'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Iran-Contra II 

Well, Juan Cole has posted his take on this unfolding scandal, which if you are at all interested in this sort of thing you should go and read. This story is huge, and as with all huge political scandals, it's convoluted and hard to get one's head around. To that end, here's my Cliff Notes version of the situation as explicated by Juan Cole:

The pro-Likud faction of the Department of Defense was conspiring with Israel's Likud party, the proto-fascist Italian intelligence agency SISMI, would-be Iranian revolutionary Ghorbanifar, and the Iranian anti-Khomeini terrorist organization MEK to overthrow the government of Iran. The overthrow was going to occur after Iraq was taken care of. SISMI forged the Niger uranium documents that alleged the existence of a joint plot between Iran and Iraq against the rest of the world, setting up the next phase of the neoconservatives' big adventure. Larry Franklin gave the draft directive on Iran to AIPAC not to pass intelligence to Israel but to seek input in framing US policy towards Iran and to prep AIPAC for lobbying for the future military action against Iran. The neoconservatives in the State Department successfully blocked an agreement between the USA and Iran in which Iran would have given up five high-level agents of al-Qaeda in exchange for chief operatives of MEK. The agreement was blocked to prevent a thawing of the relationship between the US and Iran and to keep MEK intact for use in the overthrow. Had the conspiracy succeeded its primary beneficiaries would have been the rightmost elements of Israel's government, who would be free to do as they pleased in Palestine and to annex southern Lebanon, and Italy's Silvio Berlusconi who would make a killing. The story is about a conspiracy to hijack the US government on behalf of foreign powers.

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