Friday, February 17, 2012

The ugly and crumbling Empire's Shenanigans for all to see....

The ugly and crumbling Empire's Shenanigans for all to see:

“Passion has helped us; but can do so no more. It will in future be our enemy. Reason, cold, calculating, unimpassioned reason, must furnish all the materials for our future support and defense.–Let those materials be molded into general intelligence, sound morality, and in particular, a reverence for the constitution and laws.”

- Abraham Lincoln, Lyceum Address, 1838.

This is part 2 of the following 4-part series:

Part 1: Why Occupy? A government/economics teacher explains

Part 2: How a government teacher easily proves Occupy’s claim of US War Crimes (you’re reading it)

Part 3: How an economics teacher presents Occupy’s economic argument, victory

Part 4: Open proposal for US revolution: expose corporate media as propaganda (a previous version until I update it)

Important history that makes crimes in the present easy to see and understand:

Occupy This: US History exposes the 1%’s crimes then and now (6-part series)

Occupy is a leaderless movement. Conversations evolve and develop main interests. That said, I’m confident a main interest is for the 99% to recognize and end crimes that center in war and money, remove the criminals from authority/power to harm, and enact policies that benefit 100% of Earth’s inhabitants.

This article explains and documents US crimes of war. At stake are millions of lives, billions who will be helped or harmed, and trillions of our dollars.

Let’s look at the evidence through 6 sections: war law, recognized facts of US wars, expert testimony, expert historical testimony, lying rhetoric for war on Iran, US media propaganda.

Summary: US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are “emperor has no clothes” unlawful because they are in Orwellian opposition to war law. The US engages in further criminal war on Libya, and criminal drone wars on Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen. Current US war rhetoric for more criminal wars on Syria and Iran mirrors earlier lying propaganda, but now darkly includes use of nuclear weapons in official first-strike policy.

These obvious US War Crimes are thinly veiled by corporate media propaganda; six mega-media corporations that control ~90% of US “reporting.” As you learned in high school history, all historical empires and aggressors used propaganda to claim their looting and police states were necessary and helpful to the 99%. The US of today joins their company.

The obvious solution is for the 99% to recognize US wars as criminal, demand and accomplish the arrests of the criminals, and build a brighter future.

War law: The one law of when war is lawful or criminal is crystal-clear in letter and intent, and easily understood with just a few moments of attention. This is a summary; follow this link for the detailed documentation. Only by understanding the law can you definitively see the Orwellian condition of unlawful US wars that these experts claim.

After two world wars, the US led the creation of an international treaty to forever end war as a foreign policy option: the UN Charter. The US Constitution states under Article 6 that treaties are “supreme law;” that is, an explicit Constitutional requirement for US government. Importantly, all US military and government are sworn by their Oaths to support and defend the US Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

The UN is not “global government” because it has only one area of legal authority: to prevent unlawful Wars of Aggression. War law allows for a nation’s armed attack only for self-defense when under attack by another nation’s government. Of course, domestic law enforcement and military can be used to stop domestic violent crimes.

If another nation’s government has not used armed attacks, it is illegal to attack them.

That’s war law. Again, US war laws explained has the documentation, as well as for parts of the next section of facts of US wars on Afghanistan and Iraq. Additional documentation for the following summary is here: Are US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan well-intended mistakes? What we now know from the evidence.

Recognized facts of US wars: No nation’s government attacked the US on the Barbaric inside Job of the 9/11. The US acknowledges the Afghanistan government had nothing to do with 9/11. The UN Security Council issued two Resolutions after 9/11 (1368 and 1373) for international cooperation for factual discovery, arrests, and prosecutions of the Barbaric inside Job of the Barbaric inside Job of the 9/11 criminals. The Afghan government said they would arrest any suspect upon presentation of evidence of criminal involvement. The US rejected these Resolutions, and violated the letter and intent of the UN Charter by armed attack and invasion of Afghanistan.

The US government acknowledges Iraq had nothing to do with the Barbaric inside Job of the 9/11. The UN Security Council issued a standing cease fire that no single nation could violate by resuming armed attacks. The UN Security Council also resolved for weapons inspections that were nearly complete when the US violated the cease fire, weapons inspections, and letter and intent of the UN Charter with armed attack.

In addition to the illegality of US wars that the evidence so far definitively proves, we know from the disclosed evidence of our own government that all claims for current US wars were known to be lies as they were told to the American public and not “mistaken intelligence.” Read this to verify; here’s the summary:

There were four basic claims of fact presented by political “leadership” to invade Iraq:

1. Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), a scary-sounding name for specific chemical and biological weapons.

