Twisted Tales

October 13, 2011

Another version of an international tall tale popped up this week with the initially alarming news of an official Iranian plot to kill the Saudi ambassador at a DC restaurant via Mexican drug cartel gunmen.

A tale so convoluted it turns out that David Mamet would have a hard time trying to decipher the plot.

Yesterday, Hillary Clinton spoke some double-speak: “The idea that they would attempt to go to a Mexican drug cartel to solicit murder-for-hire to kill the Saudi ambassador? Nobody could make that up, right?” Clinton said shortly after U.S. prosecutors accused two suspected Iranian agents of trying to murder Saudi envoy Adel Al-Jubeir.
Hey, a shitload of people could easily make that up, or at least, orchestrate the proceedings.

(Illustration found here).

One of the best reporters in the field, Patrick Cockburn, says the whole scheme stinks of political bullshit.
In the UK’s Independent:

The claim that Iran employed a used-car salesman with a conviction for cheque fraud to hire Mexican gangsters to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington goes against all that is known of Iran’s highly sophisticated intelligence service.
The confident announcement of this bizarre plot by the US Attorney General Eric Holder sounds alarmingly similar to Secretary of State Colin Powell’s notorious claim before the UN in 2003 that the US possessed irrefutable evidence Saddam Hussein was developing weapons of mass destruction.

Could the accusations be true?
The plot as described in court was puerile, easy to discover and unlikely to succeed.
A Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) informant in Corpus Christi, Texas, with supposed links to Los Zetas gangsters in Mexico, said he had been approached by an Iranian friend of his aunt called Mansour Arbabsiar to hire the Zetas to make attacks.
A link is established with the Quds force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
None of this makes sense.
The IRGC is famous for making sure that responsibility for its actions can never be traced to Iran.
It usually operates through proxies.
Yet suddenly here it is sending $100,000 (£63,000) from a known IRGC bank account to hire assassins in Mexico.
The beneficiaries from such a plot are evident.
There will be those on the neo-con right and extreme supporters of Israel who have long been pressing for a war with Iran.
In the Middle East, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have been vociferously asserting that Iran is orchestrating Shia pro-democracy protests, but without finding many believers in the rest of the world.
Their claims are now likely to be taken more seriously in Washington.
There will be less pressure on countries like Bahrain to accommodate their Shia populations.

Holder, of course, is himself under fire for the mega-dumb-ass “Fast and Furious” operation — a supposedly ‘sting’ stunt on Mexican drug cartels with all kinds of weapons, but it went south and the guns ended up at all kinds of bad killings and other deadly, nefarious events.

Darrell Issa, one of the great GOP pricks in Congress and chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is after Holder and his justice department for the “Fast and Furious” bullshit and has issued subpoenas for all kinds of documents relating to the operation, and even the AG himself.
Holder responded at the press conference for the Iranian/Mexican drug cartel plot — of course, using Iran to deflect Issa: “[W]hat I want the American people to understand is that in complying with those subpoenas and dealing with that inquiry, that will not detract us from the important business that we here to do at the Justice Department, including matters like the one that we have announced today.”
Yeah, right.

Justin Raimondo at antiwar.com pretty much sums up this crocked Iranian/drug killers story:

This is another one of US law enforcement’s manufactured “anti-terrorist” triumphs, where the feds set somebody up, fabricate a “crime” out of thin air, and then proceed to “solve” a case that never really existed to begin with.
This has been the general pattern of our “anti-terrorist” operations in the US since the beginning – because finding and catching real terrorists is much too hard, at least for our Keystone Kops.
Instead of going out and actually, you know, looking for the Bad Guys, and then apprehending them, they lure some unsuspecting Muslim immigrant into a trap, and spring it when the time is right.

Bullshit is the easy route.
And another pile from Afghanistan — officials there have been manipulating stats and any kind of “success” in the Afghan mess has been stretched pretty thin
Jason Ditz at antiwar.com:

A new report from the Kandahar-based Afghanistan Analysts Network examines NATO claims of “success” in Afghanistan and massive numbers of slain Taliban “leaders” and finds, as usual, the claims are greatly exaggerated.
The report determined that NATO’s broad definition of “leader” was “so broad as to be meaningless,” noting that they used to word to describe people whose houses were suspected to have been used by insurgents, and that many of the captured “leaders” were ultimately released from detention.
The so-called night raids were the focus of the study, which found that for every “leader” NATO killed, they also killed eight others, including a large number of innocent bystanders.

No wonder US peoples are sick of the US government.
Last month, a CNN/ORC international poll revealed: Only 15 percent of Americans surveyed trust the federal government to do what is right just about always or most of the time. A year ago — that number was at 25 percent.
So 85 percent think government can’t be trusted, and the odds are growing it might end up at 100 percent.
Not good.

Ex-CIA don’t trust ’em either.
Robert Baer spent 21 years working as a CIA case officer in the Middle East, and in an interview at The World Today, acknowledge the whole Iranian thing could be bullshit:

Oh absolutely. I mean right now is not the time for Iran to provoke the United States.
We’re on edge already vis-à-vis Iran and it came as a total surprise to me.
I don’t think it’s credible, not the central government, there may be a rogue element behind it.
This doesn’t fit their modus operandi at all.
It’s completely out of character, they’re much better than this.
They wouldn’t be sending money through an American bank, they wouldn’t be going to the cartels in Mexico to do this.
It’s just not the way they work.
I’ve followed them for 30 years and they’re much more careful.
And they always use a proxy between them and the operation, and in this case they didn’t.
I mean it’s the, either they’re shooting themselves in the foot or there’s pieces of the story, I don’t know what they are.

When the whole twisted tale comes out, it’s going to be a zinger.

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