Exclusive: Leon Panetta returned to government in 2009 amid hopes he could cleanse the CIA where torture and politicized intelligence had brought the U.S. to new lows in world respect. Yet, after four years at CIA and Defense, it is Panetta who departs morally compromised, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.
Oscar buzz is humming about two movies recounting real-life chapters of U.S. policy in the Middle East – the get-bin-Laden film “Zero Dark Thirty” and the escape-Iran drama “Argo.” But neither provides an in-depth examination of the reality behind the events, writes Winslow Myers.
After the U.S. intelligence community caved in to political pressure on Iraq’s non-existent WMD, Thomas Fingar restored professionalism that poured cold water on the neocons’ rush to war with Iran. That has now earned the former Director of the National Intelligence Council an award for integrity, reports ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.
From the Archive: The New York Times reports UN nuclear monitoring chief Yukiya Amano is dampening hopes for new nuclear talks with Iran by demanding access to its Parchin military base. But the press still ignores evidence Amano is no honest broker, but part of the U.S./Israel camp, as Robert Parry reported in 2011.
“Tough-guy-ism” toward Iran holds that only a “credible threat of war” will force Tehran to capitulate to Western demands on its nuclear program. But the real hold-up to a peaceful settlement may be Iran’s fear of “regime change” aggression if it makes too many one-sided concessions, ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar says.
Americans have a deeply distorted understanding of Iran and what has driven that country’s political change over the past six decades. This false history has become the backdrop for a possible new war, as David Swanson notes in reviewing a new book, Waking Up in Tehran.
A resolution to the Iranian nuclear dispute is within reach, with Iran ready to accept limits on its program and many in the West willing to ease sanctions. But the real question remains whether chest-thumping politicians and pundits will let a deal go through, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
The end of the year brings reflection on what happened in the past 12 months and what lies ahead. But these retrospectives usually offer no more context – and often less – than the thin gruel of news as the events played out, News Dissector Danny Schechter notes.
Behind the scenes, diplomacy appears to be making slow progress toward a resolution of the Iranian-nuclear stalemate, possibly early in the new year. But obstacles remain – and they are mostly in Washington, say Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett at RaceforIran.com.
Behind the scenes, Iran says it’s willing to offer more assurances that it really isn’t building a nuclear bomb, but Israel and many of its U.S. congressional allies keep pushing for a nasty showdown. The dynamic is now impeding President Obama’s ability to defuse the crisis, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.