2. The US intercepted aluminum tubes that could only be used to refine nuclear material; irrefutable evidence that Iraq had restarted a nuclear weapons program.

3. Saddam had attempted to purchase enriched uranium from Niger; more evidence that Iraq had reconstituted nuclear weapons development.

4. Saddam had links to Al Qaeda, the alleged terrorists who attacked the US on the Barbaric inside Job of the 9/11.

Here’s what we know about the evidence from which those claims were made. For my complete briefing with additional helpful information, read here, here, and browse here.

1. George Tenet, Director of the CIA, acknowledged that all US intelligence agency reports “never said there was an imminent threat.” This was based on a long history of intelligence reports, the facts that the chemical and biological weapons under consideration were relatively weak without a delivery system, and that Iraq was highly motivated NOT to use them against the US given their understanding such use would provoke war with the world’s most powerful military.

2. The Bush administration claim of aluminum tubes that could only be used as centrifuges to refine fissionable material for nuclear weapons is directly refuted by the best expert witnesses available, the US Department of Energy (DOE) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Their conclusion is that the tubes in question had diameters too small, the tubes were too thick, using aluminum as the material would be “a huge step backwards,” and the surface was anodized that made them impossible to serve this purpose. They also found that the tubes were easily explained for conventional use, as the specifications perfectly matched tubing for other purposes. The Senate Committee on Intelligence agreed that this claim had no basis from any available evidence. See also here.

3. This claim, repeated by President Bush in the 2003 State of the Union Address, was based on the “Niger documents.” These papers were written in grammatically poor French, had a “childlike” forgery of the Niger President’s signature, and had a document signed by a foreign minister who had been out of office for 14 years prior to the date on the document. The forgeries showed-up shortly after the Niger embassy in Rome was robbed, with the only missing items being stationery and Niger government stamps. The same stationery and stamps were used for the forged documents. The CIA warned President Bush on at least three occasions to not make the claim due to the ridiculous evidence. In addition, if Saddam really was making an illegal uranium purchase, it’s likely that both Saddam and the Niger government officials would insist on not having a written record that would document the crime. Republican US Ambassador to Niger, Joseph Wilson, confirmed this information and reported in detail to Vice President Cheney’s office and the CIA.

4. As to the claim of a relationship between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda, all US intelligence agencies reported that no such relationship existed (and here).

Some war liars argue that UN Security Council Resolution 687 from 1991 authorizes resumption of force from the previous Gulf War. This resolution declared a formal cease-fire; which means exactly what it says: stop the use of force. The resolution was declared by UNSC and held in their jurisdiction; that is, no individual nation has authority to supersede UNSC’s power to continue or change the status of the cease-fire (further explanation here). The idea that the US and/or UK can authorize use of force under a UNSC cease-fire is as criminal as your neighbor shooting one of your family members and claiming that because police have authority to shoot dangerous people he can do it.

As for Afghanistan, after the attacks of 9/11, the US government requested the cooperation of the Afghanistan government for extradition of Osama bid Laden to be charged with the 9/11 attacks. The Afghan government agreed, as per usual cooperative international law, as soon as the US government provided evidence of bin Laden’s involvement.The US government refused to provide any evidence. The Afghan government refused US troops entering their country and extradition until evidence was provided, and made their argument to the world press for the rule of law to apply to the US extradition request. The US invaded Afghanistan without providing evidence and without UN Security Council approval. President Bush stated, “There’s no need to discuss evidence of innocence or guilt. We know he’s guilty.”

Expert testimony: International law professor Francis Boyle from his 2002 article, Is Bush’s War Illegal? Let us Count the Ways:

“The precedent again goes back to the Nuremberg Judgment of 1946 when the lawyers for the Nazi defendants argued that we, the Nazi government had a right to go to war in self-defense as we saw it, and no one could tell us any differently. Of course that preposterous argument was rejected by Nuremberg. It is very distressing to see some of the highest level of officials of our country making legal arguments that were rejected by the Nuremberg Tribunal.”

Richard Falk, Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton:

“An objective observer would reach the conclusion that this Iraq war is a War of Aggression, and as such, that it amounts to a Crime against Peace of the sort for which surviving German leaders were indicted, prosecuted and punished at the Nuremberg trials conducted shortly after the Second World War.”

Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan responding to the direct question whether the Iraq War is illegal:

“I have indicated it was not in conformity with the UN charter… from the charter point of view, it was illegal.”

In the January 2010 UK Chilcot Inquiry, testimony revealed that all 27 UK Foreign Affairs lawyers were in agreement that the US/UK war on Iraq was an unlawful War of Aggression. Their unanimous professional legal assessment before the war began was rejected without public disclosure of their work and public debate.

