Sunday, November 06, 2011

169. Israel prepares attack on Iran. And: frightening Stuxnet.

Again an informing Newsletter from Peter Myers in Australia. 
If you like to receive these newsletters directly from Peter, send a comment to me and I'll send you the details. 

"Israel would be utterly crazy to attack Iran" - ElBaradei, when head of
IAEA. But new IAEA report says otherwise

(1) Israel’s leading columnist, Barnea, warns of Israeli attack on Iran
(2) Haaretz screaming headline: Bibi Seeks Cabinet Approval for Iran Attack
(3) Netanyahu trying to persuade cabinet to support attack on Iran, as
debate goes public
(4) Meir Dagan challenges Netanyahu over leaking attack plan: "prosecute me"
(5) The Drums of Another WAR: IAEA suspects Iran nuke but silent on Israel's
(6) Iran on verge of getting Bomb, time to act - UK Telegraph; no
mention that Israel has it
(7) ElBaradei (former IAEA head) urges ICC trial of Bush for waging war
on Iraq
(8) "Israel would be utterly crazy to attack Iran" - ElBaradei, when
head of IAEA
(9) Turkish PM asks why Israel is allowed to have nukes
(10) US departure from Iraq is an illusion: 17,000 personnel will be
under jurisdiction of US ambassador
(11) Three Jewish software heads (Brin, Ballmer, Ellison) develop a New
and Frightening Stuxnet
(12) Stuxnet: Screens deceptively said all was ok (By Way of Deception -
Mossad motto)
(13) Aeroplanes could be taken over by remote control and forced to
crash - it could be a whole fleet

(1) Israel’s leading columnist, Barnea, warns of Israeli attack on Iran

Richard Silverstein

October 27, 2011

{photo caption} Barnea column headline: 'Have Bibi and Barak sealed a
deal between them despite the opposition of the security apparatus, and
without public debate, to attack Iran's nuclear facilities before
winter?' {end}

For those of you seeking a comparison in the U.S. media that does
justice to the role Nahum Barnea plays as Israel’s leading political
columnist, you might go back to Walter Cronkite or Walter Lippman. In
terms of today’s media, you could compare him to Tom Friedman, though
Barnea is far more read, known and popular in Israel than Friedman is here.

In the past weeks, I’ve described an increasing chorus of media warnings
from other newspaper columnists that Bibi Netanyahu and Ehud Barak had
come to a decision to attack Iran. Not to mention the well-known and
repeated warnings of former Mossad chief, Meir Dagan. Though I found
them convincing then, the fact that Barnea adds his own crediblity and
voice in support of the warnings is critically important. I also note
that his newspaper, Yediot Achronot, made this story its lead for the
Friday afternoon-Erev Shabbat edition (equivalent to the Sunday paper),
a further indication of the importance it gives to it.

We’re on the road to war, I’m afraid. We have to begin thinking which
side are we on, as the old union song goes. There are liberal Israeli
parties like Meretz and Labor which always support Israeli wars no
matter what. I call on them to determine what their stance will be now
and not to dither as Meretz did during Cast and the last Lebanon war.
Quick and early denunciation counts far more than faint hearted
criticism that comes too little too late. It would be even better for
them to announce their views even before an attack so that they lay down
a political marker which they may refer back to after war begins. There
is nothing like credibility in politics. Most Israeli political parties
have little or none. Will they show any backbone now or behave in the
same spineless way they have during past military adventures?

(2) Haaretz screaming headline: Bibi Seeks Cabinet Approval for Iran Attack

Richard Silverstein

November 1, 2011

{Caption; photo is of the Hebrew edition} Haaretz front page headline:
'Netanyahu Seeks Cabinet Majority for Military Action Against Iranian
Nuclear Plants' {end}

The main headline of today’s Haaretz practically screams out
(translation of Hebrew edition):

Netanyahu Seeks Cabinet Majority for Military Action Against Iran’s
Nuclear Plants

The article continues (from the English edition):

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are
trying to muster a majority in the cabinet in favor of military action
against Iran, a senior Israeli official has said. According to the
official, there is a "small advantage” in the cabinet for the opponents
of such an attack.

Netanyahu and Barak recently persuaded Foreign Minister Avigdor
Lieberman, who previously objected to attacking Iran, to support such a

The article suggests that this month’s IAEA report will be "decisive” in
determining Israel’s decision. Since Israeli media have already blared
what the supposed substance of the report will be (i.e. that Iran is
moving ever closer to processes necessary to create a nuclear weapon),
this seems a dubious proposition. What this means is that Bibi wants to
bomb Iran and if there is any material in the report that justifies his
pre-ordained outcome, then he will seize upon it.

Much more decisive in the determination will be whether there is a
cabinet majority, as the headline notes. Once Bibi has the votes it will
hardly matter what the IAEA says.

The report says that Bibi and Barak currently have a "slight majority.”
Opposing are Yuval Steinitz, Dan Meridor, Bogie Yaalon (this is a
shocker to me), Benny Begin and Eli Yishai. Maariv too has a screaming
headline (Hebrew only):

Meridor: Iran Deliberations Graver than Anat Kamm Leaks

I take this to mean that the contents of the materials leaked by Anat
Kamm, which revealed that IDF general had approved Palestinian
assassinations in violation of Supreme Court rulings, will pale in
comparison to the damage that an Iran attack could do to the IDF and Israel.

