SecDef Panetta: Iran Not Developing Nuclear Weapons

Via Raw Story:

Appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta let slip the big open secret that Washington war hawks don’t want widely known: Iran is not developing nuclear weapons. Panetta headed the CIA until last July, so it’s reasonable to suppose he is well-informed on this subject.

Are the news media going to clarify this point for us? There is no Iranian nuclear weapons program. Just like Saddam’s so-called “weapons of mass destruction,” it doesn’t exist. Furthermore, even if Iran does pose a future threat to our national security (which is debatable) that cannot justify the USA initiating a war of aggression.

While we’re on the subject, can somebody tell the GOP presidential candidates? Except for Ron Paul, they all seem to relish the thought of attacking a nation of 75 million people for no good reason.

UPDATE: It’s worthwhile to note that Iran is already under attack by somebody. There have been eight terrorist bombings and at least one shooting in the past year, all directed at people who may be involved in Iranian nuclear power and missile research.

  1. #2 by Richard Warnick on January 10, 2012 - 2:20 pm

    Halabja (1988)? I suppose you have no rational argument to make. Iraq destroyed its chemical weapons stockpile in 1991.

  2. #3 by cav on January 10, 2012 - 2:32 pm

    Leon might just be enjoying some of the massive budgetary slippage available to our magnificent war machine.

  3. #4 by brewski on January 10, 2012 - 2:46 pm

    Iraq destroyed its chemical weapons stockpile in 1991.

    They did? Then why did not Iraq invite the inspectors to supervise this AS REQUIRED.

  4. #5 by Richard Warnick on January 10, 2012 - 3:04 pm

    Clearly you never read the Duelfer Report.

  5. #6 by brewski on January 10, 2012 - 9:11 pm

    That doesn’t answer my question in the slightest. Why would you think it did?

  6. #7 by cav on January 10, 2012 - 10:47 pm

    If your point is that bad people lie about various things, and for various reasons, I have no argument. As for why in 1991 Iraqi administration officials didn’t reveal the truth of their activities, you’d have to press the ghosts of the Hussein regime for answers to your question. Certainly our own agenda has not always been expressed with the forthrightness we demand of others. Never was and I doubt it ever will be. The truth being not only hard to accept, but also characterologically impossible for the government to express.

    As to the Iranians not pursuing nuclear weapons, as Panetta and so many other informed observers have stated: That is something of a different bird.

    Given the supposed state of our economy, this exceptional nation, the only one to have used nuclear weaponry against masses of humanity, would certainly not want to err on the side opposite any figurative mushroom clouds.

    Further, why all the hubbub about Iran when Pakistan and Israel both have nukes. Oddly the ‘hopefulls’ aren’t hawking at them. What gives?

  7. #8 by Richard Warnick on January 11, 2012 - 8:56 am

    You want me to speculate on why Saddam Hussein would want to create the impression Iraq still had usable chemical weapons when he knew that the CIA knew that they didn’t?

    If you believe what Saddam said during his interrogation, he was worried about Iran and didn’t want his country to look vulnerable.

    Back to Iran. Every GOP presidential candidate except Ron Paul is itching for a war with Iran. Have they learned anything from Bush’s fiascoes?

  8. #9 by cav on January 11, 2012 - 9:28 am

    Richard, this might be of interest to you:

    In August 1991 Iraq had declared to the UNSCOM biological inspection team that it did indeed have a biological weapons program but that it was for defensive purposes.[56] Iraq then provided its first biological weapons declaration shortly after. After UNSCOM determined such declarations to be incomplete, more pressure was placed on Iraq to declare fully and completely.[56] A second disclosure of the biological weapons came in March 1995.

    Scott Ritter as late as 1998: “Iraq retains the capability to launch a chemical strike.”