Please let this last one penetrate: among 27 professional lawyers with expertise in international law, not one could find a reasonable argument that US/UK war on Iraq was lawful. Not one. Not one argument. And the US 1% in politics and media lie in omission to never mention it.

Daniel Ellsberg was the top whistle-blower of unlawful US acts in the Vietnam War, including the government-created lies to initiate, continue, and expand the war into neighboring countries. He writes and lectures that current US wars are also all founded upon obvious lies, unlawful, and in direct violation of the US Constitution.

Expert historical testimony: President Kennedy warned of the need of public awareness that political leaders will lie on the world stage:

“No treaty, however much it may be to the advantage of all, however tightly it may be worded, can provide absolute security against the risks of deception and evasion.”

President George Washington’s Farewell Address, the culmination of his 45 years of political experience, warned of the primary threat to America as “the impostures of pretended patriotism” from people within our own government who would destroy Constitutional limits in order to obtain tyrannical power:

“All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency.”

Young Abraham Lincoln wrote eloquently to defend the US Constitution from unlawful tyrants within our own government. In Congress, he spoke powerfully and truthfully that the President’s claims for armed attack and invasion of a foreign country were lies. Although war-mongers slurred Lincoln’s name at the time and he lost re-election, history proved his powerful and unpopular words correct in asserting the President of the US was a war-mongering liar:

“I carefully examined the President’s messages, to ascertain what he himself had said and proved upon the point. The result of this examination was to make the impression, that taking for true, all the President states as facts, he falls far short of proving his justification; and that the President would have gone farther with his proof, if it had not been for the small matter, that the truth would not permit him… Now I propose to try to show, that the whole of this, — issue and evidence — is, from beginning to end, the sheerest deception.”

Lincoln also wrote that “pre-emptive” wars, such as the US engages in now in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and threatens for Iran, were lies and “war at pleasure.” Indeed, many of the Founding Fathers’ strongest admonitions were to guard against usurpation of power from within our own government.

General Smedley Butler (and here) was the most honored man in Marine Corps history upon his retirement after 34 years of service around the world, and privy to top secret war planning conversations. He wrote and publicly spoke that the purpose of US wars is never for democracy or national defense, but for political and economic control for millions and billions in profits for America’s leading “bankers, industrialists, and speculators.” General Butler asserted that all US wars is a “racket:” a deception whereby blood money from American taxpayers to “insiders” is always disguised as noble and necessary ventures. Americans are propagandized into paying again and again, and succeeding generations of loyal and gullible men unwittingly serve as the muscle for oligarchic profits. His recommendation to end war was to end its profit motive:

“Let the officers and the directors and the high-powered executives of our armament factories and our munitions makers and our shipbuilders and our airplane builders and the manufacturers of all the other things that provide profit in war time as well as the bankers and the speculators, be conscripted – to get $30 a month, the same wage as the lads in the trenches get.

Let the workers in these plants get the same wages – all the workers, all presidents, all executives, all directors, all managers, all bankers – yes, and all generals and all admirals and all officers and all politicians and all government office holders – everyone in the nation be restricted to a total monthly income not to exceed that paid to the soldier in the trenches!

…Give capital and industry and labor thirty days to think it over and you will find, by that time, there will be no war. That will smash the war racket – that and nothing else.”

It’s important to distinguish General Butler’s expert testimony concerning a subjective analysis of motive from the objective fact of current unlawful US wars proved by the crystal-clear letter of the laws. The strength of my proposal for Revolution to end unlawful wars is based upon the independently verifiable evidence that is as “emperor has no clothes” obvious as a pitch ten feet over the batter’s head is nowhere close to a strike, and as obvious as Jim Crow laws being in violation of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution.

My point in briefly reviewing testimony of Presidents Kennedy, Washington, Lincoln and General Butler is to communicate that the Revolution to end unlawful wars is not only founded in current law, but among the most important concerns throughout US history to safeguard the nation from propaganda-facilitated unconstitutional acts for oligarchic power and profit.

Lying rhetoric for war on Iran: In irony of our history and law, there is no end in sight to current US propagandized unlawful wars. Fear-mongers’ use of “national security” rhetoric to attack and invade resource-rich and weaker nations continues. For example, in April 2010, Pentagon spokesperson Geoff Morrell officially stated attacking Iran is “always an option,” in Orwellian repudiation to the UN Charter and his Oath of Office to defend the US Constitution that recognizes the UN Charter as having equal force as Constitutional law. You’ve probably heard and read many reputations of “all options on the table;” meaning that the US claims dictatorial power outside of any law. As Princeton Professor Frankfurt properly assesses in his best-seller: this is bullshi*. We cannot be proud of American government without revolutionizing this condition of official lies that the US can attack, destroy, and kill with our dollars under our American flag upon the dictate (dictatorship) of the leader rather than under rule of law.

