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The Race for Iran

Shaping the Narrative about U.S. Allegations of an Iranian Assassination Plot

 

Hillary appeared yesterday on CNN International to discuss the allegations of Iranian government involvement in a bizarre plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador in Washington (please click on the video above).   Since her appearance, Obama Administration officials have been scrambling around, back-grounding reporters in an effort to boost the perceived plausibility of the U.S. government’s extremely serious accusations; for example, Reuters and the Los Angeles Times both  report this morning that  Administration officials say that it is very likely the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, approved the alleged plot, though the journalists writing these stories at least pointed out that U.S. officials have no evidence of this but are relying on “analysis.”

Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

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71 Responses to “Shaping the Narrative about U.S. Allegations of an Iranian Assassination Plot”

  1. James Canning says:

    Clint,

    Barbara Slavin’s contention that the Saudis may have created, helped to create, or manipulated the scheme, to discredit Iran, is of course entirely plausible.

  2. James Canning says:

    Kathleen,

    Stooges and dupes of the Israel lobby, in MSN, brought on the catastrophe of the Iraq War. Could not have happened without their collusion with the neocon warmongers in the Pentagon’s Office of Special Plans (run entirely by neocon Jews who openly advocated deceiving the American public by planting false stories in the media).

  3. James Canning says:

    Kathleen,

    I heartily applaud your contining efforts to expose shortcomings in MSN reporting on the Middle East, Israel/Palestine, and other matters! Keep up the good work.

  4. Rd. says:

    So the bumbling obama claims, this is my story and I am sticking to it!!!

    More and more various blogs and comments are contemplating the fallacy of this hoax. Now, the debate is moving on to by whom and why?

    One of the characters of interest on this play may prove to be the informant. Learning more about this character may provide some insight to the above questions.

    Is there a tussle for power within the royals in SA? Are the more extreme elements of SA royals making moves to grab power?

    The question of whom and why was raised by Col P Lang’s blog and the comments are even more interesting;

    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2011/10/the-mexican-quds-dog-and-his-tail.html#comments

  5. Kathleen says:

    James, Photi, Unknown unknowns…my persistent knocking my head against MSM walls of silence and extremely manipulated information is because I actually believe if Americans and most people were given as accurate information and as close to the facts as possible about threats, Israeli Palestinian issues, Iran, Nuclear non proliferation, taxes, corporate money selecting our Reps, jobs etc etc that those who take the role that citizens are supposed to play in this democracy “being vigilant” would be taken more seriously. If only we could count on our press doing what they are supposed to do. I keep trying to put cracks in the wall. Let the light shine through. I so want to believe in this process.

    Have had direct successes getting folks on some of these programs via polite hammering and been able to convince them to cover certain stories by petitioning, getting others to call etc. So glad that CNN is having Hillary Mann Leverett….just when will those so called liberals on MSNBC have her on. Or for that matter Cspan’s Washington Journal who is being endlessly attacked by the I lobbies Camera.

    Hope folks write letters in their local papers about how the MSM and local papers immediately went along with the inflammatory language about Iran that Clinton, Gerecht etc streamed through the media. How dangerous this is.

    Also encourage folks to come to RACE FOR IRAN

  6. Clint says:

    Pirouz,

    and what is “funny” is that no one seems the mention that a number of Iranian scientists have been assassinated in Iran. On the double standard:

    http://opinion.latimes.com/opinionla/2011/10/iranian-government-plan-to-assassinate-saudi-ambassador-on-american-soil.html

    quote:

    “As the United States continues down the path of state-sponsored assassination far from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, all sorts of tricky moral questions are likely to arise. But this much is clear: The world is unlikely to accept that the United States has a right to behave as it wishes without accountability all around the globe and that other nations do not.”

  7. Empty says:

    Photi,

    I think you’re blending together three distinct concepts and using them interchangeably while they must be separated and remain distinct (I believe):

    1. People’s right in the US under the first amendment to petition their government to redress their grievances — From your statements and examples, I think this is what you mean to assert (please correct me if I am wrong and/or clarify if I’m missing your point).

    2. “Lobbying” which is seeking the audience of a government entity or a legislative body/staff/elected representative “outside” of officially established channels (i.e. in the lobby, let’s say) to influence them (by means that are possible to influence someone within a capitalist system) to act based on your particular interest. That the “lobbying” has been actually fused together with #1, I believe based on multiple historical and contemporary evidence, is not accidental. I also strongly believe (again based on evidence) that “lobbying” is, by design, a corrupt process and institutionalizes injustice especially when it happens in the legislative body as the policies that “lobbied” ensure the interest of the “lobbier” at the expense of the population as a whole. This is such a huge topic that warrants in-depth exploration. If you are interested, you could explore to see how and when the concept of “lobbying” came to be fused to the above first amendment right.

    3. The third concept is “advocacy” (both in its general and in its specific sense) that you delved into in your last post (again, correct me if I am wrong.) Here too here is a very distinct difference between “policy advocacy” and lobbying. This area requires a whole lot of discussion and in-depth exploration. With respect to environmental and public health policies, this is the area in which I have the most experience and could provide most detailed first-hand information (especially in relation to #2).

