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In our initial reporting of the alleged Iranian assassination/terrorism plot, I stated that I had some niggling questions on the Tom Clancy-like plot forwarded by the State Department. Turns out, other bloggers, far more well versed in Middle East politics, did as well. Former intelligence office Col. Pat Lang had this to say:
We are asked to believe that Iran and its skilled covert action force chose to set up an operation in which they ("they" being members of the "Quds Force" with approvals reaching up to Ayatollah Khamenei) relied on a used car salesman from Texas to recruit Mexican drug thugs to kill Adil al-Jubeir. This is a problem involving the suspension of belief. Why on earth would they create a situation in which they had to rely on this untested, untrained, unguided, and uncontrolled asset rather than their own people?[..]
None of this is "rocket science." If as FBI Mueller said, this "plot" is like a Hollywood screenplay, then it is a screenplay written by a couple of kids high as a kite on a weekend and pitched in a producer's cottage on a film company's "campus." It is trash.
The overwhelming likelihood is that this is someone's "information operation" intended to condition public attitudes for some purpose. The over riding question is that of where the ovens are located in which this confection was baked and who the bakers might be.
Listen to House Intelligence Committee Chair Rep. Mike Rogers, here with Christiane Amanpour, talks about how "action" *MUST* take place in response to a plot to assassinate someone on American soil (don't think about that too closely, Americans) and that not even military action should be off the table (because with Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and now Uganda, we have the resources for another front.). Those words should be a red flag to us all. Prof. Juan Cole:
I personally do not understand how the corporate media in the US can report the following things about Manssor Arbabsiar and then go on to repeat with a straight face the US government charges that he was part of a high-level Iranian government assassination plot.
It seems pretty obvious that Arbabsiar is very possibly clinically insane.
Here are the top 10 reasons that he cannot be Iran’s answer to 007:
10. Arbabsiar was known in Corpus Christi, Texas, “for being almost comically absent-minded”
9. Possibly as a result of a knife attack in 1982, he suffered from bad short-term memory
8. He was always losing his cell phone
7. He was always misplacing his keys
6. He was always forgetting his briefcase and documents in stores
5. He “was just not organized,” a former business partner remarked
4. As part owner of a used car dealership, he was always losing title deeds to the vehicles
3. Arbabsiar, far from a fundamentalist Shiite Muslim, may have been an alcoholic; his nickname is “Jack” because of his fondness for Jack Daniels whiskey
2. Arbabsiar used to not only drink to excess, but also used pot and went with prostitutes. He once talked loudly in a restaurant about going back to Iran, where he could have an Iranian girl for only $50. He was rude and was thrown out of some establishments.
1. All of his businesses failed one after another
The downward trajectory of Arbabsiar’s life, with his recent loss of his mortgage, all his businesses, and his second wife, along with his obvious cognitive defect, suggests to me that he may have been descending into madness.
I hypothesized yesterday that Arbabsiar and his cousin Gholam Shakuri might have been part of an Iranian drug gang. But after these details have emerged about the former, I don’t think he could even have done that. Indeed, I have now come to view the entire story as a fantasy.
That a monumental screw-up like Arbabsiar could have thought he was a government secret agent is perfectly plausible. I’m sure he thought all kinds of things. But that he was actually one is simply not believable.
I have a question that I wish Christiane Amanpour had asked Rogers and Sanger as they advocate going to our allies to further isolate Iran for such hubristic attempts on American soil: Will you also ask Americans like the Koch brothers, Dick Cheney and current Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romneyas well? Shouldn't that be on the table as well?