Says Steve Schippert. Everybody except our Pouting Spook-dominated Intelligence Community and Pacifist State Department, that is.
Some in the US Intelligence Community seem to operate in another realm and in a world with significantly different realities, dangers and potential outcomes. How else can it be explained that United States political leadership has been persuaded to withhold releasing intelligence regarding Iranian actions in Iraq, including arming, funding and training both Sunni and Shi’a groups killing US soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, let alone the mind-boggling toll upon Iraq’s civilian population?
In question is the same Iran that even Hassan Nasrallah openly ceded feeds the Hizballah terrorist organization responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans, Israelis and Lebanese through its terrorist attacks, “And the help is funneled through Syria, and everybody knows it.”
“Everybody knows” a lot of things. One of them is an American fear of international and internal criticism that prevents her from doing what is necessary — or anything much beyond rhetoric, for that matter – to openly confront the Iranian regime that has been at war with the United States since its 1979 Islamic revolution…
In just two operations, one in Baghdad and one in Irbil, more than a handful of Qods Force operators from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps were captured. A man described as “Chizari” was among the Iranian operators nabbed from the offices of Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, the leader of the Supreme Council of Islamic Revolution in Iraq and a key political figure in Iraq. “Chizari” was reported by the Washington Post as “the third-highest-ranking official of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ al-Quds Brigade.”
“Chizari” and another “equally significant” Qods Force commander were quickly released by the United States because the Iranian government saw fit to provide the commanders of terror-exporting Qods Force with deceptive diplomatic papers. They are not diplomats, “…and everybody knows it.”
Iran has a history of using diplomatic cover for terrorist operations. It was an Iranian that played a key role in directing terrorist operations against Americans in Lebanon, including the bombings of the US embassy (twice) and the Marine Barracks in Beirut – which combined killed 320 in 1983 and 1984. Like “Chizari” today, that Iranian was also quite complete with diplomatic papers, for it was Iran’s ambassador to Syria from 1982 to 1985, Ali Akbar Mohtashemipour, one of the founders of Hizballah in Lebanon, “…and everybody knows it.”
The recent Karbala executions are seen by most in the Pentagon and military intelligence as a revenge strike by Iran’s Qods Force for American captures of its commanders in Iraq. It is believed that Qods Force operators abducted four US soldiers, killing another US soldier in the process, and then summarily executed the four on the side of the road after escaping from Karbala in five SUV’s. Two Iraqi generals are in custody for suspicions of collusion with the attackers, while four others arrested shortly after the executions remain in US custody.
That we know the Iraqi general’s nationalities but not those of the ‘mysterious four’ suggests that they are most likely Iranians whose interrogations may have directly lead to the arrest of the Iraqi generals in question. The Karbala executions operation was far too professional to be carried out by Iraqi militias, “…and everybody knows it.”
Chronologically, there was the capture of Iranians, the discovery of evidence illustrating the depths of their lethal warfare upon us in Iraq, the Karbala executions and then the planned public release of evidentiary intelligence damning to Iran. Yet, the Bush Administration appears now mortally fearful of disclosing any intelligence on Iran’s lethal activities not absolutely bullet-proof, “…and everybody knows it.”
The argument once was whether or not the Iranians were involved in killing American troops. That argument is now openly ceded. Iran is killing Americans now just as it has since the ‘diplomat’-directed 1983 bombings in Beirut, “…and everybody knows it.”
In place of the ceded argument of Iranian guilt in Iraq, relentless intelligence officials now pose the argument that the intelligence in question does not prove that the Iranian regime is directly responsible, suggesting openly that the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Qods Force is some sort of ‘rogue’ operation, arming, funding and training terrorist organizations with the assets of the state without the knowledge or permission of that same state. Qods Force is no simple ‘rogue operation,’ “…and everybody knows it.”
While it may hold some measure of its own power, it by no means should be considered detached from the regime as Qods Force, by doctrine and order, is responsible for extra-territorial operations and part of a Guards Corps that is charged with exporting Iran’s Islamic revolution “…and everybody knows it.”
This export, whether in Iraq, Lebanon or in the Palestinian Territories, is not undertaken through diplomatic means but through arming and feeding terrorist organizations like Hizballah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and even al-Qaeda in Iraq “…and everybody knows it.”
The notion has been forwarded and the debate already shaped as one in which the Bush Administration is doing nothing more than repeating 2003 “exaggerated or false claims” in order to justify action. The cancelled intelligence releases on Iran are already criticized as ‘shades of 2003’ in the lead up to the Iraq invasion without any foreknowledge of what that intelligence might be. Canceling the intelligence exposure has proven at least as damaging as releasing incomplete information, putting the administration once again on the defensive. This avoidable and regrettable position is the cumulative result of its own poor communication with the American people regarding the threats before us. It is a foregone conclusion that any intelligence release by the current administration will be roundly criticized in certain intelligence circles and thus the media regardless of content, “…and everybody knows it.”
This administration had better get out in front of the line and generate public understanding of the situation. Such an understanding will translate into the public support the White House is constantly warned it will not see through intelligence releases on Iran, for they will be tirelessly questioned and politicized. The greatest failure of the White House since this open conflict began has been the failure to sufficiently and effectively communicate with the American public it serves, consistently ceding the initiative to its detractors, “…and everybody knows it.”
Meanwhile, the enemy benefits from such presidential timidity in reaction to internal American debate. Hizballah’s Hassan Nasrallah certainly has no fears of US action, nor with each passing day does Iran. “Iran assists the organization with money, weapons, and training, motivated by a religious fraternity and ethnic solidarity. And the help is funneled through Syria, and everybody knows it.”