Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 14, 2012

Is The "False Flag" Piece A False Flag?

The Mark Perry story False Flag - A series of CIA memos describes how Israeli Mossad agents posed as American spies to recruit members of the terrorist organization Jundallah to fight their covert war against Iran. is a bit weird.

My first questions were:

Why is this whitewash of the CIA coming out right now, just two days after the assassination of another Iranian engineer?

Why is there no mention at all of JSOC, the U.S. military Joint Special Operations Command forces who are, according to Sy Hersh, operating in Iran? What is their relation to the Israelis?

Why is the U.S. now doing so much to say it has nothing to do with the assassination? Notice that this changed. State Department spokesperson Nuland when asked on January 11 immediately after the event issued no denial at all:

QUESTION: The Iranians have accused Israel and the United States of carrying out this killing. Any truth to that?
MS. NULAND: I don't have any information to share one way or the other on that.
QUESTION: You don’t want to deny killing him?
MS. NULAND: Obviously, we – as I said, we condemn the loss of innocent life.
QUESTION: That’s not a denial as such.
MS. NULAND: I’m not prepared to speak one way or the other. I, frankly --
QUESTION: You didn’t want to deny it.
QUESTION: Would the scientist come under innocent life?
MS. NULAND: Say again?
QUESTION: Would the scientist come under your definition of innocent life?
MS. NULAND: Again, I don't think I have anything further to say on this, that we condemn violence of any kind.

Only later did Hillary Clinton issue a strong direct denial:

“I want to categorically deny any United States involvement in any kind of act of violence inside Iran.”

Yeah, sure. And why this change?

Why are the Israeli pretty much openly claiming that they did it?

Richard Silverstein's "impeccable" Israeli source tells him the Israelis did it. Richard was fed likely false information by the same source on other recent stories. His source confirming something does not make the Israel angle more believable.

There is one issue with the scientists assassinations that cleary does not point to Israel. All these nuclear scientist assassinations were done with magnet bombs and at least the last one even with explosive formed penetrator (EFP) that explode directional into the car without hitting people around it. These bombs are carefully made to prevent collateral damage.

But since when are the Israelis squeamish about collateral damage? I have never seen them care much about such. Usually they are as brutal as possible "to send a message" and if more people die it does not bother them. The U.S. wants regime change in Iran, preferably done by Iranians. It thereby has a motive to create as little collateral damage as possible.

The Iranians first blamed the U.S. and Israel for the killing but now say they have documentary proof that the U.S. was behind the killing:

According to an Iranian statement broadcasted on the Islamic Republic's official TV Channel, Tehran has conclusive evidence that the United States plotted the assassination of Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan last week.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said his country has obtained "credible documents that prove the terror attack was planned, supervised and supported by the CIA," adding that he has filed an official complaint with the Swiss Embassy in Iran, which is also handles US affairs in the area.

They may well be right. I for one do not believe a word when the U.S. says it was not behind this.

I do not think that Mark Perry is necessarily wrong. But his story is certainly not saying everything. On an email-list I am on veteran journalist Gareth Porter calls Mark Perry "a very meticulous journalist" who goes to great lengths to get his stories straight. I trust Gareth's judgement but even if Perry believed everything he wrote that does not say that the story is correct.

Marcy Wheeler is curious about the details of the Perry story:

When [Perry] says the Israelis were “flush with American dollars,” does he mean they got the dollars from America, or only that they were–as dollars are in common usage–American? When he notes that the recruitment “occurred under the nose of U.S. intelligence officers,” is that meant to suggest that it did so with their assent?

The ambiguity in Perry’s article is more significant given that, while he describes George Bush “going ballistic” when he was briefed on the op, Perry also provides evidence that at least some at the top officials in Bush’s Administration didn’t seem to care all that much.

Then there are the Leveretts at Race For Iran who point out that the Bush/Obama administrations definitely have run covert operations in Iran:

We know and respect Mark Perry, and we do not question his reporting on his contacts and conversations with current and former U.S. intelligence officials.  However, in order to assess U.S. involvement in the ongoing covert war against the Islamic Republic, it is important to put Mark’s story in a wider context. We have written, on multiple occasions, see here, here and here, about America’s dangerous dance with Jundallah and, more broadly, anti-Iranian covert action.  That the Obama Administration is now trying to distance itself from some aspects of this dance, by fobbing it off on Israel (to be sure, anything but an innocent party), does not extricate it from its past decisions or current actions.

