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Iran’s plot

Not a lot in the way of news today, so I thought today it would be good to take a look at an opinion piece from Al Jazeera.  The author, Pepe Escobar, takes a skeptical view of the alleged Iranian terror plot, which Washington claims to have damning evidence of.

The whole thing smells like a flimsy pretext for a casus belli. The timing of the announcement couldn’t be more suspicious. White House national security advisor Thomas E. Donilon briefed King Abdullah of the plot no less than two weeks ago, in a three-hour meeting in Riyadh. Meanwhile the US government has been carrying not plots, but targeted assassinations of US citizens, as in the Anwar al-Awlaki case.

The Iranian government, for its part, has sent a letter to the UN Security Council accusing the United States of warmongering.

Ali Akbar Javanfekr, a spokesman for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, at least introduced a little bit of common sense. “I think the US government is busy fabricating a new scenario and history has shown both the US government and the CIA have a lot of experience in fabricating these scenarios … I think their goal is to reach the American public. They want to take the public’s mind off the serious domestic problems they’re facing these days and scare them with fabricated problems outside the country.” Iran has not even established yet that these two characters are actually Iranian citizens.

There have been reports that President Obama was briefed on the possibility of a plot as early as June.  I think that whether or not you believe this story comes down to the degree to which you believe Iran is, in essence, evil, or at least is hellbent on ruining the United States.  I fall on the Iran-not-evil side of things, and so my inclination is to also approach this plot with a degree of skepticism.  My non-factual opinion is that our intelligence agencies may, when they find a suspicious target, run long sting operations in which our government inspires and advances the plot to observe what might come out of the woodwork, and then proceeds with charges before the plot is every really hot.  So, if you find a guy who dislikes America and boasts about his connections, encourage him and provide him with new connections–basically set the opportunity to act on his boasts in front of him–then observe what he does, and finally arrest him and announce that the plot was disrupted, even though his chances of acting on his boasts, and from there succeeding, were improbably low.

That’s my take at least, it’s probably wrong.

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