In a must-read article today, The Washington Monthly reveals how the Bush administration blew an historic opportunity to negotiate with Iran in the wake of the Baghdad invasion.
While Tehran was pulling diplomatic cables to signal a long-term compromise deal, Washington leaders were listening to war-mongering idiots like Michael Ledeen.
BuzzFlash this week suggested that Sy Hersh may have prevented WWIII with his revelations about US agitation for war in Iran.
Maybe. But this news from The Raw Story is not good at all:
The Department of Defense and Vice President Dick Cheney have retained the services of Iran-Contra arms dealer and discredited intelligence asset Manucher Ghorbanifar as their “man on the ground,” in order to report on any interaction and attempts at negotiations between Iranian officials and US ambassador to Iraq, Zelmay Khalilzad, current and former intelligence officials say.As Ghorbanifar's Wikipedia entry shows, he is an old buddy of Michael Ledeen's. And if he is involved in negotiations with Iran, it can only mean one thing: Cheney doesn't want the negotiations to succeed.
Sources close to the UN Security Council and a former high ranking intelligence official say that this latest failed attempt to bring Iran to the table is part of an ongoing attempt by Cheney and Rumsfeld to squash diplomatic activities.The full article has much more.
Another intelligence source confirmed the spiking of diplomatic action on Cheney’s behalf, explaining that the Bush administration sees such talks as a “sign of weakness.”
Asked if Ghorbanifar was essentially being employed as a spy, one former senior counterintelligence official said, "You could put it that way."
A former high ranking state department official, however, doubted that the Office of the Vice President would employ Ghorbanifar directly.
“In my experience it would be highly unusual and even extraordinary if the Office of the Vice President would have such activities,” the ex-State Department official said. Yet the source added that the current Vice Presidency is in itself “unusual” and “extraordinary.”
Cheney’s office did not return calls seeking comment for this article.
Not good. Not good at all.