This is the first Israeli media confirmation that not only have Bibi and
Barak have determined to attack Iran, but that they have attempted to
dragoon the cabinet into supporting it as well. This takes the plan one
step closer to realization. As soon as there is a cabinet majority, the
attack could happen at any moment. Don’t be terribly surprised if you
wake up one morning and find pictures of Israeli missiles falling on
Iran on CNN and the front page of your local paper. It no longer seems
much of a question of "if,” but rather "when.”

It’s very important that bloggers, journalists and others prepare for
such an eventuality. We should try to create open channels of
communication among us and Israeli and Iranian bloggers who can tell us
in real time what is happening, who’s saying what, and where the bombs
are falling. This will be a chilling, savage attack which I imagine will
impact not just Iran, but Israel as well.

In this column, Haaretz columnist Reuven Pedatzur, a former IAF fighter
pilot and one of Israel’s premier military analysts, practically begs
the current IAF commander to stand lay his body on the railroad tracks
to halt the runaway train that is the project for an Iran attack:

If anyone can save Israel from catastrophe it is the Israel Air Force
commander. All Maj. Gen. Ido Nechushtan has to do is whisper to the
prime minister and defense minister that an Air Force attack on Iran
cannot achieve its goals.

The force’s airplanes can reach Iran and even drop bombs, he must tell
them, but ultimately the operation will not destroy the Iranian nuclear
program. At best it will be delay the program by a few months.

…Such an approach to the policy makers may be opposed to the "Air Force
spirit,” but Nechushtan must act with national responsibility. It would
not be a display of defeatism, but rather one of supreme responsibility
in an era when the decision-making process has gone dangerously haywire.
Only he can stop the train speeding to a collision in Iran’s skies.

…Never, it seems, has an IDF officer been in a position in which his
professional recommendation could bring on Israel a disaster of such
proportions. We may only hope Nechushtan will rise to the occasion.

Yet a third Haaretz article portrays (Hebrew) a Knesset speech by Ehud
Barak in which he says regarding a possible Israeli strike against Iran:

Events of the past year in the Middle East lead to the conclusion that
there may be situations in which Israel will have to defend its own
interests or stand up for things which are vital to it by itself,
without being able to depend on regional powers or expecting the help of

This was a clear reference to the fact that Israel, if it attacks Iran
will not receive the backing of the U.S. (though whether it receives
tacit backing is another question).

In related developments, Shelly Yachimovitz, the leader of the much
depleted Labor Party, actually took a reasonable position warning Bibi
and Barak against a "reckless, megalomaniacal Iranian adventure.” Of
course, the moment the F-16s take off, Labor will dutifully fall in line
and we won’t hear another peep out of them until at least a hundred
Israelis are dead. Then we’ll begin to see some finger-pointing and even
a charge that Bibi didn’t let the IDF hit hard enough. So goes Israeli

(3) Netanyahu trying to persuade cabinet to support attack on Iran, as
debate goes public

Published 00:51 02.11.11Latest update 00:51 02.11.11

Netanyahu trying to persuade cabinet to support attack on Iran

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who previously objected to attacking
Iran, was recently persuaded by Netanyahu and Barak to support such a move.

By Barak Ravid, Amos Harel, Zvi Zrahiya and Jonathan Lis

  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are
trying to muster a majority in the cabinet in favor of military action
against Iran, a senior Israeli official has said. According to the
official, there is a "small advantage" in the cabinet for the opponents
of such an attack.

Netanyahu and Barak recently persuaded Foreign Minister Avigdor
Lieberman, who previously objected to attacking Iran, to support such a

Although more than a million Israelis have had to seek shelter during a
week of rockets raining down on the south, political leaders have
diverted their attention to arguing over a possible war with Iran.
Leading ministers were publicly dropping hints on Tuesday that Israeli
could attack Iran, although a member of the forum of eight senior
ministers said no such decision had been taken.

Senior ministers and diplomats said the International Atomic Energy
Agency's report, due to be released on November 8, will have a decisive
effect on the decisions Israel makes.

The commotion regarding Iran was sparked by journalist Nahum Barnea's
column in Yedioth Ahronoth last Friday. Barnea's concerned tone and his
editors' decision to run the column under the main headline ("Atomic
Pressure" ) repositioned the debate on Iran from closed rooms to the
media's front pages.

Reporters could suddenly ask the prime minister and defense minister
whether they intend to attack Iran in the near future and the political
scene went haywire.

Western intelligence officials agree that Iran is forging ahead with its
nuclear program. Intelligence services now say it will take Iran two or
three years to get the bomb once it decides to (it hasn't made the
decision yet ).

According to Western experts' analyses, an attack on Iran in winter is
almost impossible, because the thick clouds would obstruct the Israel
Air Force's performance. ...

Former Defense Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer said he feared a "horror
scenario" in which Netanyahu and Barak decide to attack Iran. He warned
of a "rash act" and said he hoped "common sense will prevail." ...