Back to Mary Wheeler:

Israelis and Americans have long hidden behind each other when working with Iranians, going back at least to the Iran-Contra ops that Dick Cheney had a fondness for. Hiding behind Israelis lets American officials pretend we’re not doing the taboo things we’re doing. Hiding behind Americans lets Iranian partners working with Israelis pretend they aren’t working with the Zionist enemy. That false flag business works in many different directions, after all.

The Mark Perry story may well be right in the detail. I doubt its value in telling something of the bigger picture though. It it does not tell us anything of what the U.S. agencies and military are currently doing in Iran and it certainly should not be used to exculpate the U.S. from the killing of the Iranian scientists.

Posted by b on January 14, 2012 at 14:06 UTC | Permalink


A Presidential finding was signed by Bush Junior authorizing covert operations in Iran. Certainly it has been carried forward in the current administration.

According to Wikipedia

The Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms (Joint Publication JP1-02), defines "covert operation" as "an operation that is so planned and executed as to conceal the identity of or permit plausible denial by the sponsor."


Covert operations are employed in situations where openly operating against a target would be disadvantageous. These operations are generally illegal in the target state and are frequently in violation of the laws of the sponsoring country. Operations may be directed at or conducted with allies and friends to secure their support for controversial components of foreign policy throughout the world.

Covert operations may include sabotage, assassinations, support for coups d'état, or support for subversion. Tactics include the use of a false flag or front group.

b you are probably on to something here.

Posted by: Meo | Jan 14 2012 14:47 utc | 1

Thanks to all for the comments on this matter here and in other threads. J. J.Angleton's wilderness of mirrors
metaphor has seldom been more appropriate, although, as pointed out here, some of the leading actors are not giving their most convincing portrayals. I suspect that Uncle $ is right in anticipating further developments, and with their arrival we may have a better grip on who is sending the smoke signals.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Jan 14 2012 15:10 utc | 2

This, on the bombing of the Iranian scientist:

Posted by: ben | Jan 14 2012 15:21 utc | 3

The CIA has long been involved in supporting various Iranian rebel groups as a part of destabilization and probably drug-running.

Telegraph, Feb 25, 2007:

Funding for their separatist causes comes directly from the CIA's classified budget but is now "no great secret", according to one former high-ranking CIA official in Washington who spoke anonymously to The Sunday Telegraph.

His claims were backed by Fred Burton, a former US state department counter-terrorism agent, who said: "The latest attacks inside Iran fall in line with US efforts to supply and train Iran's ethnic minorities to destabilise the Iranian regime."

Although Washington officially denies involvement in such activity, Teheran has long claimed to detect the hand of both America and Britain in attacks by guerrilla groups on its internal security forces. Last Monday, Iran publicly hanged a man, Nasrollah Shanbe Zehi, for his involvement in a bomb attack that killed 11 Revolutionary Guards in the city of Zahedan in Sistan-Baluchistan. An unnamed local official told the semi-official Fars news agency that weapons used in the attack were British and US-made.

The CIA is also probably involved in running druugs from Afghanistan into Iran. (They've done it before out of Laos and Colombia.) There is a drug epidemic in Iran and more than 3,000 anti-drug forces have been killed according to Monitor in 2004.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 14 2012 15:23 utc | 4

It's been reported by several sources that Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan met with the IAEA inspectors shortly before his assassination. Iran has charged the IAEA with releasing the identities of nuclear scientists to the US, so that they can be assassinated.

While the IAEA is possibly complicit, no journalists, to my knowledge, have pursued the IAEA angle. Is the IAEA somehow untouchable and above suspicion? Why is this, given that agency's recent complicity with the US on vacuous charges about an Iran nuclear weapons program?

We need more focus on the IAEA which, after El Baradei was forced out as chief, has been turned into not only a political instrument but possibly also a killing one under the US puppet Yukiya Amano.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 14 2012 15:39 utc | 5

From ben's link in #3--

Tehran has urged the U.N. Security Council and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to condemn the latest killing, which Tehran says is aimed at undermining its nuclear work, which the West and Israel say is aimed at building bombs. Tehran says its nuclear program is purely civilian.

Ban Ki-moon is the US's creature; the US worked long and hard to get him in as the Sect'y General and I doubt he will not support his sponsors.

