News Release

Iran and Iraq

KATHARINE GUN
Gun is available for a limited number of interviews. Shortly before the U.S./U.K. invasion of Iraq, in early 2003, Gun was a British government employee when she leaked a U.S. intelligence memo indicating that the U.S. had mounted a spying “surge” against delegations on the U.N. Security Council in an effort to win approval for an invasion of Iraq. It was during this period that President Bush was claiming (March 8, 2003) that “We are doing everything we can to avoid war in Iraq.” Gun faced two years imprisonment under the British Official Secrets Act, but charges were dropped. She has just written the article “Iran: Time To Leak.”
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ERVAND ABRAHAMIAN
Author of the article “Iran: The Next Target?” and several books including Inventing the Axis of Evil and Iran Between Two Revolutions, Abrahamian said today: “There’s been some rethinking about the war in Iraq, but it’s rather like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic: whether enough troops were used and so on; you’ve even had some commentators bemoaning that the Iraqis were not more traumatized before the war so that they would be more easy to subdue.

“Some suspect that the U.S. is trying to get Iranian assistance to ease the crisis in Iraq. Before the war, Paul Wolfowitz said that Iraq would be an easy country to administer since it didn’t have a history of sectarian violence. Now it does, and much of the reason for that is how the U.S. has played Iraqis off against each other. For example, the Bush administration touts as ‘progress’ that U.S. forces are fighting alongside Iraqis, but what is actually going on is they have continually been using people from one group against another; Kurds against Sunnis, Shiites against Sunnis or Turkmen and so on. This leads to massive resentments and unsurprisingly to communal violence.” Abrahamian is distinguished professor of history at the City University of New York, Baruch College.
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DAVID MacMICHAEL
A former analyst for the CIA, MacMichael said today: “As a member of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, an organization of former U.S. intelligence officers from the CIA, DIA, Department of State and Department of Defense, I took part in 2002 in the preparation of a series of public statements countering the Bush administration’s alleged intelligence behind its rationale for the invasion of Iraq. These statements were based not only on our past experience with presidential manipulation of intelligence in Vietnam and the Iran-Contra era but with information we received from alarmed former colleagues still within the intelligence services. We warned that not only was the information about supposed weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, particularly nuclear weapons, suspect and more than likely false, but that the overall strategy behind the invasion plan overrated prospects of success and vastly underestimated the probable cost to the United States in lives and money.”

MacMichael, who wrote the recent article “The Iranian Nuclear Showdown — An Unnecessary Crisis,” said today: “We now see the Bush administration representation of Iran, unarguably a conservative Shiite Islamic state supportive of Shiite minorities in Iraq and Lebanon, among other countries, as a reckless and aggressive nation, a danger to the region or even to the United States. This has no grounding in history. Iran, on the contrary, has over the past half century been the victim of both covert and overt aggression — in much of which the U.S. has been involved.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167