(4) Meir Dagan challenges Netanyahu over leaking attack plan: "prosecute me"

Israel Faces Questions about News Reports of Eyeing Iran Strike


Published: November 3, 2011

JERUSALEM — Israel’s top leadership has spent the week answering and
evading questions about widespread reports that it is once again
considering a strike on Iran’s nuclear complexes, while President Obama
said Thursday that he and his allies would maintain "unprecedented
international pressure” on Tehran to keep it from producing a nuclear

Israeli officials would not confirm or deny multiple reports in the
Israeli news media that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense
Minister Ehud Barak were pressing for a decision on whether and when to
strike a uranium enrichment facility at Natanz, the centerpiece of
Iran’s known nuclear-fuel production, and related sites across the country.

Several Israeli ministers have publicly placed blame for the leaks on
Meir Dagan, the former chief of Israel’s Mossad intelligence service,
who after leaving office this year said that Mr. Netanyahu was intent on
launching such an attack, and had to be restrained by opposition from
top intelligence and military officials, almost all of whom have since
left office.

Mr. Dagan, who is believed to have played a central role in unleashing
the Stuxnet computer worm that set back Iran’s nuclear efforts by
disabling about a fifth of its nuclear centrifuges, has argued that
military action is unlikely to do enough damage and could set off a new
war in the Middle East.

Speaking to an audience in Tel Aviv on Wednesday night, Mr. Dagan
challenged the government to indict him. "Have I violated information
security?” he asked. "Then let them prosecute me. Let them say, ‘Dagan
has broken the law.’ I’ll get a good lawyer.”

Israel has debated the viability and effects of attacks many times in
the past seven years, often to Washington’s consternation. Obama
administration officials, in private conversations with the Israelis,
have argued that the combination of economic sanctions and covert
sabotage of the Iranian effort has been more effective than an attack
could be, without the risk of provoking counterattacks or a war.

But the most recent debate has been prompted by the confluence of three
events that has made the issue seem especially urgent in Israel,
according to American officials who have been worried about whether
Israel might conduct a surprise attack.

The first is Iran’s continued production of low- and medium-enriched
uranium: it now has enough fuel for roughly four bombs, though producing
them would require more time, more enrichment, and more risk of
exposure. The second is Iran’s declaration that it is moving much of its
production to a well-protected underground site near the holy city of Qum.

"The Israelis fear that once it’s moved underground they won’t have the
ability to see it, or reach it,” one American official said recently.

But perhaps the most important event is a forthcoming report from the
International Atomic Energy Agency, expected next week. For the first
time, the agency is expected to describe, in detail, the evidence it has
collected suggesting that Iranian scientists have experimented with
warhead designs, nuclear detonation systems and specialized triggering
devices that can be explained only as work on a nuclear weapon.

Iran has said the data is fabricated, and vowed to publish its own
evidence of Western terrorist plots against Iran.

Mr. Obama and NATO allies, at a summit meeting in Cannes, France, have
steered clear of any talk of military strikes, and said they remained
focused on economic sanctions and other forms of diplomatic pressure,
including enforcement of several United Nations Security Council
resolutions that demand that Iran stop all uranium enrichment.

The secretary general of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said Thursday that
"NATO has no intention whatsoever to intervene in Iran, and NATO is not
engaged as an alliance in the Iran question,” according to The
Associated Press.

The British newspaper The Guardian reported on Wednesday that Britain’s
armed forces were stepping up their contingency planning for potential
military action along with the United States against Iran. The Guardian
added that the British Ministry of Defense "believes the U.S. may decide
to fast-forward plans for targeted missile strikes at some key Iranian

Mr. Obama discussed Iran on Thursday with the French president, Nicolas
Sarkozy. Mr. Obama told reporters that the International Atomic Energy
Agency "is scheduled to release a report on Iran’s nuclear program next
week, and President Sarkozy and I agree on the need to maintain the
unprecedented pressure on Iran to meet its obligations.”

Isabel Kershner reported from Jerusalem, and David E. Sanger from
Washington. John F. Burns contributed reporting from London, and Helene
Cooper from Cannes, France.

(5) The Drums of Another WAR: IAEA suspects Iran nuke but silent on Israel's

From: ReporterNotebook <> Date: 4 November
2011 11:05

Iran: the damning nuclear evidence

Iran is attempting to engineer and test nuclear weapons at a series of
banned production sites in defiance of United Nations sanctions,
according to a report to be released next week

By Damien McElroy, Adrian Blomfield in Jerusalem, Duncan Gardham and
Alex Spillius

10:24PM GMT 02 Nov 2011

The research by the UN’s watchdog, the International Atomic Energy
Agency, will add a substantial layer to seven years of investigations
that is likely to inflame tensions in the Middle East.

Yukiya Amano, the organisation’s director-general, is unlikely to draw a
definitive conclusion that Iran is making nuclear weapons, but according
to Western diplomats the facts will make any other conclusion implausible.

They believe the IAEA has substantiated evidence from intelligence
reports, interviews with Iranian scientists and on-the-ground
inspections that Iran is carrying out a nuclear weapons programme in
parallel to its civilian energy goals.

