Sunday, April 30, 2006

The administration crack-down on leaks -- how Jack Bauer would handle it. MoJo Blog: Will Bush policy stop Jack Bauer from leaking to Sy Hersh?

Protesting Darfur genocide -- and U.S. inaction. What are our options? A progressive round-up. The Blog | Art Levine: Darfur: Stop the Genocide AND Stop the U.S. Spin | The Huffington Post

Thursday, April 27, 2006

How would Bush crackdown on leaks affect Jack Bauer? Check out my short piece at Mother Jones.MoJo Blog#1285

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

How to fight back against the White House pander strategy. The Blog | Art Levine: Can the Democrats Bust the Bolten Bubble? | The Huffington Post

Common-sense reasons why we shouldn't attack Iran. Will the administration listen? Been there, done that - Los Angeles Times

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Tom D'Antoni's plea for sanity in the face of U.S. and Iranian religous crackpots running our countries. The Blog | Tom D'Antoni: U.S. & Iran---Friends Separated by Religious Fanatics at the Top | The Huffington Post

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Here's how Rumsfeld's fantasies have wrecked Iraq and the Mideast.The Blog | Art Levine: Welcome to Rumsfeld's Fantasyland | The Huffington Post

Rumsfeld's fantasy world on Iraq: new parody at Mother Jones.Donald Rumsfeld: Genius or Hero?

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Next after the Iraq triumph: nuking Iran. Seymour Hersh reports this week:

One of the military’s initial option plans, as presented to the White House by the Pentagon this winter, calls for the use of a bunker-buster tactical nuclear weapon, such as the B61-11, against underground nuclear sites. One target is Iran’s main centrifuge plant, at Natanz, nearly two hundred miles south of Tehran. Natanz, which is no longer under I.A.E.A. safeguards, reportedly has underground floor space to hold fifty thousand centrifuges, and laboratories and workspaces buried approximately seventy-five feet beneath the surface. That number of centrifuges could provide enough enriched uranium for about twenty nuclear warheads a year. (Iran has acknowledged that it initially kept the existence of its enrichment program hidden from I.A.E.A. inspectors, but claims that none of its current activity is barred by the Non-Proliferation Treaty.) The elimination of Natanz would be a major setback for Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but the conventional weapons in the American arsenal could not insure the destruction of facilities under seventy-five feet of earth and rock, especially if they are reinforced with concrete.

There is a Cold War precedent for targeting deep underground bunkers with nuclear weapons. In the early nineteen-eighties, the American intelligence community watched as the Soviet government began digging a huge underground complex outside Moscow. Analysts concluded that the underground facility was designed for “continuity of government”—for the political and military leadership to survive a nuclear war. (There are similar facilities, in Virginia and Pennsylvania, for the American leadership.) The Soviet facility still exists, and much of what the U.S. knows about it remains classified. “The ‘tell’ ”—the giveaway—“was the ventilator shafts, some of which were disguised,” the former senior intelligence official told me. At the time, he said, it was determined that “only nukes” could destroy the bunker. He added that some American intelligence analysts believe that the Russians helped the Iranians design their underground facility. “We see a similarity of design,” specifically in the ventilator shafts, he said.

A former high-level Defense Department official told me that, in his view, even limited bombing would allow the U.S. to “go in there and do enough damage to slow down the nuclear infrastructure—it’s feasible.” The former defense official said, “The Iranians don’t have friends, and we can tell them that, if necessary, we’ll keep knocking back their infrastructure. The United States should act like we’re ready to go.” He added, “We don’t have to knock down all of their air defenses. Our stealth bombers and standoff missiles really work, and we can blow fixed things up. We can do things on the ground, too, but it’s difficult and very dangerous—put bad stuff in ventilator shafts and put them to sleep.”

The New Yorker: Fact

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