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Will Downing St. Memo Recur on Iran?

By Annie Machon and Ray McGovern, Consortium News

Recent remarks by Sir John Sawers, who heads Britain’s MI6 (the Secret Intelligence Service that is Britain’s CIA counterpart), leave us wondering if Sawers is preparing to “fix” intelligence on Iran, as his immediate predecessor, Sir John Scarlett, did on Iraq.

Scarlett’s pre-Iraq war role in creating “dodgy dossiers” hyping the threat of non-existent “weapons of mass destruction” is relatively well known. On July 4, the red warning light for politicization was again flashing brightly in London, as Sawers told British senior civil servants that Iran is “two years away” from becoming a “nuclear weapons state.” How did Sawers come up with “two years?”

British Prime Minister Tony Blair and U.S. President George W. Bush shake hands after a joint White House press conference on Nov. 12, 2004. (White House photo by Paul Morse)

Since late 2007, the benchmark for weighing Iran’s nuclear program has been the unanimous assessment by all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in late 2003 and that, as of mid-2007, had not restarted it. Those judgments have been revalidated every year since, despite strong pressure to bow to more ominous — but evidence-starved — assessments by Israel and its neo-conservative supporters.

The 2007 U.S. National Intelligence Estimate helped thwart plans to attack Iran in 2008, the last year of the Bush/Cheney administration. This shines through in George Bush’s own memoir, Decision Points, in which he rues the NIE’s “eye-popping declaration: ‘We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program.’”

Bush continues, “But after the NIE, how could I possibly explain using the military to destroy the nuclear facilities of a country the intelligence community said had no active nuclear weapons program?” (Decision Points, p. 419)

Hands tied on the military side, U.S. covert operations flowered, with $400 million appropriated at that same time for a major escalation of the dark-side struggle against Iran, according to military, intelligence, and congressional sources cited by Seymour Hersh in 2008.

The clandestine but all-too-real war on Iran has included attacks with computer viruses, the murders of Iranian scientists, and what the Israelis call the “unnatural” demise of senior officials like Revolutionary Guards Major General Hassan Moghaddam, father of Iran’s missile program.

Moghaddam was killed in a large explosion last November, with Time magazine citing a “western intelligence source” as saying the Israel’s Mossad was behind the blast. More threatening still to Iran are the severe economic sanctions laid upon it, sanctions which are tantamount to an act of war.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and pro-Israel neo-conservatives in the U.S. and elsewhere have been pushing hard for an attack on Iran, seizing every pretext they can find.  Netanyahu was suspiciously fast off the blocks, for example, in claiming that Iran was behind the tragic terrorist bombing of Israeli tourists in Bulgaria on July 18, despite Bulgarian authorities and even the White House warning that it is too early to attribute responsibility.

Netanyahu’s instant indictment of Iran strongly suggests he is looking for excuses to up the ante. With the Persian Gulf looking like an accident waiting to happen, stocked as it is with warships from the U.S., the U.K. and elsewhere — and with no fail-safe way of communicating with Iranian naval commanders — an escalation-generating accident or provocation is now more likely than ever.

July 23, a Day of Infamy

Oddly, Sawers’s speech of July 4 came just as an important date approached — the tenth anniversary of a sad day for British and U.S. intelligence on Iraq. On July 23, 2002 at a meeting at 10 Downing Street, then-MI6 head, John Dearlove, briefed Prime Minister Tony Blair and other senior officials on his talks with his American counterpart, CIA Director George Tenet, in Washington three days before.

In the official minutes of that briefing (now known as the Downing Street Memo), which were leaked to the London Times and published on May 1, 2005, Dearlove explains that George Bush has decided to attack Iraq and the war was to be “justified by the conjunction of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.”

When then-Foreign Secretary Jack Straw points out that the case was “thin,” Dearlove explains matter-of-factly, “The intelligence and facts are being fixed around the policy.”

