January 12, 2013
It's Blame Iran Week
Four different stories involving Iran in some nefarious affairs were published last week. They have all one thing in common. There is actually no proof that Iran was or is involved in any of these.
On Tuesday the Financial Times ran a story about alleged Uranium in Syria which was then speculated about as having been moved to Iran. But the big issue here is that no one has ever seen the alleged 50 tons of Uranium metal Syria is said to have had and there is absolutely no proof that it ever existed. But the well known expert David Albright of the the Institute for Scary Iran Stories (formerly Institute for Scary Iraq Stories) looked at satellite pictures of some place where that Uranium was allegedly stored and found that some trees had been cut in the area. As Mark Hibbs asks:
The FT account this morning appeared to insinuate that the “gradual removal of a large orchard for no apparent reason” near Marj as-Sultan constituted suspicious behavior. Tree-cutting as a signature for nefarious nuclear activity?
Surely it must be. David Albright says so. But funny how he didn't mention that the place he suspects is, since late November, in the hand of the insurgents
Also on Tuesday the New York Times ran a story that blames Iran for Denial of Service attacks on computer systems of several U.S. banks:
The skill required to carry out attacks on this scale has convinced United States government officials and security researchers that they are the work of Iran, most likely in retaliation for economic sanctions and online attacks by the United States.
But there is zero proof in the piece that these attacks were done by Iran. Indeed a Sunni hacktivist group has long claimed
to be responsible for these attacks as a protest against some youtube video. While some alleged experts and anonymous government officials told the NYT that only a state could have done the attacks real experts know that this is untrue
"I don't consider any attack I can do in my spare time as 'nation-state-sponsored,'" said Robert David Graham, chief executive officer of Atlanta-based Errata Security.
The attack, while large in size, was pretty primitive. A freely available PHP script injection toolkit
named ItsOKNoProblemBro was used to highjack a large number of servers which then made a large amount of secure http requests to the banking machines. Any decent computer science student with some programming and system administration background can launch such an attack with only a few hours work.
"ItsOKNoProblemBro is far from sophisticated malware. It's really rather simple," said Roel Schouwenberg, a senior anti-virus researcher with Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab. "Going strictly by the publicly known technical details, I don't see enough evidence to categorize this operation as something only a nation-state-sponsored actor could pull off."
"I don't think there's anything about these attacks that's so large or so sophisticated that it would have to be state sponsored," said Prince, the CloudFlare CEO. "This very well could be a kid sitting in his mom's basement in Ohio launching these attacks. I think it's dangerous to start speculating that this is actually state sponsored."
But surely we must blame Iran for having the sophistication of "a kid sitting in his mom's basement in Ohio".
Another Tuesday story by the Associated Press was about a long missing former FBI agent who was last seen in Iran:
Two years after a hostage video and photographs of retired FBI agent Robert Levinson raised the possibility that the missing American was being held by terrorists, U.S. officials now see the government of Iran behind the images, intelligence officials told The Associated Press.
That piece tries to somehow blame the Iranian government for the abduction of the man who went to investigate about some international cigarette smuggling for a private client.
The tradecraft used to send those [photos and videos] was too good, indicating professional spies were behind them, the officials said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to talk publicly.
So taking cell phone pictures and sending them via email is "too good" to be done by non-state actors? What please, of the following steps the piece mentions, could not have been done by just anyone?
U.S. operatives in Afghanistan managed to trace the cellphone used to send the photographs, officials said. But the owner had nothing to do with the photos, and the trail went cold.
[The video] was sent from a cyber cafe in Pakistan in November 2010.
In the background, Pashtun wedding music can be heard.
the sender left no clues to his identity and never used that email address again.
Yeah, that all looks "professional" and it is thereby impossible that anyone but those nefarious Iranians could have abducted someone who investigates international cigarette smuggling rings, taken cellphone pictures of him and email those from Pakistan. Who is supposed to believe that?
Another "blame Iran" story runs in today's New York Times: A Trail of Bullet Casings Leads From Africa’s Wars Back to Iran According to the story someone sold unmarked small arms ammunition to some state actors, like the Kenyan police, which then found its way into the hands of some non-state actors in Africa.
But the only "proof" that the ammunition, which isn't even illegal to deal with in the first place, is from Iran, is that it has the same packaging than some ammunition which was, three years ago, allegedly smuggled from Iran to Nigeria. Wooden boxes and camouflage-green wrapping paper are seemingly only used by Iran. Also, the AK-47 ammunition found in Africa fits the technical description of the AK 47 ammunition Iran, like some 50 other countries, produces. Surely it can only be Iran that makes AK-47 ammunition that fits the well known specifications?
These four stories, all in the same week, blame Iran for this or that without any proof. All these stories base their claims on this or that anonymous U.S. official or secret intelligence. All these stories are pretty likely to have no Iran involvement at all.
