Plame Wilson Had worked on Iran Anti-Proliferation
Valerie Plame Wilson and her team at the CIA were working on Iran counter-prolifetation efforts, according to Larisa Alexandrovna of Raw Story. It has been known for some time that she was involved in anti-proliferation activities, but that her main concern was Iran is new.
Plame Wilson was outed to the US press by Vice President Richard Bruce Cheney, his staffer Irving Lewis Libby, and George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove.
There has for some time been speculation among bloggers that Cheney et al. wanted to shoot down 🙂 Plame Wilson for reasons other than that she is the wife of Ambassador Joseph Wilson IV, who blew the whistle on intelligence failures concerning alleged Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.
If she was working specifically on Iran, this theory becomes more plausible. We know that Cheney, the Neocons and other factions in the Bush administration desperately wanted to get up a war against Iran so as to overthrow its government.
If the CIA was successful in a measurable way in preventing proliferation to Iran of technology required for making a nuclear weapon, and could certify as much to Congress, that very success would make it harder to justify a war on Iran.
We know that someone among the Neoconservatives also let Ahmad Chalabi know that the US had broken Iranian codes and could read that country’s secret diplomatic correspondence. As anyone could have expected, Chalabi immediately told the Iranians about the US spying. The Iranians will have immediately changed their codes.
Note: The crime here was letting the Iranians know we could listen in on them at will. As a third world country, Iran was presumably using fairly primitive encryption then, which our NSA had broken. Once the Iranians were tipped by Chalabi that we were listening, it would have been easy for them either to feed us some disinformation or to just close us out all together. More on the case is in this CBS report from 2004.
So between disrupting the work of Plame Wilson’s unit at the CIA and letting the Iranians know about the broken codes, the pro-war party managed to make Iran’s actual progress on nuclear research opaque to the US government. It was necessary that it be opaque if there was to be a war. Iran is actually a decade or two away from having a bomb even if everything went well. But US intelligence agencies must be less confident they know what is going on in Iran now than before the Neocons destroyed so much of the effort against Iranian proliferation. It was the US withdrawal of inspectors from Ira[q] in 1998 that created the uncertainties that allowed Bush to invade Iraq. For warmongers, good intelligence on the enemy’s capabilities is undesirable if that intelligence would get in the way of launching a war.
Still, it is just speculation.
If the speculation were true, the scale of treason emanating from Rove and Cheney and his staff is scarcely imaginable.
Even if they did not set out to create a more plausible cause for war, Rove, Cheney, Libby and the others have either through duplicity or cupidity or stupidity set the stage for even more loss of life and violent conflict.