There is no sign in the minutes that anyone hiccupped — much less demurred — at making a case for war and furthering Blair’s determination to join Bush in launching the kind of “war of aggression” outlawed by the Nuremberg Tribunal after World War II and by the United Nations Charter.

Helped by the acquiescence of its chief spies, the Blair government mainlined into the body politic un-assessed, raw intelligence and forged documents, with disastrous consequences for the world.

UK citizens were spoon-fed fake intelligence in the September Dossier (2002) and then, just six weeks before the attack on Iraq, the “Dodgy Dossier,” based largely on a 12-year old PhD thesis culled from the Internet — all presented by spy and politician alike as ominous premonitory intelligence.

So was made the case for war. All lies, resulting in hundreds of thousands dead and maimed and millions of Iraqis displaced — yet no one held to account.

Sir Richard Dearlove, who might have prevented this had he had the integrity to speak out, was allowed to retire with full honors and became the Master of a Cambridge college. John Scarlett, who as chair of the Joint Intelligence Committee signed off on the fraudulent dossiers, was rewarded with the top spy job at MI6 and a knighthood. George W. Bush gave George Tenet the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the highest civilian award.

What need have we for further proof? “So are they all, all honorable men” — reminiscent of those standing with Brutus in Shakespeare’s play, but with no Mark Antony to expose them and stir the appropriate popular reaction.

Therein lies the problem: instead of being held accountable, these “honorable men” were, well, honored. Their soft landings offer a noxious object lesson for ambitious bureaucrats who are ready to play fast and loose with the truth and trim their sails to the prevailing winds.

Ill-begot honors offer neither deterrent nor disincentive to current and future intelligence chiefs tempted to follow suit and corrupt intelligence rather than challenge their political leaders with hard, un-“fixed” facts. Integrity? In this milieu integrity brings one knowing smirks rather than honors. And it can get you kicked out of the club.

Fixing Intelligence on Iran

Are we in for another round of “fixing” — this time on Iran? We may know soon. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, citing the terrorist attack in Bulgaria, has already provided what amounts to a variation on Dearlove’s ten-year-old theme regarding how war can be “justified by the conjunction of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.”

According to the Jerusalem Post on July 17, Netanyahu said all countries that understand that Iran is an exporter of world terror must join Israel in “stating that fact clearly,” in order to emphasize the importance of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

Appearing on CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday as well as on Fox News Sunday, Netanyahu returned to that theme. Blaming the July 18 terrorist attack in Bulgaria on Hezbollah supported by Iran, he asked TV viewers to imagine what would happen if the world’s most dangerous regime got the world’s most dangerous weapons.

This has too familiar a ring. Has it been just ten years?

Will MI6 chief Sawers model his conduct today on that of his predecessors who, ten years ago, “justified” war on Iraq? Will he “fix” intelligence around U.K./U.S./Israeli policy on Iran? Parliamentary overseers should demand a briefing from Sawers forthwith, before erstwhile bulldog Britain is again dragged like a poodle into another unnecessary war.

Annie Machon is a former intelligence officer in the UK’s MI5 Security Service (the U.S. counterpart is the FBI), and Ray McGovern is a former U.S. Army Intelligence officer and CIA analyst.


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All class systems since the birth of class history and its Patriarchal class mechanism are rigged, "fixed" to usurp social control over civil society through generic class corruption and totalitarian class policies degenerating into permanent militarism and class Empires.   Expecting class systems to represent the social will, social classes, sometimes referred as "popular will of the people" is like expecting Elephants to birth kittens.  Social justice, social laws cannot exist within class systems because social control over civil society does not, has not existed for milleniums of class history, from Patriarchy to Late Capitalist, Global Fascism created by the West today.  The whole notion that voting for class politicians, class parties which betray the social masses and represents, instead, class systems and their deformed, partial developed, DIVSIBLE, middle professionals, is the source of Humanity's enslavement, class delusion, which makes up all CLASS MYTHS, whether in religious Patriarchal history, or Secular Patriarchal history. Voting for class politicians is the act of WASTING YOUR VOTE, and self inflicted powerlessness, self induced class DELUSIONS:


