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Retired Air Force Colonel, author and war game specialist Sam Gardiner was interviewed in the German documentary film Planspiel Iran regarding a war game that he had just held with military specialists in January of 2005: 'There are probably three phases to be unfold.
One phase is the phase of preparation by the Unites States to pressure Iran.
The second phase is the phase in which the United States would attempt to sell the people of the U.S. as well as the world that something needs to be done about Iran.
The idea will be to create a crisis, so that the people believe something has to be done
The third phase would be the phase of doing it.' One of the participants in the war game is CIA veteran Ray McGovern. He is aware that there are clandestine strategies being pursued which parallel these visible ones.
'This is no acadademic exercise. The templating, getting the electronic order of battle, any cross border excursions, these are precisely the kinds of things that you would do prior to waging war or prior to making air strikes against Irans nuclear facilities', says McGovern in the documentary. 'Central Command and Strategic Command planners are identifying targets, assessing weapon-loads and working on logistics for an operation, the Sunday Telegraph has learnt. [...] "This is more than just the standard military contingency assessment," said a senior Pentagon adviser. "This has taken on much greater urgency in recent months."'
Hersh: 'If the order were to be given for an attack, the American combat troops now operating in Iran would be in position to mark the critical targets with laser beams, to insure bombing accuracy and to minimize civilian casualties. As of early winter , I was told by the government consultant with close ties to civilians in the Pentagon, the units were also working with minority groups in Iran, including the Azeris, in the north, the Baluchis, in the southeast, and the Kurds, in the northeast. The troops “are studying the terrain, and giving away walking-around money to ethnic tribes, and recruiting scouts from local tribes and shepherds,” the consultant said.
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COL. SAM GARDINER: Well, the evidence is beginning to accumulate that a decision has already been made to use military force in Iran. Now, let me do a historical thing, and then I'll tell you what the current evidence is. We now know that the decision and the actual actions to bomb Iraq occurred in July of 2002, before we ever had a U.N. resolution or before the Congress ever authorized it. It was an operation called Southern Focus, and the only guidance that the military -- or the guidance that the military had from Rumsfeld was keep it below the CNN line. His specific words. The evidence that we've already --
AMY GOODMAN: Keep it below what?
COL. SAM GARDINER: The CNN line. In other words, I don't want this to appear on CNN, okay? That was his guidance to the military, you can begin to bomb Iraq, but don't let it appear on CNN. You're catching your breath. I think the same thing has happened, and the evidence -- let me give you two or three evidences. First of all, the Iranians in their press have been writing now for almost a year that the United States is involved inside Iran conducting and supporting those who conduct military operations, attacks on military convoys. They've even accused the United States of shooting down a couple airplanes inside Iran. Okay, so there's that evidence from their side.
I was in Berlin three weeks ago, sat next to the Iranian ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, and I asked him a question. I read these stories about Americans being involved in there, and how do you react to that? And he said, oh, we know they are. We've captured people who are working with them, and they've confessed. So, another piece of evidence.
Let me give you a couple more. Seymour Hersh, in his New Yorker article, said that there are Americans in three locations operating inside Iran. Another point. We know that there is a group in Iraq, a Kurdish group called the Party for Free Life in Kurdistan, that crosses the border from Iraq into Iran, and they have taken credit for killing numbers of revolutionary guard military people. And the interesting part about that is, you know, we tell the Syrians, ‘Don't let that happen. Don't let people come across the border and stir things up in Iraq,’ but we don't seem to be putting any brakes on this unit. So, you know, the evidence is pretty strong that the pattern is being followed.
Now, the question that really follows from that is “Who authorized that?” See, there is no congressional authorization to conduct combat operations against Iran. There are a couple of possibilities. One of them is that it's being justified under the terrorism authorization that occurred in 2001. The problem with that is that you would have to prove a connection to 9/11. I don't think you can do that with Iran. The second possibility is that it's being done under the War Powers Act. I don't want to get too technical, but the War Powers Act would require the President to notify the Congress 60 days after the use of military force or invasion or putting military forces in a new country under that legislation, and the President hasn't notified the Congress that American troops are operating inside Iran. So it's a very serious question about the constitutional framework under which we are now conducting military operations in Iran.
AMY GOODMAN: And, Colonel Sam Gardiner, finally, Israel. Where does Israel fit into this picture?
COL. SAM GARDINER: A year and a half ago I would have said high on the list of possible futures is an Israeli attack by themselves on the Iranian nuclear facility. That has changed. I think Israel has convinced the United States that it is better for the United States to do it by itself, rather than to have Israel do it, in terms of the potential reactions in the Middle East. So I think Israel's policy statements are, you know, it's a world problem that translates to being it is an American problem that has to be dealt with.
Originally posted by Mdv2
Welcome back Mehran, haven't seen you on the forum for a long time. But please keep it on topic I don't want this thread to become a flame Iran/US topic.
Thanks a lot, I do appreciate your cooperation