5.0 out of 5 starsDoes for Iran What Truth Dig Did for Iraq, January 29, 2014
I *strongly* recommend this book to every citizen concerned about a government that lies all the time. The NSA debacle of recent time, on top of the CIA debacles (rendition, torture, assassination by drone) on top of the various other White House led debacles are all deeply disturbing.
I have a copy of the book on the way and will provide my usual detailed review as soon as it arrives. In the meantime, here is a snippet from a really superb review by Peter Jenikins at Lobelog:
Porter concludes: “US and Israeli policies have been driven by political and bureaucratic interests, not by a rational, objective assessment of available indicators of the motives and intentions of Iranian leaders”.
Another central theme, one that complements the hidden motive theme, is that intelligence material and intelligence assessments have played a baleful part in this saga.
The subtitle of Gareth Porter’s new book, The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare, is well-chosen. Large parts of A Manufactured Crisis are indeed untold till now. They amount to what the author terms an “alternative narrative”.
But don’t be misled by “alternative”. This is not the work of some crank who imagines conspiracies where none exist. One senses, rather, from the author’s meticulous sourcing and the extent of his research that what motivates him is a fierce hunger for truth and aversion to deceit.
Porter has been investigating the Iranian nuclear case for the best part of a decade. The result of his researches is both a fascinating addition to a growing corpus, unlike any previous work on the issue, and a disturbing indictment of US and Israeli policies.
One central theme is that hidden motives have coloured these policies. On the US side, Porter explains, the end of the Cold War led to a federal bureaucratic interest in exaggerating the WMD and missile threat posed by Iran (and other emerging countries) to justify funding bids. During the presidency of George W. Bush some senior administration members also sought to exploit nuclear fears to “delegitimize” the Iranian government and engineer a pretext for enforced regime change.
What is important to understand about this campaign is that the aim of Gerecht and of the right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu is to support an attack by Israel so that the United States can be drawn into direct, full-scale war with Iran.
Phi Beta Iota: Daniel Elsberg had it right lecturing to Henry Kissinger, our second most important war criminal after Dick Cheney: these people have become like morons, totally disconnected from reality or the public interest. For their total game plan, in which they thought they could “roll up” the Middle East, see Review: Endgame–The Blueprint for Victory in the War on Terror. Gerecht used to be a fairly sensible accomplished Case Officer (C/O). We speculate they've given him dual citizenship as part of an offer he just could not refuse. His piece is world-class idiocy.
This is NOT the foundation book for MGB maintenance and repair. That honor is still held by the Haynes MGB 1962 thru 1980 book published in the 1980's and often delivered as part of the “kit” to anyone buying an original MGB, as I just did.
This book, however, is a really superb rendition of modern guidance, with superb photographic essays of complex operations. Although it has a color cover, all of the photographs are in black and white. The book is a real build on top of a normal repair manual, with sections on history, buying (BUY THIS BOOK BEFORE YOU BUY AN MGB), and then bodywork, interior trim, mechanical, electrical, and so on.
The third book that I recommend is Anders Ditlev Clausager's “Original MGB With MGC and MGB GT V8.” This is a coffee table book, a “this is what perfect looks like,” and it is both inspirational and just plain delightful. I drove my 1964 MGB across the country in the four days after I bought it (at 2500 RPM most of the way, 65 mph, but on special stretches of Iowa, doing 4000 RPM for sustained periods) because I love this car as a sports drive, not a driveway show car. Still, it is really great to see what perfection without regard to long haul rallying looks like, and I could not do without all three books.
In 1985-1986 an utterly brilliant woman, Diane Webb, working with Dennis McCormich and under the oversight of Gordon Oehler, established the definitive requirements statement for an all-source analytic workstation. We still do not have such a workstation, and the lack of integrity among intelligence community leaders and vendors is the reason. No one is willing to sponsor a generic Free/Open Source Software (F/OSS) solution that can be used by both all-source analysts and all external analysts. DARPA STRONG ANGEL TOOZL is a start, but inadequate to the needs of all-source analysts dealing with multiple complex challenges. Below is the best slide from a presentation to OSS '01 by Claudia Porter from Austin Information Systems, who totally impressed the audience because unlike all other vendors trying desperately to propose “single-point technology solutions” that are nothing more than a deep hook that shuts the customer off from all other solutions, she examined where specific tools fit on a matrix of need. Click on the slide to see the entire briefing. Click on Frog Right to see the list of softwares that the US Special Oprations Command J-23 (Open Source Branch) uses today, none of them integrated because the US Government refuses to cooperate with the OMB/GSA efforts–mandated by the White House–to find “common solutions.” One day, Claudia Porter may get to direct a skunkworks with an anti-turst waiver from the Department of Commerce that achieves what we knew we needed in 1985.