If You Have the Facts, Why Can’t We See Them?

The more the Administration and President Obama say , the more uneasy I get:

In his first public remarks on the issue since it was revealed on Tuesday, Mr. Obama sought to counter skepticism about whether Iran’s Islamic government directed an Iranian-American car salesman to engage with a to assassinate ’s ambassador to the United States and carry out other attacks. Mr. Obama insisted that American officials “know that he had direct links, was paid by, and directed by individuals in the Iranian government.”

“Now those facts are there for all to see,” Mr. Obama said. “We would not be bringing forward a case unless we knew exactly how to support all the allegations that are contained in the indictment.”

At the same time, State Department officials said United States officials had been in direct contact with the government of over the accusations.

The possibilities:

1.  The whole plot story, as told by the Justice Department, is true.  The highest levels of the Iranian government knew of and/or planned the assassination.

2.  It was a rogue operation by a member or members of Al Quds, unknown to the Iranian government.

3,  It was a rogue operation and, despite not knowing about it, Iran needs to take responsibility for the action of rogue operatives, meaning arresting and trying them as criminal elements.

4.  The informant made up the story.

5.  The used car salesman, Mansour J. Arbabsiar , made up the story and/or exaggerated his ties to Gholam Shakuri the alleged Al Quds member.

If the State Department has been in contact with the Iranian government, then I go with #3.  But the State Department being in contact with the Iranian government opens another dimension to the incident.  Because the US and Iran do not have diplomatic relations, most issues of dispute are sent through the Swiss Embassy in Iran or discussed in asides at international conferences.  Direct contact would be unusual.

The when it comes to intelligence work.  The Bush Administration case against Iraq and MWD was initiated from the debriefing of an Iraqi émigré code-named ‘Curveball’.  Curveball once was  a CIA operative until the CIA became suspicious of Curveball’s veracity and dropped him.  The Defense Department stepped in, picked Curveball up and used his uncollaborated testimony about MWD to push for war.  The US lost as much credibility by finding no MWD in Iraq as a new car looses value the minute  you drive it off the lot.  You can never make it up.

Now the US government, this time the Obama Administration, again asks the American public and the international community to believe its narrative on the Iranian plot to kill the Saudi Ambassador.  Even the Justice and State Departments admit the whole story sounds like a Hollywood movie.  The facts of the case are fuzzy, key questions about Gholam Shakuri aren’t addressed, no details about the $100,000 wire transfer said to be from Al Quds has been turned over to journalists and independent Iran and National Security experts for assessment.

The stakes are enormous.  If the plot is real and directed by the Iranian Government, it throws the rationality of Iranian leaders into question.  If it is something less the US government should be held accountable for charging the Iranian government for planning the plot.  If it’s somewhere in between, let the world judge it.

“Just the facts, Ma’am!” we ask of Secretary Clinton and President Obama. “Show us the beef!”

 

 

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