Was Amiri a Double Agent who Hyped Iran’s Nukes?

The saga of Shahram Amiri points to a real danger for world peace and prosperity, with the disturbing possibility now emerging that he was a double agent. He implausibly maintains that he was kidnapped by the CIA in Mecca and held in the US against his will. US sources say that he was a walk-in, that he contacted the CIA and offered to defect, for which he was offered $5 million and a new identity. The US government has a program of encouraging Iranian nuclear physicists to defect by offering them large sums of money, and it is rumored that they have had several takers.

Amiri’s behavior, however, is so erratic that it raises alarms. He never collected his reward money, and in past months he started releasing YouTube videos complaining about having been kidnapped. He showed up in the Iranian interest section of the Pakistani embassy this week and then flew back to Iran via Dubai.

Aljazeera English has video:

This story, with the walk-in Iranian physicist who shows no interest in the reward money to be doled out over his lifetime, who proves inconstant and toward the end tries to embarrass his host, has raised alarums among observers of the intelligence scene that Amiri was a double agent.

I am disturbed by this possibility because Amiri may have given false information to Washington. And the false information may have exaggerated Iran’s nuclear capabilities.

For instance, someone appears to have told Washington that the Fardo facility in a cave near Qom was a nuclear weapons lab. But the Iranians allowed a UN International Atomic Energy Agency inspection, which found it just a ‘hole in the side of the mountain’ with no nuclear material onsite.

Why would Amiri lie about Iran’s nuclear research? The scenario that haunts me is what might be called Saddam’s Dilemma.

A second-tier country is in little danger of invasion or occupation on the part of the Great Powers in the 21st century if it only has conventional weapons. Thus, the junta in Burma or the populist Venezuela of Huga Chavez may be thorns in the side of Washington and its allies, but they have not moved against these states in any practical military way, in part because they pose only a small threat to those powers’ interests.

Fully nuclear-armed second-tier powers are also safe from invasion and occupation, since they already have a nuclear weapon. Israel, Pakistan, India and North Korea fall in this category. North Korea has committed a number of acts that would qualify as casus belli or a legal grounds for war, but it has never been attacked. Nervousness pervades the halls of power among the Great Powers about Pakistan, but they appear to dare not act on that anxiety. Israel, as a close ally of the primary superpower, the United States, is in any case in no danger of attack by one of the Security Council dominant nations. But when Israel receives what its leaders think is undue pressure from the US or the others, it can deploy its nuclear arsenal to coerce the US. It did this in 1973 when Golda Meir demanded an airlift of munitions to fight Egypt, saying the alternative would be an Israeli nuclear strike on Cairo; and again since the Obama administration came into office, when Israel has used the threat of bombing Iran to extract commitments that the Security Council plus Germany will put the screws to Tehran with increasing sanctions.

But where countries are seen as rogue states that act against the interests of the Great Powers and their allies, and where those rogue states appear to go for broke in constructing a nuclear weapon, they become vulnerable to direct military intervention by one of the Great Powers. The major case here is Iraq.

Iraq had nuclear, biological and chemical weapons programs in the 1980s, which were dismantled in the 1990s by United Nations weapons insprectors. But strong suspicions were voiced in the US and Western Europe that Iraq had reconstituted its weapons programs by the late 1990s. It is in that twilight between not having a bomb and being close to having one that war becomes most likely. In fact, hawks argue that war is actually more urgent in such a situation, to forestall imminent nuclear proliferation.

CIA director Leon Panetta, for instance, has spoken of a time window, within which Iran may become nuclear-capable, and the dilemma (attack? don’t attack?) this timetable poses for the US. The implication is that the US have to decide what to do about Iran within two years, thus setting a ticking, Hitchcockian clock.

States that are near to developing a nuclear weapons capability can fend off the Great Powers in one of three ways. They can give up their nuclear arms programs or aspirations (Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, Libya). They can go for broke and hope they can go nuclear before the US can invade. Or they can try to fool the international community by claiming to have a much more developed weapons program than had been suspected. In short, it could attempt to convince the Powers that it was so close to having a bomb that that initiating hostilities was unwise.

This step is what I call Saddam’s Dilemma. If he had convincingly document his lack of WMD to the public and world community, he felt, he would have risked attack by Iran or its Iraqi allies. So he lied about his country’s having destroyed most WMD by that point

Charles Duelfer’s long experience in Iraq gives us some analogies for this situation.

