Saturday, September 30, 2006

terrorist groups getting nukes

In response to the Madsen post, Noise wrote:
How many nuke devices are terrorist groups looking for? It would seem one or two at most. So I don't understand the profit angle. Are the parts expensive? I'm sure they are. But if Iran (we are told) doesn't have the ability to make nukes, how would a terrorist group like Al Qaeda make nukes from a hodgepodge of parts? The sellers profit and the buyers hope to assemble a crude device? Do the sellers only care about the profit and simply dismiss the potential consequences? Or do the sellers WANT to make the world insanely dangerous?
I replied:
Noise - I think that we need to separate two things - one is the ability/intent of States to acquire nuclear technology (think AQ Khan and Libya eg) - and the other issue is 'terrorists' getting some end-product that they can use in a 'dirty bomb' or some such.
"Do the sellers only care about the profit and simply dismiss the potential consequences? Or do the sellers WANT to make the world insanely dangerous?"
i think, and hope, but don't know, that it's the former.
viget said:
lukery and noise---

You raise an interesting point. The way I read this article (and I know, Madsen, so grain of salt) it almost appears to me that the interests behind AIPAC and ATC almost _want_ a nuclear armaggedon. Or at least the appearance of one.

My cynical side says this is all a ploy by certain AIPAC and neocon interests to at least "salt" the Middle East with nuclear components, enough so that they can justify the US attacking them and occupying them (so's we can get their oil!). It kills two birds with one stone, as not only are the petroleum resources secured for exculsive distributorship by Western corporations, but it also appeals to the hard right in Israel, because they think that will allow them to finally contain ME terrorism and breathe easy at night.

The problem is, as we've seen with Iraq, is that the West isn't all together on this plan, and that the insurgents have proven far more resourceful than the neocons might have anticipated, making a productive occupation impossible. I'm sure there are also other shadowy interests opposing these designs, e.g. factions tied to Russia or China, who may be indirectly helping the insurgency.

Of course, I think the main stumbling block for this ridiculous plan is getting the US gov't to play along. Clearly people like Plame and her units, as well as the FBI CI division were doing everything in their power to thwart these kinds of operations. It's good to know that there are some people, even in the IC, that believe in limited gov't, the rule of law and the American experiment.

In sum, I think the neocons truly believed the terrorist groups in the ME, Iran, and the 'stans would have by now acquired enough nuclear components by their own initiative to justify these incursions (prob through the likes of AQ Khan). But when that turned out not to be the case, they decided to sort of actively "help" them along (and what if they actually DID manage to build a working device, oh boy...). So either the neocons are so motivated by creating their own reality (and denying what the rest of us see) because they're *so* upset that their predictions haven't come true yet (don't laugh, ego is a dangerous thing), or the worldwide petroleum resources are a lot smaller than we've been led to believe and peak oil is real and it's now.

Most likely, it might be a combo of both, with the oil co's pressuring the likes of Cheney and Libby about "those invasion plans they've had on the shelves for years" and with the idealogues just not accepting the fact that they were WRONG all these years (about the cold war and now about nuclear terrorism), and finally deciding to create their own game with their own rules, consequences be damned.

Add in the money-grubbing Bush 41 cabal (Scowcroft, Saudi interests, Turkish smugglers, Iran-Contra boys, etc.) and the Machiavellian Texas Mafia (Rove, Bush 43, Hughes, Delay), and you've got quite the perfect storm....
(let me say again how good it is to see viget!)

emptywheel jumped in:
FWIW, I largely agree with viget's assessment.

And I wanted to point out that this (from madsen):
The memo described a February 2002 CIA meeting at which Joseph Wilson was mentioned as the best candidate to undertake a mission to Niger to check on the uranium allegations. The memo also reportedly identified Valerie Plame Wilson as a CIA counter-proliferation officer and associated her with the Brewster Jennings & Associates cover company (keep in mind that Grossman had already compromised the company's covert status in June 2001).
Is almost certainly inaccurate. Plame is described as a "CIA WMD manager," and it says nothing about B&J. While there is a redaction in the following sentence (so it's possible it says something there) syntactically that sentence must be about what Wilson planned to do in Niger--it wouldn't make any sense if it were about B&J.

That's not fatal for Madsen's story. But why include it, if it's inaccurate?

One more thing, since we're talking about the larger purposes here.

