Scott Ritter claims US planning June attack on Iran, Iraq election manipulated

Scott Ritter dropped a couple of bombs during a talk on monday.

We’ll have to watch Hersh’s column, I guess.

Anyway, I’m sure the Bushies around here will mock and ridicule Ritter just like they did he was going around saying that Iraq did not have any WMDs. But since Ritter was RIGHT about that and Bush was proven to be a liar, why shouldn’t we believe Ritter now?

Anyway here it is. Are we going to bomb Iran? Did we fix the elections in Iraq?

I don’t find either allegation to be exactly incredible. What say you?

Clearly, Ritter is more honest than Bush. But he doesn’t have that big spin machine backing him.

Incredible? No. It wouldn’t surprise me if Ritter turned out to be correct.

But, at least Ritter was a UN Weapons Inspector, and so he had some first hand knowledge of what was going on in Iraq. I don’t think he has nearly as much credibility on the internal machinations of the Bush Administration.

He claims he got the info from the inside. We’ll see. I’m particularly intrigued by the allusion to Hersh. Hersh has said that he’s been getting good info from Bush insiders who don’t like what the Neocons are doing but don’t want to risk their careers (or risk Plame-style retaliation against their families) by going public. Somebody tipping off Ritter might not be so implausible.

I just wish that Bush would come out and say that he has “no plans on his desk” for attacking Iran, just like he said about Iraq back in May of 2002 (less than four months before he told the U.N. that we will “act on our own” if resolutions are not enforced, and less than five months before Congress is asked to authorize an Iraq attack).

That would sure make me feel, well… something.

Ritter will gain a lot of political capital if he is right. On the other hand, if he is just speculating, he has just joined the administration’s dance for “who can spin?” faster and farther.

Given that his legitimate debunking of the administration lies has earned him their undying enmity, he is certainly not getting his information from them. On the other hand, he could be getting his information either from a friend who is still “inside” or from an unfriend who has been given the task to make him look foolish.

In any event, while we can all speculate on what might happen and how good or bad such events might be, there is no reason to actually include Ritter’s claims in the discussion since he is unlikely to have any more accurate information than the rest of us.

Does the president really sign off for military actions months ahead of time? I can imagine that the Pentagon has developed plans and Bush has seen them, but I can’t imagine that anything approching a “final go ahead” is given until a few days before the event.

Also an attack on Iran would need either a nod from congress or some sort of evidence of a “clear and present” danger, right. It would be hard to say that the danger is “clear and present” and then delay the strike 3 months.

As for the second part of Ritter’s story, there’s no real way to know without further evidence, but given the unlikelyness of his first claim, I’ll remain skeptical till further evidence is shown.

Do you mean to imply that you have contacts who work within the Administration? Because unless you do, I think it is reasonable to believe Ritter, due to his previous work and placement, may indeed have more accurate information than you or I.

Why? He could be just as easily fed bad information as good. The assumption that he would have better information on future events that would have been planned after he fell out with the administration requires us to believe that he not only has a good source inside the administration (who continues to work for the administration while sabotaging its efforts), but that that good source has not been compromised and is now being fed bad information.

Had Ritter made a statement that he had seen information two or three years ago suggesting that a specific plan was being carried out to destabilize Iran and he can point to the events over the last year that conform to that overall plan, I would agree that it seems that he was presenting knowledge he, himself, had acquired and analyzed. To name a specific date when a particular action will occur requires much more recent information–information that a prior position will not provide him.

I say wait until a real news reporter weighs in on this.

I have no doubt that we have all sorts of contingency plans for bombing Iran. How much can Bush do w/o Congressional approval? I don’t see how dropping a few bombs on nuclear sites would lead to a toppling of the regime. In fact, it would seem that just the opposite would unfold.

Have there been claims by the United Iraqi Alliance of voting irregularities per Ritter’s assertion? A quick google search didn’t turn up anything except some references to FreeRepublic. If the party itself isn’t raising a stink, why should we believe Ritter’s info? Maybe someone with better googling skills can turn up something…

According to Seymour Hersh (a real reporter), this is how hawks in the Pentagon see it:

You’re not alone. More Hersh:

In Bush’s own words, the idea that we are planning to attack Iraq is “ridiculous.” Of course, “[h]aving said that, all options are on the table.”

I think you meant Iran. Iran/Iraq, who can tell the difference anyway? :slight_smile:

Yeah, I heard that quote yesterday-- it was, shall we say, awkward? But it IS true that we never take any option off the table in the early stages of a negotiation. That’s S.O.P.

Speaking of S.O.P. I think we should investigate if Bush is assembling a O.S.P. for Iran…

Yes, thank you very much. It was me who thought attacking Iraq was ridiculous. :slight_smile:

Wasn’t that claim made by Hersh in the linked article-- intelligence gathering by the Pentagon rather than the CIA?

First of all, the Pentagon SHOULD be drawing up detailed plans for bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities, plans for raids to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities, plans for a leadership decapitation, plans for a general invasion of Iran. The more detailed those plans are, the better off everyone will be…including the Iranians. Realistic plans should make clear how risky those plans are, and how likely they are to succeed, and what resources would be needed to make them succeed. The job of the pentagon is to provide options for the president. We should have pretty detailed plans for any eventuallity.

Invading Iran won’t be nearly as easy as invading Iraq. You know it, I know it, the Pentagon knows it, Rumsfeld knows it, Cheny knows it, and they are certainly going to make sure that Bush knows it.

I’ve just got to wonder about all these “leaked” reports. Who is leaking them? Disgruntled Pentagon/Bush administration people? Or are these authorized leaks, designed to send a message to, I presume, the Iranians? Remember Nixon’s “madman” strategy? Convince the Iranians that Bush is crazy enough to start a war if they don’t negotiate with the Europeans? Maybe that’s too baroque for the Bush team, but we really shouldn’t take all these supposed leaks at face value.

Even assuming that they do, is there any indication that knowledge of such risks will influence their decision-making any? These are, after all, the same guys who gave us the OSP and their wonderful cherry-picking of intel re: Iraq.

This is ridiculous.

The U.S. has publicly stated that there is no plan to invade Iran. But Ritter says we will be bombing Iran in June. :rolleyes:

Let’s say the U.S. does not invade Iran. Given that it was just a prediction by a (more-or-less) private individual, it won’t even be newsworthy.

Let’s say the U.S. does invade Iran. This means the president & State Department have told a blatant lie, and the Democrats, media, and every political rival/enemy will relentlessly pound on him for years to come.

There is a huge difference between giving an inaccurate prediction and telling a bold-faced lie. With this in mind, rational minds will undoubtedly conclude Ritter is in error.

Well, we all know they wouldn’t lie about subjects as serious as war! Not this administration! Heavens no!