Posted by: jawbone | Jan 14 2012 15:43 utc | 6

I cringed when Hillary Clinton made her very strong statement that the US was in no way acting internally in Iran. Unless the US has suddenly stopped all its covert actions, she was out and out lying. For all the world to see.

I waited for some mention of our covert activities in US MCM (Mainstream Corporate Media) coverage, but, of course, there was none. At least that I saw.

Posted by: jawbone | Jan 14 2012 15:45 utc | 7

Does anyone believe that CIA would tell State what it's doing in Iran? No. That's the basis of plausible deniability, besides not trusting outsiders. "Don't tell me, I don't want to know." Perhaps even Petraeus doesn't know (in case he's the next one to deny it).

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 14 2012 16:01 utc | 8

Don Bacon @#5


'IAEA leaked secret info to Iran enemy'

Note: I’m not prepared to speak one way or the other about PressTV...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jan 14 2012 16:25 utc | 9

"Is The..........yadayadayada.........?????????"

Such is the state of affairs now when trying to assess information. One huge stinking question mark after another. The scum in DC. Liars. The scum in our media. Liars. The Think Tank vermin. Liars.

So we muddle along, propelled into ignorance by conjecture and angry biased distrustful analysis. Who the fuck knows what the truth is anymore? The only "truth" we can take to the bank is the irrefutable fact that they are lying to us. And the higher up the ladder they have slithered, the greater the depth of their dishonesty.

Take a look at the insipid grinning mannequin Romney, and imagine that smug grinning posed piece of shit showing up at your front door to take your daughter out on a date. Sadly, he has what it takes to get her in the backseat. The same "quality" it takes to get into the White House. And, if she ends up pregnant, rest assurred, he had nuthin' to do with it.

And if we launch WWIII by attacking Iran??? Hey, its not gonna be his fault, he did everything he could to avoid war. Honest.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Jan 14 2012 16:50 utc | 10

Anybody have any idea what sort of evidence the Iranians might have that incriminates the U.S.?

Posted by: lysias | Jan 14 2012 18:12 utc | 11

Anybody have any idea what sort of evidence the Iranians might have that incriminates the U.S.?

They recently said they blew up another CIA spy-ring. There will be some forensic stuff from that.

Posted by: b | Jan 14 2012 18:22 utc | 12

i find it hard to believe the US has not actively supported jundallah in the past. which doesn't precluded the notion mossad has not impersonated the cia for their own interests. but the US hands are not clean wrt supporting baluch separatist movements.

at the same time bush could have very well been shocked, but i doubt cheney was. all the info perry reported could have been the truth according to his the cia operative who himself could have only known half the story.

Posted by: annie | Jan 14 2012 19:20 utc | 13

Generally speaking I take alot of the articles on with a pinch of salt. With the exception of Stephen Walt's blog and the pretty good Af-Pak blog, I find alot of the main articles to be in keeping with the "Washington Foreign Policy Insiders views" and uniformly committed to the conventional wisdom and Pro-Americanism.

Why this article by Mark Perry is so interesting. He is a respected voice, who has spent a long time opposing Israel (which can easily be career suicide in Washington DC). My main take on it is that being one of the publications that serve as a voice for the elite this piece attacking Mossad is a sign that some within the foreign policy community are pissed at Israel.

You would also wonder how Mark Perry came into possession of "a series of CIA memos" from the last years of the W. Presidency including "CIA field reports". CIA memos would be classified for a 30 year period so the only way someone could share them with him is with permission.

@ lysias and B

Indeed the CIA spy ring is likely, of the two dozen people arrested, a dozen of them are facing the death penalty. As well as the former US Marine also looking at execution. A death penalty would I'm sure put many people in a talking mood. Other than that they could use the Hezbollah method of looking at phone records for suspicious activity. That's what brought down half the CIA's Beirut station a few months ago.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Jan 14 2012 20:11 utc | 14

“The False Flag Waves in the Fog”

Israel has responded to Mark Perry’s “False Flag” claim, “Absolute nonsense!”

“The ‘proof’ Israel offers that this didn’t happen: Meir Dagan is still welcome in Washington. The senior Israeli government official said that if there were any truth the claims in Perry’s report, Meir Dagan, the head of the Mossad at the time of the alleged operation, would have been declared a persona non grata in the U.S. and that ‘Dagan’s foot would not have walked again in Washington.’”

