Another Iranian peaceful nuclear facility goes *BOOM!*

December 1, 2011

Once is an accident. Twice may just be a coincidence. But when bad things happen over and over?

Someone’s gunning for you. Someone who plays for keeps:

AN IRANIAN nuclear facility has been hit by a huge explosion, the second such blast in a month, prompting speculation that Tehran’s military and atomic sites are under attack.

Satellite imagery seen by The Times confirmed that a blast that rocked the city of Isfahan on Monday struck the uranium enrichment facility there, despite denials by Tehran.

The images clearly showed billowing smoke and destruction, negating Iranian claims yesterday that no such explosion had taken place. Israeli intelligence officials told The Times that there was “no doubt” that the blast struck the nuclear facilities at Isfahan and that it was “no accident”.

The explosion at Iran’s third-largest city came as satellite images emerged of the damage caused by one at a military base outside Tehran two weeks ago that killed about 30 members of the Revolutionary Guard, including General Hassan Moghaddam, the head of the Iranian missile defence program.

Iran claimed that the Tehran explosion occurred during testing on a new weapons system designed to strike at Israel. But several Israeli officials have confirmed that the blast was intentional and part of an effort to target Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

Gee, I wonder how the Israelis would know it was intentional and part of a larger plot? They couldn’t have anything to do with it, maybe by helping internal resistance groups, could they? Just because someone’s also been whacking Iranian atomic scientists and unleashing targeted computer viruses at the Mullah’s pet weapons program, and now has escalated to blowing up their missile bases just when the program chief and his North Korean advisers were visiting? And just because Iran has frequently threatened to rain nuclear fire on Israel? Surely it’s a coincidence.

As I like to say, “Oh, those wacky Jews.”

Go, Mossad!

PS: a word of caution about the source from Michael Totten.

A source I trust just told me that the journalist who broke this story has a dubious track record. That doesn’t necessarily mean the story is wrong, but these kinds of stories are sometimes goofed at the outset even by journalists with good records, so we shouldn’t assume we have this all figured out yet.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

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Did the Obama administration deliberately wreck an Israeli intel operation?

June 8, 2011

Israeli journalist Caroline Glick thinks they did:

Since last week’s announcement by the State Department that it was sanctioning the Israeli firm Ofer Brothers’ Shipping for reportedly violating US law by trading with Iran, there has been a deluge of news reports alleging that the Ofer Brother’s ships were used by the Mossad and perhaps the IDF to infiltrate and exfiltrate agents into and out of Iran.

There are number of troubling aspects to the story. First, it strikes me as odd that the announcement about the sanctions was made by the State Department. If I am not mistaken, these decisions and announcements are usually made by the Treasury Department. Why would the State Department have taken the unusual step of announcing the sanctions and take the step against an Israeli shipping company?

Second, it strikes me as odd that former Mossad chief Meir Dagan felt compelled to issue an impassioned defense of the Ofer Brothers Shipping company. Dagan is in the midst of an unprecedented, arguably illegal and certainly unseemly campaign to delegitimize Prime Minister Binyamin Netayahu. It seems strange that, in the midst of this offensive, Dagan would divert his attention to the Ofer Brothers Shipping woes. He must have been deeply shocked by the US move to do so.

(…)

The third reason this is so shocking is that the timing of the announcement cannot be viewed as coincidental. The rare State Department announcement came just after Netanyahu wiped the floor with Obama in the Congress and as the Republicans are wisely using Obama’s hatred of Israel and his love for anti-American political forces in the region as a campaign issue for 2012.  It is hard not to reach the conclusion that the announcement was deliberately released at this juncture to weaken US public support for Israel.

In other words, in a fit of pique because Netanyahu dared to stand up for his country’s interests (1), Obama (2) burned an important Israeli intelligence asset, one valuable to our security, too, given our interests in foiling the mullah’s plans to develop and deploy nuclear weapons.

If Glick is right, this is an absolutely appalling exercise in self-defeating pettiness on the part of the Obama administration. There is no greater nor more urgent issue facing American national security than keeping a bunch of religious fanatics who want to bring about the Shiite apocalypse from getting their hands on nukes. This matter is so serious that, in my opinion, Tehran’s imminent possession of nuclear weapons justifies war.

But, instead, we pimp-slap our closest allies in the region, the people who probably planted the Stuxnet virus that slowed down Iran’s program and who likely have assets in place we would need in a showdown. As Glick asks, how on Earth are the Israelis supposed to trust us after something like this?

All because Obama made a fool of himself and Netanyahu wouldn’t back down.

I really hope Glick is wrong about this, because it otherwise says some dark and scary things about the maturity and seriousness of the people running our foreign policy in a very dangerous world.

And I sure hope 2013 sees the adults back in charge.

(1) Evidently an alien concept to certain presidents.

(2) Because you know he either originated this or approved the idea. This wouldn’t happen without him.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)