‘ It was difficult to understand that Saddam would do things for irrational reasons; he would do things that were at cross-purposes. He would say he had no WMDs to some and say that he did to others. When I sat in on the debriefing, he told us that he had multiple audiences and was worried about the Iranians and others.’

So I ask myself, what if the Iranians are doing now what Saddam did? What if they sent Amiri to give the US the impression that Iran is very near to having a bomb, to scare them off? And what if the Iranians fail to scare the US but rather spook the Obama administration into confrontation?

Duelfer notes,

‘ We lost a lot by not having an embassy in Baghdad. I was one of the only senior U.S. officials going in and out of Baghdad in the late 1990s, even though I had my U.N. hat on. And I never realized until later how unique my knowledge of Iraq was. You’d think that understanding Iraq was as easy as understanding what was going on in the head of one guy. Now, that one guy was a pretty weird guy. The people in Washington knew little about Baghdad and had a cartoon view of what was going on. I fear that we have the same view of Tehran and North Korea now.’

The US has no embassy in Tehran.

Posted in Uncategorized | 28 Responses | Print |

28 Responses

  1. I also worry about the reverse. Claiming to be the “Country” mouse.
    Not able to do nukes yet, country bumkins, were a long way from nukes.
    All the While working towards being on the verge of nukes.

    You make a great point: “Fully nuclear-armed second-tier powers are also safe from invasion and occupation, since they already have a nuclear weapon. Israel, Pakistan, India and North Korea fall in this category. North Korea has committed a number of acts that would qualify as casus belli or a legal grounds for war, but it has never been attacked.”

    Once Iran has a nuke, their is very little constraint,
    What would the world do if Iran invaded SA?
    Nokorea and the sinking of Sokorea ship,
    the world does nothing…


  2. The basis of your speculation is the “implausibility” of Amiri being kidnapped by the CIA. But you think it more plausible that the Iranians would arrange a double agent to go to the CIA, spin a web of lies, to setup a scenario that failed so devastatingly for Saddam and Iraq?
    If Amiri voluntarily fled to the CIA why did the US repeatedly deny knowledge of his whereabouts when initially accused by Iran of his abduction instead of trumpeting their latest catch?
    It is more plausible that Amiri was meant to be the “slamdunk”, the smoking gun, and for whatever reason he decided not to play along with the vilification, and destruction of his country for personal financial gain. Something strange to the American mind I understand.
    The next time the US claims to have sources inside the Iranian nuclear establishment, instead of fantastic theories, I hope we’ll all be reminded of the psy-ops flop that was Amiri.

  3. I must respectfully take issue with one point in the above.

    North Korea is not attacked because it is known to have nuclear weapons. In fact, it is not known, merely suspected, and the weapons tests it has conducted have been considered “duds”.

    North Korea is not attacked because it has a million man army with thousands of artillery pieces and missiles that can turn Seoul into a wasteland within hours or a couple days. Also, the Pentagon has war games showing a million dead and fifty thousand US military casualties within ninety days of a war with North Korea.

    That is a far more persuasive reason for the US not attacking North Korea than its nuclear arsenal which at this point probably cannot even be deployed.

    The situation in Iran is quite different. The Iranian retaliation will be one of mostly asymmetric nature, using guerilla war, terrorism, economic warfare with oil, and strikes at US and Israeli assets around the Middle East and perhaps elsewhere. While this will bleed the US economically, militarily, and geopolitically, it isn’t anywhere near the sort of immediate disaster a war with North Korea would be.

    Mind you, a war with Iran will still be a disaster, and Iran will eventually win that war, as did Vietnam, against the US. But it will a long, slow, grinding war, like Afghanistan, not a hell like a war with North Korea.

    And this is something the politicians in Washington don’t care about – as opposed to a major war with thousands of immediate US dead.

    Washington KNOWS that Iran does not have nuclear weapons and KNOWS that Iran is no where near acquiring them, even if Iran wanted them – which Washington also KNOWS Iran does not.

    Do not be fooled. The reasons for the upcoming Iran war will have nothing whatever to do with “nuclear weapons” just as we KNOW that the Iraq war had nothing to do with that. We also KNOW that the US had a plan to attack Afghanistan BEFORE 9/11 gave them the excuse. The US had applied sanctions against the Taliban before 9/11, just as it applied sanctions against Iraq before going to war. It is doing the exact same thing now to Iran.

