Saturday, October 15, 2011

The ‘Terrorist’ Who Couldn’t Think Straight

Source: Antiwar.com Original Articles

Would Iran recruit a used car salesman with a memory problem to conduct assassinations in the US?

This is a question you have to ask yourself when evaluating the alleged Iranian "terrorist" plot supposedly uncovered by Attorney General Eric Holder the other day. The arrest of Mansour Arbabsiar, a 56-year-old Iranian immigrant who came to this country as a college student, was the occasion for a trumpet blast of anti-Iranian propaganda and belligerent declarations by US officials, who vowed to "hold Iran accountable" for purportedly mounting a plot to kill the Saudi ambassador, bomb the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Washington, and strike at the Jewish community in Argentina.

The alleged plot was supposed to have been carried out by a member of the Zetas drug cartel, who was to be paid up to $1.5 million to implement the plan. US officials, even while acknowledging the "B-movie" aspect of the story, reportedly "fanned out" to convince our allies the plot was real and –with Congress already demanding new sanctions on Iran –that the economic vise be tightened. Not only are the more hysterical neocons calling for military action against Iran –no surprise there —but the headlines had the normally staid and relatively reserved Steve Clemons, a prominent Obama shill, babbling that "this is a serious situation" and "the U.S. has reached a point where it must take action," and Sen. Carl Levin calling the plot "an act of war."

Less than 24 hours after Holder’s press conference, the whole fantasy began to unravel under closer scrutiny. Gary Sick, of the Middle East Institute at Columbia University, averred that the alleged plot "departs from all known Iranian policies and procedures," and went on to write:

"It is difficult to believe that they would rely on a non-Islamic criminal gang to carry out this most sensitive of all possible missions. In this instance, they allegedly relied on at least one amateur and a Mexican criminal drug gang that is known to be riddled with both Mexican and U.S. intelligence agents. "Whatever else may be Iran’s failings, they are not noted for utter disregard of the most basic intelligence tradecraft, e.g. discussing an ultra-covert operation on an open international line between Iran and the U.S. Yet that is what happened here."

Kenneth Katzman, a Middle East analyst with the Congressional Research Office, concurs:

"There is simply no precedent —or even reasonable rationale —for Iran working any plot, no matter where located, through a non-Muslim proxy such as Mexican drug gangs. No one high up in the Quds, the I.R.G.C. command, the Supreme National Security Committee, or anywhere else in the Iranian chain of command would possibly trust that such a plot could be kept secret or carried out properly by the Mexican drug people. They absolutely would not trust such a thing to them, given Iran’s undoubted assumption that the Mexicans are penetrated by the D.E.A. and F.B.I. and A.T.F., etc —and indeed this plot was revealed by just such a U.S. informant….

"Are we to believe that this Texas car seller was a Quds sleeper agent for many years resident in the U.S.? Ridiculous. They (the Iranian command system) never ever use such has-beens or loosely connected people for sensitive plots such as this."

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at Antiwar.com.
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