Anyone wondering what the Israelis will do next, after this week’s assassination of an Iranian scientist, to possibly provoke the Iranians into blindly swatting at an American naval vessel or American-flagged tanker, need look no further than Mark Perry’s post today at Foreign Policy:
Buried deep in the archives of America’s intelligence services are a series of memos, written during the last years of President George W. Bush’s administration, that describe how Israeli Mossad officers recruited operatives belonging to the terrorist group Jundallah by passing themselves off as American agents. According to two U.S. intelligence officials, the Israelis, flush with American dollars and toting U.S. passports, posed as CIA officers in recruiting Jundallah operatives — what is commonly referred to as a “false flag” operation.
The memos, as described by the sources, one of whom has read them and another who is intimately familiar with the case, investigated and debunked reports from 2007 and 2008 accusing the CIA, at the direction of the White House, of covertly supporting Jundallah — a Pakistan-based Sunni extremist organization. Jundallah, according to the U.S. government and published reports, is responsible for assassinating Iranian government officials and killing Iranian women and children. [emphases added]
According to Perry’s article, when told of this, President Bush was troubled, even downright pissed:
It’s easy to understand why Bush was so angry,” a former intelligence officer said. “After all, it’s hard to engage with a foreign government if they’re convinced you’re killing their people. Once you start doing that, they feel they can do the same.”
Not only was Bush pissed, so were some of our intelligence operatives and State Department employees:
Israel’s relationship with Jundallah continued to roil the Bush administration until the day it left office, this same intelligence officer noted. Israel’s activities jeopardized the administration’s fragile relationship with Pakistan, which was coming under intense pressure from Iran to crack down on Jundallah. It also undermined U.S. claims that it would never fight terror with terror, and invited attacks in kind on U.S. personnel…
What has become crystal clear, however, is the level of anger among senior intelligence officials about Israel’s actions. “This was stupid and dangerous,” the intelligence official who first told me about the operation said. “Israel is supposed to be working with us, not against us. If they want to shed blood, it would help a lot if it was their blood and not ours. You know, they’re supposed to be a strategic asset. Well, guess what? There are a lot of people now, important people, who just don’t think that’s true.”
One commenter at the web post of Perry’s article noted:
Given the murder of an Iranian scientist on his way to work, which stalled the EU-Iran talks that were just starting in Turkey, we should not be surprised that this report is leaking out now. It is an attempt to embarrass Israel, and show despite all its claims, it’s more of a headache to America than an asset.
But, what our American media will focus on is that Obama curtailed some cooperation in the early part of his administration. They will give little or no context to his actions, and use that as more evidence that Obama is hostile to Israel.
Indeed, Perry’s timing may have something to do with his State Department and anti-terrorism connections.
Others are questioning whether or not the Israelis are not only capable or mounting some sort or another false flag operation that implicates the U.S. in violence against Iranians, but purposefully pushing the Iranians to attack and kill Americans. The most recent Israeli assassination of an Iranian scientist this week prompted MSNBC‘s Chris Matthews to engage in a few mildly probing speculations:
Baer: It’s undoubtedly the Israelis, it couldn’t be anyone else. The Israelis as far as I can see are trying to provoke the Iranians into doing something.
Matthews: We are vulnerable over there. We have an American who has just been condemned to death for espionage.
Baer: What we’re seeing is an escalation, Chris, and it’s almost as if the intention is to get the Iranians to fire a missile at an oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, which would cause a wider war.
Matthews: Why would that help us?
Baer: It wouldn’t help us, it would help them… because the Israelis would force us into hitting the Iranians, hit them back, and that’s exactly what they want.
Matthews (with virginal voice): Oh so it’s the Israelis forcing us into this….
Engel: Incredibly hard sanctions on Iran [have the country] backed into a corner. If you want to hit Iran and you need a pretext to do that…the way to do that is by forcing your adversary into making some kind of aggressive move and everyone will think you’re correct when you respond by force….
Matthews: This is moving toward creating a pretext for an eventual attack on nuclear facilities?
Matthews continues later:
Matthews: How can the U.S. not see this as adversarial by Israel to try and hook us into a war? If that’s seen to manipulate that into a war we don’t want to get into, how can we not see that as from an ally, hostile? … Bob, you’re saying that Israel is trying to provoke the Iranians into attacking.
I contend that not only may the Israelis be trying to provoke the Iranians into attacking us, they may be doing it in such a way as to get the Iranian population believe that an Israeli-connected attack was actually one done by the U.S. I also contend that Israeli decision makers are nuts enough to – if the above fails to work – actually attack our forces in the Persian Gulf with their own missiles, perhaps taken ashore off of a submarine, to make us think the Iranians have attacked us. Or – combine the two operations to happen within minutes of each other.
Israel is not our friend. They are, instead, the most insidious enemy the United States has had in a long time. I write this reluctantly, but feel it has to be said.