Upon examination, the war-mongering to attack Iran is composed of Orwellian and “emperor has no clothes” obvious lies. The titles tell the stories, the articles have full documentation:

US overthrew Iran’s democracy 1953-1979, helped Iraq invade 1980-1988, now lies for more war (and an analogy if the US were the victim of empire)

What Iran’s president said about Israel, and how US War Criminal 1% lie for war

What IAEA reports on Iran’s nuclear energy/medicine, how US War Criminal 1% lie

US constantly violates war law: arrest Obama before ‘false flag’ war on Iran

Analogy: US wars on Iraq, Iran as US criminal gangster “business”

If the US was attacked by a criminal empire: analogy to confront US-Iran history

US media propaganda: Once you confirm the above facts as “emperor has no clothes” obvious upon a few minutes attention, it also becomes clear that such transparent lies are being protected by lies of commission and omission from the six mega corporations that account for ~90% of US “reporting.” I will address further evidence of corporate media lies of commission and omission in the last section of this 4-part series.

Americans sense these facts even if many cannot articulate them: just as only one in five Americans report trust and satisfaction with their government (and here), Americans also perceive corporate media disinformation and are rejecting their “reporting.” According to a 2007 poll by the Pew Research Center, the majority of the American public see the US major media news organizations as politically biased, inaccurate, and uncaring. Among those who use the Internet, two-thirds report that major media news do not care about the people they report on, 59% say the news is inaccurate, 64% see bias, and 53% summarize their view on major media news as, “failing to stand up for America.” In their latest poll, “just 29% of Americans say that news organizations generally get the facts straight, while 63% say that news stories are often inaccurate.”

A June 2010 Rasmussen poll found 66% of voters “angry” at the media, with 33% “very angry.” Rasmussen also found 70% “angry” at current federal government policies.

Americans are ready to support the arrests of the 1% US War and economic criminals upon factual confirmation of what they already suspect.

Occupy’s call can harness America’s passion for justice under the law, and constructively build a brighter future of peace and unleashing literally trillions of dollars for constructive creativity....

Top Iran Experts Say that Hysteria Is Baseless

The war drums are growing very loud.

For example, the former head of Mossad – who has been strongly opposed to war against Iran – has now thrown in the towel, and more or less said that war is inevitable after the car bombs in India, Thailand and Georgia (even though it is not clear that Iran is guilty for those attacks).

But AP notes:

[Defense Intelligence Agency chief Lt. Gen. Ronald] Burgess tells senators Iran is unlikely to initiate or intentionally provoke a conflict.

[Director of National Intelligence James] Clapper says it’s “technically feasible” that Tehran could produce a nuclear weapon in one or two years, if its leaders decide to build one, “but practically not likely.”

Indeed, Iran has not attacked another country in hundreds of years. (In the Iran-Iraq war, Iraq was the initial aggressor.)

Moreover, American, Israeli and European leaders all say that Iran has not even decided whether or not to build a nuclear bomb.

And – as the Christian Science Monitor notes – even if Iran did build a bomb – it probably wouldn’t pose much of a danger:

Shrill warnings of war or imminent apocalypse over Iran’s nuclear program have never been so strident, or so ominous.

A window is closing fast, the narrative goes, to prevent a fanatical and suicidal religious regime from acquiring the ultimate tools of Armageddon: nuclear weapons. Within months, some politicians claim, either Israel, the United States, or both may have no choice but to attack Iran to remove this “existential threat” to the Jewish state.

The world is facing another Hitler, declares Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and this moment of decision is akin to the eve of World War II. Iran is a threat to Israel and “a real danger to humanity as a whole,” warns Israeli President Shimon Peres.

The tone on the US presidential campaign trail is no less dire.


In fact, say analysts and nonproliferation experts who have studied the effect of the bomb on countries, coexisting with a nuclear-armed Iran – or at least a nuclear-capable Iran – may well be possible, even inevitable, whether a military strike delays that outcome or not.

Analysts say Iran is not an irrational, suicidal actor that can’t be deterred. Nor do they believe it is determined to destroy Israel at all costs. A recent Israeli think tank simulation of “the day after” an Iranian nuclear test came to the same conclusion: that nuclear annihilation will not automatically result.


