Sunday, October 08, 2006

Phase Two

More than a year before I began this blog, I wrote to an email group about U.S. plans to attack Iran reported by former weapons inspector Scott Ritter. Two respondents dismissed my account on the doubtful grounds that Ritter was simply opposed to George Bush, Jr., the U.S. was not conducting military operations against Iran, and Bush had denied such plans. Of course, Bush once denied plans to attack Iraq, even while preparations were nearing completion.

Soon after Ritter’s disclosure, investigative reporter Seymour Hersh wrote that the White House had authorized action against Iran and U.S. covert operatives were already at work inside Iran.

Last month, a new voice joined the discussion. Retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Sam Gardiner has taught strategy and military planning at the National War College, the Air War College, and the Naval War College. In The Situation Room on C.N.N., Wolf Blitzer asked how close the administration was to “giving that go-ahead order” against Iran —

Gardiner: It’s been given. In fact, we’ve probably been executing military operations inside Iran for at least eighteen months…The first [objective] was to gather intelligence…The second has been to prepare dissident groups for phase two, which will be the strike, which will come as the next phase, I think.

The administration has declined to answer questions from Congress about the so-called emerging threat from Iran. There are sources on Capitol Hill who believe the Bush team is circumventing Congressional oversight or authority — again. According to Gardiner, U.S. Naval forces have been alerted for deployment.


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