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Batten down the free-speech hatches, it’s time to bomb Iran

https://www.sott.net/

The recent network related attack on SOTT.net known as ARP poisoning which redirected traffic to sites hosting malicious software comes at a curious time. While presidential candidates are pledging allegiance to Israel at AIPAC meetings, the Israeli Prime Minister is ordering Bush to prepare for strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

His warning also comes on the heels of former German foreign minister, Joschka Fischer, warning of an impending Israeli strike against Iran:

As a result of misguided American policy, the threat of another military confrontation hangs like a dark cloud over the Middle East. The United States’ enemies have been strengthened, and Iran – despite being branded as a member of the so-called “axis of evil” – has been catapulted into regional hegemony. Iran could never have achieved this on its own, certainly not in such a short time.

A hitherto latent rivalry between Iran and Israel thus has been transformed into an open struggle for dominance in the Middle East. The result has been the emergence of some surprising, if not bizarre, alliances: Iran, Syria, Hizbullah, Hamas and the American-backed, Shiite-dominated Iraq are facing Israel, Saudi Arabia, and most of the other Sunni Arab states, all of which feel existentially threatened by Iran’s ascendance.

The danger of a major confrontation has been heightened further by a series of factors: persistently high oil prices, which have created new financial and political opportunities for Iran; the possible defeat of the West and its regional allies in proxy wars in Gaza and Lebanon; and the United Nations Security Council’s failure to induce Iran to accept even a temporary freeze of its nuclear program.

Anyone following the press in Israel during the anniversary celebrations and listening closely to what was said in Jerusalem did not have to be a prophet to understand that matters are coming to a head. Consider the following:

First, “stop the appeasement!” is a demand raised across the political spectrum in Israel – and what is meant is the nuclear threat emanating from Iran.

Second, while Israel celebrated, Defense Minister Ehud Barak was quoted as saying that a life-and-death military confrontation was a distinct possibility.

Third, the outgoing commander of the Israeli Air Force declared that the air force was capable of any mission, no matter how difficult, to protect the country’s security. The destruction of a Syrian nuclear facility last year, and the lack of any international reaction to it, were viewed as an example for the coming action against Iran.

Fourth, the Israeli wish list for US arms deliveries, discussed with the American president, focused mainly on the improvement of the attack capabilities and precision of the Israeli Air Force.

Fifth, diplomatic initiatives and UN sanctions when it comes to Iran are seen as hopelessly ineffective.

And sixth, with the approaching end of the Bush presidency and uncertainty about his successor’s policy, the window of opportunity for Israeli action is seen as potentially closing.

The last two factors carry special weight. While Israeli military intelligence is on record as saying that Iran is expected to cross the red line on the path to nuclear power between 2010 and 2015 at the earliest, the feeling in Israel is that the political window of opportunity to attack is now, during the last months of Bush’s presidency.

In the meantime, Israel is preparing for its next genocidal assault on Gaza, “nearing the day of reckoning in the Gaza Strip” as Defense Minister Ehud Barak is quoted as saying.

With all the warnings of an impending attack on Iran, the Bush-Israel axis isn’t even going to bother with a coordinated propaganda campaign to rally the masses for the bombing, not with Bush’s historically low job rating. They know it won’t work again this time. So instead they’re just going to try to shut down the dissenting media, launch their attack, control the flow of information and the fascist state apparatus will get the support after the fact. They may be picking on sott.net to see how fast it can recover before moving on to the bigger sites. Or could this whole thing be a “cover” for something else? Who knows? One thing is for certain, it’s not just the Chinese who can hack into a computer network. Consider this recent exercise to bring down a network. Or maybe they’ll just blow up the entire data center. A “faulty transformer” was blamed for the recent outage at Planet.com.

When firefighters arrived at around 5 p.m., they could see “light smoke” at the Planet data center — the aftermath of an explosion in a network gear room that produced enough force to move walls. Sprinklers quickly doused whatever flames erupted; the fire was attributed to an electrical problem with a transformer, according to a Houston Fire Department spokeswoman. There were no injuries.

Although the data center says it has power systems that “are designed to run uninterrupted” and a “fully redundant network operations center” with diesel generators, the electrical problem exposed an apparent Achilles’ heel in its business continuity planning. Firefighters told data center workers to turn off all the power, according Planet spokeswoman Yvonne Donaldson. That meant the servers, even though they weren’t damaged, were offline.

The Planet operates more than 40,000 servers at multiple data centers and hosts more than 3 million Web sites.

Some transformer. Some “terrorist” might get the idea to strap a transformer to his chest and walk up to a guard at one of the D.C. checkpoints.

But they can’t just launch an attack (well, they could). Even the “frightening monster” has its own image of itself to uphold. No, their plans are more devious, but don’t look to the US media to uncover this story. Remember Valerie Plame and the forged Niger documents that the Bush cartel used to justify the invasion of Iraq, where now more than 1 million Iraqis have been killed. The Washington Post thinks the only reason Cheney leaked her identity was nepotism:

The CIA sent Wilson’s husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, to the African nation of Niger in 2002 to assess reports that Iraq had tried to buy nuclear material for weapons there. He concluded that the reports were groundless. Later, when Bush and his aides repeated them anyway, the former envoy accused the president of twisting his findings to justify the invasion.

Prosecutors maintained that administration officials, including Libby, leaked Valerie Wilson’s identity and CIA position to insinuate that the agency had chosen Joseph Wilson for the Niger mission because of nepotism. Defense attorneys said Libby had not sought to deceive investigators but had innocently misremembered what he knew and said about Valerie Wilson because she was insignificant to him.

Unmentioned by the Post‘s story (but not surprisingly) is that Valerie Plame was working specifically on Iran as a clandestine CIA officer to counter nuclear proliferation. Her outing caused significant damage to U.S. national security.

