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17 January 2016

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William R. Cumming

You ask the right question IMO P.L. and Pincus the wrong one! Even while the 17 members of the IC probably come to different conclusions we have a need to know also IMO as to the answer to your question.

Again IMO Iran has bigger problems to worry about! First the worldwide [maybe long-term] collapse of oil and gas prices. Second, controlling Social Media 2.0! Third, potential destruction of its Shia proxies. 4th! An Israel bent on self destruction.

And please don't say this list is complete. 101 years ago open warfare broke out on July 28, 1914, that led IMO to the destruction of Western Civilization. 6 million dead and wounded the first year of the Great War and perhaps ultimately 40 million. And if you add in the so-called SPANISH FLU which started at Fort Riley, Kansas, perhaps double that.

Could be wrong as always.

b

Pincus has had quite a bunch of media scandals and is scorned by many.

I believe he will try to make a case against Iran not matter what.

For example he writes: "In that effort, Iran studied a firing system that “would enable the payload to explode both in the air above a target, or upon impact of the re-entry vehicle,” according to the IAEA summary — characteristics useful only for a nuclear weapon."

So you have a projectile that can burst in the air or on impact. Multi-functional fuses That is a capability many non-nuclear artillery projectiles have for very good reasons. Pincus' claim that those are "characteristics useful only for a nuclear weapon" is pure nonsense.

If he really wants to dig into the alleged Laptop of Death allegations he will need to become FAAAR more knowledgeable in military, technical and nuclear technology.

At the end of his column he quotes David Albright. Yeah, one of the biggest liars about Iran's program that ever existed. The one that wrote, together with the usual neocons, several WSJ oped that practically begged to bomb Iran. (http://www.rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/albright_david)

If Pincus, for lack of genuine knowledge consults such "experts", for his column the whole stuff will certainly not be worth the time to read it.

Richard Armstrong

Civilizations rise and civilizations fall. And like the Romans they sometimes make a comeback.

If a caliphate does rise it will be a threat first to Europe. I imagine their historical memory will recall the siege of Vienna and how far north the Muslim threat was successful.

I imagine buffer states like Romania all along southern Europe and a focus for NATO.

The caliphate will have to do business with the west because oil is worth nothing if it can't be sold. If our navy expands a blockade of caliphate ships is doable.

turcopolier

All

IMO it is well established that before 2003 Iran had a research project directed toward deterrence against Iraq which they thought had an active program. They believed this because of Saddam's deliberate IO program intended to deceive all. The IC believes they shut this down after the US destroyed the Iraqi government.

turcopolier

Pincus

"Pincus has had quite a bunch of media scandals and is scorned by many." Not by me. He stood by me when the neocons were baying for my blood. pl

oofda

A bit off topic, but the Post announced the Pollard will be released on November 21. Words fail me.....

The Twisted Genius

pl,

"He stood by me when the neocons were baying for my blood."

Such relationships among men form the last line of defense against the predations of the Borg hordes.

Imagine

New ['13] Study Examines Media Coverage of Iranian Nuclear Program
http://www.wideasleepinamerica.com/2013/05/new-study-examines-media-coverage-of.html
"...University of Maryland's Center for International and Security Studies (CISSM) released an extensive new report...'The Media & Iran’s Nuclear Program: An analysis of U.S. and U.K. coverage, 2009-2012' analyzes over 1,200 articles...: http://cissm.umd.edu/papers/files/media.pdf
[finds MSM is running specious hit pieces extremely similar to Iraq buildup, see for more]

...Pincus was less worried. 'It is not the responsibility of the journalist to provide comprehensive coverage every time on every subject,' he insisted, 'instead, it is the obligation of the reader to explore these issues in greater depth and draw their own conclusions.' Such a remark is troubling..."

A Pols

I don't know anything about Pincus, but it seems that whether or not Iran had a ready to produce design on the shelf is a question of minimal pertinence. After all the basic principles are generally well understood by practitioners of high energy physics and one could assemble a design team from among the faculty of a few universities. For anyone seeking to develop nuclear weapons, the primary challenge has always been to acquire the fissile material. In the past, nobody who has done so has ever had much trouble assembling a bomb and it's probably a good bet that the Iranians wouldn't either...
So a confrontation with the Iranians over the intellectual component of a bomb program is probably a fools errand and the focus should be on fissile materials capability. This too is a well known technology, but it's also a substantial material enterprise and should be easier to keep tabs on.
As for Pollard being released, the question is: Cui Bono?

Imagine

Ignoring Decades of Iranian Statements on Nuclear Weapons for the Sake of Propaganda
http://www.wideasleepinamerica.com/2012/10/the-goldberg-predilections-ignoring.html

"UN Ambassador Javad Zarif, April 6, 2006: 'Iran's reliance on the nonproliferation regime is based on legal commitments, sober strategic calculations and spiritual and ideological doctrine. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the leader of the Islamic Republic, has issued a decree against the development, production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons.'"

Everyone knows that everyone knows that the Iranians have a nuclear weapons program. How do we know? The Zionists have repeated it so often, across so many channels, that it has become common knowledge. These wouldn't be the same Zionists who built a secret underground factory, flaunt the U.N., and continue to commit serial crimes against humanity, no? Sorta like O.J.Simpson writing a 'fictional' novel account of how the murders hypothetically could have gone down 'If I Did It'?

Saddam was using poison gas from helicopters on Iranians. If they were the kind of people to use WMD they would have developed then. Yes, children's campaign was horrific, but not if you REALLY believe in heaven, different culture. Ahmadinejad: "Anyone who talks of nuclear weapons is retarded."

whether their right wing would like to make hay out of APPEARING to be the kind of country who MIGHT use nukes is another debate question. It's the kind of thing that we would do, if we were them (so seems very plausible to our culture's viewpoint). Which is sort of a sad commentary on American ethics, if you think about it.

