Go Fuck Yourself, Joe Lieberman

The Lieberman-Kyl amendment (PDF format) provides tacit approval for military intervention against Iran. Significant provisions of the amendment are patently false, as outlined here.

The Evidence against the Lieberman-Kyl Amendment
By Gareth Porter

1. The administration has not come forward with a single piece of concrete evidence to support the claim that the Iranian government has been involved in the training, arming or advising of Iraqi Shiite militias.
• At the same briefing, officials displayed one EFP and some fragments but did not claim that there was any forensic evidence linking that or any other AFP to Iran. (New York Times, February 12, 2007; Washington Post, February 12, 2007)
• One of the briefers at the February briefing admitted that it was only Iraqi smugglers who brought weapons into Iraq, explaining why no direct Iranian involvement could be documented (Washington Post, February 12, 2007).
• The official briefer who was a specialist on explosives, Maj. Marty Weber, claimed in a later interview that the use of “passive infrared sensors” in the deployment of EFPs in Iraq was “one of the strongest markers of Iranian involvement” in the traffic. But he admitted in the same interview that the electronic components needed to make the sensors found in Iraq were “easily available off the shelf at places like RadioShack.” (New York Times, February 25, 2007)
• Another official who participated in the briefing, Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, denied that the military was claiming that Iran was behind the traffic in arms to Iraq. He said in a follow-up press briefing on February 14, “What we are saying is that within Iran, that these EFP component parts are being manufactured. Within Iran weapons and munitions are being manufactured that are ending up in Iraq. And we are asking the Iranian government to assist in stopping that from happening. There’s no intent to do anything other than that.”
• Although an officials at the briefing said shipment of EFPs had been intercepted at the border in 2005 (Washington Post, February 12, 2007), the only press report about such a border interceptions and there was no indication that such interceptions had produced any evidence of Iranian involvement. On the contrary, it quoted “coalition officials” as saying there was “no evidence to suggest that the government in Tehran is facilitating the smuggling of shape charges into Iraq.” Pentagon spokesman Lawrence DiRita and Brig Gen. Carter Ham, deputy director for regional operations for the Joint Staff, continued to deny any knowledge of official Iranian complicity in EFP or any other arm supplies (Trevor Royle, The Sunday Herald, October 9, 2005).
• Despite interrogations since last spring of a top official of an alleged Iraqi EFP network and the Hezbollah operative who was a liaison with the organization, Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, the U.S. Commander for southern Iraq, where most of the Shiite militias operate, admitted in a July 6 briefing that his troops had not captured “anybody that we can tie to Iran”
• On September 8, the commander of the northern region of Iraq, Maj. Gen. Thomas Turner II, admitted in a press briefing, “I don’t think we have any specific proof of Iranians in our area other than reports. We have discovered caches….It has not been a lot. We have seen some evidence of some weapons that were employed against coalition forces that were made in..Iran, where they are coming from across the border, we’re not sure.”
• Despite the assertion by Gen. David Petraeus on September 12, quoted in the proposed Lieberman-Kyle amendment, that the U.S. military obtained evidence of the complicity of Iranian officials in arming and training Shiite militias from interrogations of the above detainees, it has not produced wither detainee or any transcript of the interrogations. Nor has it released a direct quote from either detainee. No apparent intelligence reason exists for withholding such evidence from Congress and the public.
• Despite Petraeus’s assertion in September that the United States obtained “hard evidence” incriminating Iran from computer hard drives seized when the above detainees were captured March 22 of Iranian (Al Pessin, Petraeus Says Iran Wants Iraqi ‘Hezbollah Force’, VOA September 12, 2007.), none of the documentation has been made public, nor have any specifics have been provided on what the files show. Earlier both Petraeus and Brig. Gen. Kevin Bergner had discussed the contents of the 22-page memorandum as detailing the planning preparation, approval and conduct of military operations by the Shiite militia organization but without claiming that it showed any Iranian role in any of those activities. (Petraeus April 26 press briefing; Bergner July 2 press briefing).

2. The U.S. intelligence community has not endorsed the argument being made by some in the Bush administration that the Iranian government was responsible for the rise in Shiite military activity in Iraq.
• The National Intelligence Estimate, a brief summary of which was released to the public February 2 contradicted the official argument, stating, “Iraq’s neighbors influence, and are influenced by, events within Iraq, but the involvement of these outside actors is not likely to be a major driver of violence or the prospects for stability because of the self-sustaining character of Iraq’s internal sectarian dynamics.”
• Instead of stating clear that Iran had provided weapons or training to Shiite militias, the NIE offered a more ambiguous formula that “Iranian lethal support for select groups of Iraqi Shia militants clearly intensifies the conflict in Iraq.” That formula, according to veterans of the NIE process, probably represents a negotiated compromise, indicating some agencies refused to endorse the claim that the Iran was supply weapons to Iraqi Shiites.