  8. Pirouz says:

    Clint says:
    October 14, 2011 at 6:36 am

    That actually makes sense. Arbabsiar was seeking a drug deal and was caught in a DEA net. DEA/FBI prompted this into a drug/assassination deal. The motivation of Arbabsiar and his contacts in Iran was a drug deal, the effort by DEA/FBI was to ensnare the deal into charges of assassination/bombings.

    So the evidence will show Arbabsiar involving himself with the DEA informant’s prompt for a drug/assassination deal, while Arbabsiar and any of his contact’s real intent is to establish a drug trafficking connection.

    That’s how this makes sense.

  9. Reza Esfandiari says:

    Pepe Escobar laughs at the alleged plot on RT:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3D6BcOXNY6s

    But I really like this Arbabsiar guy – the failed used car salesman who was notoriously foregetful.

  10. Clint says:

    http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/2011/10/13/iranian-terror-mastermind-likely-wanted-drug-deal-not-murder/

    Gareth Porter published an important story about the alleged Iran terror plot. In it he notes that nowhere in the Justice Department criminal complaint does it say that Arbabsiar ever agreed to assassinate anyone. In fact, it is the DEA agent who repeatedly attempts to introduce and re-introduce the notion of perpetrating an act of terror. At no point do the charges say the Iranian ever suggested this or agreed to it.

    Porter says that what’s much more likely is that the alleged terror suspect was first drawn into the web by the prospect of doing a drug deal

  11. Clint says:

    Barbara Slavin:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/11/iran-terrot-plot-saudi-arabia-ambassador-us-assassination_n_1005861.html

    “Despite an alleged confession in this latest case with the Saudi ambassador, Slavin is among experts who are not convinced the plot was hatched at the highest levels of the Iranian regime.

    “Given the power struggle between Iran and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East, this could be a case of deception perpetrated by the Saudis to discredit Iran,” Slavin said, adding that based on the facts released “it appears that the DEA entrapped the defendants. I would want to see more of the evidence before giving credence to the charges.”

    In a later email to HuffPost after reading the indictment, Slavin added, “If Iran was really responsible, then it has certainly gone downhill in terms of tradecraft,” Slavin noted. “Also, how was Iran able to transfer funds at a time when Iranians can barely send money home to their folks because of U.S. banking sanctions? How could the Iranians have believed that this would have been blamed on a Mexican drug cartel? It doesn’t add up.”

  12. Clint says:

    TIME magazine on the alleged “WMD” plot with the used-car salesman from Texas in the middle:

    http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2096756,00.html

    “The plot’s far-fetched contours, many analysts say, fall squarely outside the pattern of Quds Force activity. With access to unlimited cash and strong ties to regional networks in Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon, the Quds Force typically operates through local proxies, leaving few fingerprints behind.”

    “….the Department of Justice’s complaint against Manssor Arbabsiar, which includes a reference to weapons of mass destruction, and is premised chiefly on main suspect’s confession. “The indictment reads like nonsense, ” says Ali Ansari, an expert on modern Iran at St. Andrew University. “If it’s true we’re in a lot of trouble, but we need concrete evidence before we can look at this soberly.”

    “…As Nader of RAND puts it, “the Islamic Republic’s top leadership is interested in power and survival. Assassinating the Saudi ambassador hurts those objectives.”

  13. kooshy says:

    The “Very Scary” Iranian Terror Plot

    By Glenn Greenwald

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article29388.htm

  14. Unknown Unknowns says:

    And don’t let’s forget how busy Kim Jong Ill is, boys and girls:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDGju21LPUs

    Herro?!

  15. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Seems to me the US had better pick on someone its own size (in spiritual stature), as it is hopelessly outgunned when it comes to playing in the Major League with the Islamic Republic. Like a loose thread that when pulled will unravel a seaminlgly seamless garment, the critical thinking that has been missing for so long in the US media and which has been ignited by the sparks which flew off when Uncle Weasel’s “blunt sword” (to use Imam Khamenei’s happy phrase) struck the solid rock of IRI Truth (al-Haqq) might well lead the sheeple to question why these same complicit and enabling media war criminals didn’t use the same critical thinking process in the even more bizarre official box-cutter conspiracy, and why the nation (and our own fyi :D ) swallowed that absurd narrative hook, line and sinker on the morning of 9/11/01, and in so doing unravel the entire fabric of the garment that veils the sham and Big Lie that is the black essence of the Hegemon’s soul.

    There is a light that never goes out. Caveat Vendor Mendacium.

  16. Photi says:

    Empty says:
    October 13, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    Empty,

    It should not matter one way or another how much my hypothetical cousin is worth.

    My point is to illustrate that “lobbying” those in power to influence the decision making process and other activities is what domestic politics is all about. Even in the absence of democracy, special interests always have their ways in which they lobby the powerful. “Lobbying” is an ever-present force in human societies, much like gravity. As such, i would much rather have lobbying efforts be regulated and open to the public than have those efforts be obscured by closed doors. Somehow there needs to be a leveled playing field so that the interests of money do not obstruct the interests of reason and justice.

  17. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Repeat post from last thread.