    Make no mistake. The US will attack Iran, but it will not be because it fears a non-existent nuclear weapons program. It will attack Iran because a) the military-industrial complex wants more war to make profits from; and b) because Israel says so – and can hold the re-election probabilities of at least seventy Senators hostage to that order.

  4. One invaded and occupied non-nuclear weapons state that comes to mind is Afghanistan. Venezuela was targeted in 2002 by an American-sponsored coup attempt that nearly worked – an invasion by proxy. Honduras experienced the same last year.

    Palestine and Lebanon are also non-nuclear powers that have been invaded by proxy. In Lebanon in 2006, the Bush administration did everything possible to incite Usrael to attack Lebanon, and then egged them on to continue when even they were ready to quit. Obama has in every way supported the occupation of Palestine and has even appointed General Keith Dayton to train the Palestinian Vichy militia that helps to run the West Bank on Israel’s behalf.

    Yes, you can get yourself invaded by the US or its partners if you don’t have nuclear weapons – very easily.

  5. Saddam’s Dilemma !?

    Iraq consistently stated that it had no such programmes and proved it beyond any reasonable doubt – and this is well documented.

    This narrative is just a Western ploy to justify a wanton illegal act of aggression after the fact.

  6. You’re right. Amiri told Washington what Israel wanted to hear. One suspects that Iran’s leaders are provoking Israel.

  7. I think most observors appreciate the sophistication of Iran’s intelligence agency, but tend to underestimate the CIA and other US agencies’ talents when it comes to the back and forth of gaming scenarios at a desperate level. Personally, I suspect the ultimate invasion of Iran and replacement of its Shiite regime was planned well before the invasion of Iraq. Without those plans in place and a high level of confidence in them, Iraq might not have been invaded. It’s always tempting to think of the CIA as fools who didn’t realize the most likely outcome of the Iraq invasion would be Iranian dominance of at least Southern Iraq. My take is they knew it would happen, but considered that outcome to be “temporary.” The end game is now at hand.

  8. If he was a double agent, why didn’t he take the 5-mil, and thus keep up the charade?

  9. That would be a dumb idea on Iran’s part. Regardless, no matter what Iran says or does, I’m pretty sure that no one in power in Washington really believes that Iran is interested in developing nuclear weapons. How ironic–the western public is gullible enough to believe Iran nuclear threat propaganda so soon after swallowing the Iraq swindle, and now you suggest that Iran is trying to repeat Saddam’s alleged attempt to play the same games as Saddam. Is this 2002?

  10. Isn’t the simple story the most credible? He is telling the truth. He was kidnapped in Saudi Arabia. And now he has returned home.

  11. Instead of assuming that Iran is pursuing nukes and behaving irrationally, I think you need to consider the possibility that Iran is behaving rationally and acting in its own national interests.

    Here’s a rational case.
    1- Like many of the Gulf States, Iran is pursuing nuclear power. The appear to have finally gotten Bushehr up and running after years of delay. And they will need even more electric power in the future.
    2- Because of decades of tension with the West, resulting in 40 years of economic sanctions, Iran is sensitive to the high probability that fuel for its nuclear power plants could be held hostage to foreign ambitions. This fear was only confirmed by Obama’s refusing to refuel the TRR, using it as leverage to force compliance with Washington’s other demands.
    3- To secure its nuclear power supply, Iran decided to enrich its own uranium.
    4- Iran decided to proceed with its nuclear program consistent with its rights under the NPT. The program has been monitored by the IAEA, though there remain unanswered questions, mostly historical ones.

    Exactly how is Iran behaving irrationally or being ambiguous?

    You can reach that conclusion only if you disregard Iran’s need for electricity and assume that Iran’s main intent is a nuclear weapon. But Iranian leaders have clearly stated that nuclear weapons are un-Islamic. And the IAEA is there.

    Furthermore, Iran may not really need nuclear deterrence. Iran already has plenty of deterrence available by targeting the world’s oil supply, which sits conveniently just across the Gulf, less than a hundred miles away.

    However, the whole Iranian case has made on thing abundantly clear to those want consume nuclear power–you better produce your own fuel, because the nuclear cartel can and will use it control over the nuclear fuel supply to extract political concessions. If you want to be a sovereign state, you must produce your own fuel.

    Obama’s use of the TRR for political purposes was a gigantic mistake. It showed nuclear consumers that they really need to start their own enrichment programs for their own national security. It set the stage for a gigantic increase in nuclear proliferation instead of furthering the cause of non-proliferation.

