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Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

"Disinformation" on Iran; the NIE Aftermath; Kenneth Timmerman; Eleana Benador; Conrad Bla

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FEATURED ARTICLE

Whose Disinformation?
By Gareth Porter

High-level officials in the Bush administration, including Vice President Dick Cheney, bottled up the explosive new NIE on Iran, arguing that Iran was deliberately leaking disinformation and that Israel had intelligence pointing to a clandestine Iranian nuclear program. Read full story.

FEATURED PROFILES

Kenneth Timmerman
The intelligence community has been duped into thinking Iran has abandoned its nuclear weapons program,and "shadow warriors" are undermining the Bush administration from within, according to conservativewriter Ken Timmerman.

Eleana (Eliana) Benador
A publicist who helped promote a plank of neoconservative writers after 9/11, Benador has more recentlysaid that she aims to get out of politics because of the "uncertain political situation in America."

Conrad Black
Once a major media mogul closely aligned with rightist and hardline political factions in the UnitedStates, Black was sentenced to 6.5 years in prison in early December for bilking his shareholders outof millions.

Benador Associates
This now largely defunct speakers bureau and PR firm played an important role promoting neoconservativevoices in the U.S. media after 9/11.

Office of Special Plans
The new intelligence estimate on Iran might have been made possible because many of the neoconservativeofficials behind the Pentagon’s Office of Special Plans, which bypassed established intelligence channels,are no longer in the administration.

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

NIE Aftermath
By Khody Akhavi

Though the intelligence community has downgraded the threat of Iranian nukes, Bush administrationpolicy is unlikely to change course. Read full story.

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Featured Profiles

Although sometimes characterized as a Republican “maverick” for his bipartisan forays into domestic policy, Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is one of the Senate’s more vocal hawks.


Former CIA director Michael Hayden, a stalwart advocate of the Bush-era policies on torture and warrantless wiretapping, has been a vocal critic of Donald Trump


The former GOP presidential candidate and Speaker of the House has been a vociferous proponent of the idea that the America faces an existential threat from “Islamofascists.”


David Albright is the founder of the Institute for Science and International Security, a non-proliferation think tank whose influential analyses of nuclear proliferation issues in the Middle East have been the source of intense disagreement and debate.


A right-wing Christian and governor of Kansas, Brownback previously served in the U.S. Senate, where he gained a reputation as a leading social conservative as well as an outspoken “pro-Israel” hawk on U.S. Middle East policy.


Steve Forbes, head of the Forbes magazine empire, is an active supporter of a number of militarist policy organizations that have pushed for aggressive U.S. foreign policies.


Stephen Hadley, an Iraq War hawk and former national security adviser to President George W. Bush, now chairs the U.S. Institute for Peace.


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From the Wires

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The Trump administration appears to have been surprised by this breach among its friends in the critical Gulf strategic area. But it is difficult to envision an effective U.S. role in rebuilding this Humpty-Dumpty.


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A recent vote in the European Parliament shows how President Trump’s relentless hostility to Iran is likely to isolate Washington more than Tehran.


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The head of the Institute for Science and International Security—aka “the Good ISIS”—recently demonstrated again his penchant for using sloppy analysis as a basis for politically explosive charges about Iran, in this case using a faulty translation from Persian to misleadingly question whether Tehran is “mass producing advanced gas centrifuges.”


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Trump has exhibited a general preference for authoritarians over democrats, and that preference already has had impact on his foreign policy. Such an inclination has no more to do with realism than does a general preference for democrats over authoritarians.


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The President went to the region as a deal maker and a salesman for American weapon manufacturing. He talked about Islam, terrorism, Iran, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict without the benefit of expert advice in any of these areas. After great showmanship in Riyadh, Jerusalem, and Bethlehem, he and his family left the region without much to show for or to benefit the people of that war-torn region.


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Although the Comey memo scandal may well turn out to be what brings Trump down, this breach of trust may have had more lasting effect than any of Trump’s other numerous misadventures. It was an unprecedented betrayal of Israel’s confidence. Ironically, Trump has now done what even Barack Obama’s biggest detractors never accused him of: seriously compromised Israel’s security relationship with the United States.


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Congress and the public acquiesce in another military intervention or a sharp escalation of one of the U.S. wars already under way, perhaps it’s time to finally consider the true costs of war, American-style — in lives lost, dollars spent, and opportunities squandered. It’s a reasonable bet that never in history has a society spent more on war and gotten less bang for its copious bucks.


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