Wikileaks Gates: No Iranian Help to Taliban

What they tell us:

In summer of 2009, it was revealed that Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair informed the US Congress that, according to Marcus Baram at HuffPo,

“Iran is covertly supplying arms to Afghan insurgents while publicly posing as supportive of the Afghan government.” That includes the provision of small arms, mines, rocket-propelled grenades, rockets, mortars and plastic explosives. Ironically, Blair also noted that Iran has been assisting Afghanistan with developing their security capabilities through the “construction of border security facilities.”

Gen. Stanley McChrystal publicly made similar charges in fall, 2009.

What they tell each other:

According to a newly released wikileaks document, in February of this year, Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates met with Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini. Afghanistan was on the agenda.

Gates “noted that intelligence indicated there was little lethal material crossing the Afghanistan-Iran border.”…

I have been saying for years that the occasional Pentagon or other USG allegations of Iranian support for the hyper-Sunni, Shiite-killing Taliban are just war propaganda. Iran has Afghan President Hamid Karzai on a $2 mn. a year retainer! Why would Tehran want to overthrow him? Gates told Frattini the real story, not the cover story.

It appears that in private they level with other security bureaucrats, but then lie in public to Obama and the Congress.

You could imagine a good Saturday Night Live skit about “Wikileaks Gates” (the honest straight shooter) and “Television Gates” (who says what we’ve all been hearing). And, mind you, Gates is not by any means the worst offender.

Posted in Afghanistan | 12 Responses | Print |

12 Responses

  1. Now the Neoconservative … warmongers will push for military strikes against Iran and its 70 million people.

    There is no proof that Iran has any intention to harm America or any other nation.

    There is no evidence that Iran has these “19 advanced missiles from North Korea”.

    There is no evidence that Iran has anything other than civilian intentions for its nuclear program. Iran isn’t presently capable of enriching uranium to weapons-grade, nor will it be for many years. The wikileaks cables don’t accelerate the nuclear clock at all.

  2. We should not blindly accept the content of the cables as truth. The contents will need to be analyzed, criticized and tested for validity and truth.

    It is possible that the US government has included prevarications in the cables to make Iran look worse than it is, and to help pave the way toward war against the people of Iran.

  3. Now that wikileaks has established that the Saudies are the principal financiers of al Qaeda…
    ” Saudi donors remain the chief financiers of Sunni militant groups like Al Qaeda, and the tiny Persian Gulf state of Qatar, a generous host to the American military for years, was the “worst in the region” in counterterrorism efforts, according to a State Department cable last December. Qatar’s security service was “hesitant to act against known terrorists out of concern for appearing to be aligned with the U.S. and provoking reprisals,” the cable said.”

    Can we now expect to see some action to take down these bastards, responsible for 911 and the rest of the stuff they have done in many countries?

    It can only be be the rich relatives (princes) of the King funding this organisation, al Qaeda sure isn’t being financed by the expat workers in Saudie Arabia who make a pittance compared with the billions each one of the 1000 princes is worth.

    So why does the West, NATO, USA and everyone else who is at war with al Qaeda put up with this situation?

    The Saudies are screaming out for attacks on Iran and demanding Iran lose all access to international banking, so how about sticking it to them, that they lose all travel rights and banking rights if the kingdom allows it’s princes to fund al Qaeda?

    Ditto for Qatar… get on board, or lose your international priveledges!


    • You can’t take low-level cables as the gospel truth. Sometimes they just reflect the prejudices of clerks. And, they didn’t say the Saudi royals are funding al-Qaeda. As for Qatar, not being willing to jump to arrest people on American say-so is not the same thing as helping al-Qaeda. The Emir of Qatar was instrumental in the capture of Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, and the al-Udeid airbase he gave the American Air Force is a key strategic and logistical asset for the US in the region. This kind of shooting from the hip reaction to a few cables is not very helpful– this site is about a reasoned and balanced approach to the evidence.

    • Why do they put up with it? Well, somehow I think it has to do with a little liquid hydrocarbon called “oil” (okay, petroleum if you if you’re European) which is quite literally the lifeblood of the global economy (American lifestyles in particular are extremely oil dependent). The Saudis are sitting on more of it than anyone else (Canada’s tar sands do not count, IMHO, due to the immense economic and environmental costs required to extract, process and refine this material) as such they have been given carte blanche for the last seven decades or so as long as they keep the black gold oozing. These documents are not likely to alter that arrangement significantly.

  4. Yet, the headline news on the NY Times was not about the Gate’s double talk. The item that caught their attention was a line in the document that Saudi King wants Iran bombed. NYTimes is becoming like Soviet Union’s Pravda newspaper.

  5. Juan – it might look like “shooting from the hip” now but mark my words, it will look like reason soon enough.

  6. Gates told Frattini the real story, not the cover story.

    It appears that in private they level with other security bureaucrats, but then lie in public to Obama and the Congress.

    — Juan Cole

    [[Precisely, and devastatingly so.]

  7. I guess I don’t understand the allegation. What you’re saying is that in the summer and September of 2009, two US government officials claimed that arms were being given by Iran to the Afghan insurgents. In February 2010, another US government official said there was little arms crossing the border.

    There’s plenty of ways to explain this without resorting to conspiracies. Here’s a few: (1) Different people have different opinions that doesn’t mean one of them is necessarily lying, (2) The time gap shows a changing view on Iran’s activity in the region, (3) the nature of the aid is different (example: McChrystal’s report cites training and intelligence aid, Gate’s comment is about arming the insurgents with weapons), (4) The first article you cite is about a government official citing the HuffPo; he’s not citing official US intelligence reports. Besides, if this was all a conspiracy to make the American people support war with Iran, it is hopelessly anemic. Two guys make some charges against Iran over a year ago? If this was the conspiracy to go to war, the US government is doing it all wrong. FOX News does a far, far better job of creating fear and worry by constantly harping on one issue and acting like it’s a big deal.

    Also, if you’re going to talk about “what they’re telling us”, then how about citing this paragraph from the HuffPo in May, 2010: “Last month, McChrystal said there were indications that Taliban were training in Iran, but not very many and not in a way that it appeared it was part of an Iranian government policy.” See that? “Not in a way that it appeared it was part of an Iranian government policy”. Clearly, he’s agitating for war against Iran.

Comments are closed.