    • You and RS Hack, above, have ideas that complement one another and they shine some light on things. Few days ago on juancole.com there was a link to a area order-of-battle study by Anthony Cordesman (less US and Israel) that put things in even clearer context: there is a military balance in the area, with a bias toward defensive systems.

      Iran’s ability to project power in a meaningful way is nil, and that’s not going to change for a long time. What they can do is make things awfully nasty/stinky/messy in the gulf. Or plant bombs through Hezbollah worldwide, that’ll look bad on the news, but otherwise make like impact. Or they can throw a missile against Israel that’d stand to cause more heart attacks than direct casualties (never mind the excuse it’d provide Israel to do what they really want to do).

      Iran’s power is in its potential to make such a huge and inconvenient stink in the gulf. Looked at objectively, Iran’s actions appear very rational, apart from posturing that seems designed to inflame and/or for domestic consumption. There’s no doubt they, or any country, could do something irrational, being managed by Human Beings of one strip or another. The issue here has been seized on by because there is no way we can know their intentions absolutely, and they can change as fast as your own mood after a plate of bad shrimp. All things considered, however confident we may be in Iran’s intentions, we are taking a chance, and is their sincerity re nukes a chance we can afford to take? In the case of the US, the real answer is a simple yes; in the context of the political power of our 51rst state, I’m afraid its a resounding NO!

      But there will need to be an excuse to attack them: a 911, or a Tonkin Gulf incident. Obama, I’m convinced, knows better, but “these other guys” know what they want and they are…relentless.

  12. This is a great piece. My only concern is that, while talking about what led to the Iraq war, you might be legitimizing that war based on fear (which was illigitimate) by using this sentence, “But strong suspicions were voiced in the US and western Europe that Iraq had reconstituted it’s weapons programs by the late 1990s”.

  13. Gareth Porter has an interesting and related article on a times.com today. What I found fascinating was the News Hour’s explanation last night. In their account the CIA brought him over to save him from being exposed in Iran, but didn’t bring his family. Additionally, they made a big point that he would soon be disappeared by Iran’s security services. If he were turned by the CIA and concerned about his safety, why make such a prediction? Porter’s explanation sounds more plausible.

  14. I read this on glenn greenwald site: “How about the Iranian Shahram Amiri? He was either a CIA agent or a CIA kidnap victim. Whatever he was, he is now back in Iran.

    Now the CIA is trying to get him killed by the Iranians by alleging he has been an informant for them for many years and also alleging he was paid five million dollars. The CIA’s sociopathic self-absorption makes them witting abettors in pushing the paranoid Iranian government into kill Amiri.

    This all makes me believe he was kidnapped because if he had been cooperating for many years why would the CIA want him dead. If It kidnapped him, then by alleging he cooperated for many years the CIA covers its misdeed and makes Amiri looks like an American spy.

    You see if he was a volunteer spy, the CIA would not out him because that would send a message to all who might be interested in spying for it that doing so will be an eventual death sentence if the person gets out of line. That seems like the most unlikely way to get informants.

    I assume the CIA could not get Amiri on the Obama hit list so it is using the Iranians as its hit squad. Is no one else bothered that the CIA is attempting to have a person killed? Is no one else bothered assuming the CIA is telling the truth that Amiri was a voluntary informant and provided valuable information that the CIA in appreciation wants him killed?”

    It seems to me the CIA would not be outing him if her were a double agent because it would serve no purpose. I go with the kidnapping deal and Amiri giving them some information but mostly false stuff which they started to catch on with causing him to flee. The proof will be watching to see what Iran does with him.

  15. “I am disturbed by this possibility because Amiri may have given false information to Washington. And the false information may have exaggerated Iran’s nuclear capabilities.”

    Not that this is new. Can we all say Curveball

    ‘Emergency Committee for Israel’ is housed in ‘Liberation of Iraq’ offices
    link to mondoweiss.net


  16. “The US has no embassy in Tehran.’

    The I lobby has made sure of that. Along with little dialogue, debate the last thirty years. Where is Dennis Ross these days? What is he up to?

  17. Go pick up any Wino off a street in Los Angelas, Chicagao, or New York and you are more likely to hear a true story than any story concocted by the US or the Iranian government. I can not see how anyone in the outside world could make heads or tails out of this nonsense.

  18. Does it seems likely that the CIA public statements that Amiri was paid $5 million and that he was a CIA spy before he “defected” to the U.S. are designed to induce Iran to imprison or execute him?

