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Sy Hersh: Life of the Party

hersh.jpgOh, hi there, famed investigative reporter Seymour Hersh. What's up?


There is a growing conviction among members of the United States military, and in the international community, that President Bush's ultimate goal in the nuclear confrontation with Iran is regime change.

Heh heh, that's, uh, that's a good one. Pretty funny stuff. Seriously, though, how are ya'?

One former defense official, who still deals with sensitive issues for the Bush Administration, told me that the military planning was premised on a belief that "a sustained bombing campaign in Iran will humiliate the religious leadership and lead the public to rise up and overthrow the government."

Uh, yeah, you almost had us going there for a minute. You're quite a joker, Sy. Weather's sure been unpredictable lately, don't you think?

Some operations, apparently aimed in part at intimidating Iran, are already under way. American Naval tactical aircraft, operating from carriers in the Arabian Sea, have been flying simulated nuclear-weapons delivery missions--rapid ascending maneuvers known as "over the shoulder" bombing--since last summer, the former official said, within range of Iranian coastal radars.

OK SERIOUSLY IT'S NOT FUNNY ANYMORE.

The adviser added, however, that the idea of using tactical nuclear weapons in such situations has gained support from the Defense Science Board, an advisory panel whose members are selected by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. "They're telling the Pentagon that we can build the B61 with more blast and less radiation," he said.

Oh man you are totally not invited to our next barbecue.

The Iran Plans [New Yorker]

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