The agency will sound the alarm over Iranian scientists’ work to develop
a ballistic missile warhead capable of carrying a nuclear device. It has
already uncovered evidence that Iran has been carrying out research into
triggers for nuclear weapons.

Inspectors have also questioned Iranian scientists on simulation
programmes that they believe are designed to design and test a potential

"This is the product of a vast amount of work by the IAEA which will
show the level of evidence they’ve accumulated and make clear a number
of supplementary indications they have uncovered,” said a Western
diplomat. "It makes an inescapable case that Iran has ambitions to
militarise the uranium it has been enriching at its production facilities.”

Another official said: "The Iranians have been very evasive, and quite
clever about it at times. It’s been difficult to discover the smoking
gun. But this will be more detailed than before. The director-general
will point to black holes in the Iranians’ explanations. It will
undoubtedly increase the pressure.”

The Armed forces are conducting contingency planning for a potential
attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities amid concerns of a resurgent nuclear
programme, sources have said. ...

But the fear of allowing a country whose president repeatedly has called
for Israel’s annihilation to build a nuclear bomb yesterday led Israel
to test a long-range ballistic missile easily capable of reaching Iran.
The test came just hours after Mr Netanyahu was reported to have stepped
up pressure on his cabinet to back military strikes against Iran’s
nuclear facilities.

Indicating that a rapid reassessment of policy was under way, Israeli
newspapers suggested that an attack could take place either before the
onset of winter or in the summer of next year.

The dramatic disclosures came as the Israeli defence ministry confirmed
that it had fired "a rocket propulsion system” from its Palmach airbase
after a white streak was spotted in the skies above the centre of the
country early yesterday.

The ministry, which insisted that the launch had been long planned,
censored further details. But Western experts concluded that Israel had
fired a Jericho-3 ballistic missile, which is capable of carrying a
nuclear warhead and could form a component of any attack on Iran.

It also emerged that Israel’s air force simulated a long-range attack at
a Nato base in Sardinia last week.

The exercise, which was not initially disclosed in Israel, included an
air-to-air refuelling component. Potential targets in Iran lie between
950 and 1,400 miles from Israel’s borders. Any mission to destroy them
would would require aerial refuelling.

(6) Iran is on verge of getting Bomb, time to act - UK Telegraph; no
mention that Israel has it

Iran is on the verge of getting the Bomb. It is time for President
Barack Obama to act

The US President's softly-softly approach has failed to deter the
ayatollahs in their bid to acquire nuclear weapons.

By Con Coughlin

8:28PM GMT 03 Nov 2011

[... ] As we know from the 1930s, appeasement achieves little when it
comes to confronting a determined foe for whom the normal laws of
international conduct do not apply. And next week, the full extent of
Iran’s duplicity will be laid bare, with the publication of the latest
International Atomic Energy Agency report on its nuclear ambitions.

Unlike previous IAEA reports – which, under the leadership of Dr Mohamed
ElBaradei, deliberately sought to obfuscate the true nature of Iran’s
activities – this one will demonstrate unequivocally that Iran is well
on the way to acquiring nuclear weapons. It will show that the country
is seeking to engineer and test components that are only used in the
production of nuclear weapons, and that this illegal activity is taking
place at sites that would not even exist if Iran was in compliance with
its international treaty obligations.

Why, for example, are Iranian scientists experimenting with triggers
that are only used for detonating nuclear weapons? Why are Iranian
technicians devoting so much energy to developing a ballistic missile
warhead that can carry a nuclear warhead? And why have they designed
simulation programmes whose sole purpose is to test nuclear weapons
systems? ...

In fact, the only measures that have had any demonstrable effect on
slowing Iran’s nuclear progress have been undertaken by Israel, via a
skilful combination of targeted assassinations and cyber-warfare. The
introduction last year of the Stuxnet computer virus, which was
developed at Israel’s Dimona nuclear research centre in the Negev
desert, knocked out thousands of the centrifuges used to produce
weapons-grade uranium. Iranian efforts have also been hit by the
assassination of three of their top nuclear scientists in the past two

But as the IAEA report will demonstrate, a combination of ingenuity and
determination has enabled the Iranians to overcome these setbacks, to
the point where their uranium enrichment activities have been fully
reconstituted. Moreover, to ensure they do not suffer any further such
attacks, they are relocating much of their nuclear equipment to
underground bunkers. This includes the facility at Qom, which is buried
deep below a mountain range, safe from foreign meddling.

If Iran continues at its present rate, it is estimated that all the key
nuclear components will be safely hidden away within 12 months, which
would make it impossible for either the US or Israel to launch
pre-emptive strikes. For this reason, a more bellicose response can be
expected from the major Western powers when the IAEA presents its report.

In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has already sought Cabinet
support for a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities while they are still
visible. By way of underlining the seriousness of his intent, the
Israeli military earlier this week test-fired a missile capable of
hitting Iran.

Given the appalling repercussions that a unilateral attack on Iran would
have on regional stability, it is highly unlikely that even Mr Obama can
distance himself from the coming storm. The Iranians have made it
abundantly clear that, if attacked, they will respond by trying to wipe
Israel off the map. Mr Obama does not enjoy the best of relationships
with Mr Netanyahu, who has been accused of constantly undermining
Washington’s attempts to revive peace talks with the Palestinians. But
he also knows that America cannot afford to stand by when Iran threatens
the very existence of its closest regional ally.