Read the rest here.

And here’s more about it:

War on Iran will be authorized stealthly
By Dave Lindorff, Sep 26, 2007, 14:57

Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) and Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) want the US to attack Iran, but because they know most Americans know that is a crazy idea at a time that the US is already bogged down in a losing war in Iraq, they want to authorize this disastrous expansion of the conflict secretly.

The US Senate, by an outrageous vote of 76-22, just passed the Kyl-Lieberman amendment discussed in this article. This means that the Senate, including half the Democrats in that body, have endorsed war with Iran.

The Democrats in the Senate managed to remove the most incendiary language in the Kyl-Lieberman amendment, which called for military action against Iran, but left in a call to declare Iran’s Revolutionary Guard a global terrorist organization. Since Bush claims to be fighting a global “war” on terror, that’s all he needs to claim he already has the authority to attack them.

With this kind of thing going on, the only thing to do is go to the second article on this page, and, if you are a Democrat, quit the party. We have two war parties in America, one called the Republicans and one called the Democrats.

Call your House member and tell them NO to War with Iran! (202-225-3121)

That’s why, instead of introducing a war authorizing bill in the Senate, they have introduced a war-authorizing amendment, attached to the latest Defense Authorization Bill currently working its way through Congress [1]

Imagine that. If America goes to war against the nation of Iran, it will be courtesy of an obscure little amendment to a funding bill! Home of the Brave my ass. Kyl and Lieberman are giving a whole new meaning to the term “covert war.” Instead of the war being covert, they want the authorization to be.

Their proposed amendment cites the dubious claims made to Congress last week by Gen. David “Peaches” Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker that Iran is promoting the violence in Iraq, and then seeks to authorize “the prudent (sic) calibrated use of all instruments of United States national power in Iraq, including diplomatic, economic, intelligence and military instruments.”

Any member of Congress who supports this sleazy, ill-founded amendment should be hounded from office as the ultimate weasel and coward.

It bears mentioning that the leading weasels in this despicable effort to pour more accelerant on the fires of the Middle East, Lieberman and Kyl, are themselves both notorious “chickenhawks”—that is, neither of these gung-ho warmongers ever wore a military uniform, much less faced the horrors of combat. The biggest challenge these two worthies ever faced was first-year law school classes.

Putting aside the assininity of bombing and/or invading Iran—an action that would instantly more than double world oil prices, and precipitate a global economic collapse, and that would cause an eruption of violence against already beleaguered US forces in Iraq—even if one thought invading that nation of 70 million and taking on its battle-hardened military was somehow a good idea, it hardly makes sense to do so without the support of the American public.

Bush put the US into a war with Iraq in 2003 by way of lies and deception, knowing that the vast public did not support such an invasion. By lying about Saddam Hussein’s links to 9-11 and about Iraq’s having or trying to obtain nuclear weapons, Bush was able to forge an artificial consensus in favor of war, but we’ve watched that support evaporate as the deceit was exposed.

This time around, Lieberman and Kyl aren’t even bothering with a propaganda campaign of lies. They’re going straight to the deceit, trying to pass what amounts to a war authorization by tucking it into a larger military spending bill.

No general in his or her right mind would want to march into battle with that kind of Congressional “support.” But it’s just the kind of thing you’d expect from a devious slimeball like Lieberman or Kyl.

Every American should be contacting their members of Congress to demand that they have no part of this nefarious scheme. The Kyl-Lieberman amendment must be killed.

If Congress wants war with Iran, the pro-war faction should have the gonads to write and then formally pass a resolution authorizing, and explaining the justification for authorizing, such a war.

When others were volunteering to support their country during the Cold War by signing up with one of the military services back in the early 1960s, Joe Lieberman and Jon Kyl, like their patron Vice President Dick Cheney, had “other priorities.” They were busy earning undergraduate and law degrees so they could make the big bucks and then go into politics.

Now they are the big war hawks in Congress, ready to authorize an action that will most assuredly lead to the deaths and maimings of tens of thousands more young Americans and hundreds of thousands or even millions of innocent Iranians.

I say, if Lieberman and Kyl want war with Iran so badly, they should go to the Persian Gulf and hang out on one of the destroyers that are likely to get hit by one of Iran’s shore-to-ship missiles once hostilities begin. At least they should finally be willing to put their lives on the line with the people they want to place in harm’s way.

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