Michael Maiello's picture

    Feeling Suspicious About The Iran Plot?

    To me, one of the more troubling aspects of the War on Terror is how often our law enforcement agencies have broken potential terrorism cases by, in essence, finding disaffected losers and egging them on.  In these cases, the police or FBI get wind of somebody mouthing off on the Internet about how they want to blow something up in an act of anti-American jihad and then they make contact, pretend to be al-Qaeda, and set the perp up with a phony bomb or plan of what have you, and then arrest him when he finally tries to pull the trigger on a plan that he would never have been able to pull off without government help in the first place.

    It's really the straw man technique of fighting terrorism.  We take a guy with a bad attitude and then build him up into a threat, only to take him down at the last moment.  The War on Terror has mostly just round up ill-intentioned idiots playing G.I. Joe in their backyards.

    In that sense, I understand why some think that our recent claim against Iran is dubious.  The scheme of using Mexican drug cartels to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the U.S. is a bit too outlandish to be believed.  And, of course, even the schemers would have thought that their plot would never have worked, had they not been egged on by undercover operatives from the U.S.

    But, in this case, I think Obama's doing the right thing.  Putting American lone wolves in jail for plots they never could have carried out seems a waste to me.  But exposing the intentions of Iran's government is exactly what out intelligence agencies should be doing.

    So I have to wonder why skepticism has been raised in this case, where an actual foreign enemy is behind the plot, but was never raised in the myriad of "homegrown terrorism" cases where the government really has proof of nothing more than bad intentions.

    To me, this one seems serious.  An actual foreign power, run by a dictatorship that has long considered itself an enemy to the U.S., fell into our web of intelligence.  In most of these cases, where some loser is accused of plotting something they would never have been able to do anyway, I'm skeptical.  But not in this case.  There's a government involved and it should be punished.



    AIPAC seems to be beating the drums for more US action against Iran. This possibly overblown 'terror plot' may simply serve to raise the heat on Iran to placate the Israel lobby pre-election, while projecting the image of Obama being strong on defense. An AIPAC memo to Congress has a long list of actions the US could take short of war.

    The title at Politico is "AIPAC Acquits Koch on Iran". A question in the memo is: 'My concern today is not with the Koch Brothers. That company did the right thing in 2007 and voluntarily ended all of its subsidiary’s business in Iran.' One wonders if there are any connections, financial or otherwise, between Koch Industries and AIPAC. Israel did trade with Iran before, clandestinely sending missiles to Iran in the 80's Iran-Contra scandal. Money can be made trading with rogue nations, and even more in taking them down.

    AIPAC further seems to be pressuring for US talk about regime change in Iran: Under:

    'Nuclear Iran, Where is the Urgency":

    If we are serious about not allowing Iran to gain a nuclear capability and we don’t want to resort to military action – what’s the plan? ....

    Should the U.S. suggest it is time for new leadership in Iran, as we have in Syria, Egypt, Tunisia and Libya?Is not the regime in Tehran more brutal, more repressive, and more dangerous than these others?


     "So I have to wonder why skepticism has been raised in this case,..."

     I have seen quite a bit of skepticism about the "homegrown terrorism" cases. How could you have been informed about the FBI's role in those cases and missed the criticism. And, possibly the reason for skepticism of the current terrorism story is that:

      "The scheme of using Mexican drug cartels to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the U.S. is a bit too outlandish to be believed.  And, of course, even the schemers would have thought that their plot would never have worked, had they not been egged on by undercover operatives from the U.S."

     But you are casting the first level schemers as being the government of Iran. Then:

    "To me, this one seems serious. An actual foreign power, run by a dictatorship that has long considered itself an enemy to the U.S., fell into our web of intelligence...  There's a government involved and it should be punished."

     Iran has been an enemy to the U.S. for just about exactly as long as it has been an enemy of the U.S. Largely because the plot gives so many elements within the U.S. an excuse to do what they already want to do in regards to Iran, which is to "punish" them, and because the plots success would not have provided Iran with any tangible benefit, we should count that as further reason to doubt it was a plot instigated by the ruling leadership of Iran. It has to be considered that the plot may have been a set-up by dissident groups within that country, if not by some entity of another country that would benefit from our government ramping up its actions against Iran. If that is the case then the first reaction should not be to "punish" Iran unless that is already the desire and this just provides a handy, possibly contrived, excuse. And also, if that is the case, the plot should not be overblown and used to hype fear for anyone's domestic political purposes.