(7) ElBaradei (former IAEA head) urges ICC trial of Bush for waging war
on Iraq

From: IHR News <> Date: 06.05.2011 10:00 AM

ElBaradei urges ICC trial of Bush

Sat Apr 23, 2011 5:34AM

Former IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei says former US President George W.
Bush and his administration's officials should be put on trial in the
"International Criminal Court" (ICC) for waging war on Iraq.

ElBaradei in a new memoir, "The Age of Deception," says that the Bush
administration officials should face international criminal
investigation for the "shame of a needless war" in Iraq.

He accused then-President George Bush and his administration officials
of "grotesque distortion" in the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq
with an excuse to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the
world from grave danger of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

The so-called hunt for WMD in Iraq, however, yielded no results.

The then US administration claimed that Iraq possessed WMD despite
contrary evidence collected by ElBaradei's and other arms inspectors
inside the country.

ElBaradei, who was the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency
(IAEA) from 1997 to 2009, says his inspectors in Iraq have found certain
aluminum tubes that were designed for artillery rockets, not for uranium
enrichment equipment to build nuclear bombs, as Washington claimed.

He reported the conclusion to the UN Security Council on January 27,
2003, and yet on the next day Bush, in a "remarkable" response,
delivered a State of the Union address in which he repeated the
unfounded claim about aluminum tubes, ElBaradei wrote.

ElBaradei called the invasion of Iraq "aggression where there was no
imminent threat," and suggested that international courts should
investigate it as a possible war crime.

"Should not the International Criminal Court investigate whether this
constitutes a 'war crime' and determine who is accountable?" the former
IAEA chief stated.

ElBaradei wrote that the Iraq war taught him that "deliberate deception
was not limited to small countries ruled by ruthless dictators."


(8) "Israel would be utterly crazy to attack Iran" - ElBaradei, when
head of IAEA

In an interview with CNN in May 2007, ElBaradei gave one of his sternest
warnings against using military action against Iran, a state signatory
to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Referring to "the extreme
people who have extreme views" he said that "you do not want to give
additional argument to some of the 'new crazies' who want to say let us
go and bomb Iran."[33]

The New York Times columnist Roger Cohen interviewed ElBaradei in April
2009. ElBaradei is quoted as saying, "Israel would be utterly crazy to
attack Iran." He states that an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities
would "turn the region into a ball of fire and put Iran on a crash
course for nuclear weapons with the support of the whole Muslim
world.”[34] ElBaradei believes that the nuclear non-proliferation regime
has "lost its legitimacy in the eyes of Arab public opinion because of
the perceived double standard" in relation to Israel's nuclear-weapons'

In an interview with French newspaper, Le Monde, ElBaradei said that he
wants "to get people away from the idea that Iran will be a threat from
tomorrow and that we are faced right now with the issue of whether Iran
should be bombed or allowed to have the bomb. We are not at all in that
situation. Iraq is a glaring example of how, in many cases, the use of
force exacerbates the problem rather than [solves] it."[13]

In an interview published on July 12, 2010, in the German magazine Der
Spiegel, ElBaradei said "I do not believe that the Iranians are actually
producing nuclear weapons. . . .[I]n general, the danger of a
nuclear-armed Iran is overestimated; some even play it up intentionally.[36]


33. ^ "Transcript of Interview with IAEA Director General Mohamed
ElBaradei" . CNN Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer. 28 October 2007.
Retrieved 2008-06-21.

34.^ Realpolitik for Iran

35.^ "Israel seen undermining disarmament ElBaradei" . Reuters.
2009-02-16. Retrieved 2011-03-22.

36.^ Der Spiegel: Interview with Mohamed ElBaradei, 12 July 2010 .
Accessed 15 July 2010.

This page was last modified on 1 November 2011 at 16:53.

(9) Turkish PM asks why Israel is allowed to have nukes

Date: Fri, 7 Oct 2011 16:21:11 -0400 (EDT) From: IHR News <>

'Why is Israel allowed to have nukes?'

Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:40PM

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the West practices
double standards in regard to Israel's nuclear arsenal.

In an interview with CNN on Sunday, Erdogan noted that Israel is the
only player in the Middle East that has nuclear weapons and asked, "Why
is it that countries banning Iran from having nuclear weapons don't also
ban Israel from having nuclear weapons?”

Turkey downgraded ties with Israel after Tel Aviv refused to apologize
for its attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, which left nine Turkish
citizens dead on May 31, 2010.

Earlier in September, the Turkish Economy Minister said Ankara would
continue its "normal” economic ties with Tel Aviv. From January 2011 to
July 2011, trade between Turkey and Israel reached $2.3 billion.

Erdogan also commented on Turkey's decision to host one component of a
missile shield system, calling it a "NATO concept.”

He advised against "different interpretations” of Turkey's decision and
urged everyone to look at "what is actually the reality” in the issue.

But Turkey's move was still censured in some circles, with Iran
describing it as "a cause for concern” and "questionable.” Russia
criticized Turkey for collaborating with NATO.