But the Obama administration, which provides those anonymous officials, seems to be in full "blame Iran" campaign mode now. The media, led by the New York Times, are again the ever willing messengers used to brain wash the public with such dubious stories. Iraqn is bad, bad, bad. And we need to bomb, bomb, bomb it now. What, if not this, could be the purpose of this nonsense?
Posted by b on January 12, 2013 at 08:56 AM | Permalink
Thanks b. I think there are many factions and power centers within the USG angling to push their agendas especially now while there is a transition going on at the head of the foreign policy and military agencies.
Posted by: Maxcrat | Jan 12, 2013 9:28:14 AM | 1
it is a shame Madoff wasn't a Iranian spy... someone uses this idea please...
but why not, we all like a black sheep/scape goat... pre ww2 it was the Jews now pre WW3 its the Iranians, who is next? (their number need to be small enough, but they need some kind of control/money)
the funny thing is the EU soon will be able to blame Iran for its decline, as it can no longer afford the oil for the military interventions we are all so keen on...
Posted by: Simon | Jan 12, 2013 9:30:42 AM | 2
Notice the timimg of these stories: right when Hagel is nominated.
Posted by: Cyrus | Jan 12, 2013 10:03:17 AM | 3
Oh well, there is an election in Israel -))
Former PM accuses Netanyahu of wasting billions on ‘harebrained adventures’
Ehud Olmert says government spent NIS 11 billion on Iran-related defense projects that ‘won’t come to fruition’
Compared to the US, Israel is a zone of free speech ...
Posted by: somebody | Jan 12, 2013 10:06:09 AM | 4
"Compared to the US, Israel is a zone of free speech ..."
In general, the Israeli population is more indoctrinated than that of the USA (if one can believe that such could be possible), their propaganda machine for the "home front" need worry less about dissent.
But that is not to say that there are decent Israelis adamantly opposed to Israeli/zionist fascism and its inherent criminality, there are. And they can be quite outspoken about it. This is a two part short film of a demo that took place in 2007:
A SALUTE TO THE NATIONAL ERECTION http://vimeo.com/38013620
A SALUTE TO THE NATIONAL ERECTION, PT 2 http://vimeo.com/37988420
"a salute to the national erection is performative street intervention created by liad hussein kantorowicz and executed by the tel aviv queer community in tel aviv on june 2007. the performance action initially took place as a part of a week-long event commemorating 40 years to the israeli occupation of the palestinian territories of west bank and gaza in 1967. due to its widespread success, the action was repeated twice more until finally the phallus, which was seen as a threat, was captured, dismembered and confiscated by the israeli police."
The on screen commentary is scathing.
Posted by: вот так | Jan 12, 2013 12:26:31 PM | 5
Nice expose by "b".
There isn't any difference between the gossip rags and the "professional" news media any more in the USA and the government is still occupied by the sleaziest of the population whose main (probably only) reliable trait is that what they say publicly will be only lies.
Posted by: вот так | Jan 12, 2013 12:35:55 PM | 6
New York Times: Theories and Motives Abound in the Killing of 3 Kurds in Paris
Many Kurdish rebels said they believed that Turkish nationalists were behind the killings. But there were competing suspicions. Some rebels speculated that Iran could have sponsored the attack as a way to destabilize Turkey, which has taken a stand against its ally, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria.
Posted by: Frank | Jan 12, 2013 2:39:21 PM | 8
The reason for this propaganda campaign might be pretty simple. P5+1 talks are scheduled to take place sometimes by the end of the month. In case some positive steps are taken all of this will be rapidly forgotten but if the talks stall or are rescheduled without any tangible results, the US needs to have it's back solidly controlled. Therefore this effort in reminding the public opinion who the bad guys are. In any circumstances, the calculation seems to be: let's keep the media pressure on. As a policy matter it can't be harmful.
Additionally, I do not believe this is a preparation for war. The US is not in a position to start another big "middle-eastern" war for some times to come. And, Iran has telegraphed to the US that any surgical attack on it's sites will be responded by a regional escalation, unlike Syria which, I believe in 2006, after Israel targeted an alleged "covert nuclear site", refrained from upping the ante
Posted by: ATH | Jan 12, 2013 2:41:12 PM | 9
Today's Guardian had a poll on "do you support French intervention in Mali"with an 80 to 20 percent of respondents saying yes.Wow,the hasbarites must have been forewarned and voted in their usual bloc of insanity.Boy,are the French poodles or what under Hollande?WTF is going on in the heads of our poohbahs anyway,it's like they've been mind melded by Satan,and backed totally by the MSM,and yeah,that Iranian bullet story was preposterous,with our and western bullets and weapons all over the place.
The Guardian will probably pull the poll when people start to whittle the margin.
Corrupt Zionist bastards that they are.
Assange fingered their editorial motives and they hate him for it.
