Gareth Porter published an important story about the alleged Iran terror plot. In it he notes that nowhere in the Justice Department criminal complaint does it say that Arbabsiar ever agreed to assassinate anyone. In fact, it is the DEA agent who repeatedly attempts to introduce and re-introduce the notion of perpetrating an act of terror. At no point do the charges say the Iranian ever suggested this or agreed to it.
Porter says that what’s much more likely is that the alleged terror suspect was first drawn into the web by the prospect of doing a drug deal:
On May 24, when Arbabsiar first met with the DEA informant he thought was part of a Mexican drug cartel, it was not to hire a hit squad to kill the ambassador. Rather, there is reason to believe that the main purpose was to arrange a deal to sell large amounts of opium from Afghanistan.
…Three Bloomberg reporters, citing a “federal law enforcement official”, wrote that Arbabsiar told the DEA informant he represented Iranians who “controlled drug smuggling and could provide tons of opium”.
In fact, in today’s NY Times a reporter interviewed neighbors who noted that young people entered and exited the suspect’s house at all hours of the day and night. It made them think that drugs were being dealt there.
The IPS reporter notes that the IRG controls a huge volume of drug trafficking in nearby Afghanistan and that they have begun to ship heroin around the world including to Mexican drug cartels. It appears that the paid DEA informant, himself a drug dealer, first approached Arbabsiar not about an act of terror, but about a drug deal. The Iranian was only, as far as the records show, interested in doing a drug deal. He listened to the tales of the DEA agent only because he was being strung along to believe there was a drug deal in the making:
…The absence of any statement attributed to Arbabsiar imply that the Iranian- American said nothing about assassinating the Saudi ambassador except in response to suggestions by the informant, who was already part of an FBI undercover operation.
…Not a single quote from Arbabsiar shows that he agreed to assassinating the ambassador, much less proposed it, suggest[ing] that he was either non-committal or linking the issue to something else, such as the prospect of a major drug deal with the cartel.
Interestingly, the FBI complaint doesn’t mention any discussion about drugs. I wonder why?
This is not only entrapment, it is the government lying about the basic nature of the case. Manssor Arbabsiar appears to be a wannabe Texas drug dealer who had connections holding product via his cousin, who may or may not be affiliated with the IRG. That the IRG deals in drugs I have no doubt. But the claim that the IRG plotted to kill the Saudi ambassador or anyone remains about the lamest claim ever to come out of the Obama administration.
I feel a real sense of betrayal regarding Obama. I expected crap like this from Bush and Cheney. You knew they were going to cheat and lie to advance their political agenda. But Obama? Why? Why does he need to do this? What does he gain by this even if half of the charges are true (which I’m convinced they’re not)? He gets new sanctions against Iran? Big deal? Maybe he even uses this to forestall an Israeli attack on Iran. But why risk a huge black eye if the case goes to s(^t as it appears it will? Where are those killer political instincts we thought we saw during the presidential election campaign? Abandoned him, it appears.
RE: “But Obama? Why? Why does he need to do this? What does he gain by this even if half of the charges are true (which I’m convinced they’re not)?” ~ R.S.
MY COMMENT: It will probably do wonders with certain big-time, deep-pocketed bundlers.
SOURCE – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haim_Saban
Dickerson, you’re not wrong, but you’re focused on some kind of Jewish financial cabal which hates Ahmadinejad and will cross with silver the palm of whoever will do its bidding. Yes, there are wealthy Jewish donors who fit this description. But there are tens of millions of voters who can be swung into the D column if they’ll act like warmongers. Or so the theory goes. Worked great for Dubya, whose numbers were tanking until 9/11 and he got to do the Washington chest-thump. (Ironically, after probably the biggest foreign policy disaster of his presidency. Until he invaded Iraq.)
Richard Silverstein says
Haim Saban is not part of some “Jewish financial cabal” & that’s not at all what he was saying. He was talking about a specific pro Israel fatcat who throws his money & political weight around.
RE: “…you’re focused on some kind of Jewish financial cabal which hates Ahmadinejad…But there are tens of millions of voters who can be swung into the D column if they’ll act like warmongers.” ~ Evan
MY COMMENT: Thank you for sharing your concerns about my “focus”.
By “tens of millions of voters who can be swung into the D column” I assume you are referring to what we commonly referred to as ‘swing voters’ back when I was (regrettably) heavily involved in politics. And I can assure you that certain wealthy right-wingers have also spent a lot of money convincing those very same ‘swing voters’ that Iran is an “existential threat”. For instance – https://www.richardsilverstein.com/2010/11/17/how-barre-seid-can-deny-funding-obsession-and-still-do-so-anyway/
So, I am well aware that politicians chase after the “voting block” referred to as ‘swing voters’. Unfortunately, I am unable to submit a comprehensive treatise every time I post a comment.
I hope this allays you concerns over my “focus”.
