February 19, 2005
United for Peace of Pierce County (WA)

Scott Ritter: U.S. Plans June Attack on Iran, 'Cooked' Iraq Election Results

by Mark Jensen

Scott Ritter, appearing with journalist Dahr Jamail yesterday in Washington State, dropped two shocking bombshells in a talk delivered to a packed house in Olympia's Capitol Theater. The ex-Marine turned UNSCOM weapons inspector said that George W. Bush has "signed off" on plans to bomb Iran in June 2005, and claimed the U.S. manipulated the results of the recent Jan. 30 elections in Iraq. . . .

On Iran, Ritter said that President George W. Bush has received and signed off on orders for an aerial attack on Iran planned for June 2005. Its purported goal is the destruction of Iran's alleged program to develop nuclear weapons, but Ritter said neoconservatives in the administration also expected that the attack would set in motion a chain of events leading to regime change in the oil-rich nation of 70 million -- a possibility Ritter regards with the greatest skepticism.

The former Marine also said that the Jan. 30 elections, which George W. Bush has called "a turning point in the history of Iraq, a milestone in the advance of freedom," were not so free after all. Ritter said that U.S. authorities in Iraq had manipulated the results in order to reduce the percentage of the vote received by the United Iraqi Alliance from 56% to 48%.

. . . Ritter said an official involved in the manipulation was the source, and that this would soon be reported by a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist in a major metropolitan magazine -- an obvious allusion to New Yorker reporter Seymour M. Hersh.

On Jan. 17, the New Yorker posted an article by Hersh entitled The Coming Wars (New Yorker, January 24-31, 2005). In it, the well-known investigative journalist claimed that for the Bush administration, "The next strategic target [is] Iran." Hersh also reported that "The Administration has been conducting secret reconnaissance missions inside Iran at least since last summer." According to Hersh, "Defense Department civilians, under the leadership of Douglas Feith, have been working with Israeli planners and consultants to develop and refine potential nuclear, chemical-weapons, and missile targets inside Iran. . . . Strategists at the headquarters of the U.S. Central Command, in Tampa, Florida, have been asked to revise the military's war plan, providing for a maximum ground and air invasion of Iran. . . . The hawks in the Administration believe that it will soon become clear that the Europeans' negotiated approach [to Iran] cannot succeed, and that at that time the Administration will act." . . .


AUDIO: Stephen Kinzer, "All The Shah's Men,", August 20, 2003

"US/Israel Threaten Illegal Attack on Iran," The Wisdom Fund, September 22, 2004

Guy Dinmore, "Neocons Turn Their Attention to Iran," Financial Times, January 18, 2005

John Pilger, "How does thought control work in societies that call themselves free?," New Statesman, February 18, 2005

Shirin Ebadi, "Attacking Iran Would Bring Disaster, Not Freedom," Independent, February 19, 2005

[Military analysts say the United States "would have no problem" taking out Iran's major nuclear facilities should it decide to launch a pre-emptive strike.--Rowan Scarborough, "Israel pushes U.S. on Iran nuke solution," Washington Times, February 21, 2005]

Louis Charbonneau, "U.S. May Give EU Till June to Coax Iran on Nukes," Reuters, February 25, 2005

[Under the deal Iran has to return spent nuclear fuel rods from the reactor, which was designed and built by Russia.--"Russia-Iran nuclear deal signed," BBC, February 27, 2005]

[The US is embarking on a major rethink of its policy towards Iran, which could see it dropping the strategy of confrontation and threat, instead offering Tehran incentives for abandoning its suspected nuclear ambitions.--Rupert Cornwell, "Washington in U-turn over Iran's nuclear programme," Independent, February 27, 2005]

Rageh Omaar, "A nation far removed from the one George Bush seems to fear," Guardian, April 1, 2005

Guy Dinmore, "US and Iran oppose plan for nuclear moratorium," Financial Times, April 4, 2005

Michel Chossudovsky, "Planned US-Israeli Attack on Iran,", May 4, 2005

Douglas Jehl and David E. Sanger, "Plan Called for Covert Aid in Iraq Vote," New York Times, July 17, 2005

VIDEO: Seymour Hersh: "Bush Authorized Covert Plan to Manipulate Iraqi Elections," Democracy Now!, July 19, 2005

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