Intelligence

Doubts about a Mideast Arms Race

Iran says it doesn’t want a nuclear bomb and Western intelligence agencies say it isn’t building one, but Israeli leaders and their U.S. supporters say a preemptive strike may still be necessary. A key argument is the threat of a regional arms race, a claim that ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar finds dubious.

Bin Laden’s Personal Debt to Bush

Exclusive: President George W. Bush not only botched the Afghan and Iraq wars but he bungled his “dead or alive” pursuit of Osama bin Laden, assuring al-Qaeda’s leader nine more years of life and the opportunity to father four more children with his 20-something third wife, Robert Parry writes.

Is Bibi Bluffing on Iran?

In Israel, the debate over bombing Iran has been tamped down by the belief in national security circles that Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu may be bluffing about going to war but that the bluff requires the world to think he may do it, Gareth Porter reports from Tel Aviv for Inter Press Service.

Romney’s ‘Etch a Sketch’ Foreign Policy

An aide’s remark comparing the consistency of Mitt Romney’s positions to lines on an Etch a Sketch toy suggests his presidency would follow a course designed to win him a second term, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar. In that, Romney’s neocon foreign policy advisers may see hope for a muscular “new American century.”

McGovern Protests Brennan’s Speech

After learning that U.S. national security official John Brennan would address Jesuit-run Fordham’s graduating class, ex-CIA analyst (and Fordham alum) Ray McGovern protested in a letter to the Fordham Ram. McGovern cited Jesuit principles of truth and justice — and Brennan’s role in the “dark side” of the “war on terror.”

Is IAEA Greasing Skids to Iran War?

The U.S. press corps has embraced the integrity of the International Atomic Energy Agency as central to the case for bombing Iran. But WikiLeaks documents revealed how the IAEA’s new leader is a pawn of the West, and Gareth Porter explains at Inter Press Service how the IAEA has escalated the confrontation with Iran.

Israel Killing Wrong Iranian Scientists?

A suspected Israeli-sponsored assassination campaign has claimed the lives of five Iranian scientists supposedly linked to the country’s nuclear program. But the evidence implicating some scientists in nuclear research may be as murky as the suspicions that a weapons program even exists, writes Gareth Porter at Truthout.

Satellite Photos of Iran Doubted

Before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Secretary of State Colin Powell cited satellite photos allegedly revealing WMD stockpiles, but the proof proved bogus. Now, similar claims are justifying a war with Iran, but the “evidence” again is speculative at best, Gareth Porter writes for the Inter Press Service.

America Gets Stupid, Again, on Iran

For many American politicians and pundits, the smart career play again is to clamber on the bandwagon for war with Iran, just as they did for war with Iraq. But the recycled neocon tough talk and the renewed pandering to Israeli leaders could take the world down another catastrophic path, Lawrence Davidson writes.

Obama’s Drone Policy Still Vague

The Obama administration has offered more information about its targeting of al-Qaeda-related figures, including U.S. citizens like Anwar al-Awlaki, for drone strikes and other lethal attacks. But the assurances of “due process” still lack the detailed explanation that the gravity of the policy demands, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.