Archive for January 17th, 2012
It was likely a lapse of protocol, but Panetta let it slip: Iran is in fact not trying to develop a nuclear weapon. CBSÂ reports,
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta outlined some red lines when it comes to Iran in an interview on “Face the Nation” Sunday, saying the U.S. would not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon or to block the Strait of Hormuz, which is a key passageway for oil from the Middle East.
“Are they trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No.”
There it is, plain and simple for the whole world to hear. Of course, that tidbit of information may not help the cause of those who wish for yet another interventionist war. Panetta quickly recovered, and nearly contradicted himself in the process:
But we know that they’re trying to develop a nuclear capability. And that’s what concerns us,” Panetta told “Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer. “And our red line to Iran is to not develop a nuclear weapon. That’s a red line for us.”
The pro-war crowd cannot barely bring themselves to report the fact. Despite the Defense Secretary’s clear words Â ”not trying to develop,”
Here’s how Fox News spun the story:
Defense SecretaryÂ Leon PanettaÂ saysÂ IranÂ is laying the groundwork for making nuclear weapons someday, but is not yet building a bomb and called for continued diplomatic and economic pressure to persuade Tehran not to take that step.
It seems to me that “laying the groundwork for making nuclear weapons” would fall under “trying to develop nuclear weapons,” but that’s exactly the opposite of what Panetta said. It seems like there’s a considerable amount of semantics on all sides here.
Mark Deli Siljander,Â Â a former Michigan congressman and U.S. delegate to the United Nations who in 2010 pleaded guilty to obstructingÂ justice and acting as an unregistered foreign agent, was sentenced to a year and a day in prison this month.
Siljander, 60, a Michigan Republican who served inÂ Congress from 1981 to 1987, was charged as part of a wider criminal case against members of the Islamic American Relief Agency, which prosecutors said had ties to the Pakistani Taliban, al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, who was killed by U.S. forces in May.
He was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey inÂ Kansas City,Â Missouri. Four members of the now- defunct Columbia, Missouri-based IARA were also sentenced, U.S.Â Attorney Beth Phillips said in aÂ statement.
After secretly sending more than $1 million toÂ Iraq in violation of U.S. economic sanctions, “IARA then hired a former congressman to lobby theÂ government on its behalf after it was listed as a specially designated global terrorist organization,” the prosecutor said.
The indictment said Siljander and three charity officers agreed to cover up the money’s origins and use it on the lobbying effort. Money was funneled to Siljander through nonprofits, prosecutors said.
The group’s executive director,Â Mubarak Hamed, and fundraiser Abdel Azim El-Siddiq in 2004 hired Siljander to lobby for the group’s removal from a U.S. Senate list of charitiesÂ suspected of aiding international terrorism,Â Phillips said.
Read more:Â CLICK HERE
A Canadian military intelligence officer has been arrested on charges of alleged espionage on behalf of Russia, CTV News reported.Â Jeffrey Paul Delisle, 40, was brought to trial in Halifax City in Nova Scotia Province on Monday facing charges under the Security of Information Act, the report said.
Delisle, who was allegedly arrested last week, is accused of having supplied secret files to a foreign entity since July 2007.Â The foreign entity in question was Russia, Canadian news broadcaster quoted unidentified sources as telling its Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife.
“Sources say that Russian espionage in this country is as extensive and aggressive as it was during the Cold War,” Fife was quoted in the report as saying. The secret information allegedly passed to Russia could deal with ship movements and data about Canada’s allies, Fife said.Â None of the allegations have been proven in court, the report said.Â A spokesman for the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, Sergei Ivanov, refused to comment on the report when asked by RIA Novosti.
The Canadian Defense Department earlier said Delisle was an intelligence officer and a Navy Sub-Lieutenant, CTV said.Â The military has launched a probe to find out the extent of the alleged leaks, it said.Â Delisle’s trial may take place behind closed doors because of the sensitivity of the case, the report quoted sources as saying. The maximum punishment for offenses under the Security of Information Act is life in prison.