The Obama GITMO myth

New vindictive restrictions on detainees highlights the falsity of Obama defenders regarding closing the camp


"Most of the 168 detainees at Guantanamo have been imprisoned by the U.S. Government for close to a decade without charges and with no end in sight to their captivity. Some now die at Guantanamo, thousands of miles away from their homes and families, without ever having had the chance to contest accusations of guilt. During the Bush years, the plight of these detainees was a major source of political controversy, but under Obama, it is now almost entirely forgotten. On those rare occasions when it is raised, Obama defenders invoke a blatant myth to shield the President from blame: he wanted and tried so very hard to end all of this, but Congress would not let him. Especially now that we’re in an Election Year, and in light of very recent developments, it’s long overdue to document clearly how misleading that excuse is.

Last week, the Obama administration imposed new arbitrary rules for Guantanamo detainees who have lost their first habeas corpus challenge. Those new rules eliminate the right of lawyers to visit their clients at the detention facility; the old rules establishing that right were in place since 2004, and were bolstered by the Supreme Court’s 2008 Boumediene ruling that detainees were entitled to a “meaningful” opportunity to contest the legality of their detention. The DOJ recently informed a lawyer for a Yemeni detainee, Yasein Khasem Mohammad Esmail, that he would be barred from visiting his client unless he agreed to a new regime of restrictive rules, including acknowledging that such visits are within the sole discretion of the camp’s military commander. Moreover, as SCOTUSblog’s Lyle Denniston explains:

Besides putting control over legal contacts entirely under a military commander’s control, the “memorandum of understanding” does not allow attorneys to share with other detainee lawyers what they learn, and does not appear to allow them to use any such information to help prepare their own client for a system of periodic review at Guantanamo of whether continued detention is justified, and may even forbid the use of such information to help prepare a defense to formal terrorism criminal charges against their client.

The New York Times Editorial Page today denounced these new rules as “spiteful,” cited it as “the Obama administration’s latest overuse of executive authority,” and said “the administration looks as if it is imperiously punishing detainees for their temerity in bringing legal challenges to their detention and losing.” Detainee lawyers are refusing to submit to these new rules and are asking a federal court to rule that they violate the detainees’ right to legal counsel.

But every time the issue of ongoing injustices at Guantanamo is raised, one hears the same apologia from the President’s defenders: the President wanted and tried to end all of this, but Congress — including even liberals such as Russ Feingold and Bernie Sanders — overwhelming voted to deny him the funds to close Guantanamo. While those claims, standing alone, are true, they omit crucial facts and thus paint a wildly misleading picture about what Obama actually did and did not seek to do...."


Humanity has been enslaved and its Human Nature has been deformed, not by "original sin", but by class systems which uses DIVSIBLE, class hierachies, that rig, "fix", corrupt, co opt, invert social power into class power, class compromises, which serve the parasitical ruling classes.  Patriarchy created the religious CLASS MYTH, hiding the fact that social control by Humanity, by civil society was lost,  USURPED, DEFORMED, by the first class system and its class mechanism and corrupt class hierarchies.   These Patriarchs were not only responsible for the downfall of Humanity, its enslavement,  but had to invent, create false explanations for the downfall of social control, class myths, which falsely conflate the reason for the downfall of Women and the Social Matriarchy and its egalitarian relations.   The ideological class process co opted the Social Matriarchy, acknowledging the utopian existence of social control in the Matriarchy, corrupted into the class myth of the "Garden of Eden",  substituting other reasons, inverting reality with other explanations for the downfall of Humanity and Women.  Milleniums of class history have not changed our way of thinking, because there is not much difference between the religious class myth of Patriarchy or the secular class myths of  Late Capitalism, Fascism, when it tries to explain the failures of class systems and all of its failed class states with similar class deformed Human Nature attributes, class deformed behavior, whether "original sin" or the one most used today, "Greed". They do not look at the machinery, gears and common denominator of all class systems, which cannnot represent social classes, popular will, without establishing an independent social agency, middle layers, that dissolves class hierarchies thus crumbling Patriarchy, class history, into the reclaimed social mechanism which makes social control over civil society, no longer utopian, but necessary for Human survival , once again.