    I just want to repeat this post, as I didn’t get any reactions to it, probably due to the shenanigans Team Weasel has been up to with their used car salesman patsy. But I wanted others who missed it to have a chance to see the speech. If you want to skip the preamble, go to about minute 26. Warning: do so with 40 minutes to spare as the next 40 minutes are truly a tour de force. When you consider that the vast majority of people in the third world who are politically sentient (and that includes a much larger percentage of the population that that of Uncle Weasel’s flock of sheeple), when you consider that the third world is fully cognizant of this history, eloquently expressed by Ward Churchill, as well as in the Pilger documentary, you will see how pathetic and beyond-duplicitous the rhetoric of Barry ‘White’ Obama’s sounds to the vast majority of the world.

    *

    I was fortunate enough to see this speech in person a few years back and now I am happy to see that it has been uploaded onto the net. For those who don’t know, Ward Churchill got into a lot of trouble for writing on the night of 9/11/01 an article which was published the next day, stating that his first reaction to the event was that it was a case of “chickens coming home to roost”. He was later stripped of his tenured position as a university professor in a witch-hunt action.

    The whole speech is well worth your time, but if you must skip the preamble, the avalanche he delivers starts at around minute 26, where he talks about the arrival of karmic “chickens” coming back home – a tour de force indictment of US actions that have made Uncle Weasel so popular throughout the world.

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5243085207861345735

  18. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Kathleen Anna:

    I wanted to second Photi’s comment re: your NPR presence. I am allergic to NPR, but I listen as everything else gives me violent reactions. IN any case, I was pleasantly surprised to hear a voice of sanity-amid-inanity, then I came to realize it is none other than our very own Kathleen Anna. Good on you, though for the life of me I just don’t know how you do it :o)

  19. Empty says:

    Photi,

    If i have an American citizen cousin who has been kidnapped and is being held for ransom in Switzerland, in your view would it be immoral of me to lobby my local Congressional representative to intercede on my cousin’s behalf?

    It depends. How much is your cousin worth? Does he/she have a private jet? Was he/she kidnapped during the ski season?

  20. Photi says:

    Empty,

    “So, what the US congress needs a complete ban on any sort of lobbying.”

    If i have an American citizen cousin who has been kidnapped and is being held for ransom in Switzerland, in your view would it be immoral of me to lobby my local Congressional representative to intercede on my cousin’s behalf?

    I don’t know that you can make the sort of blanket statement about lobbying that you do. The ability to lobby is an important component in representative governments. The unequal representation that some lobbies are able to achieve in the US political system has less to do with lobbying itself and more to do with campaign finance and the schizophrenic worldview advanced by the mainstream US media. That is where their leverage is located and so that is where the solution is found.

    The banning of lobbying altogether (mission impossible) would be destructive and lead to more tyranny, not less.

    Obama will need a billion dollars to buy back his office at the White House in 2012. That’s the problem.

  21. Castellio says:

    I don’t find Narwani’s article convincing, for a very simple reason, there isn’t/wasn’t any serious pressure not to sell the arms.

  22. Photi says:

    Kathleen,

    I just finished listening to your comments on the Talk of the Nation with Neal Coen. I personally consider the mainstream media to be a High Stress Zone and so i tend to avoid it. Your diligence and energy is admirable:)

  23. Candide wrote:

    “Can anybody remember the last time Hillary Clinton said something that turned out to be true?”

    When Bill Clinton was running for President in 1992, Hillary mentioned that she wasn’t the kind of mother who stayed home and baked cookies. I’m pretty sure that was true.

  24. James Canning says:

    Kathleen Anna,

    Garecht (in today’s WSJ tirade against Iran) claimed that the US withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan shows the US is abandoning its hegemony in the Middle East.

    As if Iraq wants the US troops to stay.

  25. James Canning says:

    Kathleen Anna,

    I too have concerns that the gullible and rather stupid American public will allow the warmongers to set up yet another catastrophe in the Middle East.

    If this thing was a hoax, wider exposure of course will be much better than narrower.

    Is it possible some people inside the Iranian guards are helping the scheme to appear plausible?

  26. James Canning says:

    Eric,

    Good pointa about the Niger yellowcake forgeries. A surprising number of Americans are so stupid as not to care that the documents were forged, and that Stephen Hadley knew they were forgeries when he allowed, and even insisted, that G W Bush refer to “efforts to obtain uranium in Africa” when Hadley – - No. 2 in National Security Council – - knew this to be untrue. I think the reference was “weasel-worded” to provide Hadley and the other conspirators with deniability.

  27. James Canning says:

    khurshid,

    Yes, I too noticed how strong Prince Turki al-Feisal’s language was, in accusing Iran.

  28. James Canning says:

    Rob Hughes,

    Thanks for link. Narwani is clearly correct that this entire affair is an effort to demonise Hezbollah as well as Iran.

    P J Crowley told BBC America yesterday that a motive for the plot might be Iranian fears arising from the Arab Spring. As if Mubarak was Tehran’s best friend.

  29. James Canning says:

    Ithink Hillary does well to underline, as she does, the fact the Iranians did not assassinate Saudi diplomats (or other Saudis for that matter), to retaliate for Saudi support of Iraq during eight long years of war.

