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Bolton Is Spinning Israeli "Intelligence" to Push for War Against Iran

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John Bolton has gotten away with a dangerous deception. The national security adviser's announcement Sunday that the Pentagon has deployed air and naval forces to the Middle East, which he combined with a threat to Iran, points to a new maneuver to prepare the ground for an incident that could justify a retaliatory attack against Iran.

Bolton presented his threat and the deployments as a response to alleged intelligence about a possible Iranian attack on U.S. targets in the Middle East. But what has emerged indicates that the alleged intelligence does not actually reflect any dramatic new information or analysis from the U.S. intelligence community. Instead, it has all the hallmarks of a highly political case concocted by Bolton.

Further underscoring the deceptive character of Bolton's maneuver is evidence that senior Israeli national security officials played a key role in creating the alleged intelligence rationale for the case.

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The new initiative follows an audacious ruse carried out last fall by Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, detailed in Truthdig in February, to cast the firing of a few mortar rounds in the vicinity of the U.S. embassy and a consulate in Iraq as evidence of an effort by Tehran to harm U.S. diplomats. Bolton exploited that opportunity to press Pentagon officials to provide retaliatory military options, which they did, reluctantly.

Bolton and Pompeo thus established a policy that the Trump administration would hold Iran responsible for any incident involving forces supported by Iran that could be portrayed as an attack on either U.S. personnel or "interests."

Bolton's one-paragraph statement on Sunday considerably broadened that policy. It repeated the previously stated principle that the United States will respond to any alleged attack, whether by Iranian forces or by what the administration calls "proxy" forces. But it added yet another major point to Trump administration policy: "a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force [emphasis added]."

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That language represents an obvious move by Bolton to create potential options for U.S. retaliation against Iran for a real or alleged attack by "proxy forces" on Israeli or Saudi forces or "interests." Such a commitment to go to war with Iran over incidents related to Israeli or Saudi conflicts should be the subject of a major debate in the press and in Congress. Thus far, it has somehow escaped notice.

Significantly, on a flight to Finland on Sunday, Pompeo repeated the threat he made last September to respond to any attack by "proxy forces" on U.S. "interests." He made no reference to possible attacks against "allies."

Bolton and his staff claimed to the news media that what he characterizes as "troubling and escalatory indications and warnings" are based on "intelligence." Media reports about Bolton's claim suggest, however, that his dramatic warning is not based on either U.S. intelligence reporting or analysis.

Citing "U.S. officials," The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that the alleged intelligence "showed that Iran drew up plans to target U.S. forces in Iraq and possibly Syria, to orchestrate attacks in the Bab el-Mandeb strait near Yemen through proxies and in the Personal Gulf with its own armed drones."

But in the very next paragraph, the report quotes an official saying it is "unclear whether the new intelligence indicated operations Tehran planned to carry out imminently or contingency preparations in the case U.S.-Iran tensions erupted into hostilities."

A Defense Department source said the intelligence showed "a change in behavior that could be interpreted to foreshadow an attack on American forces or interests," according to The New York Times story on the matter. But the source didn't actually say that any emerging intelligence had led to such a conclusion or even that any U.S. intelligence official has come to that conclusion.

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The timing of the alleged new intelligence also suggests that Bolton's claim is false. "As recently as last week there were no obvious sign of a new threat," The Wall Street Journal reported. The New York Times similarly reported that "several Defense officials" said "as recently as last Friday they have had not seen reason to change the American military's posture in the region."

Normally, it would require intelligence from either a highly credible source within the Iranian government or an intercept of a sensitive communication from Iran to justify this kind of accusation. But no news outlet has brought word that any such spectacular new intelligence has found its way to the White House or the Pentagon.

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Gareth Porter (born 18 June 1942, Independence, Kansas) is an American historian, investigative journalist and policy analyst on U.S. foreign and military policy. A strong opponent of U.S. wars in Southeast Asia, and the Middle East, he has also (more...)
 

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Dennis Kaiser

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One must ask where this (dual citizen Israel/US) psychopath's loyalty lies. Then one must ask why is he in a position of such significance? Of course, his appointment came shortly after Henry Kissinger (dual citizen Israel/US) met with Trump and one can be pretty certain his loyalties have not been with the US judging from outcomes of his being involved.

Submitted on Sunday, May 12, 2019 at 7:46:53 PM

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Ronnie Roberts

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"The United States is in danger of falling for yet another war ruse as malignant as those that led Congress and the mainstream media to accept the invasion of Iraq or the Gulf of Tonkin resolution."

It's insane. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. This is getting so old. And I feel so helpless to do anything about it. Got any ideas? I've already tried over the years with the standard phone calls and letters to Congress and the anti-war marches. All to no avail. When I write these days, I only get the usual response, blah, blah, blah.

I detest Pompeo and Bolton. These are not even elected officials, but they are calling all the shots regarding, Venezuela, Iran, North Korea, Putin etc. How can we get rid of them???

The following quotation, came from the Saker website, www.thesaker.is. If nothing else, at least it's somewhat cathartic.

"We have Pompeo, a malignant manatee looking to start wars in which he will not risk his flabby amorphous ass, also parading his Christianity. Bolton, a mean sonofabitch who belongs in a strait jacket, at least doesn't pose as someone having a soul. And the Golden Tufted Cockatoo, too weak to control those around him, preening and tweeting."

The Saker goes on to declare Pompeo "a bono fide nutcase, a dangerous, arrogant and ignorant psychopath whose crazy statements represent a direct threat to the entire planet"".."

Ditto for Bolton.

HELP!!!

Submitted on Sunday, May 12, 2019 at 7:51:46 PM

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Michael Dewey

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They have been wanting an Iran war since before McCain made fun of war with a Beach Boy Song. They had best not get it.

Submitted on Sunday, May 12, 2019 at 9:44:13 PM

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lila york

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Pray. To whatever God you revere.To the universe. The lives of our children hang in the balance.

Submitted on Monday, May 13, 2019 at 1:49:44 AM

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God help the world from the likes of Bolton.

Submitted on Monday, May 13, 2019 at 4:45:07 AM

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lila york

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Pimple on Belgium to convince do to bomb iran.offramp had even half a brain he would stop this.call your reps and yell. May not help but maybe. I want Tutsi to lead a national candlelight vigil to stop both ears from happening

Submitted on Monday, May 13, 2019 at 2:56:34 PM

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