In the 1970s and 1980s, the Israelis had a "periphery" strategy. They sought strong ties to all of the non-Arab states on the periphery of the Middle East, to prevent the Arab states from exercising power unchecked. Those states included Iran (this was one of the reasons behind the Iran half of Iran-Contra) and Turkey. I suspect that strategy underlies a lot of what we're seeing here--close ties between ATC and AIPAC, for example.

I've never seen a really good example of how and when their treatment of Iran changed.

there's a lot there to digest - but i've been meaning to write a post about the fact that lots of people seem to be coming to the idea/realization that the cabal actually really does want *everyone* to have nukes so that they can go about their plans of world domination. Sensible, smart people at my place like Noise and Viget and Emptywheel are saying this - and I'm also seeing it in a lot of other places as well.

I don't really see the world like that - and for the first time since I started blogging, I hope that I'm right.

just for fun, can i mock viget's statement?
"I think the main stumbling block for this ridiculous plan is getting the US gov't to play along"
HA! apparently that's the easiest thing to do!

I do think that viget's "perfect storm" argument is probably spot-on, even while we are currently looking for 'explanations' as to our sorry state of affairs. I'm not sure that historians will ever find anything more coherent than what we already know - maybe it's just a weird confluence of events. Let's hope it doesn't happen again.

and while I've been writing this post, our other resident guru, starroute adds (in response to ew):
I don't know for sure when or why the Neocon stance on Iran changed -- but it had clearly happened by 1995, when the Foundation for Democracy in Iran was set up by Kenneth Timmerman, Peter Rodman, Joshua Muravchik and Iranian exiles with the goal of toppling the Iranian government.
"A Clean Break" in 1996 states, "Syria challenges Israel on Lebanese soil. An effective approach, and one with which American can sympathize, would be if Israel seized the strategic initiative along its northern borders by engaging Hizballah, Syria, and Iran, as the principal agents of aggression in Lebanon..."
One way or another, the change is likely to have been sparked by Iranian backing for Hezbollah. It almost certainly would not have occurred before the end of the Iran-Iraq war in 1988 and was probably associated with the rise of tensions in southern Lebanon in the early 90's.
gotta run, more later. thanks everyone.

(one other thing, i'll have more to say about terrorist groups getting nukes in the next few days - a couple of different perspectives from Albright in KTM and Barton)


viget said...

Thanks lukery for all the shout outs recently!!! Sorry I've been in hiding. I guess I just comment when I feel like I have something to contribute, and trying to come up with a GUT for this admin and its plethora of scandals is a favorite intellectual exercise.

Regarding my "funny" line, yes, of course on the surface you're right, that is ridiculous as it's the admin that's been aiding and abetting these criminal elements to a degree never before seen.

But my point is that if anyone's going to stop them or put up any kind of resistance, it's the careerists in the IC and DoJ who actually take their jobs and oaths to the Constitution seriously (oh and some assiduous Congressional investigators and staff, not that their bosses will touch any of this with a 10 foot pole). So in a way, factions within the US gov't are the biggest obstacles.

It's certainly not the corporations or the media that are shining the light on these roaches (hell, they're cheering them on!). Nor do I see a big hoo-hah from the international community (although their hands may be tied for diplomatic reasons). Even the American people don't make any noise as either they don't give a damn/are too confused about what's going on to pay attention.

So yeah, you're right, in a way the gov't is being played very easily. But there are good people who try to resist this lunacy and they're being heard at least by us here on the blogosphere. Try to imagine how more FUBARed things would be if there weren't any Sibel Edmonds or other whistleblowers coming forward! Or if Fitzgerald just rolled over and closed his investigation? At least this time, unlike with Iran-Contra, I think we will see some people face some serious repercussions. And the info will get out, the internets will see to that.

Or we'll be living in a dictatorship.

Obviously, I hope the former is true.

Oh and thanks and props to EW for the nod. I also was going to point out that Madsen had it all wrong about the INR memo (unless this is another memo we don't know about, though I doubt it), but EW beat me to it. More accurately, I forgot to include that info in my post because I was on a long ramble, and I forget to make all the points I might like to make sometimes.

lukery said...

Viget - it's always great to see/hear you - and yep, it is an 'fun' intellectual exercise. and yep, one of the cool things about the internets is that we'll have a detailed record of who did what, when - and people will be able to look back and say 'jeepers, EW was correct all along! why was it so difficult for the weenie crowd to work it out? Were they stupid or complicit?'

I was gonna point out the BJ/memo thing too. even i knew that was wrong! I've emailed madsen to see if he can clarify.