Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Gareth Porter: Neutron initiator document was forged, Israel is primary suspect

I didn't care about this document when it surfaced because it does not claim Iran conducted experiments that are prohibited by its safeguards agreement or by the NPT. Iran has every right to have completed every step of manufacturing and testing components for a nuclear weapon as long as it has not diverted fissile material to that purpose or built an actual weapon.

But, one former CIA official, Philip Girardi, apparently told Gareth Porter for IPS News that the document is known to the CIA to be a forgery.
U.S. intelligence has concluded that the document published recently by the Times of London, which purportedly describes an Iranian plan to do experiments on what the newspaper described as a "neutron initiator" for an atomic weapon, is a fabrication, according to a former Central Intelligence Agency official.

Philip Giraldi, who was a CIA counterterrorism official from 1976 to 1992, told IPS that intelligence sources say that the United States had nothing to do with forging the document, and that Israel is the primary suspect. The sources do not rule out a British role in the fabrication, however.

The Times of London story published Dec. 14 did not identify the source of the document. But it quoted "an Asian intelligence source" - a term some news media have used for Israeli intelligence officials - as confirming that his government believes Iran was working on a neutron initiator as recently as 2007.
Giraldi's report of some of the CIA's reasons for assessing the document to be false match the December 16 reasoning of Mark Gubrud, a commenter at the armscontrolwonk blog. He was suspicious that the document would tie together so many publicly known elements of Iran's program with detailed leading statements while being so specific in its incriminating elements and so vague on other elements.
The latter point is to me very suspicious, since it points to another publicly-known factoid, pre-2003 Iranian implosion experiments. As Mr. Barlow, the “former CIA analyst” said, this is a very good forgery, if it is one. I am tending to think that it is.
The simulations of sanctions and military attacks that are returning results that Iran's nuclear program cannot be stopped practically are much more important than details like these documents, even if they had been true. The US still faces a choice of accepting an Iranian nuclear capability now or later, with later being the more risky course that likely leaves Iran with a more robust program.

With or without this likely forged but maybe not-forged document, it has long been the case that Iran is a threat to Jewish-majority Israel, but not a threat to the United States. Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei believes that absent Israel, the US could have good relations with Iran. He's likely right about that. Instead US companies primarily and Western companies disproportionately bear the cost of US efforts to isolate Iran's economy in order to advance the interest of there existing a secure Jewish-majority Israel in Palestine.

With or without Israeli involvement in any forgery, it is also clear that Israel, in alignment with its interests - probably more than with direct US interests - has been pressing the US to take on the tremendous expense of engaging an actual war with Iran. The prospect of US full war with Iran, by all indications, has been securely vetoed by the US military establishment since 2007 at the latest. I do not expect to see sanctions exactly because sanctions carry an unnecessary risk of unpredictably but uncontrollably leading to war.

The United States is willing to devote a tremendous but not unlimited amount of resources throughout the region directly and indirectly to ensure the security of Jewish-majority Israel in Palestine. The mechanisms by which US policy is shaped to contain this willingness are interesting and I plan to think and write more about them in the future.

The neutron document and documents like it are really a very small part of the story. It could have been fake, it could have been real, it hardly would have mattered either way.


N. Friedman said...

If the US saw no threat from Iran, the US would not act. But, of course, the US does see a threat from Iran that, while different from what Israel perceives, is just as real.

In no particular order:

1. Any country with the bomb is a major threat to the US. So, a country seemingly working to build a bomb is a major issue.

2. Arabs perceive a serious threat from Iran, which impacts on US thinking because the US buys oil from Arabs.

3. Turkey, in response to Iran's seeming rise, is moving away from the US orbit perhaps to appease Iran, which is a threat to US influence in the region.

4. Israel, a major ally of the US, has been threatened by Iran, and perceives a threat from Iran, which in turn impacts on US influence in the region.

5. Greece perceives a threat from Iran and has moved to make a closer military alliance with Israel, since Greece is a country in or likely soon to be in range of Iran's missiles. And, that impacts on US influence in the region.

6. Were any country to use the bomb, that would impact on US power, which is an issue for the US.

7. Islamism is a threat to the peace of the world and an Islamist governed state with the bomb is a scary thing that ought concern any sane person.

So, while the threat of Iran with a bomb or moving to have a bomb or pretending to move to have the bomb is a different threat to Israel than it is to the US, Iran's activities are a threat, a major threat, to US interests.

You, with your anti-Israel hysteria, are blind to US interests and falsely believe that Iran - a thousand miles from Israel - is somehow moved in earnest to oppose Israel. Pick up a history book, Arnold. The Nazis told the Europeans that if they abandoned support for Jews, there would be peace.

In fact, Iran perceives that it can stir up hatred of Israel and of Jews, combining blind hatred to blind ambition in order to try to unify the Muslim world under Iran's banner. So, it threatens Israel, using the exact same tactics which the Nazis used by stirring up hatred of Jews as a means to unify Germans, employing propaganda that if not for those perfidious Jews, peace would break out. Same tactic, mutatis mutandis. It was a lie then. It is a lie now.

lidia said...

Why was I sure the comment would be one by a Zionist NF? :(

And he still talks about Nazis, as if Zionism was not closely cooperating with Nazis and benefiting from Nacism. Now, IOF admitted that it used Nazi's experience in dealing with Warsow ghetto during assoult on Genin.

In short, NF the Zionist lies ...like Zionist :(

But his reaction is agood sign - it means Arnold's posts nail the problem. Keep it up, Arnold!

Anonymous said...

Iran doesn`t need to stir up hatred of Israel,Israel does an excellent job of stirring up hatred against itself by its own vile actions and appalling crimes a lot of which bear more than a little comparison with nazi outrages.Islam a threat to world peace?!,I`m sorry I must somehow have missed the all conquering armies of the caliphate threatining world peace,but I did happen to catch the armies of the US and its allies invading Iraq and Afghanistan leaving death and destruction in their wake,but hey when we in the west do it its ok cause were the good guys george bush said so.The so called points you raise are a bad joke and you are just a Troll