Behind the Israeli Mole Affair:
Point of Maximum Danger
of War with Iran Approaching
By Webster Griffin Tarpley
Washington DC August 30, 2004 News of the investigation of Larry Franklin, a middle-level functionary working for the Wolfowitz-Feith-Luti-Shulsky clique in the Pentagon, indicates that we are now approaching a critical choice-point on the road to war with Iran, and towards a synthetic terrorism attack inside the US which would be used as an additional pretext to start such a war.
The probe of an Israeli mole in the Pentagon was made public by CBS news last Friday evening. The Saturday edition of the Washington Post named Larry Franklin as being identified by sources as the person under investigation. In Sunday's Washington Post, it was confirmed that Lawrence A. Franklin was the person at the center of investigation.
As seen in the excerpt below, this same Larry Franklin was named in my June 6 news release, Rogue Bush Backers Prepare Super 9-11 False Flag Terror Attacks. Franklin was indicated as one of the vulnerable links in the neocon network which finds itself in a hysterical flight forward to try to salvage the debacle of their Iraq war by expanding that war to neighboring countries, notably Iran. The threat of a new round of "own goal" synthetic terrorism, quite possibly in the ABC (atomic-bacteriological-chemical) dimension, was linked to the preparation of that wider war. The logic at work was that of an "October surprise," this time on the scale adequate to shock the post 9-11 world.
The best working hypothesis to understand the new mole investigation is that neocon networks in the Pentagon may be very close to embroiling the United States in a war with Iran. This would likely come as an Israeli or US pre-emptive bombing attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, possibly combined with a terrorist attack inside the US using weapons of mass destruction, which the corporate-controlled media would immediately blame on Iran.
Whatever forces are behind the naming of Franklin, it must be assumed that their main aim is to break up neocon preparations for a surprise attack on Iran, which the neocons have been boasting about in the media with special emphasis for some weeks. Backing the Franklin probe may well be military factions who have no desire to be fed into the Iranian meatgrinder, and who not fancy neocon fascist dictatorship. The immediate goal would be to knock Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Feith, Bolton, Rice, Abrams and their cheering section in the media and think-tanks onto the defensive. While the exposure of Franklin is a positive step, it is far from decisive, and the neocons are still in a position to unleash the dogs of war over the next days and weeks.
We are therefore now most probably on the brink of war with Iran, and at the same time entering a period of steadily increasing danger of synthetic terrorism designed to steal or cancel the November elections, and thus freeze the current neocon clique in power for the foreseeable future. The calculation of the rogue network operating behind the scenes is evidently that terrorism taking place a few days before the elections will stampede the electorate to support Bush, while terrorism well in advance of the elections will give the public time to recover enough to advance recriminations and demands for accountability on the part of the administration. We are now entering the time frame when the terrorist controllers can expect the maximum impact of their handiwork, either in stampeding the electorate, or in calling off the elections completely.
October Surprise in September?
On August 19, Martin Sieff of UPI warned: "Forget an October Surprise, a much worse one could come in September: Full-scale war between the United States and Iran may be far closer than the American public might imagine."
Sieff quoted remarks made by Iranian Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani on August 18 which bluntly warned that if Iranian military commanders believed the United States were serious about attacking Iran to destroy its nuclear power facility at Bushehr, or to topple its Islamic theocratic form of government, the Iranian military would not sit back passively and wait for the U.S. armed forces to strike the first blow, as President Saddam Hussein in neighboring Iraq did in March 2003. They would strike first.
"We will not sit to wait for what others will do to us," Shamkhani told al-Jazeera. "Some military commanders in Iran are convinced that preventive operations which the Americans talk about are not their monopoly," he added. With this, the Iran-Iraq border became a new line of hair-trigger confrontation in the restless war agitation of the neocons.
One day earlier, neocon Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John Bolton told an audience at the Hudson Institute in Washington that it was imperative that the Iranian nuclear program be brought before the U.N. Security Council. "To fail to do so would risk sending a signal to would-be proliferators that there are no serious consequences for pursuing secret nuclear weapons programs," said Bolton. "We cannot let Iran, a leading sponsor of international terrorism, acquire nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them to Europe, most of central Asia and the Middle East, or beyond," Bolton added. "Without serious, concerted, immediate intervention by the international community, Iran will be well on the road to doing so." Similar threatening noises have come from Condoleezza Rice at the Bush National Security Council.
Iranian public opinion had been shocked by a raving, psychotic column by Charles Krauthammer in the July 23 Washington Post: Krauthammer wrote: "The long awaited revolution (in Iran) is not happening. Which [makes] the question of pre-emptive attack all the more urgent. If nothing is done, a fanatical terrorist regime openly dedicated to the destruction of 'the Great Satan' will have both nuclear weapons and missiles to deliver them. All that stands between us and that is either revolution or pre-emptive attack." Iranian observers compared this to the US propaganda campaign which had preceded the attack on Iraq.
US Forces in Iraq as Hostages to Iran
Competent US military commanders dread the prospect of war with Iran. Iran is four times the area of Iraq, and has three times the population. Its infrastructure was not destroyed during the Kuwait war in the way that Iraq's was, and Iran has not been subjected to 13 years of crippling UN sanctions on everything, including food and medicine. The Iranian military forces are intact. In case of war, Iran could be expected to use all means ranging from ballistic missile attacks on US and Israeli bases to asymmetrical warfare. The situation of the US forces already in Iraq could quickly become extraordinarily critical. Shamkhani alluded to this prospect when he said that "The U.S. military presence will not become an element of strength at our expense. The opposite is true because their forces would turn into a hostage."