“But it is also notable that Dagan has made a series of increasingly strident remarks against war with Iran and for the kind of engagement that the latest scientist assassination seems designed to undercut. And then there’s the presumably intentional irony in the statement: Dagan’s ability to travel is limited not by his welcome among Western allies, but because Bibi Netanyahu revoked Dagan’s diplomatic passport last summer in response to his efforts to prevent war against Iran. Since traveling without diplomatic immunity would expose him to arrest for acts that include the al-Mabhouh assassination, Dagan, the former head of Israel’s assassination agency, cannot travel freely to prevent such assassinations in the future.”

“In other words, this is a very witty but nevertheless quite serious reminder that the same people now trying to find a peaceful path forward are themselves thoroughly implicated in the same crimes they now disown. This is Bibi’s camp reminding that everyone has been breaking the rules in ways that could cause significant legal trouble.”

“Right on cue, Iran has sent diplomatic notes to both the US and Britain, claiming that the CIA is behind the most recent assassination.”

Posted by: DakotabornKansan | Jan 14 2012 20:46 utc | 15

Jawbone's (#7) on Hillary Clinton's denial of US involvement is so right on. When I saw it on TV I straight off thought of the female villain's straight faced lies in a current Brazilian soap novel (Passione). I suppose she did her gleeful laugh at it when she knew she was off-camera -- her "off-camera" exaltation to the Gaddafi murder gives us a good insight.

Posted by: JohnE | Jan 14 2012 20:59 utc | 16

Just my 2 cents: a) The Iranians do have documents that prove the CIA did something. b) and more likely: It's a warning shot that is intended to prevent the Zionists from starting a world war.

Posted by: k_w | Jan 14 2012 22:54 utc | 17

I have no real problem with the State Department not wanting to confirm or deny in the immediate aftermath of that assassination; after al, they may not have had a clue what the CIA is up to, and therefore had to tread carefully.

I also don't have a problem with Clinton's later strident denial of US involvement, because by then she had time to get the confirmation that she needed.

As to why this story came out now, well, the story itself tells you: the CIA has been seething for years about Israeli false-flag operations, taking this issue all the way to the Oval Office many, many times.

All to no avail, until now.

I would suggest that this assination was done after the USA told the Israelis to stop this nonsense: not only did the Israelis ignore them, but they took great delight in playing their silly "Was it us, or was it America? Who can tell?" game.

In short: I would suggest the Israelis rubbed salt in the CIA's wounds one too many times, and so the message *finally* came down from Up On High to wipe the smirk off their face.

Hence a quick phone call to Mark Perry, and one very nice exclusive.

Posted by: Johnboy | Jan 14 2012 23:53 utc | 18

Dennis Ross, President Obama's former top Iran adviser, said the president would strike Iran to keep the Islamic Republic from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

"The Iranians should never think that there’s a reluctance to use the force."

Open war with Iran, a continual U.S. threat, would cause thousands of deaths and injuries.

So who's to doubt that the U.S., with no reluctance to use force, would cause one death of an Iran nuclear scientist?
At a time when assassination of suspected anti-U.S. militants is U.S. policy?
And even the assassination of Americans is done?
Why shift the blame to Israel when the U.S. assassinates anybody it feels like, anywhere they are?
Especially - especially - in Iran, that most terrible of U.S. (concocted) enemies?

Perry: "But while the memos show that the United States had barred even the most incidental contact with Jundallah, according to both intelligence officers, the same was not true for Israel's Mossad."

Oh right, I'll believe CIA "memos."

AFP, Aug 25, 2009:

ZAHEDAN, Iran — A top Sunni rebel who is awaiting execution in Iran said on Tuesday that his militant group received orders from the United States to launch terror attacks in the Islamic republic.

Abdolhamid Rigi, brother of shadowy Jundallah (Soldiers of God) group leader Abdolmalek Rigi, told reporters his brother was an Al-Qaeda point man in Iran six years ago but that later the group broke off ties with him.

"The United States created and supported Jundallah and we received orders from them," Rigi said in Iran's restive southeastern city of Zahedan, the capital of Sistan-Baluchestan province bordering Afghanistan and Pakistan.