  19. Could it really be a coincidence that this is happening at the exact same time this new Emergency Committee for Israel is making its move and joining the public discourse?
    Is Amiri just another “Curveball”?

  20. watch what happens to Amiri. that will be most interesting. Iraq was a total lie. most people knew Bush et al made up it all after the IAEA couldn’t continue to fact check the “reality” in Iraq. that Bush refused to allow the IAEA to back to Iraq was proof enough no further delay would be tolerate. this is what it looked like to those of us watching the “charade.”

    so. Iran is next. with Israeli pushing for the OK, i doubt only the time table involved. that is the only thing left unspoken.

  21. “He implausibly maintains that he was kidnapped by the CIA in Mecca and held in the US against his will.”

    On what basis is this more implausible? This theory makes more sense than defecting without his family or taking the reward money, then saying he was kidnapped and leaving. You act like the US does not practice extraordinary rendition.

    “A second-tier country is in little danger of invasion or occupation on the part of the Great Powers in the 21st century if it only has conventional weapons. ”
    21st century: What about Yemen? Somalia? Haiti? Why ignore the 20st century? See link.

    link to academic.evergreen.edu

    “where those rogue states appear to go for broke in constructing a nuclear weapon, they become vulnerable to direct military intervention by one of the Great Powers. The major case here is Iraq. ”
    This make no sense, as you completely ignore that Iraq was an ally when they were constructing their nuclear program and that we assisted them (along with many other countries) in developing it. Iraq only became a “rogue state” after the invasion of Kuwait (which many believe, due to April Glapsie’s comments, was a set-up. Read: link to chss.montclair.edu)

    “Fully nuclear-armed second-tier powers are also safe from invasion and occupation, since they already have a nuclear weapon. Israel, Pakistan, India and North Korea fall in this category.”
    This contradicts your previous argument, because when they were “rogue states appearing to go for broke in constructing a nuclear weapon”, nothing happened. In fact, in the case of India, they were eventually rewarded: link to en.wikipedia.org. And for Israel,well…

    Israel was rewarded with full nuclear cooperation,
    “Israel’s Army Radio reported on Wednesday that the United States has sent Israel a secret document committing to nuclear cooperation between the two countries.”
    link to campaigniran.org

    As for Pakistan, didn’t we invade and bomb them after they got their nuke?
    link to thenation.com
    link to wired.com
    link to commondreams.org

    And it would make no sense to say that it’s not war/occupation in Pakistan because we have the support of their government, unless you apply the same logic to Afghanistan and Iraq. Which would be absurd.

    “And what if the Iranians fail to scare the US but rather spook the Obama administration into confrontation?”
    Read Obama’s speech to AIPAC about Iran (link to npr.org). He has already threatened them, just like Bush, and has been doing so for years. It is highly propagandist to even suggest that the US could be “spooked” (an ironic word) by Iran. They are no threat to our safety. We only threaten their safety. What are we expecting? Iranian “Red Dawn”?

    “So he lied about his country’s having destroyed most WMD by that point”
    But Saddam did not lie to the UN or UNSCOM or ISG. That’s crucial.
    “He would say he had no WMDs to some and say that he did to others.”
    The “others” being his regional enemies.
    Right before the invasion, Iraq delivered its declaration on weapons of mass destruction programs to the U.N. on Dec. 8. Made up of almost 11,800 pages,

    “Although the report was prepared for the United Nations, U.S.
    officials intercepted the report, edited out 8,000 pages
    (link to sundayherald.com) (over two thirds) of it, and
    delivered its Reader’s Digest version of the report to the UN.

    It was dismissed out-of-hand as lies, without objection from yet hindsight proves it was accurate.

    A German reporter managed to obtain a copy of the original report from
    Iraq, and then compared it with the truncated copy
    (link to truthout.org) the U.S. gave
    to the UN. He found that the missing parts covered the Iraqis’
    acquisition of chemical and biological weapons from the U.S., the
    delivery of non-fissionable materials for a nuclear bomb by the U.S.
    to the Iraqis, and the training of Iraqi nuclear scientists at U.S.
    nuclear facilities in Los Alamos, Sandia, and Berkeley.

    UN weapons inspector Hans Blix said the conclusions stated in the
    report were basically true — that Iraq no longer had dangerous weapons.