Turkey could earn as much as $4 billion from the missile shield system.
It has been reported that a Turkish defense company is holding
negotiations on a $2 billion contract in connection with the project.


(10) US departure from Iraq is an illusion: 17,000 personnel will be
under jurisdiction of US ambassador

The US departure from Iraq is an illusion

39,000 soldiers will leave Iraq this year, but US military control will
continue in such guises as security and training

James Denselow, Tuesday 25 October 2011 16.00 BST

Barack Obama has announced that US troops will be withdrawn from Iraq by
the end of this year. Photograph: Khalid Mohammed/AP Barack Obama has
made good on one of his election promises, announcing: "After nearly
nine years, America's war in Iraq will be over." The Iraqis' assertion
of their sovereignty – meaning no legal immunity for US troops – was the
deal-breaker, and 39,000 US soldiers will leave Iraq by the end of the year.

Jonathan Steele wrote that the Iraq war was over and the US had learned
"that putting western boots on the ground in a foreign war, particularly
in a Muslim country, is madness". Yet this madness may continue in a
different guise, as there is a huge gap between rhetoric and reality
surrounding the US departure from Iraq. In fact, there are a number of
avenues by which the US will be able to exert military influence in the

These can be divided into four main categories:

Embassy, consulates and private security contractors

The US embassy – the largest and most expensive in the world – is in a
green zone of its own in Baghdad, supplied by armed convoys and
generating its own water and electricity, and treating its own sewage.
At 104 acres, the embassy is almost the same size as Vatican City. It is
here that the US is transforming its military-led approach into one of
muscular diplomacy.

State department figures show that some 17,000 personnel will be under
the jurisdiction of the US ambassador. In addition, there are also
consulates in Basra, Mosul and Kirkuk, which have been allocated more
than 1,000 staff each. Crucially, all these US staff, including military
and security contractors, will have diplomatic immunity. Essentially,
the Obama administration is reaping the political capital of withdrawing
US troops while hedging the impact of the withdrawal with an increase in
private security contractors working for a diplomatic mission unlike any
other on the planet.

This "surge" of contractors has even raised the possibility of
controversial firm Blackwater, now known as Xe, returning to the
country. The firm was responsible for the deaths of 17 Iraqis in 2007 in
the infamous Nisour Square massacre, yet president and chief executive
Ted Wright told the Wall Street Journal recently that he would like to
do business in Iraq again.

In 2008, much was made in of the fact that as part of the Status of
Forces Agreement (Sofa) between the US and Iraq, contractors would lose
their immunity. However, as a congressional research report noted: "The
term defined in the agreement, 'US contractors and their employees',
only applies to contractors that are operating under a
contract/subcontract with or for the United States forces. Therefore, US
contractors operating in Iraq under contract to other US
departments/agencies are not subject to the terms of the Sofa."

Congressman Jason Chaffetz questioned the replacement of military forces
with contractors, asking: "Are we just playing a little bit of a shell
game here?" There is some irony in the fact that a decision by the Iraqi
government to deny US soldiers immunity will result in an increase in
the numbers of much hated and unaccountable security contractors.

Military trainers included as part of arms deals

There are an estimated 400 arms deals between Baghdad and Washington,
worth $10bn, with an additional 110 deals, worth $900m, reportedly
pending. Many of these, as part of the deal, require US trainers, who
would be working through the Office of Security Co-operation in the
embassy. Bloomberg news reported that this "newly established office
will have a core staff of 160 civilians and uniformed military alongside
750 civilian contractors overseeing Pentagon assistance programmes,
including military training. They will be guarded, fed and housed by
3,500 additional contract personnel", working in 10 offices around the
country .

In September, Iraq made the first payments in a £1.9bn deal to buy 18
F-16s. The agreements mean that despite the claim that Iraq took full
responsibility for its airspace in October, effective aerial sovereignty
will be in the hands of the Americans for years to come as they help to
patrol the country's skies and control its airspace, and train its air
force. A senior Iraqi politician explained to me last week: "We are
absolutely incapable of defending our borders. We don't even have one
fighter jet to defend our airspace."

US moving under the Nato umbrella

Nato has a training mission in Iraq that will stay through 2013. The
alliance is providing expertise in logistics and policing and Iraqi
lawmakers are currently discussing an extension of the Nato mission that
could see US military trainers move under the jurisdiction of an
agreement originally made in 2004.

Drones and targeted assassinations

With the US in de facto control of Iraq's airspace, Obama is likely to
increase his reliance on drones and targeted killings as a means of
attacking al-Qaida targets. As the US is still at war with al-Qaida, it
can find justification in self-defence and article 51 of the UN charter.

With continued concern over a potential conflict with Iran, it is
perhaps unsurprising that the US is unwilling to surrender the ability
to influence events on the ground in Iraq. Hillary Clinton told
reporters on Sunday: "No one, most particularly Iran, should
miscalculate about our continuing commitment to and with the Iraqis
going forward."

In his speech on Friday, Obama said the US sought "a normal relationship
between sovereign nations, an equal partnership based on mutual
interests and mutual respect". Whatever shape the relationship between
the US and Iraq takes in the long term, for the short term the US is
definitely remaining in the country.