Posted by: dahoit | Jan 12, 2013 4:40:33 PM | 11
From the article quote:
"Some rebels speculated that Iran could have sponsored the attack"
I', surprised it took so long for the NYT to start blaming Iran. Perhaps they thought if they waited a couple of days, the smear wouldn't look so obvious?
"Today's Guardian had a poll on "do you support French intervention in Mali"with an 80 to 20 percent of respondents saying yes.Wow,the hasbarites must have been forewarned and voted in their usual bloc of insanity."
Back when the Guardian had a talkboard, one had to be either a sayanim, or the non-Jewish equivalent to post there, or the regulars ran the person off or got them banned from the site. Out of the 1000's that regularly posted on that site, only one was Muslim. Literally.
Posted by: вот так | Jan 12, 2013 6:28:37 PM | 12
@ dahoit [#11]
French PM Hollande is Jewish. You can't expect him to row upriver and against the grain of the tribe now, can you?
Posted by: Daniel Rich | Jan 12, 2013 7:22:57 PM | 13
[#13] is not my lucky number. Disregard it. It's nonsense. My apologies.
Posted by: Daniel Rich | Jan 12, 2013 7:28:19 PM | 14
13)you should check facts before you make an inane comment
François Hollande a eu une éducation religieuse catholique, qu'il considère comme « une bonne expérience », mais se définit lui-même comme « non croyant » n'ayant « aucune pratique religieuse » et ayant sa « propre philosophie de la vie
Posted by: somebody | Jan 12, 2013 7:37:10 PM | 15
Not surprising. The West a.k.a. liberal-democracies is always The Crusade mood. One philosopher coined term for it Necropolitics.
Posted by: neretva'43 | Jan 12, 2013 7:53:54 PM | 16
In Defence of Terror
There is chapter, The Emotions in the Demand for Terror
That chapter reflect mood of average and above average member of an "advanced" world.
Posted by: neretva'43 | Jan 12, 2013 8:29:54 PM | 17
do not worry, "they" can't be the president. French Deep State is taking care of it.
France still living with the spirit of Dreyfus affair, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dreyfus_affair
Posted by: neretva'43 | Jan 12, 2013 8:35:33 PM | 18
Hopefully what these people have to say will make it into the English language:
Iranians kidnapped in Syria to recount ordeal to MPs
"MP Seyyed Baqer Hosseini, who is a member of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, said on Saturday that the abductees will give accounts about their days in captivity to parliamentarians, and the legislators will hold a ceremony to honor them for their resistance."
I one looks closely at the photograph with the article, one will see that Iran's #1 crack special forces sniper has joined them. Bottom centre, you'll notice he is the only person wearing red. This is not only due to his elite special status as being the elite of the elite of Iran's special forces, but also, as all of Iran's elite are, he is a devout red. The vanguard of Iran's globe trotting special forces subverting the Free World. Are you listening, NYT and Guardian?
Posted by: вот так | Jan 12, 2013 8:40:26 PM | 19
@ BOT TAK [#19],
I think he prefers to be called 'marksman.' Furthermore, marksmen work in teams. Is the rest still on the lookout in Aleppo? My guess would be that whatever these men [have to] say will be disregarded as 'sheer propaganda,' because only 'our' propaganda is trustworthy.
Posted by: Daniel Rich | Jan 12, 2013 9:11:10 PM | 21
b: "What, if not this, could be the purpose of this nonsense?"
Maybe it's as simple as someone being bored, or needing to justify their position?
Posted by: Johnboy | Jan 12, 2013 10:53:20 PM | 22
So the Americans haven't got much faith in the abilities of private enterprise, while the Russians have. Funny old world. They hate us for our serfdom.
Posted by: Bob Jackson | Jan 13, 2013 4:58:35 AM | 23
Iran is scary. Therefore any scary story involving Iran must have some truth to it...
Simple as that.
Hitler was a vegetarian, therfore all vegetarians must be Nazis.
Logic is great, ain't it?
Posted by: ralphieboy | Jan 13, 2013 9:19:35 AM | 24
CIA intelligent agents arrested in Tehran
"Iranian Intelligence Ministry has said that its agents have discovered a group of CIA undercover agents in what the Ministry defined as ‘constant and smart operations.’ Part of the operation has been carried out in France and elsewhere...."
Will the west claim these "innocent" people were kidnapped by Iran? Or will they give this news the ignore treatment?
Posted by: вот так | Jan 19, 2013 4:01:27 PM | 25
Boy , was it good to read that NYT got a taste of their own medicine :-)
Being hacked by the "Chinese" supposedly when ONLY 2 countries like to boast that that they have been sponsoring state- hacking of the axis of evils systems. Some dual citizens need some $$$$B for cyberwar attacks.
Posted by: The beaver | Jan 31, 2013 4:00:27 PM | 26