Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

"By way of deception, thou shalt do war."

Anyone with a rudimentary idea regarding intelligence work knows that Sun-Tzu was correct. "All warfare is deception." Israel has apparently decided that they needed to take a new tack on Iran because the Telegraph is reporting that Israel has begun a shadow war, of sorts, against the regime in Tehran and they're using every trick in the book to undermine the Iranian regimes goals of creating a nuclear weapon:

It is using hitmen, sabotage, front companies and double agents to disrupt the regime's illicit weapons project, the experts say.

The most dramatic element of the "decapitation" programme is the planned assassination of top figures involved in Iran's atomic operations.

Despite fears in Israel and the US that Iran is approaching the point of no return in its ability to build atom bomb, Israeli officials are aware of the change in mood in Washington since President Barack Obama took office.

They privately acknowledge the new US administration is unlikely to sanction an air attack on Iran's nuclear installations and Mr Obama's offer to extend a hand of peace to Tehran puts any direct military action beyond reach for now.

The aim is to slow down or interrupt Iran's research programme, without the gamble of a direct confrontation that could lead to a wider war.

A former CIA officer on Iran told The Daily Telegraph: "Disruption is designed to slow progress on the programme, done in such a way that they don't realise what's happening. You are never going to stop it.

"The goal is delay, delay, delay until you can come up with some other solution or approach. We certainly don't want the current Iranian government to have those weapons. It's a good policy, short of taking them out militarily, which probably carries unacceptable risks."

Reva Bhalla, a senior analyst with Stratfor, the US private intelligence company with strong government security connections, said the strategy was to take out key people.

"With co-operation from the United States, Israeli covert operations have focused both on eliminating key human assets involved in the nuclear programme and in sabotaging the Iranian nuclear supply chain," she said.

"As US-Israeli relations are bound to come under strain over the Obama administration's outreach to Iran, and as the political atmosphere grows in complexity, an intensification of Israeli covert activity against Iran is likely to result."

Mossad was rumoured to be behind the death of Ardeshire Hassanpour, a top nuclear scientist at Iran's Isfahan uranium plant, who died in mysterious circumstances from reported "gas poisoning" in 2007.

Other recent deaths of important figures in the procurement and enrichment process in Iran and Europe have been the result of Israeli "hits", intended to deprive Tehran of key technical skills at the head of the programme, according to Western intelligence analysts.

"Israel has shown no hesitation in assassinating weapons scientists for hostile regimes in the past," said a European intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity. They did it with Iraq and they will do it with Iran when they can."

Mossad's covert operations cover a range of activities. The former CIA operative revealed how Israeli and US intelligence co-operated with European companies working in Iran to obtain photographs and other confidential material about Iranian nuclear and missile sites.

"It was a real company that operated from time to time in Iran and in the nature of their legitimate business came across information on various suspect Iranian facilities," he said.

Israel has also used front companies to infiltrate the Iranian purchasing network that the clerical regime uses to circumvent United Nations sanctions and obtain so-called "dual use" items – metals, valves, electronics, machinery – for its nuclear programme.

The businesses initially supply Iran with legitimate material, winning Tehran's trust, and then start to deliver faulty or defective items that "poison" the country's atomic activities.

"Without military strikes, there is still considerable scope for disrupting and damaging the Iranian programme and this has been done with some success," said Yossi Melman, a prominent Israeli journalist who covers security and intelligence issues for the Haaretz newspaper.

Mossad and Western intelligence operations have also infiltrated the Iranian nuclear programme and "bought" information from prominent atomic scientists. Israel has later selectively leaked some details to its allies, the media and United Nations atomic agency inspectors.

There's more at the link, so read it all.

This is a move I've been waiting to see from Israel. We knew that neither Israel or the US would launch strikes against Iran before the election, and it's evident we have no intention of doing it now, no matter what President Barry "threatens." We know he has said that military action against Iran is not off the table. He promised that on the campaign trail, but as Geraghty the Indispensable has stated, re-stated, and re-re-stated on countless occasions "All of Barack Obama's campaign promises come with an expiration date; ALL of them." So, to believe he'd be willing to launch a strike on Iran defies belief and reality. He has no intention of using hard power against Iran.

On the flip side, while Israel doesn't need permission from us, there are still questions regarding the logistics of airstrikes on the Iranian facilities. Can they hit the right targets? Can they hit the most needed and sensitive sites? Can they pull off the strikes without a refueling stop? How many planes would be needed? Would there be Mossad or other special operations personnel on the ground in Iran to "laze" the targets for precision guided bombs? There are a number of questions that I'm not even privy to that could round out this list. In short, they don't have definitive answers.

Covert operations make the most sense. They can pull this off with ease. They've been operating in secret in Iran for years. That's how they were able to be the first nation to blow the whistle on Tehran's nuclear ambitions. We had our suspicions, but it was Israel which accused Tehran of moving towards a nuclear weapon.

So they're there, and they're causing problems for Iran. Good. Glad to know that someone is doing something against the mad mullahs of Tehran. Israel can't afford to have a nation in the region that is hostile towards them having a nuclear weapon. And it's worth noting that even if Iran does manage to make one nuke, they won't be public about it until they have a few more built, and they sure as Hell aren't going to play chicken with Israel with just one nuke. That's suicide. So covert ops are the best option they have, and it appears that they're doing a good job of it.

We knew when President Barry won the election, he was going to throw Israel under the bus. No doubt he thinks of them as a distraction of sorts which just goes to show he has no real clue about what sort of an ally they are to us. While we have intelligence officers in the region that are doing a good job of keeping an eye on our enemies, some nations just can't be infiltrated the way Israel can. They've been doing it since the founding of their nation. I say we give them a wide berth, and let them do what they have to do.

HT to Hugh Hewitt

Publius II

Author's Note --- Because of the one comment I got on this piece, obviously left by a 9-11 Truther who probably believes that the Jews had something to do with 9-11, I'm suspending further comments on this post.

Let me be clear on this -- The terrorists attacks on the World Trade Center on 11 September 2001 were the worst attacks ever on US soil. Neither Marcie or myself have any tolerance for the fools out there that believe that the attacks was an inside job, was conducted by Mossad or other Israeli clandestine operators, or any other kooky theories. The people who engage in this kind of crap are sick, sick individuals. I watched the events on that day unfold on TV, and I purposefully recorded what happened on that day. Why? Because I knew some kooks would either place blame elsewhere, come up with nutty conspiracy theories, or that we'd see the Left try to rewrite the history of that fateful day.

We do not support or tolerate this kind of garbage on our site. If you're a truther, start your own blog, get your tin-foil hat out, and write to your heart's content. The comment was completely off topic for this post, and after doing some checking on the commenter, he's definitely a Truther. Hence why I'm shutting down the comments for this post. I don't want other commenters thinking that's what this post is about. Clearly the commenter didn't understand that this post was about the clandestine activities being utilized by Israel against Iran.

Publius II