BabelFish

WRC,

I think you are right. Someone should have taught the Archduke how to duck. And, the flu pandemic was destructive beyond what our history truly shows.

And, the French and English certainly did a splendid job of assuring WW2 would be held in short order. However, I do believe the Germans were going to try payback, regardless of the reparations.

BabelFish

We should make the Izzies take Aldrich Ames and the Walker family as well, just so they can own all the traitors in one package.

Pirouz

According to Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, the inspection regime at military sites has been agreed upon, the details of which remain confidential.

The Iranians say they held the upper hand in nuclear negotiations as they did not possess a weaponization program nor did they seek to pursue one. So this aspect of the deal was easy to trade away. Harder for them were negotiating non-nuclear aspects of the deal.

opit

Im sure a mad Iran would not co-sponsor and support an arrangement that was designed to verify that it continued to avoid militarization of nuclear technology. Nor would it source fuel and technical support from neighbour Russia if idiocy were to occur later...alienating a supplier of a vital supply which had shown via the Cuban Missile Crisis that it was not to be trifled with in matters of nuclear threat.
Is it not interesting that sanctions interfered with their ability to fund an independent auditor.
http://www.campaigniran.org/casmii/
https://www.transcend.org/tms/2015/07/israel-iran-and-the-nuclear-non-proliferation-treaty/

walrus

simple book research for the last twenty years has revealed that the design and construction of a U235 weapon is trivial - Little boy was not even tested before it was dropped.

The design of a Plutonium weapon is more difficult, but I would be surprised if the advent of ubiquitous computing power hasn't made it considerably easier to design and construct.

To put that another way; I would be surprised if even Zimbabwe or Puerto Rico couldn't come up with a credible design program.

The supply of fissionable material.. thats another thing.

elkern

Which one of the GOP Clowns (presidential candidates) will say this first:

"We must bomb every shelf in Iran, until we've destroyed their weapons capability once and for all!"

turcopolier

Walrus

Diagrams for a gun type device were to be had in Popular Mechanics in the early '50s. pl

Matthew

elkern: Actually, they will need to bomb every physics department to ensure this 70-year-old technology is never taught in Farsi.

Considering the leverage this deal with give us over Saudi Arabia--and to lesser extent over Israel--I can't image why people want to block it.

An America with options is a stronger America.

William R. Cumming

Were there two seiges of Vienna by Islamic forces? Both close calls?

confusedponderer

Good nobody told Cheney back in the day. He just might have retroactively classified the issues.

confusedponderer

"An America with options is a stronger America. "

So appears to think Ashton Carter, who just uttered a most American statement when he said, and I paraphrase for clarity: "Just because we're making that deal with Iran don't prevent us from bombing them if we feel like it."

How went that wondeful phrase? '... nuttier than a fruitcake!'

I understand that the idea apparently is to undermine the case made by the howling pack of angry baboons throwing excrement in the direction of the deal from the sidelines.

Carter is actually saying that if the deal faiils, or is deliberately wrecked by one or an outside party, there still is the military option, so no worries.

http://edition.cnn.com/2015/04/10/politics/ash-carter-iran-north-korea-isis-al-qaeda/

I'm probably old-fashioned by saying this, but purely from an international law standpoint his comment is objectionable.

Agressive war is prohibited (under the UN Charter UN member states comit themselves to not attack other UN member states), and that leaves as the only legitimate wars those of individual or collective self-defence against an imminent (which includes collective action under Chapter VII).

Mastery of the basics of nuclear physics, known publicly since 70 years, doesn't meet the criteria of 'imminence' - even les so, considering that the NPT gives Iran an 'inalienable right' to master and use this technology.

So, in the absence of an Iranian attack, or a(n unlikely) UN resolution mandating collective self defence against Iran, war cannot possibly be a legal action for the US.

That this passes as a legitmate argument in the US, gives an unflattering picture of American political culture, made worse only by the normality - it is after all one more comment in a long line of similar or worse statements.

By making such statements, the US is acting as a bully who announces publicly that he reserves for himself to ignore international law if seen fit, uttered without as much as a second thought. Hegemonic privilege I presume.

In international law bullies threatening to use force, and living up to that threat, are called agressors. So being an agressor 'is an option' that is 'on the table'? And here I was taught in Uni that agressors are the bad guys.

Speak about getting mugged by reality. The neocons have always been stronger on the mugging than on the reality, methinks. Marcus probably agrees.

William R. Cumming

P.L. and ALL:

Please refresh my memory and list what is known and open source on NIE's on Iran since 1979?

turcopolier

WRC

You do know that with the exception of unclassified summaries all that kind of thing is classified. you know that right? pl

turcopolier

WRC

An NIE is a special case in regard to the relationship between the policy Borgists and the IC agencies. A National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) establishes a base line version of truth for the US Government on some issue at a particular time. If there is a current NIE that contradicts the will of the Borg that is a significant obstacle to realization of the Borgian fantasy. For that reason the Borg seeks to intimidate or seduce (whichever works best) the IC into producing NIEs that are "convenient." pl

William R. Cumming

Don't know much of anything with regards the current or past IC community.

I did grow up with or have about 1/2 dozen CIA station chiefs and a bunch of DIA people over a lifetime in DC area although gone now over a decade.

Never has an STIK clearance when a civilian that is access to raw intelligence. Complained that too many FEMA personel had access to raw intel to a GC of the CIA.

As a civilian did see some unclass summaries and almost by accident in the TANK for exercises some redacted intel.

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