(11) Three Jewish software heads (Brin, Ballmer, Ellison) develop a New
and Frightening Stuxnet

A New and Frightening Stuxnet

By Richard Sale

Industrial Safety and Security Source (ISSSource)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011 @ 11:10 AM

Facing mounting concern about Iran’s nuclear program, a top U.S. and
Israeli technical team has developed a computer "malworm” designed to
take down all of Iran’s computer software.

ISSSource has learned leaders of the three major software companies,
Sergey Brin at Google, Steve Ballmer at Microsoft and Larry Ellison at
Oracle have been working with Israel’s top cyber warriors and have now
come up with new version of a Stuxnet-like worm that can bring down
Iran’s entire software networks if the Iranian regime gets too close to
a breakout, according to U.S. intelligence sources. Google, Microsoft
and Oracle had no comment on the issue.

{Comment (Peter Myers) - the three above-named IT heads are all Jewish}

"Cyber warfare is a lot like biological warfare. It’s hard to stop. It’s
uncontrollable. It can bite you in the ass,” said one U.S. official.

This new version of Stuxnet was, until recently, seen as a tool to
derail any notions of an Israel military surgical strike on Iran with
the United States in a supporting role. During his visit to Israel,
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta carried a U.S. message to Tel Aviv
that President Barack Obama would not support a military strike on Iran,
said a U.S. official, who spoke under the condition of anonymity.
Israeli plans for an attack had alarmed the National Security Council
and the Senate foreign policy committee when briefed on the Israeli

"They were in shock afterwards,” the U.S. official said.

Since early June, U.S. intelligence experts have warned of an Israeli
attack on Iran before the UN meeting on the question of Palestinian
statehood. Those warnings came at the same time as when then Secretary
of Defense Robert Gates left office in June or when Joint Chiefs of
Staff head Adm. Mike Mullen was preparing for his September retirement.

Throughout the summer, U.S. officials have strenuously resisted the
urgings of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a preemptive
strike. Several senior U.S. intelligence officials confirmed large
contingency planning drills for an intervention if Israel attacked Iran.
Planning for such an intervention was seen as "pretty far advanced,” a
U.S. official said in August.

These officials reported they were resisting such notions with all the
force they can. But one cautioned, "This is no drill.”

Matters became more complicated when the FBI uncovered an Iranian
terrorist operation targeted in Washington, DC, that could have
supported long-time American hard liners as well as Israeli supporters
of some type of military attack on Iran.

Compounding that is the Saudi position informing President Obama the
Saudis strongly support a military campaign against Iran. Saudi
officials are now signaling the Israelis Saudi King Abd’allah is in
favor of a strike on Iran.

This new Stuxnet worm is being advanced by administration and
intelligence officials as a more powerful tool with more range and a
stronger capability than the previous version. Officials want this new
cyber capability to derail any military action that could result in a
regional war.

The Stuxnet attack on Iran’s nuclear plants in Bushehr and Natanz in
2010 was the result of a joint effort between the United States and the
cyber warfare experts of Israel’s Mossad and the IDF Unit 8200. The
attack wrecked havoc on Iran’s nuclear program for 11 months, U.S.
officials confirmed.

These officials verified Israeli assertions that Iran never overcame the
disruptions caused by Stuxnet nor did it manage to restore its
centrifuges to smooth and normal operation as was claimed.

U.S. intelligence sources current and former, said Iran finally was
forced to scrap tainted machines and replace them with new ones.

Iran provided confirmation of this July 19 when a senior Iranian
official said improved and faster centrifuge models were being installed.

Sources differ on the number of centrifuges replaced. One former U.S.
intelligence official said at least 1,000 machines had been replaced.
Israeli intelligence sources put the number as high as 5,000. U.S.
sources believe the actual estimate to be lower.

"Iran has an illegal procurement system for the machines and it makes
the system vulnerable to attack,” said one former U.S. intelligence
official with knowledge of the matter. The reason it is vulnerable to
attack is because the CIA has penetrated Iran’s dummy procurement
companies in order to plant design and other flaws that will cause the
system to malfunction if Iran tries to use it. As a former CIA official
said, "When Tehran throws a switch, nothing will happen.”

In spite of U.S. intelligence operations to hamper or thwart any
progress on Iran’s nuclear program, Israel continues to claim in recent
months Iran has taken advantage of the West’s fixation with the Arab
Spring to forge ahead unnoticed with its weapons program.

U.S. officials dismissed this claim by the Israelis, pointing out it was
hard to argue on one hand that a "malworm” had severely damaged Iran’s
system to the point where it has having to replace its machines and then
on the other hand boast of ongoing secret progress. "That nonsense is
for Israeli hawks like Netanyau,” one source said.

"Anyone who argues about secret progress in Iran’s program had better
come up with hard evidence of it. We do not possess such evidence,” a
former senior intelligence official said.

Richard Sale was United Press International’s Intelligence Correspondent
for 10 years and more recently has been intelligence correspondent for
the Middle East Times, a publication of UPI.