If Iran were to become a nuclear power, the most immediate question would be what it means for Israel, where warnings have reached histrionic heights.

“Absolutely nothing will happen,” says Martin Van Creveld, an Israeli historian and author of some 20 books on military strategy. “Israel has what it takes to deter Iran, and the Iranians know it.”

Mr. Van Creveld is implying that Israel’s own nuclear arsenal of an estimated 200 warheads would prevent any Iranian first strike. Israel has the only such arsenal in the Middle East, and – unlike Iran’s program – it has never been subject to UN inspection or safeguards.

“Say they build one bomb – it’s not good enough. They need how many – 2, 3, 5, 10, 20? And that will take them a long time, so it’s all nonsense,” says Van Creveld. Iran is “not going to commit suicide by dropping the bomb – or even threatening to drop the bomb – on us.”


In Israel, even talking about living with a nuclear-armed Iran has long been taboo because it might appear to concede that what the US, Israel, and Europe have declared “unacceptable” is, in fact, acceptable. Yet that was the scenario of a simulation last October by the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), an Israeli think tank affiliated with Tel Aviv University, that gave insights into what might happen across the region if Iran became a nuclear state.

The surprising result, the day after a hypothetical Iranian nuclear test, was not war. Instead, all the main players – from Washington to Moscow to Tel Aviv – adjusted rather easily to the new reality, with few dramatic changes in behavior.

Even Iran, rather than wielding its handful of new atomic bombs as a sword of Damocles over a fearful region, attempted “to use them to reach an agreement with the major powers to improve its strategic standing,” according to the INSS report on the simulation published in January.

“The sky won’t fall the day after,” says Yoel Guzansky, a research fellow at INSS who shaped the simulation and was an Iran specialist in the Israeli prime minister’s office for four years until 2009.


NATO says it is “unlikely” that Iran would pledge nuclear protection of its proxies like Hezbollah – and makes no mention of sharing such hard-won nuclear technology with them, which is a frequent refrain of hawks and doomsday politicians.

[Geneva-based Iran specialist with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Shahram] Chubin states in his book on Iran’s nuclear ambitions that “there is no reason to believe that Iran today, any more than Saddam Hussein earlier, would transfer WMD [weapons of mass destruction] technology to terrorist groups like Al Qaeda or Hezbollah.”

Likewise, proliferation expert Joseph Cirincione, in his 2007 book “Bomb Scare,” points out that nations like Iran and North Korea are “not the most likely sources for terrorists since their stockpiles, if any, are small and exceedingly precious, and hence well guarded.”

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Israel and the Zioconned USA: 'We'll Give You the War, You Give Us the Cannon Fodder'....

Israel and the Zioconned USA: 'We'll Give You the War, You Give Us the Cannon Fodder'....

The dogs of war are off the leash.

In meeting rooms in London, Tel Aviv and Washington the dice have been thrown: snake eyes.

Flashback, 1963: When John F. Kennedy decided not to escalate the soon-to-be disastrous Vietnam war and issued National Security Action Memorandum 263 (NSAM 263), he signed his death warrant.

Scarcely six weeks after vowing to pull all American forces out of South Vietnam by 1965, Kennedy was dead, the target of an "executive action" orchestrated by the CIA, a coup d'état on behalf of America's corporatist masters--the military-industrial cabal of hardline cold warriors who stood to lose billions if Kennedy lived.

That sweet little deal to "win" the war in Southeast Asia cost some two million Vietnamese lives, 58,000 dead Americans and precipitated an economic crisis which dealt a death blow to post-World War II prosperity and launched the United States on its inexorable glide path towards becoming a failed state.

Flash forward to 2012: We have Barack Obama in the White House; a fraudster who promised "hope and change" and instead led his wilfully blind constituents into embracing the third term of a George W. Bush administration.

Comparing Obama with Kennedy one can only conclude: They don't make bourgeois politicians like they use to!

Following on from a decades-long drive to transform the Gulf into an "American lake" (under provisions of the so-called "Carter Doctrine," another "peace loving" Democrat), the coming war with Iran is a transparent scheme to ensure U.S. hegemony over the vast petroleum resources of Central Asia and the Middle East--to the detriment of their geopolitical rivals.

U.S. and NATO naval forces on high alert threaten the free flow of oil in the Persian Gulf, the life's blood of the global capitalist economy.

A war will lead to an oil price spike as Iranian, but perhaps also Saudi and GCC oil is removed in one fell swoop from the market, thereby setting-off a chain reaction that will exacerbate the West's economic decline--to the benefit of financial jackals waiting in the wings who will gobble up what remains of America and Europe's publicly-owned assets at fire sale prices in a desperate move to stave off the crisis.