So b is exactly correct -- Mark Perry is the one flying the false flag.
Why, the CIA would NEVER do anything like that, would they Mr. Perry. CIA=Murder, Inc.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 15 2012 0:43 utc | 19

"So b is exactly correct -- Mark Perry is the one flying the false flag."

Except.... if you read Mark Perry's article you'll see that the CIA detected this Mossad false-flag operation in 2007-2008.

Which means the reason why Abdolhamid Rigi and Abdolmalek Rigi were both claiming in 2009 that they were working for the CIA is because.... they truly believed that they were working for the CIA, even though they were actually working for Mossad.

That was the entire point of that false-flag operation, and it should be stressed that Jundallah was in no position to run background checks on the people who were claiming to be CIA agents.

Sometimes there simply *isn't* wheels within wheels within wheels e.g. this story broke *now* because the CIA has been clamoring for years for permission to smack down Mossad, and it's only after this latest assassination that someone in the White House gave them the OK to do so.

Posted by: Johnboy | Jan 15 2012 5:48 utc | 20

Santorum on Iran

Posted by: Paul | Jan 15 2012 6:31 utc | 21

Personally, I'd run a quick sniff-test on this story to work out which part of it is plausible, and wether any of it is inplausible.

So allow me to run thru a quick Q&A.

Q: Is it plausible that Mossad agents would pretend to be from the CIA?
A: Yes, that is eminently plausible.

Q: Would that right-royally piss off the CIA?
A: No. Question. That. They. Would. Be. Livid.

Q: Would Mossad give a shit wether (or not) the CIA was pissed off?
A: It is a no-brainer that the Mossad would not care less.

Q: Would that arrogant dismissal of the CIA send the Americans into apoplexy?
A: Of course.

Q: So is it plausible that the CIA would leak this to Mark Perry as pay-back?
A: It's what I would do if I were the head of the CIA.

Q: So do I share b's scepticism regarding that story in foreignpolicy?
A: No.

Q: Why not?
A: Because it all rings true to me.

Now, don't get me wrong: I may well be suckered in, and b might well be delphic in his insight.

But, honestly, I doubt it.

I think Mark Perry was hand-picked by the CIA to break this story, and the reason *why* they chose to have this story come out was because they were f**king fed up with the arrogant shits at the Mossad treating them like a dish-rag.

Posted by: Johnboy | Jan 15 2012 9:31 utc | 22

Grave Concern Regarding Israeli Intelligence in the U.S.

Washington, DC | | September 7, 2010 - The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) expresses grave concern over allegations that Israeli Intelligence agents are targeting Arab and Muslim Americans, posing as U.S. Federal Agents. The activity was recently reported in a Washington Post Article by Jeff Stein. Such activity will have a negative impact on the trust between Arab and Muslim Americans with the U.S. Federal Government. ADC calls on the Department of Justice, Department of State, and other appropriate Federal agencies to thoroughly investigate any instances of individuals, including foreign nationals, falsely identifying themselves as a U.S. government official.

ADC reminds community members, citizens and non-citizens, that you are entitled to have an attorney present in the event someone who identifies himself or herself as a government official and approaches you for questioning. You do not have to answer any question, and your refusal to answer cannot be used against you. You do not have to allow agents to enter your home without a warrant. If the agent claims to have a warrant please demand to see it. Further, please ask to see the credentials of the government official, ask the agent’s name and a business card, and call the FBI Field Office and ask for verification.

ADC will continue to monitor these reports. If you or someone you know has been approached by anyone identifying himself or herself as a government official, but you suspect or question the identity of such official, please feel free to contact the ADC Legal Department at 202-244-2990 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 202-244-2990 end_of_the_skype_highlighting, or [email protected].

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jan 15 2012 9:46 utc | 23

I am well aware Persians aren't Arab and that they speak Farsi and not Arabic. The concern is the same none the less. Imagine if all these agencies played these games, it'd be 0 so fucked up... Wait!...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jan 15 2012 9:56 utc | 24


"Just my 2 cents: a) The Iranians do have documents that prove the CIA did something."

Can I just point out that if that document was sourced from Jundallah then it is going to implicate the CIA, precisely because the leadership of Jundallah had been(falsely) led to believe that they were on the CIA's payroll, even though they were really on Mossad's payroll.

"b) and more likely: It's a warning shot that is intended to prevent the Zionists from starting a world war."

Yes, agreed.

The unwritten subtext of all this is that the Israelis should not blythly assume that they can sucker the USA into pitching in with them.