  30. Candide says:

    Can anybody remember the last time Hillary Clinton said something that turned out to be true?

    Thought not.

  31. Rob Hughes says:

    The best explanation i’ve seen on the motive behind Washington’s accusations is here
    http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2011/narwani121011.html.

  32. khurshid says:

    US plot claim against Iran is indeed weird and comedy. What I find equally starange is that everybody is talking about the US making baseless and irrational claims however no one is saying anything about Saudi Arabia’s green-lighting this baseless claim. If US is quilty of making baseless claim than Saudi regime is equally guilty. Former Saudi intelligence chief Turkey Al-Faisal accused Iran of murder plot.

  33. I thought Hillary came across very well in this interview.

    It’s important to come down hard on this sort of story. It may well be a trial balloon, aimed to determine how much of the American public will ask for some evidence and how much of it will not require that. If the latter group appears to be very large, the US administration probably will follow with more of the same, each claim more baseless and outlandish than the last.

    As Hillary aptly reminds us, the answer to the same question for Iraq — specifically, the “Niger yellowcake” story — was that very, very few Americans asked for evidence, and very, very many said that the government’s allegations were evidence enough for them. Even more remarkable to me at the time, very few in the latter group changed their minds even after it had been clearly established that the Niger story was fabricated.

    I hope the level of American skepticism has risen since then, and comments on this story suggest that is the case. Nonetheless, as the old circus promoter, P.T. Barnum, once said: “No one ever went broke underestimating the gullibility of the American people.”

  34. I’d assumed everyone in Iran was much too busy making nuclear weapons to have time left over for assassination plots.

  35. Kathleen Anna says:

    James when the Wall Street Journal, local papers like the Dayton Daily News (you can be sure many other local papers) put on their front page the wire article “Iran’s attempt to attack the US” and Chris Matthews and others immediately jump on talking about “retaliation” like Reuel Marc Gerecht how much damage is done when these inflammatory and dangerous statements continue to build the stage for Israel attacking Iran with their bunker busters etc.

    Damage all ready done…stage for a military confrontation still being built

  36. Kathleen Anna says:

    James “he Wall Street Journal devoted half a page to a propagnda piece by Reuel Marc Garecht, calling for a military “response” from the US. Sheer idiocy.”

    Diane Rehm has allowed Reuel Marc Gerecht to repeat unsubstantiated claims about Iran several times over the last eight years. Did not challenge him once. Not once.

    Neil Conan has allowed John Bolton numerous times to spend almost 40 minutes repeating one unsubstantiated claim after another on his program aBout Iran. No challenging questios.

    Today on NPR’s Talk of the Nation they focused on this issue. I was able to get through (Anna my middle name) and plug Race for Iran, Hillary Mann Leverett and Flynt Leverett and encourage listeners to come to this site for qualified information and important discussions. Hope that brings a few more folks here.

    Brought up how there is no need to wonder why the American public should be questioning the integrity of this information and questioning Attorney General Holder (who went along with Marc Rich’s pardon, went along with the dismissal of the Aipac Rosen/Weissma trial, allowed telecommunication companies off the hook for wiretapping, has not held anyone accountable for the “pack of lies” used to invade Iraq, torture, torture etc etc) How we have every right to be questioning Secretary of State Clintons integrity after having voted for the 2002 Iraq war resolution (when Senator Durbin on the intelligence committee voted against (should have been a clue). Former Iraq WMD inspector Scott Ritter wrote a fair amount about how the Clintons were well aware that Iraq’s nuclear program had been dismantled.

    Clinton along with Ledeen, Gerecht, McCain, Gaffney, Cheney, Kristol, David “axis of evil” Frum, Rubin, Feith, etc etc have been all over referencing Iran’s nuclear program as a NUCLEAR WEAPONS program. And repeating the debunked (by Professor Juan Cole) statement that the Iranian President said “Iran wants to wipe Israel off the Map” Hell President Obama repeated this recently at the UN.

    The bad bad bad Iran drums have been beating for eight long years. When will Israel and the I lobby allow the US to actually negotiate with Iran? When will the US pressure Israel to sign the Non Proliferation Treaty?

    And when will more MSM outlets have Hillary Mann Leverett and Flynt on their programs to discuss Iran the lack of negotiations with Iran, the election in Iran, the Iaea and Iras right to enrich uranium. Instead of immediately bringing up “retaliation” against Iran the way Chris Matthews did the other night

  37. Empty says:

    Photi,

    RE: If Iranian Americans would abandon their (what is in my opinion quite loathsome) disloyalty, they could start lobbying the US congress to take a more reconciliatory approach with Iran. Real change in American foreign policy towards Iran will be effected through the Congress.

    I definitely do not recommend lobbying for any group, people, or nations (not even Iranian Americans). Lobbying, by design, is a corrupt, self-serving, and morally bankrupt process and while serving the interest of a select few in the short run, ends up hurting the populations as a whole. In addition, in policy-making decisions, the lobbying itself encourages corruption of the legislating bodies and encourages mushrooming of policies that are not based on sound, sober, and fair assessments but based on who is paying and pressuring the most (a real dog-eat-dog world). So, what the US congress needs a complete ban on any sort of lobbying.