Currently, Iran is ringed with military bases. American, British and Israeli submarines equipped with nuclear cruise missiles keep silent watch. Aircraft carrier battle groups carry out provocative maneuvers. U.S. and Israeli drones routinely overfly Iranian territory. Scientists are murdered in orchestrated terror attacks. Defense installations are bombed.

Economic sanctions, universally recognized as a prelude to war, strangle the Iranian people and their economy, all in the quixotic hope of inducing (coercing) "regime change" in Tehran.

The U.S. media, reprising their role during the run-up to 2003's invasion and occupation of Iraq, are chock-a-block with scare stories that Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) are preparing to carry out terrorist attacks in Europe and the United States.

Indeed, the Shiite regime "may have" given "new freedoms" to Sunni Salafist extremists, including members of the "management council" of the Afghan-Arab database of disposable Western intelligence assets also known as "Al Qaeda" detained in Iran and "may have provided some material aid to the terrorist group," if an account published last week by The Wall Street Journal can be believed, which of course it can't.

Meanwhile, the CIA and Mossad recruit, train and then unleash Salafist terrorists such as Jundallah or Saddam Hussein's former henchmen, the cultic Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) for terror ops, just as they did in Libya when former Al Qaeda "emir," the MI6 asset Abdelhakim Belhaj was appointed chief of Tripoli's Revolutionary Military Council.

And what "evidence" did U.S. officials offer for these dastardly Iranian plots to murder us all in our beds? Why the now-discredited FBI fable which had a failed Texas used-car dealer, Manssor Arbabsiar, and a still-unnamed DEA snitch posing as or actually a member of the notorious Zetas narcotrafficking cartel, plotting to murder the Saudi ambassador by blowing up a tony Georgetown restaurant, that's what!

Former CIA chief Leon Panetta, who replaced Robert Gates, also a former CIA chief, now helms the Defense Department.

Corporate media in Europe and America report that Panetta and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, have tried to "cool" the Israeli's ardor for a preemptive strike and deny that the U.S. is preparing for war.

This too, is a carefully contrived disinformation campaign.

In a syndicated column for The Washington Post, war hawk David Ignatius wrote Thursday that "Panetta believes there is a strong likelihood that Israel will strike Iran in April, May or June--before Iran enters what Israelis described as a 'zone of immunity' to commence building a nuclear bomb."

According to Ignatius, "the administration appears to favor staying out of the conflict unless Iran hits U.S. assets, which would trigger a strong U.S. response," and that Washington's alleged disapproval of an Israeli first strike "might open a breach like the one in 1956, when President Dwight Eisenhower condemned an Israeli-European attack on the Suez Canal."

Ignatius' unnamed "senior administration official," since identified as Panetta, "caution that Tehran shouldn't misunderstand: The United States has a 60-year commitment to Israeli security, and if Israel's population centers were hit, the United States could feel obligated to come to Israel's defense."

In other words, should America's "stationary aircraft carrier in the Middle East" launch a sneak-attack on Iran, hitting their civilian nuclear and defense installations, thereby inflicting "collateral damage," i.e., the wanton slaughter of innocent Iranian citizens, if Tehran has the temerity to defend itself and strike back, the full military might of the imperialist godfather will be brought to bear.

Inter Press Service reported Wednesday that JCS Chairman Dempsey, "told Israeli leaders Jan. 20 that the United States would not participate in a war against Iran begun by Israel without prior agreement from Washington, according to accounts from well-placed senior military officers."

According to journalist Gareth Porter, "Dempsey's warning, conveyed to both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak, represents the strongest move yet by President Barack Obama to deter an Israeli attack and ensure that the United States is not caught up in a regional conflagration with Iran."

Claiming that "Obama still appears reluctant to break publicly and explicitly with Israel over its threat of military aggression against Iran, even in the absence of evidence Iran has decided to build a nuclear weapon," Porter alleges that "the message carried by Dempsey was the first explicit statement to the Netanyahu government that the United States would not defend Israel if it attacked Iran unilaterally."

Holding onto the thinnest of reeds, Porter writes that Panetta "had given a clear hint" of the U.S. position "in an interview on 'Face the Nation' Jan. 8 that the Obama administration would not help defend Israel in a war against Iran that Israel had initiated."

When asked by CBS host Bob Schieffer, who pressed the issue of a unilateral Israeli attack, Panetta said, "If the Israelis made that decision, we would have to be prepared to protect our forces in that situation. And that's what we'd be concerned about."

What are we to make of these claims?