The Careerists


"The greatest crimes of human history are made possible by the most colorless human beings. They are the careerists. The bureaucrats. The cynics. They do the little chores that make vast, complicated systems of exploitation and death a reality. They collect and read the personal data gathered on tens of millions of us by the security and surveillance state. They keep the accounts of ExxonMobil, BP and Goldman Sachs. They build or pilot aerial drones. They work in corporate advertising and public relations. They issue the forms. They process the papers. They deny food stamps to some and unemployment benefits or medical coverage to others. They enforce the laws and the regulations. And they do not ask questions.

Good. Evil. These words do not mean anything to them. They are beyond morality. They are there to make corporate systems function. If insurance companies abandon tens of millions of sick to suffer and die, so be it. If banks and sheriff departments toss families out of their homes, so be it. If financial firms rob citizens of their savings, so be it. If the government shuts down schools and libraries, so be it. If the military murders children in Pakistan or Afghanistan, so be it. If commodity speculators drive up the cost of rice and corn and wheat so that they are unaffordable for hundreds of millions of poor across the planet, so be it. If Congress and the courts strip citizens of basic civil liberties, so be it. If the fossil fuel industry turns the earth into a broiler of greenhouse gases that doom us, so be it. They serve the system. The god of profit and exploitation. The most dangerous force in the industrialized world does not come from those who wield radical creeds, whether Islamic radicalism or Christian fundamentalism, but from legions of faceless bureaucrats who claw their way up layered corporate and governmental machines. They serve any system that meets their pathetic quota of needs.

These systems managers believe nothing. They have no loyalty. They are rootless. They do not think beyond their tiny, insignificant roles. They are blind and deaf. They are, at least regarding the great ideas and patterns of human civilization and history, utterly illiterate. And we churn them out of universities. Lawyers. Technocrats. Business majors. Financial managers. IT specialists. Consultants. Petroleum engineers. "Positive psychologists." Communications majors. Cadets. Sales representatives. Computer programmers. Men and women who know no history, know no ideas. They live and think in an intellectual vacuum, a world of stultifying minutia. They are T.S. Eliot's "the hollow men," "the stuffed men." "Shape without form, shade without colour," the poet wrote. "Paralysed force, gesture without motion."

It was the careerists who made possible the genocides, from the extermination of Native Americans to the Turkish slaughter of the Armenians to the Nazi Holocaust to Stalin's liquidations. They were the ones who kept the trains running. They filled out the forms and presided over the property confiscations. They rationed the food while children starved. They manufactured the guns. They ran the prisons. They enforced travel bans, confiscated passports, seized bank accounts and carried out segregation. They enforced the law. They did their jobs..."



The Sinking Economy: "We're going to be up the creek for the next 100 years or so"


"Recent data on retail sales, factory output, jobless claims, consumer confidence, business investment and existing home sales show that the US economy is decelerating and may be headed for recession. The Obama administration was been warned repeatedly that activity would slow when the $800 billion fiscal stimulus ran out (The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) and net government spending became a drag on growth. And this is exactly what has happened. As it turns out, Krugman, Reich, Stiglitz, Thoma, Baker, Galbraith and others were right, and Obama's economic advisors were wrong. The costs to the country in terms of high unemployment, soaring food stamp usage, declining standards of living and outright destitution are likely to be considerable due to Obama's poor judgement.

Not everyone in the Obama administration got it wrong. Christina Romer for example figured that it would take $1.8 trillion to shrink the output gap and to put millions of unemployed Americans back to work. Here's the story from Huffington Post's Sam Stein:

"...members of the president's economic team felt that if they were to properly fill the hole caused by the recession, they would need a bill that priced at $1.8 trillion -- $600 billion more than was previously believed to be the high-water mark for the White House.