    Also, since I do not believe the end justifies the means, I cannot agree that Iranian American lobbying would be a good idea.

  38. fyi says:

    Fiorangela says: October 13, 2011 at 2:14 pm & Richard Steven Hack says: October 13, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    Iran has been smearing US.

    This is the US response.

    Information War Par Excellence.

  39. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    One of the most interesting aspects of the Niger yellowcake forgeries is that the CIA in Rome determined they were bogus almost within hours. Maybe not almost. Yet they were used in G W Bush “State of the Union” address in 2003 to help set up illegal invasion of Iraq. And who set this up? Condi Rice’s deputy at the NSC, Stephen Hadley. Who, with Rice, is a “consultant” to foreign countries.

  40. Iranian says:

    thanks Liz, i think you’ll find this a good read too (with some other interesting facts):

    ‘US anti-Iran allegation implausible’

    http://www.campaigniran.org/casmii/index.php?q=node/11731

  41. One analysis of this I’ve read in Asia Times today has brought up an interesting point is whether the alleged plot was in fact INTENDED to fail but in actuality to send a message via that failure to the Saudis and the US and Israel not to push Iran too far in terms of things like the assassination of Iran’s nuclear scientists and the like.

    I find that unlikely, however, as the Iranians have to know that something like this will only be turned against them PUBLICLY. If they had intended just to send a message to the intelligence and military and political authority of the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia, it would have been done “on background” and most likely in another country, not the US.

    As other articles have pointed out, Iran hasn’t conducted a hit on anyone for at least 17 years and NEVER in the continental US. The South American operations have never been proven to be Iranian or even Hizballah.

    Also, they keep bringing up the “rogue element” theory. The Asia Times article says there ARE NO “rogue elements” in Iranian intelligence. They are tightly controlled organizations which report directly to the clerical establishment.

    More importantly, it doesn’t matter whether it was possibly a “rogue element”. The US and Saudi response has been to blame the Iranian leadership directly, despite zero evidence. And any Iranian “rogue element” presumably would know this would happen. There may be some stupid elements in the IRGC who wouldn’t mind a war with the US – although this is doubtful – but this sort of operation would only get them in hot water with the leadership.

    Once again, I point out that the ONLY “evidence” connecting to Iran is the alleged transfer of $100K from an Iranian bank to the US. And this is not evidence of anything for two reasons: 1) any competent hacker could have set this up from outside of Iran, and 2) any Iranian intelligence organization stupid enough to send the funds directly from Iran would get sacked. It’s on a par with the Pakistanis sending $100K to one of the 9/11 hijackers – if that in fact happened.

    The whole plot has to be considered a false flag operation initiated by either the Israelis or the US or possibly the Saudis – or all three.

  42. BiBiJon says:

    Connecting the Dots
    =================

    Just when you think ‘it’s so ludicrous’ that you’re aabout to hit the snooze button, it might be time for … connecting the dots.

    The Tehran Declaration => 4th round of sanctions
    Offer to stop 20% enrichment => assassination plot

    I expect there are an endless number of shoe/car/furniture salesmen in the FBI pipeline ready to be sprung at a moment’s notice to answer Iran, next time she dares act reasonably.

  43. hans says:

    James Canning says:
    October 13, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    The price should just be higher then the stock price of JP Morgan. You do not need much money to get JPM to crash. Remember the JPM is the FED. Here is a light hearted look at how JPM naked shorts are manipulating the price of paper silver and gold
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gl47z2g2EvI or visit Max Keiser site.

  44. Fiorangela says:

    Max Fisher in Atlantic mag. agrees with Hillary Leverett, only moreso:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/10/would-iran-really-want-to-blow-up-the-saudi-ambassador-to-the-us/246505/

    “What would it really mean for Iran if the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. were killed in a terrorist attack in Washington? The U.S.-Saudi relationship has been bad and getting worse since the start of the Arab Spring, with the Saudi monarchy working increasingly against the democratic movements that the U.S. supports. A senior member of the royal family even threatened to cut off the close U.S.-Saudi relationship if Obama opposed the Palestinian statehood bid, which he did. [1.] If the U.S. and Saudi Arabia really broke off their seven-decade, oil-soaked romance, it would be terrific news for Iran. Saudi Arabia depends on the U.S. selling it arms, helping it with intelligence, and overlooking its domestic and regional (see: Bahrain) abuses.

    [2.]If the U.S.-Saudi alliance fell apart, the Shia-majority Islamic Republic of Iran would have an easier time pushing its regional influence against Saudi Arabia, especially in some of the crucial states between the two: Iraq, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates. Iran would be able to reverse its increasing regional isolation and perhaps flip some Arab leaders from the U.S.-Saudi sphere toward its own. The best part of this, for Iran, is that it probably wouldn’t even have to do anything: the U.S.-Saudi special relationship, if it collapses, would do so without Iran having to lift a finger. The dumbest thing that Iran could possibly do, then, would be stop the collapse, to find some way to bring the U.S. and Saudi Arabia back together. For example, by attempting to blow up the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. on American soil. “

    The link to Fisher was posted in an article by Emptywheel, :http://www.emptywheel.net/2011/10/11/bank-transfers-of-mass-destruction/

