Entry for September 23, 2006

The February 15, 2005 cartoon, “Pajamas at the Gate”  is by Cox and Forkum (email).

Plowshare Peace and Justice Center, here in Roanoke, Virginia ,  just sent me an announcement that David Swanson, the co-founder of AfterDowningStreet.org will facilitate a local teach-in about President Bush’s impeachment  October 6 from 7 to 9 PM at the Unitarian-Universalist Church, 2015 Grandin Road.  For more
information contact Angela Conroy at 365-8621.  .  You also read Swanson’s writings at his  his blog, LetsTry Democracy.org.   UPDATE:  Make that October 20!

AfterDowningStreet has an open letter from Dennis Kucinich (D-MI)

In the past few months reports have been published in Newsweek, ABC News and GQ Magazine that indicate the US is recruiting members of paramilitary groups to destabilize Iran through violence. The New Yorker magazine and the Guardian have written that US has already deployed military inside Iran. The latest issue of Time writes of plans for a naval blockade of Iran at the Port of Hormuz, through which 40% of the world’s oil supply passes. Other news reports have claimed that an air strike, using a variety of bombs including bunker busters to be dropped on over 1,000 targets, including nuclear facilities. This could obviously result in a great long term humanitarian and environmental disaster.

Earlier this year, I demanded congressional hearings on Iran and was able to secure the promise of a classified briefing from the Department of Defense, the State Department and the CIA. When the briefing was held, the Department of Defense and the State Department refused to show and are continuing to block any congressional inquiry into plans to attack Iran.

Just this past week, the International Atomic Energy Agency called “erroneous, misleading and unsubstantiated” statements relating to Iran’s nuclear program which came from a staff report of the House Intelligence committee. Other intelligence officials have claimed over a dozen distortions in the report which, among other things, said Iran is producing weapons grade uranium. The Washington Post wrote: “The IAEA called that ‘incorrect’ noting that weapons grade uranium is enriched to a level of 90 percent or more. Iran has enriched uranium to 3.5% under IAEA monitoring.”

I have demanded that the Government Oversight subcommittee on National Security and International Relations, of which I am the ranking Democrat, hold hearings to determine how in the world the Director of National Intelligence, John Negroponte, viewed the report without correcting the obvious inaccuracies before it was published. Once again a case for war is being built on lies.

Kucinich is referring to a September 12, which IAEA wrote Peter Hoeskstra (R-MI), Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, complaining about errots in the Committee’s August 23 report,“Recognizing Iran as a Strategic Threat: An Intelligence Challenge for the United States.”

According to IAEA letter,  its first public  dispute over U.S. allegations about its Iran investigatio, the report

  • overstates that the uranium enrichment level  is to weapons grade, when in fact that grade is 90% or more, not the 3.6% of Iran’s program
  • misleading portrays Iran’s production of polonium 21o as covert, when reporting on that substance is not required  by the Non-Proliferatoin Treaty (NPT)
  • mistated that one inspector was removed by IAEA because he reported that Iran was a nuclear threat, when in fact that inspector, only one of 200, was removed, as allowed by treaty, by Iran
  • did not include the UN’s commendation of IAEA for its professional efforts, nor consult with IAEA.

In Washington Post Septembe 14 story, “U.N. Inspectors Dispute Iran Report By House Panel Paper on Nuclear Aims Called Dishonest,” staff writer Dafna Linzer explains the background of the complaint.On

The IAEA openly clashed with the Bush administration on pre-war assessments of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Relations all but collapsed when the agency revealed that the White House had based some allegations about an Iraqi nuclear program on forged documents.

After no such weapons were found in Iraq, the IAEA came under additional criticism for taking a cautious approach on Iran, which the White House says is trying to build nuclear weapons in secret. At one point, the administration orchestrated a campaign to remove the IAEA’s director general, Mohamed ElBaradei. It failed, and he won the Nobel Peace Prize last year.

 

Rep. Rush D. Holt (D-N.J.), a committee member, told Linzer

that the House report was “clearly not prepared in a manner that we can rely on.” He agreed to send it to the full committee for review, but the Republicans decided to make it public before then.  The report was never voted on or discussed by the full committee. Rep. Jane Harman (Calif.), the vice chairman, told Democratic colleagues in a private e-mail that the report “took a number of analytical shortcuts that present the Iran threat as more dire — and the Intelligence Community’s assessments as more certain — than they are.”

Privately, several intelligence officials said the committee report included at least a dozen claims that were either demonstrably wrong or impossible to substantiate. Hoekstra’s office said the report was reviewed by the office of John D. Negroponte, the director of national intelligence.

*

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s derestricted its August 31, 2006 report, “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” on  September 14.

IAEA started as the world´s “Atoms for Peace” organization in 1957 within the United Nations family and works to promote safe, secure and peaceful nuclear technologies.  Its secretariat, led by Director General Mohamed ElBaradei,  is headquartered in Vienna, Austria and includes  2,200 multi-disciplinary professional and support staff from more than 90 countries.

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