  9. #10 by Richard Warnick on January 11, 2012 - 9:59 am

    Read further in the same Wikipedia article:

    In June, 1999, Ritter responded to an interviewer, saying: “When you ask the question, ‘Does Iraq possess militarily viable biological or chemical weapons?’ the answer is no! It is a resounding NO. Can Iraq produce today chemical weapons on a meaningful scale? No! Can Iraq produce biological weapons on a meaningful scale? No! Ballistic missiles? No! It is ‘no’ across the board. So from a qualitative standpoint, Iraq has been disarmed. Iraq today possesses no meaningful weapons of mass destruction capability.”

    Ritter’s conclusion was later confirmed by the Duelfer Report (Iraq Survey Group).

    The CIA knew prior to the invasion of Iraq that the alleged WMD threat was baloney.

    On Sept. 18, 2002, CIA director George Tenet briefed President Bush in the Oval Office on top-secret intelligence that Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction, according to two former senior CIA officers.

    What about “slam dunk”? You may ask. Tenet was quoted out of context. He told President Bush that it would be a “slam dunk” to sell Congress and most of the American public on the WMD lies. But the U.N. Security Council was not fooled.

  10. #11 by brewski on January 11, 2012 - 11:39 am

    That is a different version than what David Kay said.

    Are you saying that Tenet said, “Mr. President, this is a slam dunk,” and knew it wasn’t?

    Now, we’re all relying on Bob Woodward who said it [in his book Plan of Attack], but if indeed he said it as a “slam dunk,” yes, I think he was in a position that he would have had to know that the data was not of a character that one could describe [that way], even in a loose manner, and certainly not in the Oval Office of the President, who has expressed doubt about the presentation he’s heard.

    “Don’t worry, Mr. President, that’s a slam dunk.” The data was not that solid. George Tenet knew we had no agents inside Iraq. George Tenet knew that on the case of Curveball, no American had ever talked to Curveball directly, no American had been given his name by the Germans. And you go down the line, he knew the holes in the data. And yes, I think he certainly knew it wasn’t a slam dunk. …

    PBS Frontline

    So according to this, Tenet was not making the case that WMD was a slam dunk sellable to Congress. According to this Tenet said it was a slam dunk to find WMD even though it wasn’t. He didn’t want to say that he didn’t know. He wanted to tell his boss what he wanted to hear so he could be a player. Be on the inside.

    So you have made up a different story than what Kay said.

  11. #12 by Richard Warnick on January 11, 2012 - 11:57 am

    Remember that in September 2002 George Tenet briefed the President on the CIA’s conclusion that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. Yet two months later he says the case for WMD is a slam dunk. How can that be?

    Simple, as Tenet himself later told CBS “60 Minutes.” (emphasis added):

    Tenet says he believed Iraq had WMDs but never considered the intelligence to be a “slam dunk.” Tenet says he used that description to show how easy it would be to build a public case for war, given that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had used chemical weapons and had performed nuclear-weapons research in the past.

    It’s not something I made up, it’s Tenet’s version of the story. I don’t make stuff up.

    The “slam dunk” briefing took place in the context of an administration that was determined to invade Iraq as soon as they could come up with a plausible excuse, even if they had to violate international law. George Tenet was a holdover from the Clinton administration, and he knew he could keep his job only if he gave President Bush what he wanted — regardless of the truth about WMD. So he helped Bush lie us into an unjustifiable war of aggression.

    Later the Bushies tried to make Tenet a scapegoat in Bob Woodward’s book, taking “slam dunk” out of context. They want us to believe Tenet lied to Bush, when the truth is Bush, Tenet et al. lied to America.

  12. #13 by Richard Warnick on January 11, 2012 - 12:45 pm

    Haven’t we reached the point where former Bush supporters can apologize and say they made a big mistake, instead of still trying to re-write history?

  13. #14 by brewski on January 11, 2012 - 12:51 pm

    I don’t make stuff up.


  14. #15 by cav on January 11, 2012 - 4:27 pm

    It was ‘tipped in’ by a rebounder.

    They got what they wanted so it makes no difference. Oh the press to cultivate resources and profit. Everything else is collateral.

  15. #16 by cav on January 12, 2012 - 9:23 pm

    “None of the crucial problems on this planet are, in fact, amenable to military solutions…”

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