Israel might just start a war, turn to the USA and ask "Well, are you joining in or not?" only to be rather shocked by the answer.

Posted by: Johnboy | Jan 15 2012 11:44 utc | 25

I never wrote that the Mark Perry story is wrong, "I do not think that Mark Perry is necessarily wrong. But his story is certainly not saying everything." and "The Mark Perry story may well be right in the detail. I doubt its value in telling something of the bigger picture though."

But it is a "false flag" because it comes at a time where the U.S. wants to blame the Israelis for the killing of the nuclear scientist.

Interview with Mark Üerry on his story. “Israel, if you want to be welcome in U.S., don’t pull this kind of crap.”

Posted by: b | Jan 15 2012 14:32 utc | 26

Hmmmm - Israel, U.S. postpone joint anti-missile exercise

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The United States and Israel have delayed a major joint anti-missile exercise against a backdrop of heightened tensions with Iran.

Sources in both countries said that the exercise, the largest of its kind, would be delayed from its planned spring date until the summer at the earliest.
There have also been reports of increased tensions between the administrations of President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over Israel's alleged refusal to share with the United States whether or not it plans to strike Iran.

Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, is due to arrive in Israel Thursday.

His visit was originally touted as part of the planning of the joint anti-missile exercise, but reports now say he will press Israel not to strike Iran.

Did the U.S. pull back from the exercise because it feared Israel would use it as a chance to attack Iran? Or did it pull back to generally show Netanyahu the finger?

Posted by: b | Jan 15 2012 15:10 utc | 27

We can undoubtedly expect a refreshed hew and cry about "anti-semitism" to be widely heralded in one manner or another. Whenever these dirtbag far right zionists in Israel are rebuffed or snubbed in any manner, they fall back on their victimhood strategy.

Those poor maligned and abused Jews. Doncha know they're surrounded by bloodthirsty savages that wanna return thenm to the ovens, or worse?????

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Jan 15 2012 15:58 utc | 28

"Did the U.S. pull back......"

Who are you claiming is "the U.S."????? After Netanyahu's standing ovation he recieved from the slut factory in DC, you can't possibly think that "showing Netanyahu the finger" is a popular policy option in D.C..

More likely, its Obama trying to show Bibi that he's still got half a testicle left, and, by golly, he's gonna use it while its still attached. But don't get your hopes up, because you can rest assured that Congress is already rummaging in the junk drawer for their scissors.

"the U.S." is a poor choice of words here, b. Just because a few of these whores have their panties in a wad over Israel's actions doesn't mean the whole brothel is involved. Netanyahu will still get his money's worth, despite the fact that a couple of the girls are now refusing to give him head.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Jan 15 2012 16:14 utc | 29

My guess is that "Iron Dome" is more like "Swiss Cheese" and that shouldn't be demonstrated by public failure.

March 27, 2011
JERUSALEM — Israel on Sunday deployed a still experimental anti-missile system. “I do not want to foster the illusion that Iron Dome, which we are deploying today for the first time, will provide a complete or comprehensive answer,’’ Netanyahu said

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 15 2012 16:29 utc | 30

U.S. army chief heads to Israel as fears over attack on Iran mount

Visit comes as U.S. attempts to determine Israel's intentions with regard to a possible attack on Iranian nuclear facilities.

Wait, shouldn't that be the State Departments job?

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jan 15 2012 17:20 utc | 31

The question of whether Perry's story is correct is certainly legitimate.

But isn't there another angle that could also be significant, regardless of the truth of the story? And that is, who is/are the intended audience for the story.

Israel seems a target, and very likely is. But the more interesting audience is covert operators already inside Iran, both Iranians and others.

Appearing in Foreign Policy makes this a story that will be magnified, as here, around the world. And Perry has a reputation among journalists for not being a mere shill for US policy, which lends his report credibility.

Covert agents inside Iran must now be questioning whether their orders are coming from Jerusalem or Washington. And whether there is the sort of real weight that D.C. can offer, as far as their cover and backup. Even if, in some cases, the handlers were CIA, not Mossad, how would these covert agents know? And this applies to any mercenary forces too. Suddenly a great cloud of uncertainty descends on operations.

Will they continue to follow instructions passed through an opaque chain of command depending entirely on trust, as such networks must?

