Posted by Curt on 31 December, 2005 at 10:32 am. 3 comments already!


An article in today’s Der Spiegel describes how a controversial reporter with many contacts in the west is describing a meeting between CIA head Goss and the Turkish Prime Minister where he leaned on the PM to get intelligence for us about Iranian nuclear facilities. If true, we all know what that intelligence will be used for:

The most talked about story is a Dec. 23 piece by the German news agency DDP from journalist and intelligence expert Udo Ulfkotte. The story has generated controversy not only because of its material, but also because of the reporter’s past. Critics allege that Ulfkotte in his previous reporting got too close to sources at Germany’s foreign intelligence agency, the BND. But Ulfkotte has himself noted that he has been under investigation by the government in the past (indeed, his home and offices have been searched multiple times) for allegations that he published state secrets — a charge that he claims would underscore rather than undermine the veracity of his work.

According to Ulfkotte’s report, “western security sources” claim that during CIA Director Porter Goss’ Dec. 12 visit to Ankara, he asked Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to provide support for a possible 2006 air strike against Iranian nuclear and military facilities. More specifically, Goss is said to have asked Turkey to provide unfettered exchange of intelligence that could help with a mission.

DDP also reported that the governments of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Oman and Pakistan have been informed in recent weeks of Washington’s military plans. The countries, apparently, were told that air strikes were a “possible option,” but they were given no specific timeframe for the operations.

Even more interesting is the fact that Goss appeared to hand over intelligence to the PM showing the links between Iran and Al-Qaeda:

According to DDP, during his trip to Turkey, CIA chief Goss reportedly handed over three dossiers to Turkish security officials that purportedly contained evidence that Tehran is cooperating with Islamic terror network al-Qaeda. A further dossier is said to contain information about the current status of Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program. Sources in German security circles told the DDP reporter that Goss had ensured Ankara that the Turkish government would be informed of any possible air strikes against Iran a few hours before they happened. The Turkish government has also been given the “green light” to strike camps of the separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Iran on the day in question.

The article then lays out what all of us already know. The President of Iran has done more single-handedly to ensure an attack against his country will take place then the past Presidents have in 20 years:

The DDP report attributes the possible escalation to the recent anti-Semitic rants by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose belligerent verbal attacks on Israel (he described the Holocaust as a “myth” and called for Israel to be “wiped off the map”) have strengthened the view of the American government that, in the case of the nuclear dispute, there’s little likelihood Tehran will back down and that the mullahs are just attempting to buy time by continuing talks with the Europeans.

The German wire service also quotes a high-ranking German military official saying: “I would be very surprised if the Americans, in the mid-term, didn’t take advantage of the opportunity delivered by Tehran. The Americans have to attack Iran before the country can develop nuclear weapons. After that would be too late.”

Now, of course this could all be speculation by a few reporters who want to pump up their resumes but as the article points out there has been a very extensive increase of diplomats heading to Turkey very recently:

In recent weeks, the number of American and NATO security officials heading to Ankara has increased dramatically. Within a matter of only days, the FBI chief, then the CIA chief and, most recently, NATO General Secretary Jaap De Hoop Scheffer visited the Turkish capital. During her visit to Europe earlier this month, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also traveled to Turkey after a stopover in Berlin.

Add this with the recent statements by the Turkish Army commander:

Two weeks ago, Yasar Buyukanit, the commander of the Turkish army and probable future chief of staff of the country’s armed forces, flew to Washington. After the visit he made a statement that relations between the Turkish army and the American army were once again on an excellent footing.

And you definitely get the feeling something is afoot. Bush has given Europe two years now to negotiate with Iran, especially when they claimed we don’t negotiate well. What has that gotten the world? Nothing but Ahmadinejad’s continual screaming about the destruction of Israel and hey guys, you know there really wasn’t a holocaust. Oh, and don’t forget they continue to buy as many ballistic missiles as they can:

Iran has acquired medium/ intermediate-range ballistic missiles (MRBM/IRBMs) from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea – DPRK) with a range of at least 2,500 km, regional intelligence sources have confirmed to JDW. However, analysts remain puzzled over the rationale of the Iranian acquisition.

Citing a study by the German Federal Intelligence Service, the German daily newspaper Bild reported on 16 December that Iran has acquired 18 disassembled IRBMs from the DPRK. Referring to the missiles as ‘BM-25’ models, the newspaper said they were based on the Soviet SS-N-6 (R-27) submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM).

According to previous JDW reports, the DPRK, with the help of Russian specialists from the VP Makeyev Design Bureau in Miass, Chelyabinsk, has utilised the R-27 technology to develop two new (land-based and naval) versions of the R-27 with extended ranges. The land-based version, sometimes referred to as ‘Taepo Dong X’, is believed to have a range of 2,500 to 4,000 km. Fuelled with a storable liquid propellant, the new missile has greater survivability compared with the DPRK’s No Dong and Hwasong families of missiles.

I can’t believe Bush will allow Iran to get that bomb. The planning of this strike has been going on for quite some time I would believe and now we are just trying to shore up our resources and friends in the region.

What’s upsetting, and should not come as a surprise to any of you, is the fact the media cares little that broadcasting stories of this nature hurts our chances of success. Imagine if the NYTs gets the details of the strikes, it will be page 1 news the day before D-Day.

At least reports like these give Sean Penn time to pack and get over there so he can shake hands with Ahmadinejad and tell the world what a swell guy he is.

Other’s Blogging:

Captain’s Quarters, Protein Wisdom, Starboard!, Ace of Spades HQ,

At least reports like these give Sean Penn time to pack and get over there so he can shake hands with Ahmadinejad and tell the world what a swell guy he is.

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