    Has Obama trotted out Janet, to tell us the border is secure?

    Maybe we were lucky this time; but what about the ones we never caught? 

    Despite the lack of an alligator filled moat at the border, there are jobs available in itinerant farm labor in Alabama, if you are interested.

    The thing is, most people weren't concerned about the immigrants, who would work on the farms. We knew we didn't want to.

    At the beginning of the Industrial Revolution many Americans wanted no part of  Farm Work any longer.

    It's when the illegal immigrants coveted the more lucrative jobs in the Construction trades, then we said "Whoa vato!  we didn't mind, that you took jobs Americans won't or didn't want to do (Working on the Farms)  but you illegals, weren't satisfied with farm work either, so you took the jobs of Americans, who couldn't go to college, causing us problems such as depressing the wages and working without benefits.  Kissing up to the boss in an effort to steal our jobs. But the boss he don't care, you work real cheap.  

    How do we get back to telling them "get back on the farm or go home. You're not going to take away the jobs of non- college educated, American workers. Were already faced with income disparity issues, we don't need any more problems"

    We need FARM WORKERS, COMPRENDE?   if you don't want to work on the farms;  go home. Comprende  

    I dunno, guys... am I all wet on this?  Because I'm usually the one out there claiming prosecutorial overreach and alarmism.  But this time, with an actual functioning foreign government behind the plot, I feel differently.  To be sure, I still think this is a plot so preposterous that it would be unbelievable without the intelligence community basically egging it on, but -- when it's some lone wolf individual behind the plot, I tend to say "what does it matter?"  When it's a functioning government behind it -- well, that's a whole other animal.

    It's just pre-election politics, jingoistic threats and angry bellowing have been done before to enhance the 'defense' stature of an administration, or to assuage powerful lobbyists in the nation. The good news is there is not yet any Iran Use of Force Resolution.

    there is not yet any Iran Use of Force Resolution.

    The investigation is still ongoing.

    Someone will find an email or a document that says" The yellow cake you ordered for Joses party, will be delivered to the address you provided "



    ..well, yeah, we got all those troops who thought 5 tours in Iraq meant they could come home, the job isn't finished! And to think the FBI were the guys who asked for 'yellow cake' not chocolate. Promote that agent!

    Yeah, you're all wet, Destor. I read your first three paragraphs and I think, "OK, here's someone else who understands exactly how the Homeland Security industry functions, how paid informants with indictments they need quashed are routinely turned into agents provocateurs to feed public fears and keep the department's coffers bulging."

    Then I read your last three paragraphs, and I despair. Someone mentions the magic word "Iran" and suddenly, all the preposterous links and coincidences that would normally set off your bullshit detector are swept aside. Suddenly it's a serious threat.

    Destor, let me suggest that the fact this scenario brings in a country that large numbers of people in this country and abroad are jonesing for an attack on is NOT a reason to turn off or even dial down your bullshit detector; it is a reason to set it at the most sensitive level possible.

    I hear the official manufactured outrage over this unproven "plot" -- accompanied by the threats to "punish" Iran -- and I think of the Tonkin Gulf incident and Saddam's WMDs. Why do Americans seem so totally incapable of looking skeptically at their own imperial history and drawing the conclusion that their leaders routinely treat them as gullible sheep? It continues to amaze me.

    it's a setup for sure. but Iran is only collateral damage. the real target is mexico. we already have drones flying over Juarez. Como se dice "hellfire" en espanol?

    Acanuck well stated. You could add the post 9/11 anthrax attacks to the list with WMD and Tonkin.  Not a peep from any of the dagbloggers on the Frontline report last week, which poked holes in the FBI case big enough to fly crop dusters and drones of death. Would one expect the guy who wrote a 2004 piece 'The Saddam Shuffle' for Forbes to question the validity of the final report on the Bush era anthrax attacks, a remarkable and deadly episode in homeland hysteria? He seems to specialize in criticizing Obama, either for action in aiding NATO in the Libya campaign, or too little or too much pre-election chest thumping on Iran. One thing I am sure of, Obama will not start another war based on this incident, a GOP President..?


    Rotwang's back!!






    Destor, you're neither all wet, nor not all wet.

    There are reasons to be skeptical and there are reasons to believe the account.

    Without knowing the truth, what else can one really say?

    Destor, you're neither all wet, nor not all wet.

    Sounds like he's been drinking with Schrödinger's cat.

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