(12) Stuxnet: Screens deceptively said all was ok (By Way of Deception -
Mossad motto)

Computer expert says US behind Stuxnet worm

by Staff Writers

Long Beach, California (AFP) March 3, 2011

A German computer security expert said Thursday he believes the United
States and Israel's Mossad unleashed the malicious Stuxnet worm on
Iran's nuclear program.

"My opinion is that the Mossad is involved," Ralph Langner said while
discussing his in-depth Stuxnet analysis at a prestigious TED conference
in the Southern California city of Long Beach.

"But, the leading source is not Israel... There is only one leading
source, and that is the United States."

There has been widespread speculation Israel was behind the Stuxnet worm
that has attacked computers in Iran, and Tehran has blamed the Jewish
state and the United States for the killing of two nuclear scientists in
November and January.

"The idea behind Stuxnet computer worm is really quite simple," Langner
said. "We don't want Iran to get the bomb."

The malicious code was crafted to stealthily take control of valves and
rotors at an Iranian nuclear plant, according to Langner.

"It was engineered by people who obviously had inside information," he
explained. "They probably also knew the shoe size of the operator."

Stuxnet targets computer control systems made by German industrial giant
Siemens and commonly used to manage water supplies, oil rigs, power
plants and other critical infrastructure.

"The idea here is to circumvent digital data systems, so the human
operator could not get there fast enough," Langner said.

"When digital safety systems are compromised, really bad things can
happen -- your plant can blow up.

Most Stuxnet infections have been discovered in Iran, giving rise to
speculation it was intended to sabotage nuclear facilities there. The
worm was crafted to recognize the system it was to attack.

The New York Times reported in January that US and Israeli intelligence
services collaborated to develop the computer worm to sabotage Iran's
efforts to make a nuclear bomb.

Russia called on NATO in January to launch an investigation into the
computer worm that targeted a Russian-built Iranian nuclear power plant,
saying the incident could have triggered a new Chernobyl.

Russia's envoy to NATO in January said Stuxnet caused centrifuges
producing enriched uranium at the Bushehr plant to spin out of control,
which could have sparked a new "Chernobyl tragedy," the 1986 nuclear
meltdown in Ukraine.

"The operators saw on their screens that the centrifuges were working
normally when in fact they were out of control," Dmitry Rogozin told
reporters after meeting with ambassadors from the 28-nation Western

Russia is helping Iran build a nuclear power plant in the southern city
of Bushehr for civilian use.

Langner said the Stuxnet code was designed to trick human operators by
showing them recorded readings indicating machinery is running normally
while behind the scenes they are heading for destruction.

"It's definitely hard-core sabotage," Langner said of Stuxnet. "It's
like in the movies where during a heist the security camera is running
pre-recorded video showing nothing is wrong."

Iran's envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency has denied that
the Stuxnet attack effected the country's nuclear program, including

A terrifying aspect of Stuxnet, according to Langner, is that it is a
generic attack that would work well in factories, power plants, or other
operations plentiful in the United States.

"It's a cyber weapon of mass destruction," Langner said. "We'd better
start preparing right now."

(13) Aeroplanes could be taken over by remote control and forced to
crash - it could be a whole fleet

{shades of 9/11 - Peter Myers}

'Remote control' computer programs pose terror risks to aeroplanes

By Alex Dickinson The Courier-Mail April 04, 2011 12:01am

AEROPLANES could be taken over by remote control and forced to crash
with the use of newly invented computer software.

Cyber attacks are now viewed by experts as the second-biggest risk to
aviation behind natural disasters.

Representatives from Qantas and Virgin Airlines were warned of the
threat at the Asia-Pacific Aviation Security Conference in Hong Kong.

Australian cyber-security expert Ty Miller, from Pure Hacking, told the
conference whole fleets of planes could be affected.

"The stereotypical Die Hard 2 airport attack, where aircraft controls
can be taken over, is no longer just a movie script. It's an actual
reality,'' Mr Miller said.

"Depending on what information was accessed . . . the control of the
aircraft themselves could be compromised.

"You could deal with planes so that when they're in the air they all of
a sudden start dumping all of their fuel, or force the planes to take a
nose-dive. And it's not necessarily one plane it could be a whole fleet
of planes.''

Mr Miller's firm engages in "ethical hacking'', which involves testing
the security of a network by trying to crack its systems.

Posing as a rogue employee with general access to an airline's systems,
Mr Miller was recently able to take over the airline's entire network
within a day.

"That would give us full administrator access to the whole computer
system and access to potentially sensitive documents and data,'' he said.

He cited the Stuxnet worm incident, where an unknown attacker last year
used the software to sabotage one of Iran's uranium enrichment plants.

The Stuxnet attack overwhelmed the nuclear facility's internal network,
causing it to go offline.

"The analysis of the Stuxnet attack (on Iran) showed that it would have
required a team of five or ten people working for at least six months,''
Mr Miller said.

"It would have been extremely well funded, and the culprits would have
had access to intelligence to conduct several multi-staged attacks on a
number of different companies to perform industrial espionage.

"To compromise the avionics of an aircraft, hackers would have to have
the same level of information and potentially need to hack into Boeing,
the specific airline and the airport systems.''

A rogue employee was in fact more of a threat than terrorists, Mr Miller

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