IS WASHINGTON AFRAID OF PERSIA? – 01/10/1988

 [Diary of a Vengeance Foretold] Part 91

OCTOBER 1 1988

 Libya was a favorite choice as “rogue state” from the earliest days of the Reagan administration. Vulnerable and defenseless, it is a perfect punching bag when needed.

Noam Chomsky – Rogue States, April 1988

NoamC

Today (01/10/1988), Dalkamoni returns to Cyprus where he will stay until the 5th. The trusted lieutenant of Jibril usually visits the island every six months or so. Thus, it is rather suspicious that he returns to Cyprus just two weeks following his September 12 to 14 trip to the island.

Well aware that the MOSSAD maintains close contacts with the airport personnel, Dalkamoni provides the passport controller with false information regarding his hotel.

Intelligence

Writing about his term at the helm of the CIA in the mid-1980s, Robert Gates tells in his memoir that “the downside of an attack on Iran, to everyone’s regret, outweighed how much Iran deserved punishment… Thus Iran proved ‘too hard’–a limited attack would, as a participant in one meeting delicately put it, ‘just piss them off’ and make things worse.”

Quite bluntly, Gates wrote of how “the Reagan Administration’s fear of confronting Iran did not prevent it from choosing an alternative, relatively defenseless target on which to display American strength.”

“The process of elimination brought CIA to Libya. Ironically, Libya had been reluctant to attack the United States directly out of fear of retaliation. But because it was in the poorest position to sustain itself against U.S. actions–military or economic–it became the target for U.S. retaliation against all state-supported terrorism.” [1]

Nominated to become FBI Director by President Bill Clinton, Louis Freeh was responsible for the Khobar investigation. On the tenth anniversary of the attack, Freeh wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed “that Mr. Clinton and his national security adviser, Sandy Berger, had no interest in confronting the fact that Iran had blown up the towers.”

“I was overruled by an angry President and Mr. Berger who said the FBI was interfering with their rapprochement with Iran,” Freeh wrote.

“Clinton and Berger were interested only in Washington damage control meetings held out of the fear that Congress, and ordinary Americans, would find out that Iran murdered our soldiers.” [2]

I recently asked former CIA operative in the Middle East, and Iran expert, Robert Baer the following question. Assuming for a moment that Tehran ordered the bombing of Pan Am 103 in revenge for the downing of the Iranian Airbus in early July, can you think of a reason why the US and UK governments would deflect the blame on Libya?

“Iran was caught red-handed over and over, but what do you do with Iran? You can’t invade. Bombing would only bring Iranian retribution.  The good intelligence on Iran was never disseminated in Washington because no administration wanted it leaked and its hand forced,” Baer told me.

In late July of this year (2008), Baer gave an interview on BBC Hard Talk regarding his view on the threat of a nuclear armed Iran. As a side comment, Baer mentioned that Tehran was behind the bombings of the Israeli embassy (92), and the AMIA Jewish centre (94) in Buenos Aires, as well as the bombing of the Al-Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia (96).[3]

I pointed out to him that the FBI agent in charge of the investigation claimed he never found evidence that Iran was involved in the bombing of the Israel embassy in Buenos Aires. [4]

“Why should the truth matter? We can’t change the regime in Tehran anyhow. They’re more likely to change the regime in Washington,” Baer replied.

NOTES AND REFERENCES

1. Robert Gates, From the Shadows, pp. 351-52.

2. Louis J. Freeh, “Khobar Towers: The Clinton Administration Left Many Stones Unturned,” The Wall Street Journal, June 25, 2006,

3. According to the December 2006 Memorandum Opinion of a U.S. Federal Court, the 1996 bombing that killed 19 U.S. airmen and wounded 372 people at the Khobar Towers housing complex in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia “was approved by Ayatollah Khameini, the Supreme leader of Iran at the time.” Judge Royce C. Lamberth, Memorandum Opinion, Heiser et al. v. Islamic Republic of Iran (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, 2006), p. 9.

4. In late 1997 Bernazzani was in charge of the FBI’s office of Hezbollah operations. He would later head the New Orleans FBI office. Bernazzani was sent to Buenos Aires to lead a team of FBI specialists helping Argentine investigators to crack the AMIA bombing case. Bernazzani stated that he had found no evidence linking Tehran to the bombing. An Iranian defector, named Mesbahi, had reported to several Law Authorities that Tehran was behind these bombings as well as the destruction of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie.According to Bernazzani, Mesbahi had been discredited among US analysts because “he had lost his access to high-level Iranian officials well before the 1994 bombing and was poor, even broke.”

 

 

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