“Money is the mother’s milk of politics.” ~ Jesse “Big Daddy” Unruh, Speaker of the California Assembly from 1961 to 1968
P.S. Perhaps not entirely coincidentally, the Wikipedia article on Haim Saban has been “sanitized”. Also, the lengthy interview with Saban in Haratz (wherein he equates Ahmadinejad with Hitler, and waxes hysterical regarding the Califate conspiracy) seems to have been mysteriously “disappeared”. But you can still find everything here. – http://www.thefullwiki.org/Haim_Saban
ALSO SEE – http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2007/06/haim-saban/40714/
P.P.S. ADDITIONAL EXCERPTS FROM THE WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE BEFORE IT WAS SANITIZED (now at the fullwiki.com):
P.P.P.S. FROM WIKIPEDIA: “…Saban contributed between $5 million to $10 million to the William J. Clinton Foundation.…”
P.P.P.P.S. ALSO SEE: Millionaires and Corporations Are Using Tax Breaks to Help Sway Public Opinion – http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/10/18-2
RE: “I hope this allays you concerns over my ‘focus’.” – me, a priori
MY COMMENT: I apologize if I focused too much on Evan’s use of the word “focus”.
Mr. Dickerson, you are indeed well-focused. Maybe even a bit obsessed.
As for money and politics, you’re kind of kicking in an open door. None of what you say would I dispute. But a politician has to play to the zeitgeist. I was merely indicating that you have to consider the role of good old fashioned demagoguery, getting the people to rally ’round the flag.
American politics is not determined by which Jewish banker gives money to whom.
This is their out? They’re going to twist it into tale about the IRG controlling the Opium trade when the world knows the US has spent untold amounts of money making sure marines are controlling 92% of the world’s heroine trade in Afghanistan? You know how you see pictures of Marines in poppy fields? Now show me a picture of even a working Taliban pickup truck. We’re led to believe that the Taliban ship this stuff around the world.
Putin knows different. He knows that America used the control of the opium to flood Russia with heroine over the last decade as a means of snuffing out a fallen giant. 1 out of 3 Russian youth today have at least tried heroine.
In fact, one of the reasons the Shah was booted out by the Carter administration was because their suddenly nationalistic puppet wasn’t following orders on the opium trade.
So, perhaps he was making a drug deal. But, I really don’t think the IRG has control of enough opium fields to even engage in such a trade.
I remind you also that the IRG is oil rich and doesn’t need drug money to fund “black ops” as one may necessitate in the American political system where Congress is needed for large amounts of money.
“one of the reasons the Shah was booted out by the Carter administration was because their suddenly nationalistic puppet wasn’t following orders on the opium trade.”
Source? I mean, besides the LaRouche “Hostage to Khomeini”
I thought the Shah was booted out because the Iranian people were fed up with his corruption and brutality.
Drug deal looks right. Obama and Holder were fooled (or fooling) and should drop it. OTOH, a new THREAT OF WAR and verbal bellicosities may do wonders for a flagging presidential campaign, and may ALSO be indistinguishable from whatever the republican candidate(s) is/are saying, so no loss being LIKE them and possibly much loss opposing them.
(No-one in USA’s government cares about the costs of war, or any other disadvantages arising from a new wholly-unmotivated war). see 123pab.com/blog/2011/10/Pay-as-you-go-wars
Arbabsiar has obviously been watching too much ‘Breaking Bad’ and was probably just trying another iteration of a get rich quick scheme
Neocons and Israel will do all they can to spin it into World War III
Excellent article Porter’s. I found myself comparing this evidence based journalism with another article of the same day: “Some U.S. officials question response to Iran plot” (Reuters). It makes an anemic attempt to question the plot by citing U.S. officials expressing doubts but the article all too often cites the White House position without skepticism and ends by entertaining all sorts of bizarre theories as to how this all is some convoluted Iranian plot.
Porter’s article looks at and analyzes evidence. The Reuters article quotes people and speculates. What a difference!
Porter’s my hero.
Paul Jay at the The Real News Network has a two part interview with Gareth Porter on this:
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKYnuMfiSu0&feature=player_embedded
MY COMMENT: I wonder if the following article is correct.
ARTICLE: The Alleged Iran Saudi Envoy Assassination Plot: Mossad at Work, By
Ismail Salami, Global Research, Oct 17 2011
SOURCE – http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=27126
Richard Silverstein says
Hard to know. The NYT is also reporting this story. But the Global Research story doesn’t even manage to get Shakuri detention status right. He’s not “held” by anyone. He’s free inside Iran as far as we know. Unless he’s somewhere else in the world. But he ain’t in an American prison that’s for sure.
Global Research is not a serious source. It traffics in all sorts of ridiculous conspiracy theories. But it does not mean that the story is false. Here is how the Gray Lady reports it:
Two things should be noted here:
1) The story so far is single-sourced, this source being one which spreads lies about its enemies in a way which would make Pravda blush.
2) Gholam-Hosein Shakuri was a senior member of the Revolutionary Guards, the elite military wing of the Islamic Republic. That such a character was a member of the PMOI, a fanatically anti-regime cult, and that this should just now (what a coincidence!) be discovered should make us doubt the story.
3) The Islamic Republic routinely labels its enemies as members of the PMOI cult, more or less the way Stalinists labeled their enemies agents of Hitler and the Mikado or the Wall Street plutocrats or Trotskyite splitters and wreckers.
3) On the other hand, the Islamic Republic is citing an international agency like Interpol. Although Interpol has yet to respond, it would be quite a bluff for the Islamic Republic to pull if they knew they were lying.
Oh, and I do know how to count. Just got a bit carried away with my own eloquence. 🙂