Current military and former intelligence officials remain concerned about a US-led strike on Iran, despite the recent appearance of diplomacy on the part of the US State Department and the offer of an incentives package to Iran.egads.
Officials point to new developments, such as a recent meeting in Rome between an Iranian arms dealer (Ghorbanifar) and controversial neoconservative Michael Ledeen and the March creation of the Iranian directorate inside the Pentagon, as examples of recent events similar to the lead up with war in Iraq.
These officials also add that an as-yet uncompleted ‘Phase II’ investigation into pre-war Iraq intelligence suggests the same problems may recur when addressing Iran. They note that the Pentagon’s Iranian directorate mirrors the so-called Office of Special Plans, which played a major role in feeding intelligence to the President that bolstered a case for war.
Military and non-military intelligence sources have also raised worries over what some describe to as “the Iran group” and others as “the Iran working group” and still others as a “cabal” operating out of the Pentagon.
Venable also confirmed that the new directorate falls under the policy side -- more specifically -- under the new number three at the Pentagon, Eric Edelman. Edelman, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, holds the same position that Douglas Feith held when he ran OSP at the Pentagon in the lead-up to the Iraq war.
Moreover, sources say that the Iranian Directorate is staffed with many of the same people, including OSP’s former director Abram Shulsky, and receives expert analysis from such controversial figures as Project for the New American Century member Reuel Marc Gerecht, who by all accounts was a failure as a CIA field officer. It also includes military personnel such as Ladan Archin, who appears to be serving in the Larry Franklin analyst role among a sea of think-tank operatives and neoconservative war hawks.
(i love the gratuitous smackdown of gerecht)