    Scott Ritter said, “One of the tragic ironies of the decision to invade Iraq is that
    the Iraqi WMD declaration required by security council resolution
    1441, submitted by Iraq in December 2002, and summarily rejected by
    Bush and Blair as repackaged falsehoods, now stands as the most
    accurate compilation of data yet assembled regarding Iraq’s WMD
    programs (more so than even Duelfer’s ISG report, which contains much
    unsubstantiated speculation).”

    Where were the objections from the ISG at this time?

    Let’s also not forget that Charles A. Duelfer was chosen by Tenet and was a dual employee of the ISG and CIA. The ISG’s mission was never objective or independent, though they did want a CIA-based assessment of Iraq’s WMD’s due to the turf-war with with Cheney’s OSP. They just couldn’t interfere with the war itself. Because the war was going to happen, the inspections were irrelevant. Right after the invasion, David Kay had just quit, saying “”I think there were stockpiles at the end of the first Gulf War and a combination of U.N. inspectors and unilateral Iraqi action got rid of them.” Rather than actually use this conclusion, the charade of inspections was allowed to continue. What choice did they have since we’d just occupied Iraq. It was just PR, “we haven’t found WMD’s but we’re still looking”. Charles A. Duelfer continued the mock exercise in weapons inspections just long enough to say that David Kay was indeed correct. By then, it was 2005. The war was raging. Charles A. Duelfer left to become the Special Advisor to the CEO of Omnis Inc. and therefore a war profiteer.

    Here’s an example of how un-neutral the ISG was,
    “In late 2004 the ISG and the MCTs (mobile collection teams) undertook some counterinsurgency operations, although many details remain classified. There were other missions and organizations operating within the ISG which are Top Secret and are unlikely to be declassified anytime soon.”

    Now, Charles A. Duelfer is working his magic on Iran.

    “Mr. DUELFER: Well, Neal, this is a problem. There’s a long track record with respect to Iran of lying, where they have been concealing things. And I would point to a similarity with Iraq in this case, where for many years the Iraqis were lying to the weapons inspectors, and it got the point where even when they were telling the truth, no one was prepared to believe them. And if Iran continues down the path that it has been on for the last almost two decades, the same situation could arise, and it really becomes a tough problem to know the truth.
    CONAN: And does the suggestion that IAEA – International Atomic Energy Agency -U.N. inspectors visit this newly revealed facility near Qom – does that give you confidence?
    Mr. DUELFER: Well, it doesn’t give me a lot of confidence that we’re going to get to the bottom of the Iranian program just by allowing the inspectors into this site. ”

    It always amazes me how he manages to make a country look so threatening while saying “well, we’re really not sure”.

    link to npr.org

    • Great post, I agree with all you say and remember very well how things went with Iraq WMD. What frighten me is that at the time, the European medias were much more critical toward the US propaganda. Now, with Obama which is far more palatable than Bush and with the right wing government of Sarkosy and Merkel going along with the US, we are hearing the same uncritical reports here as in the US media.

      I think that Obama is continuing the same foreign policy as Bush, that he too wants “a New Middle East” and that Iran is next on the list. People often accuses the Israelian lobby for the hawking attitude of the US in ME. Personnally I think that the true reason is the geostrategical importance of this oil rich ressource region. With peakoil nearing and the growing needs of oil by huge and fast developping countries like China and India, the US wants to make sure that it can keep its easy access to oil unhindered.
      If even Obama stands behind the worst misdeeds of Israel against thePalestinians, it is not because of the powerfull lobby of Israel, it is because Israel is the only place where they have secure ally they have in ME. The only place where they can be sure to have access.

  22. What about the ideas that Amiri’s behavior is erratic, not because he works for CIA or the Iranian government but because he is an erratic person who came up with some ideas of his own?

  23. Whoever Amiri was really working for it seems to be another screw-up for the CIA. Did they really get enough information from him to compensate for the embarassment?

    The idea that he was kidnapped by the CIA and then allowed to post on utube and later walk out is absolutely absurd – not even the CIA would be that dumb.

  24. fidel castro just reemerged a few days ago, and he is warning about an imminent war against iran, which could escalate into a nuclear profligation. what ever you think about castro, he has often been correct in his assessments, and this time i hope that he is wrong. i recall that during the lead up to the first iraq war, the cuban delegation in the u.n. was stating that the invasion of iraq was imminent, while progressives in the u.s. assumed that the u. s. was blustering.
    the u.s. navy is on the move and there is a reason for that.

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