    According to Pat Lang’s Sic Semper Tyrannis blog, Emptywheel “broke the news story on how many times KSM had been waterboarded and she did extensive coverage of the Scooter Libby trial and the FBI’s investigations into the anthrax case. Basically, she spends a lot of time poring over and through material and comparing the sources looking for overlooked material, gaps, etc. This makes sense as she’s a non-practicing PhD in Comparative Literature. In this case she went through the criminal complaint and compared the material that the DOJ has released and what has been said in the media availabilities. While she’s not making any definite conclusions, she seems to be arguing that this is more of the same from the FBI – find someone that can be manipulated by a confidential informant and then run with it.” :http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2011/10/some-interesting-material-pertaining-to-the-quds-plot.html

  45. Voice of Tehran says:

    http://www.veteranstoday.com/2011/10/13/busted-mr-president-we-believe-iran/

    “”We know you have sold your soul to Israel, agreed to veto Palestinian statehood, a trade for election money. You are an idiot. Israel is paying off both sides, as usual, as are the drug cartels. If you wonder why your Attorney General may face prosecution? It turns out he was involved in running guns to the Mexican cartels, the same cartels you are now claiming are tied to Iranian “terrorists.”
    The only terrorists we tie the cartels to are your own, Homeland Security Janet Napolitano’s “Operation Fast and Furious.” Did the cartels get Stinger missiles too? We will have to wait and see….

  46. James Canning says:

    Jim Bovard has some interesting comments today (“DEA Informants – America’s Biggest Liars?” Qote: “DEA informants are notorious for being even more dishonest than congressmen.”

    http://www.amconmag.com/blog/

  47. Liz says:

    this is really interesting

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRClen8gO1o&feature=youtube_gdata

    it’s funny how the American media just mimic what the government says

  48. fyi says:

    Thank you Dr. Hillary Leverett for defending Iran.

  49. James Canning says:

    hans,

    Are you arguing that a high price for silver is a good thing for Iran? Or that Iran benefits if the value of the US dollar declines against the Japanese yen, or the euro?

  50. James Canning says:

    The Finacial Times in a leader today, in stark contrast to the foolishness urged by the Wall Street Journal, called for more information to be gathered before conclusions are drawn.

  51. James Canning says:

    The Wall Street Journal devoted half a page to a propagnda piece by Reuel Marc Garecht, calling for a military “response” from the US. Sheer idiocy.

  52. Castellio says:

    There are three articles related to this worth reading by Richard Silverstein, who is also speaking out.

    http://www.richardsilverstein.com/

  53. ME Watcher says:

    Neither Hezbollah nor Iran were behind the bombing in Argentina. The chief judge was paying big money for confessions and he was filmed doing so. Also, there was never any real evidence and the Americans (like in this case) were applying enormous pressure on the Argentinian government.

  54. Castellio says:

    Great work, Hillary. You talk about Iranians as if they are rational people with intelligence and moral values, which they are.

    The limits of your freedom of speech are also evident. When asked who benefits you are willing to say, correctly, Iran doesn’t. But you do not point to Israeli interests who openly call for hot confrontation, nor do you point to political allies of those Israeli interests current in the administration who reasonable people might conclude are also pushing for hot confrontation.

    You point to the forged Niger documents, and ask with genuine urgency that the evidence be closely examined and cross-examined, but you don’t point out that Holder should have, in any rational world, done exactly that prior to a very public commitment to retaliation.

    Alright, one can only do so much in today’s America, and its best to stand on ground where you are most comfortable. You’re boxed in, but in that box you’re very capable, convincing, and you’re hanging tough.

    It’s a good strategy. Hang tough Hilary. Stay compact and measured. Others need to speak out and join you. Lives depend on it.

  55. fyi says:

    hans says: October 13, 2011 at 11:38 am

    You are not completely wrong; crash of silver prices is what crushed the Qajar Dynasty’s finances in the 19-th century.

    But the ruling class where dumb, fat, and happy; clueless as how the world around them had changed.

  56. Photi says:

    Hillary Leverett, thanks for being the voice of reason on CNN. They should hire you to nightly lecture Americans on what we do not know.

  57. Photi says:

    Empty says:
    October 13, 2011 at 11:37 am

    “One more thing……the question some might ask is why Iran, and why such ridiculously obvious and obviously ridiculous plot. The answer is in the question. It had to be so not to actually start a war but to create an immediate and alarming buzz among ALL intelligent circles (as it obviously did) in the US.”

    Empty,

    I hope all these intelligent circles arrive at the intelligent determination that these two Great Nations need a full diplomatic rapprochement in order to advance the cause of peace in the region. Ignoring each other is no longer an option.

     Americans generally and Iranian Americans especially should quit being so obstinate and come to terms with the Islamic Republic.

    If Iranian Americans would abandon their (what is in my opinion quite loathsome) disloyalty, they could start lobbying the US congress to take a more reconciliatory approach with Iran. Real change in American foreign policy towards Iran will be effected through the Congress.