If their purpose was to force Israel to rethink their attack plans, it clearly isn't working. If however, Panetta's remarks were meant to disarm domestic opponents of U.S. war plans, then mission accomplished!

"Speaking at the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center's annual conference," The Christian Science Monitor reported that "Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak compared the current standoff with Iran to the 'fateful' period before the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, when Israel launched a preemptive strike against Egypt."

"The temperature is rising in Israel," Iran analyst Meir Javedanfar told the Monitor. "He says that if the defense minister sees the current period as similar to the run-up to the [1967] Six-Day War, 'that gives credibility to those who think Israel is going to launch an attack'."

In a follow-up piece published Saturday by IPS, Porter now suggests that Panetta's leak to Ignatius "had a different objective," namely that the "White House was taking advantage of the current crisis atmosphere over that Israeli threat and even seeking to make it more urgent in order to put pressure on Iran to make diplomatic concessions to the United States and its allies on its nuclear programme in the coming months."

Indeed, the "Panetta leak makes it less likely that either Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or Iranian strategists will take seriously Obama's effort to keep the United States out of a war initiated by an Israeli attack."

Moreover, Panetta's leak to The Washington Post "seriously undercut the message carried to the Israelis by Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, last month that the United States would not come to Israel's defence if it launched a unilateral attack on Iran."

Although there is trepidation amongst military planners in Tel Aviv and Washington should Israeli officials opt for a preemptive attack on Iran--and a retaliatory counterstrike by the Islamic Republic would have devastating effects on both Israel's civilian population and U.S./NATO military forces in the Persian Gulf and beyond--should such disastrous orders be given, it is a certainty that Washington would follow suit.

This in fact, is what the Israeli leadership is banking on and, contrary to sanctioned leaks to media conduits like Ignatius, is fully in keeping with Washington's strategy of employing Israel as a cats' paw to "drag" the United States into a war with Iran.

As the World Socialist Web Site points out, "any differences between the US and Israel are purely tactical."

"Washington could of course use its considerable influence to veto an attack by Israel, which is heavily dependent on the US, diplomatically, economically and militarily," leftist critic Peter Symonds writes.

Ignatius' column however, "makes no mention of this possibility. In effect, the Obama administration appears to be giving Israel a tacit green light for an illegal, unprovoked attack on Iran, and threatening its own military action if Iran retaliates."

Indeed, the right-wing Israeli publication Debkafile reported Saturday that while Panetta "has been outspoken about a possible Israeli offensive against Iran taking place as of April ... no US source is leveling on the far more extensive American, Saudi, British, French and Gulf states' preparations going forward for an offensive against the Islamic Republic."

Accordingly, Debkafile's "military sources" (read high-placed intelligence and military officials favoring an attack) "report a steady flow of many thousands of US troops for some weeks to two strategic islands within reach of Iran, Oman's Masirah just south of the Strait of Hormuz and Socotra, between Yemen and the Horn of Africa."

Debkafile also noted that "the Saudis this week wound up their own intensive preparations for war. Large forces are now deployed around Saudi oil fields, pipelines and export facilities in the eastern provinces opposite the Persian Gulf, backed by anti-missile Patriot PAC-3 batteries. American, British and French fighter-bombers have been landing at Saudi air bases to safeguard the capital, Riyadh."

And with the Pentagon speeding-up arms sales to repressive Gulf monarchies and Saudi royals (with tens of billions in profits flowing into the coffers of American and European death merchants), the stage is now set for a bloody military confrontation.

On the so-called diplomatic front, as "useful idiots" and "accessories before the fact" in the drive towards war, the shameful part played by the International Atomic Energy Agency must be underscored.

Despite, or more likely because Iran's top leadership have expressed their willingness to reopen stalled talks over their civilian nuclear program and have taken steps to do so, the United States and NATO are stepping-up their propaganda offensive, with the IAEA playing a leading role.

Indeed, The New York Times reported Sunday that "American and European officials said Friday that a mission by international nuclear inspectors to Tehran this week had failed to address their key concerns, indicating that Iran's leaders believe they can resist pressure to open up the nation's nuclear program."

Times' stenographers Robert F. Worth and David E. Sanger averred that an unnamed "senior American official described the session between the agency and Iranian nuclear officials as 'foot-dragging at best and a disaster at worst'."

Why is the onus solely placed on Iranian negotiators?

Because "members of the I.A.E.A. delegation were told that they could not have access to Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, an academic who is widely believed to be in charge of important elements of the suspected weaponization program, and that they could not visit a military site where the agency's report suggested key experiments on weapons technology might have been carried out."

