation... But then again, the book appears to be at least in part a defense proposal by some sources at CIA.
  • Climax: 2003 intervention by Condi Rice, to have NYT engage in self censorship of its own volition - because telling the public government is dangerously stupid, is a risk for national security...
  • Anti-climax: 2013 threat by the Obama DOJ to imprison Risen if he did not take the stand against his source Jeff Sterling, prosecuted under the Espionage Act of 1917...
  • Epilogue: Jan 2015 Jeffrey Sterling sentenced to 3.5 y prison term for leaking to James Risen.  Because engaging in treasonous rogue operations, fabricating intelligence to go to war, and causing millions of deaths in the process is no crime. But telling the public how dangerously stupid government is - is unforgivable!
Take home lesson: 

The Bushabama presidencies were one continuous fiasco, where the White House isn't even in control any longer (similar to conditions of the late 19th century US gov).

The pattern is similar in Iraq, Iran, Libya, Ukraine, Russia - fabricating intelligence is much easier, faster, cheaper than gathering and analyzing real one.  In the book, Risen specifically details (including names) cases of CIA officers who were punished, had their careers end after they issued true intelligence reports under Bush. Cheney trained them real fast real well to stop doing that, provide only what he wanted...

And by now, under Obama, it is the routine + retaliation under the Espionage Act for any whistle-blowing to media or Congress.  The Act has never been used for such purpose prior to Obama in decades...That - from a president who claimed to be the global Free Press Czar...
It's pathetic!

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