Gary at Covert History has a nice little summary of the rhetorical -- and possibly non-rhetorical -- roll-out against Iran that has been more or less promised and expected in the post-labour day haze. Included, but not limited to, is aggravation from the usual suspects, the same ones who trumpeted the Iraq invasion, "designed" the surge, and that effort's less than obvious success:
A heady scrum, to be sure. And there is sure to be more on the way. This is merely the initial volley. But there is possibly more than just words being deployed here as Larry Johnson takes note of the nuclear warheads "mistakenly" attached to a B-52 and accidentally winding up in Barksdale, Louisiana:
- William "the bloody" Kristol in The Weakly Standard*, who asks the now seriously pressing question, "Terrorist Training Camps in Iran: Should they be safe havens?"
- The Anti-Defamation League demanding that Iran not be allowed nukes.
- Keith Timmerman, in the dreadful Front Page Magazine, insisting that the President "call it war."
- Fox News claiming that the IAEA has been "hoodwinked" by Iranian mullahs on the nuclear program.
- Reuel Marc Gerecht, yet another war zealot from the AEI, declaiming "Deadly Persian Provocations," in the pages of Newsweek.
I called a old friend and retired B-52 pilot and asked him. What he told me offers one compelling case of circumstantial evidence. My buddy, let’s call him Jack D. Ripper, reminded me that the only times you put weapons on a plane is when they are on alert or if you are tasked to move the weapons to a specific site.
Then he told me something I had not heard before.
Barksdale Air Force Base is being used as a jumping off point for Middle East operations. Gee, why would we want cruise missile nukes at Barksdale Air Force Base. Can’t imagine we would need to use them in Iraq. Why would we want to preposition nuclear weapons at a base conducting Middle East operations?
His final point was to observe that someone on the inside obviously leaked the info that the planes were carrying nukes. A B-52 landing at Barksdale is a non-event. A B-52 landing with nukes. That is something else.
Now maybe there is an innocent explanation for this? I can’t think of one. What is certain is that the pilots of this plane did not just make a last minute decision to strap on some nukes and take them for a joy ride. We need some tough questions and clear answers. What the hell is going on? Did someone at Barksdale try to indirectly warn the American people that the Bush Administration is staging nukes for Iran? I don’t know, but it is a question worth asking.
*Asked previously about the spelling of The Weakly Standard, the answer is yes. I hate when I have to explain things like this.