"The $1.8 trillion figure was included in a December 2008 memo authored by Christina Romer (the incoming head of the Council of Economic Advisers) and obtained by Scheiber in the course of researching his book.

"'When Romer showed [Larry] Summers her $1.8 trillion figure late in the week before the memo was due, he dismissed it as impractical. So Romer spent the next few days coming up with a reasonable compromise: roughly $1.2 trillion,' Scheiber writes." ("The Escape Artist: Christina Romer Advised Obama To Push $1.8 Trillion Stimulus," Sam Stein, Huffington Post)

The idea that Summers rejected Romer's plan as "impractical" is pure public relations. More likely, Summers had a different agenda altogether. What he wanted was exactly what he got, a slow, under-performing economy with high unemployment and huge deficits. The soaring joblessness would allow employers to crush organized labor, while the bulging deficits would be used as a justification for hacking away at Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. This is what big business wants, which is to say, this is what Larry Summers and his Wall Street colleagues want.

As for Obama, well, he probably figured that his $800 billion fiscal package would be big enough to get him through the 2012 election-cycle, but not so big that it would spur the strong recovery that he promised, mainly because he didn't really want a strong recovery. He wanted was the same thing as Summers, a justification for putting the middle class on a crash diet so that more money could be diverted to his 1% constituents.

So, here we are four years after Lehman Brothers defaulted and the economy is headed for the shitter. That's just great....."




This is what the Social Enlightenment tried tried to overcome,  to reclaim, the social historical mechanism, social control of civil society, through the creation of independent, indivisible middle layers, which by defintion is the universal, international, "Law of Nature" because it realizes that social wealth and labor, as the social means of production is the optimal social outcome for humanity.   Such a social principle is "more than the sum of its parts", rather than the "rigged", "fixed", corrupt, divisible class systems which produces, its antithesis, a ZERO SUM game for humanity, enslaving it by promoting inverted totalitarianism, as all class systems have done.    Obama clearly understands that SOCIAL WEALTH is a product of social labor, which Adam Smith's and all social theorists, including Marx, Trotsky and Lenin have argued.    Class deformed markets are not Free markets, but Obama uses  FALSE SOCIAL RHETORIC, while embracing the class, inverted totalitarian markets that have morphed, devolved CONGRESS, THE COURTS, OBAMA and all post World War II presidents  into proto fascists, a replay of the the deformed class process enabled by the Weimar phony socialists that led to Fascist dictatorship.  This same class class deformed process started all over again in the POST (class deformed) World War II period, when Late Capitalism was put back on its head, degenerating into the proto Fascist Weimar process of Western nations, where Capitalism degenerated into Fascist austerity, corporatism, empire militarism marching towards global dictatorship:

Obama And Adam Smith


"The Scottish economist and political philosopher, Adam Smith, is the "Father of the Free Market and Free Enterprise system." He has been the guiding light of modern American economic thought and action since the start of the 19th century. And his economic principles have been the very foundation on which the American free enterprise and market systems are built. So it was a big surprise to many that the Republican Party saber rattlers led by Mitt Romney literally jumped down President Barack Obama's throat for making an economic statement about free enterprise and business development that, I believe, had ole Adam smiling in his Pink Gin.

Blinded by their collective loathing for anything President Obama says and does these folks jettisoned their very basic conservative economic beliefs by leveling heavy criticism at the president whose statement on business and the market was 100 percent in line with Adam Smith's. Here's what the president said:

"Look, if you've been successful, you didn't get there on your own. You didn't get there on your own. I'm always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something--there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business--you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn't get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet. The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together."

Look, we can go back to the times when the American South could not survive without slave labor. When ingenious men had the time to think and create because their plantations where producing agricultural crops on the backs of thousands of Black people that they did not have to pay. This same community of unpaid labor would build those houses, roads and bridges that bright and educated men conceived but could not make operational without free coerced labor. Collective Black labor laid the foundations for modern America...."





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