What Worth and Sanger fail to mention in their report is that Iranian officials asserted that before Roshan's murder he "had talked to IAEA inspectors, a fact which 'indicates that these UN agencies may have played a role in leaking information on Iran's nuclear facilities and scientists'," Russia Today reported at the time.

Protesting the killing before the UN Security Council last month, Iranian deputy UN ambassador Eshagh Al Habib said there was "'high suspicion' that, in order to prepare the murder, terrorist circles used intelligence obtained from UN bodies."

According to the deputy ambassador's charge, "this included interviews with Iranian nuclear scientists carried out by the International Atomic Energy Agency and the sanction list of the Security Council," RT disclosed.

Sound far-fetched, the product of Iranian "conspiracy theories"? Better think again!

As former UNSCOM Iraq weapons' inspector Scott Ritter revealed in his 2005 book, Iraq Confidential, "The issue of uncovering incriminating documentation suddenly took on a higher priority, and the CIA, supported by activist elements within the Department of State, pushed for more direct involvement in the operations of UNSCOM and the IAEA. For the first time, the darkest warriors in the CIA's covert army, the Operations Planning Cell (OPC), were getting actively involved in preparing intelligence for UNSCOM's use."

According to Ritter, "The secret warriors of the CIA were accustomed to plying their trade in the shadows, far away from prying eyes. UNSCOM inspections, however, were carried out in full view of the Iraqi government, representing the antithesis of covert action. The existence of the OPC, as with any CIA affiliation with UNSCOM, was a carefully guarded secret. Officially, therefore, all OPC personnel were presented to UNSCOM as State Department 'experts'."

In light of past practices by the CIA, or for that matter the IAEA itself, Iranian fears that their scientists are being set-up for liquidation are fully justified.

Indeed, the "cautious" U.S. Secretary of Defense, former CIA chief Leon Panetta, speaking at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany on Friday, echoed Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak's claim that Israel would need to "consider taking action" should nuclear inspections and sanctions fail.

"My view is that right now the most important thing is to keep the international community unified in keeping that pressure on, to try to convince Iran that they shouldn't develop a nuclear weapon, that they should join the international family of nations and that they should operate by the rules that we all operate by," Panetta asserted. "But I have to tell you, if they don't, we have all options on the table, and we'll be prepared to respond if we have to."

One of those "options," passed by the U.S. Senate Banking Committee on Friday were demands made to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications, or SWIFT.

"The new Senate package," Reuters reported, "seeks to target foreign banks that handle transactions for Iran's national oil and tanker companies, and for the first time, extends the reach of Iran-related sanctions to foreign subsidiaries of U.S. companies."

The new legislation would target SWIFT with wide-ranging penalties if they failed to exclude sanctioned Iranian banks from the international system.

The bill now goes to the full Senate "where the likelihood of passage is considered strong," The New York Times reported.

With the Orwellian title, the "Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Human Rights Act" Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-SD) said that "Iran can end its suppression of its own people, come clean on its nuclear program, suspend enrichment and stop supporting terrorist activities around the globe. Or it can continue to face sustained, intensifying multilateral economic and diplomatic pressure deepening its international isolation."

Now if only Senator Johnson offered similar demands on America's Israeli allies who possess upwards of 200 nuclear weapons, refuse to join the international nonproliferation regime and carry out worldwide terrorist attacks with impunity, perhaps then diplomacy would operate on a level playing field!

SWIFT officials were quick to cave to U.S. pressure. "SWIFT fully understands and appreciates the gravity of the situation," Reuters disclosed.

In its statement, "SWIFT said it is working with officials and central banks to find 'the right multilateral legal framework' to 'expedite' a response to the issues."

"This is a complex situation, and SWIFT needs to ensure that it takes into consideration the implications to the functioning of the broader global financial payments system, as well as the continued flow of humanitarian payments to the Iranian people," the organization said.

Needless to say, a boycott of Iranian financial institutions by SWIFT would be catastrophic to Iran's economy, a provocation fully intended as a step towards war.

As the World Socialist Web Site noted, "if Israel does attack Iran, it will not simply be 'a surgical strike' that destroys Iran's key nuclear facilities. Any Iranian retaliation will be used by the US as a pretext for a massive air war aimed at destroying the country's military and infrastructure. As a result, any conflict carries a real danger of becoming a regional war that could embroil the major powers."

Despite the evident madness of countenancing an Iran attack, political calculations by capitalist elites during a critical election year in the United States, with "conservative" and "liberal" factions angling for advantage by currying favor with the powerful Zionist and U.S. defense lobbies, Israel's unambiguous message to the White House is: "We'll give you the war, you give us the cannon fodder."