One former counterintelligence official described the CIA’s reasons for not seeking Congressional assistance on the matter as follows: “[The CIA Leadership] made a conscious decision not to do a formal inquiry because they knew it might become public,” the source said. “They referred it [to the Justice Department] instead because they believed a criminal investigation was needed.”

The source described the findings of the assessment as showing “significant damage to operational equities.”

Several intelligence officials described the damage in terms of how long it would take for the agency to recover. According to their own assessment, the CIA would be impaired for up to “ten years” in its capacity to adequately monitor nuclear proliferation on the level of efficiency and accuracy it had prior to the White House leak of Plame Wilson’s identity.

So the arm of the CIA directly involved in counter nuclear proliferation in the Middle East has been damaged in such a way that it will take ten years to recover. Well, you can’t have a bomb without blue prints.

Alarm about the sale of nuclear know-how follows the disclosure that the Swiss government, allegedly acting under US pressure, secretly destroyed tens of thousands of documents from a massive nuclear smuggling investigation. The information was seized from the home and computers of Urs Tinner, a 43-year-old Swiss engineer who has been in custody for almost four years as a key suspect in the nuclear smuggling ring run by Abdul Qadeer Khan, the Pakistani metallurgist who in 2004 admitted leaking nuclear secrets and is under house arrest in Islamabad.

While the Swiss government maintains the treasure trove of nuclear intelligence was destroyed for reasons of national security, the Americans may have been involved because Tinner is believed to have also been working for the CIA. Albright said Tinner was recruited by the American agency from 1999-2000.

“The Swiss were doing other people’s dirty work,” said an international official familiar with the investigation into the Khan network. “The allegation is that Urs was on the CIA payroll for a very large sum of money.”

Olli Heinonen, deputy director general at the IAEA, has led the investigation into the Khan network for years. Last year his office sought and gained access to the Tinner files and some of his officials were also summoned to witness their destruction.

The Americans were also present, according to the international official. “The Americans were involved in the destruction. They were calling the shots,” he said. The IAEA refused to comment publicly on the case. A former senior IAEA official said: “I am quite astonished. It’s very unusual to see people destroying documents like this. They should be put somewhere very safe.

It now appears that there’s a concerted effort by the Bush/Cheney underworld to have a nuclear bomb go off somewhere and blame it on Iran.

The involvement of the CIA in the black market sale of nuclear secrets was revealed by whistleblower, Sibel Edmonds, a Turkish language translator for the FBI following the 9/11 attacks. According to her:

Among the hours of covert tape recordings, she says she heard evidence that one well-known senior official in the US State Department was being paid by Turkish agents in Washington who were selling the information on to black market buyers, including Pakistan.

The name of the official – who has held a series of top government posts – is known to The Sunday Times. He strongly denies the claims.

However, Edmonds said: “He was aiding foreign operatives against US interests by passing them highly classified information, not only from the State Department but also from the Pentagon, in exchange for money, position and political objectives.”

She claims that the FBI was also gathering evidence against senior Pentagon officials – including household names – who were aiding foreign agents.

“If you made public all the information that the FBI have on this case, you will see very high-level people going through criminal trials,” she said.

And what does the US do about nuclear black market whistleblowers?

A senior customs investigator could face prosecution under the Official Secrets Act over suspicions that he exposed how US and British intelligence agencies interfered in his attempts to halt an international nuclear smuggling ring.

Police and officials from the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) have searched the home of Atif Amin for evidence that he passed classified information to the American authors of a book about the worldwide nuclear proliferation network.

Amin was in charge of Operation Akin, an investigation into links between British companies and the illegal network run by Abdul Qadeer Khan, a Pakistani scientist who helped build that country’s nuclear arsenal.

The investigation is the subject of a book recently published in the US, America and the Islamic Bomb: The Deadly Compromise. Its authors, David Armstrong and Joseph Trento, contend that in 2000 Amin uncovered evidence in Dubai of the Khan network’s involvement in establishing Libya’s nuclear programme but was ordered to drop his inquiries and return home, at the request of the CIA and MI6.

The Libyan programme and the Khan network were not exposed and halted until 2003. The book argues that in the intervening three years the network continued to sell nuclear technology and possibly weapons designs to Iran, North Korea and possibly other countries, under the noses of US and British intelligence.

It quotes a frustrated Amin as telling colleagues: “They knew exactly what was going on all the time. If they’d wanted to, they could have blown the whistle on this long ago.”

Another interestingly timed revelation is that ‘Halliburton sold nuke components to Iran‘. When one examines things a little more closely, it appears that these are only nuclear power reactor components, not weapons, and were sold to a private oil company. However, once the shouting starts, no one will care. It smacks of a trail of recrimination being setup in advance, to be revealed at the right emotionally-loaded moment. One can imagine the reaction: “See? that’s where they got ’em!”. Of course the revelation would be ’embarrassing’, but would still coincidentally serve the anti-Iran agenda.

This is rather reminiscent of other mind-boggling ‘mistakes’ in the handling of deadly weaponry, such as when ballistic missile parts were “mistakenly” shipped to Taiwan, or when a B-52 bomber was mistakenly armed with six nuclear-tipped cruise missiles and flown across the country. Perhaps this is the idea, to create the meme of weapons-handling incompetence? In this way Western weapons of mass destruction can be used in a clandestine operation anywhere, whilst being plausibly attributed to whatever faction is desired. In the meantime they can purge the ranks of the disloyal in preparation for the bombing and use these ‘mistakes’ as the publicly stated reasons to do it.

The black ops program to set off a nuclear bomb somewhere in the West and blame it on Iran or some other cartoonish “Axis of Evil” character to justify future wars of aggression is well established and going as planned.

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