August 08, 2005

US ready to attack Iran

Former U.S. intelligence official, published in the Aug. 1 issue of American Conservative magazine, that Dick Cheney ordered the Strategic Command (STRATCOM) to prepare contingency plans for a conventional and tactical nuclear strike against hundreds of targets in Iran, in the event of a "new 9/11-style attack" on the United States.

Intelligence sources say , the Bush Administration, under CONPLAN 8022, had already placed the relevant "mini-nukes" under the control of theater military commanders, as part of a new "Global Strike" doctrine of pre-emptive nuclear war, a doctrine originally conceived by Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, and Lewis Libby, when Cheney was Secretary of Defense under George H.W. Bush in the early 1990s.

Other reports since the beginning of the year have corroborated the focus on military plans against Iran:

* On Jan. 17, The New Yorker magazine published an article by Seymour Hersh, "The Coming Wars," outlining Pentagon plans for combined aerial and commando attacks on Iran, aimed at destroying the country's purported underground nuclear weapons program, and instigating a popular revolt against the mullahs.

* On Jan. 26, UPI intelligence correspondent Richard Sale reported that the U.S. Air Force is flying provocative combat reconnaisance missions over Iranian territory, from bases in Iraq and Afghanistan. The purpose of these missions, he wrote, is to "template" Iran's air defense systems, in preparation for a bombing campaign against at least 14 suspected secret nuclear weapons facilities. Sale added that U.S. Special Forces and Israeli commandos are aiding Iranian exiles from the Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK), as well as Iraqi Kurds, to conduct cross-border incursions, to plant sensors near target sites.

* On Feb. 19, Scott Ritter, the former U.S. Marine who led UNSCOM weapons inspection teams in Iraq during much of the 1990s, told an audience in Olympia, Wash., that he expected the United States to launch a bombing campaign against Iran, perhaps as early as June. He told the audience that President Bush had received, and signed off on, plans for an aerial attack on Iran.

The Nuclear Option

In the Aug. 1, 2005 issue of The American Conservative, retired CIA officer Philip Giraldi wrote: "The Pentagon, acting under instructions from Vice President Dick Cheney's office, has tasked the United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM) with drawing up a contingency plan to be employed in response to another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the United States. The plan includes a large-scale air assault on Iran employing both conventional and tactical nuclear weapons. Within Iran, there are more than 450 major strategic targets, including numerous suspected nuclear-weapons-program development sites. Many of the targets are hardened or are deep underground and could not be taken out by conventional weapons, hence the nuclear option. As in the case of Iraq, the response is not conditional on Iran actually being involved in the act of terrorism directed against the United States. Several senior Air Force officers involved in the planning are reportedly appalled at the implications of what they are doing—that Iran is being set up for an unprovoked nuclear attack—but no one is prepared to damage his career by posing any objections."

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