  58. acai says:

    We have an ugly history of lying ourselves into wars.
    Iraq WMD & Yellowcake, as Hillary referenced.
    The phony attack in the Gulf of Tonkin and Vietnam.
    The alleged bombing of the USS Maine, prior to the Spanish American War.
    Saddam’s thugs tossing babies out of incubators, prior to Desert Storm.
    The speculation that Qaddafi was about to massacre Libyan civilians.
    There is nothing new here.
    People need to wake up.

  59. Kathleen says:

    Go Hillary “an intentional fraud” Great that CNN had you on. Still trying to get MSNBC to have you on. Hell Chris Matthews was one of the MSM host who reactively jumped and demanded “retaliation” against Iran on the first day of the release of this story. He simmered down a bit last night. But will he or Rachel Maddow who has also jumped on the go get Iran band wagon have Hillary Mann Leverett or Flynt Leverett on their so called liberal news programs?

    The interviewer asked “who does this serve” Hillary explains how in no way shape or form could this serve Iran. But hopefully Hillary and Flynt will discuss how once these inflammatory, unsubstantiated,irresponsible and dangerous claims about Iran dominate the front page of our local and national papers, repeated on MSM outlets how this builds the go get Iran stage by the very same folks who lied the US into Iraq

    The Diane Rehm show focused on the “alleged” plot this morning. Comments and at their blog interesting.

    “Implications of Alleged Iranian Assassination Plot
    The United States promised Iran will face serious consequences if it’s found to have been involved in an alleged terror plot on U.S. soil. The Justice Department accused an Iranian-American of planning to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s U.S. ambassador with the help of a Mexican drug cartel. The White House said the plot clearly involved senior levels of Iran’s security forces. Iran strongly denied the accusations. Some Iran experts here and abroad voiced skepticism about Iranian government involvement. They say little about the case resembles Tehran’s past actions. An update on the bizarre case and the implications for U.S.-Iran relations.

    Guests
    Michael Greenberger director, Center for Health and Homeland Security at the University of Maryland; former senior regulator, Commodities Futures Trading Commission.

    Barbara Slavin senior fellow, The Atlantic Council; author of four reports on Iran in the past year; and author of “Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies: Iran, the U.S and the Twisted Path to Confrontation.”

    Trita Parsi president, National Iranian American Council; author of the forthcoming book “A Single Roll of the Dice – Obama’s Diplomacy with Iran.”

    In regard to verifiable evidence being necessary to prove that upper level Iranian officials were involved with this alleged plot. One of the NPR guest Micheal Greenberger said “this is something that does not need to be proved”

    Jesus Mary and Joseph…not enough dead, injured and displaced based on false intelligence for this guy.

    Whose fingerprints are on those checks allegedly sent to the plotters? Micheal Ledeen’s, Micheal Rubins, Cheneys?

  60. hans says:

    Rehmat says:
    October 13, 2011 at 9:08 am
    US: ‘Iran is plotting to bankrupt US’

    This is not far fetched, I have said that Iran’s destiny is tied with the price of Silver. Check the volatility of JPM and SLV (paper Silver) and you could see why USA is cocking a story like the assassination attempt. It does not take a lot of money to crash the USA. I still say that 15 and the 17 October are days that we should watch to know how this cycle will end.

  61. Empty says:

    One more thing……the question some might ask is why Iran, and why such ridiculously obvious and obviously ridiculous plot. The answer is in the question. It had to be so not to actually start a war but to create an immediate and alarming buzz among ALL intelligent circles (as it obviously did) in the US.

  62. Dan Cooper says:

    Fiorangela says:

    October 13, 2011 at 11:07 am

    “enormously impressed with the straightforward logic of Dr. Hillary Leverett’s argument, with the quiet strength with which she held her ground, and her ability to deal with media that has devolved to verbal jujitsu.

    This RFI forum is a privilege.”

    I have exactly the same sentiment and respect hillary & Flynt enormously.

  63. Empty says:

    Oh what a tangled web we weave….When first we practice to deceive [By S.W. Scott, Marmion, 1808]

    As unlikely as it might appear on first glance, this is very much on the topic and not “off topic”:

    In September (last month), the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit voted [a 6-to-6 vote] for legal challenges against the wiretapping of Americans’ international communications without a warrant or adequate judicial supervision in anti-terrorism investigations. As I have understood (legal-minded folks should chime in and clarify this) because the vote was a tie, it allows an earlier ruling that because the wiretaps are secret, no one knows for certain whether they have actually been tapped, and that means no one has a right to sue the government. It appears that a majority supreme court justices in favor of that ruling have turned into a half-and-half (in favor of viewing the wiretapping of Americans’ (i.e. citizens) international communications as illegal and “sue-able”.

    The buzz circulating by the “progressives” [mostly in academic ivory towers] who love to love Obama and hate to hate Obama circulating in the past few weeks that they hope/wish the Obama administration does not appeal to the Supreme Court and allows the legal challenge to go forward. If indeed there is a favorable outcome (favorable for American citizens, that is) with respect to this challenge, then both Bush and Obama administrations could be sued retroactively for their illegal spying games on American citizens.

    The Obama administration, I think, is trying to have its cake and eat it too. Just look at the number of times it was/is emphasized that the miserable fellow is an American citizen and he “calls” to give/receive instructions. What do they really think that people have fallen off of a turnip van?