For purposes of analogy, the Iraq war so far could be compared to the first months of the Korean War, from June to November 1950. By provoking Iran to go beyond logistical support for guerrillas and the sending of volunteers, and come into the war with both feet, the neocons would be inviting a repeat of the Chinese intervention and the disastrous US retreat south from the Yalu to south of Seoul, which still stands as the longest retreat in US military history. Just as Chinese entry into the Korean conflict in late November 1950 created a wholly new and wider war, Iranian entry into the US-Iraq war would have similarly incalculable consequences. The choices might quickly narrow to the large-scale use of nuclear weapons or defeat for the current US hollow army of just 10 divisions.
Another Step Towards World War III
In the case of Iran, the use of nuclear weapons by the US would have a dangerous complication: Iran is an important neighbor and trading partner of the Russian Federation, which is helping with Iran's nuclear power reactor program. The threatened US/Israeli raid on Iran might kill Russian citizens as well. Such a US attack on Iran might prod the Russian government into drawing its own line in the sand, rather than sitting idle as the tide of US aggression swept closer and closer to Russia's borders, as one country after another in central Asia was occupied. In other words, a US attack on Iran bids fair to be the opening of World War III, making explicit what was already implicit in the invasion of Iraq. The Iran war project of the neocons is the very midsummer of madness, and it must be stopped.
War with Iran means a military draft, just for starters. If Iran can close the Straits of Hormuz, it might mean rationing of food and fuel. Bloated speculative financial structures could hardly survive.
The Israeli mole investigation seeks to explore the intersection of the Valerie Plame affair, the Chalabi affair, the Niger yellowcake forged documents scandal, and some key policy documents passed to the Israelis. According to a CIA veteran interviewed by CNN, the probe reaches into the National Security Council as well as the Pentagon. On June 6, I had identified Larry Franklin in these terms:At the root of the Valerie Plame affair is the role of her husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson, in refuting the baseless claim that Iraq had sought to purchase uranium yellowcake from Niger. This story was buttresses by documents which turned out to be forged. A prime suspect in this regard is Ledeen, and the accusation is made more plausible because the faked documents first surfaced in Rome, where Ledeen possesses extensive contacts. A federal grand jury is probing this matter. Ledeen, like so many Bush officials, is an alumnus of the 1980s George H. W. Bush-Poindexter-Abrams-Oliver North Iran-contra gun-running and drug-running scandal, and appears to have mobilized these networks as part of the post 9-11 assault on Iraq. In December 2001, Ledeen moved to revive the Iran connection, setting up a meeting between two Pentagon civilian neo-cons and Manucher Ghorbanifar, an Iranian arms dealer whom the CIA called a criminal and liar. Three days of meetings in Rome involved Harold Rhode, Larry Franklin, Ghorbanifar, and two unnamed officials of the Iranian regime. After the conquest of Iraq, Rhode was sent to Baghdad as the contact point between the Office of Special Plans and Chalabi. Ghorbanifar, in a Dec. 22, 2003 interview with Newsweek's Mark Hosenball, reported that he maintained contact with Rhode and Franklin "five or six times a week" through June 2003, when he had a second meeting with Rhode in Paris. This back channel to the Iranians is now also under intense scrutiny.
In the June 6 release, I also showed that, for Bush, the notion of a confrontation with Iran was closely linked to the hypothesis of a new wave of synthetic terrorism. I pointed in this context to a key speech in which Bush had escalated his threat of both:A dramatic turning point on the way to the current emergency came on April 21, when Bush delivered two speeches which represented a palpable escalation of the tone of his usual demagogy of terrorism and fear. In the afternoon, he assured the Newspaper Association of America, composed of newspaper editors, that Iran "will be dealt with" if they pursue a nuclear development program. Bush went on to characterize the United States as "a battlefield in the war on terror." He was at pains to build up the stature of Al-Qaeda, whose members he emphatically characterized as "smart.tough.and sophisticated." Because the terrorists are so formidable, Bush said the United States "is a hard country to defend. Our intelligence is good. It's just never perfect, is the problem. We are disrupting some cells here in America. We're chasing people down. But it is we've got a big country."
Later, Bush spoke to the same themes at a closed-door gathering at the White House: "...On Tuesday evening, Bush told Republican congressional leaders during a meeting at the White House that it was all but certain that terrorists would attempt a major attack on the United States before the election, according to a congressional aide. The leaders were struck by Bush's definitiveness and gravity, the aide said..." (Washington Post, April 22, 2004)
The general thesis of the June 6 release was this:Intelligence patterns monitored here now point conclusively to the grave threat of an imminent new round of ABC terror attacks in the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and possibly other nations. These attacks could include nuclear detonations, radiological dirty bombs, poison gas and other chemical weapons, or biological agents, to be unleashed in such urban settings as New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington DC, Vancouver BC, or London. The goal of these operations would be to produce a worldwide shock several orders of magnitude greater than the original 9-11, with a view to stopping the collapse of the Bush administration, the Wall Street-centered financial structures, and the US-UK strategic position generally. The attacks would be attributed by US/UK intelligence to controlled patsy terrorist groups who would be linked by the media to countries like Iran, Syria, Cuba, North Korea, Egypt, or Saudi Arabia, thus setting these states up for attack. The organizers of the attacks would in reality be substantially the same secret command cell in the United States which set up the 9-11 events and its associated networks, which has been able to continue in operation because of the abject failure of all 9-11 investigations to date to identify it. These forces are now in a desperate flight forward to escape from their current increasingly grim position. Their goal is now to establish a neocon fascist dictatorship in the United States, complete with martial law, special tribunals, press and media censorship, and the full pervasive apparatus of the modern police state.
As of the end of August, 2004, this threat is now more urgent than ever.
These issues will be discussed in my upcoming book, 9/11 Synthetic Terrorism: The Myth of the Twenty-First Century, to be published by Progressive Press. For information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright 2004 Webster G. Tarpley
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