In other words, could Perry's article be a dramatic salvo from Washington, intended to shut down or at least stall unknown covert operations being played or about to be played out in Iran?

Surely such doubts among Iranian counter-regime activists and covert operatives will be one consequence of the Perry article. If it was not an intended consequence, than it is rather significant "collateral damage", which the leakers in Langley were willing to accept.

Posted by: smoke | Jan 15 2012 18:46 utc | 32

"Wait, shouldn't that be the State Departments job?"

You'd think so, wouldn't you.

But if the Americans want an answer then they have to send someone that the Israelis would bother to listen to.

Which immediately rules out anyone in the State Department.

And, to be fair, the USA won't talk to Lieberman, and he's Foreign Minister.

Posted by: Johnboy | Jan 15 2012 21:36 utc | 33

"We don't do bang and boom," a recently retired intelligence officer said. "And we don't do political assassinations."

if there is anything in the False Flag article that seems not credible, it is this.

as for the Hersh article, the fact that CIA was so busy in the area would have only made it easier for Mossad to assume a CIA cover.

Posted by: Proton Soup | Jan 16 2012 0:03 utc | 34

@smoke #32 - interesting point of view; especially considering the fact that the "real" Cia ring appears to have been dismantled by Iran and Hezbollah

Posted by: claudio | Jan 16 2012 1:31 utc | 35

Is Johnboy claiming the Americans handed Jundullah's leader over to the Iranians?

Wayne Madsen claimed that Abdolmalik Rigi was arrested on his way to meet Richard Holbrooke at the Manas Airbase in Kyrgyzstan, while holding an American-issued Afghan passport.

I know Mossad forge passports, but why send their dupe straight to an American base to expose the fraud? And why would Iran broadcast his confession of meeting Obama's CIA agents, when Israel was in the hot seat?

Posted by: Bob Jackson | Jan 16 2012 10:24 utc | 36


"Is Johnboy claiming the Americans handed Jundullah's leader over to the Iranians?"

No, not at all.

I'm saying that the information that is claimed to "confirm" that the CIA has been playing footsies with this terrorist organization may have come from Abdolmalik Rigi following his arrest.

And I'm pointing out that there is little relying on what the "dupe" tells you because, you know, he's been "duped".

Rigi may well have b.e.l.i.e.v.e.d. that he was working for the CIA.
Rigi may well have c.o.n.f.e.s.s.e.d. that he was working for the CIA.

But that doesn't necessarily mean that he was working for the CIA, precisely because that's the whole point of "false-flag".

Posted by: Johnboy | Jan 16 2012 10:52 utc | 37


"Wayne Madsen claimed that"....

I followed that link only to find:
A truthseeker article that...
quotes an IRNA report that...
claims that the Wayne Madson Report...
claims that Abdolmalik Rigi was arrested on his way to meet Richard Holbrooke.

Colour me cynical, but if I am supposed to give credence to something that Wayne Madsen is claiming then I'd like to read what Wayne Madsen is claiming, and not what says that
IRNA says that
Wayne Madsen said.

Posted by: Johnboy | Jan 16 2012 11:27 utc | 38

Fuck Wayne Madsen.. Disinfo agent from way back. Advise to look elsewhere or buy lottery tickets.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jan 16 2012 15:46 utc | 39

@ claudio #35 Yes. I have wondered how the CIA roundup in Iran & Lebanon fits into the overall scenario, too.

Gary Sick today posts a summary of recent, divergent moves by US v-a-v Iran, and speculates on the complex chess game, which the Administration may be undertaking. (h/t emptywheel)

Posted by: smoke | Jan 16 2012 17:24 utc | 40

@smoke - I agree with Sick's analysis; also China hand (linked at by b somewhere else) points to this kind of game, but in a wider strategic perspective; I'm quite pessimistic on the final outcome: it's either mayhem on the peoples of the Middle East, or on those of Central Asia;

only chance I see is that Turkey gets off the Nato counter-revolution bandwagon, and Germany, Russia and China begin showing some spine, beginning with the issue of sanctions on Iran at the UNSC; I fear their calculus is to survive long enough avoiding direct confrontation, signing lucrative energy deals in the meantime, and then pick up what's left after the collapse of the Us empire; well, what they actually are doing is they keep feeding the beast, and they do so at their peril

Posted by: claudio | Jan 16 2012 22:03 utc | 41

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