  64. Fiorangela says:

    enormously impressed with the straightforward logic of Dr. Hillary Leverett’s argument, with the quiet strength with which she held her ground, and her ability to deal with media that has devolved to verbal jujitsu.

    This RFI forum is a privilege.

  65. Pirouz says:

    Fiorangela says:
    October 13, 2011 at 9:49 am

    I really wonder what Iran’s investigative security agencies have come up with. I assume they’re focusing on the suspect in American custody’s contacts in Iran, his background in the country, and the wire transfer of funds if they passed through or originated in Iran.

    Given Iran’s experiences with the UN, as well as their political disadvantages there, I can see how they might balk at rejecting the case. But on the other hand, they have registered a formal complaint at the UN, as well. Perhaps Iran’s potential move at the UN might be determined by the strength of their own internal investigation.

  66. Fiorangela says:

    worth reflecting that Iran has chosen not to appear in a number of legal cases brought against it in US courts. One example is the case of Jewish American families who were harmed in Intifada bombings while in Israel, and sued Iran in US courts. Iran did not appear to mount a defense; the complaining families were awarded judgments, and have been attempting to seize Iranian assets in the US, including ancient Persian clays held at University of Chicago. The point is that US practitioners — Allen Dershowitz comes to mind — are more nimble at legal proceedings of the kind contemplated in the Reuters report, below, than might be expected of Iranian jurists.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/13/us-iran-usa-plot-treaty-idUSTRE79C0SE20111013?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&rpc=71

    Alleged Iran plot may have violated U.N. treaty

    Clinton: Alleged Iran plot a “dangerous escalation”
    Wed, Oct 12 2011

    Credit: Reuters/Morteza Nikoubazl

    By Jeremy Pelofsky

    WASHINGTON | Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:12am EDT

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An alleged plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States may have violated a U.N. treaty protecting diplomats and could escalate the crisis to an international court.

    U.S. authorities have arrested Iranian-American Manssor Arbabsiar for the alleged plot and accused a second Iranian man, Gholam Shakuri, who is believed to be at large in Iran and a member of the country’s elite Quds Force.

    If they were involved in a plot to kill Saudi Ambassador Adel al-Jubeir, that would likely violate the U.N. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes Against Internationally Protected Persons.

    The treaty, which Iran signed in 1978, would require Tehran to consider prosecuting Shakuri in its court system or extradite him to a requesting country, potentially the United States or Saudi Arabia, both longtime foes.

    An important sticking point to any prosecution or extradition is that Iran has fiercely denied the allegations and is unlikely to turn Shakuri over to any country.

    “This is one of those areas where there’s not really too much fuzziness. It’s very clear that these kind of people (diplomats), these kind of officials, they’re immune from attack,” said David Kaye, executive director of the UCLA School of Law’s International Human Rights Law Program.

    Jubeir was named Saudi ambassador to the United States in early 2007 after serving in the embassy in Washington. He is considered a close adviser to Saudi King Abdullah, a key U.S. ally in the volatile and oil-rich Middle East region.

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a point on Wednesday of noting that Iran had agreed to the U.N. treaty.

    “This kind of reckless act undermines international norms and the international system. Iran must be held accountable for its actions,” she said.

    TWO OPTIONS

    The United States has two options if Iran officially rejects the case, including pursuing action at the U.N. Security Council. That was done when Libya refused to hand over two men accused of the Pan Am 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland.

    The United States or Saudi Arabia could bring it to the United Nations and argue that “these are very obvious violations and for the Security Council to do nothing in light of this major attempted violation cheapens the words” of the treaty, Kaye said.

    Another option, if there is a dispute under the U.N. treaty for protected persons, is that one side can seek an arbitration and ultimately a ruling from the Court of International Justice, located in the Netherlands.

    “Basically it’s asking the court to interpret whether the convention has in fact been violated,” said Sean Murphy, a professor at George Washington University Law School who has argued several cases before the court.”

  67. Pirouz says:

    I agree, Hillary. The more we learn of the suspect, the more it appears cockamamie.

    What’s required of the USG is actual evidence of IRI and IRGC/Quds involvement other than the suggestions provided to the suspect through investigative technique. The money trace requires detailing, as well. The USG states there are telephone recordings of instruction from IRGC/Quds officials. Those require analyzing.

    So far, it appears we may be looking at another rendering of the Hamid Hayat case in Lodi California. In the current case involving Manssor Arbabsiar, similar investigative techniques appear to have been applied, only this time the charges themselves are being applied to far reaching foreign policy.

  68. Rehmat says:

    US: ‘Iran is plotting to bankrupt US’

    The UN Drug Report 2011, has praised Islamic Republic, which shares a 936-kilometer border with Afghanistan and a 909-kilometer border with Pakistan, for intercepting 89 percent of all the seized opium worldwide. Afghanistan under US-NATO occupation has become world’s largest producer of illicit drugs . The report hopes the rest of the world will follow suit.

    I bet the UNDC report says much more than Zionist-occupied Washington’s claim that Tehran tried to assassinate Saudi diplomat.

    http://rehmat2.wordpress.com/2011/10/13/us-%e2%80%98iran-is-plotting-to-bankrupt-us%e2%80%99/