The Daily Talking Points

News and views on U.S.-Iran relations for December 3, 2010:

  • National Review Online: The Foundation for Defense of Democracies Benjamin Weinthal blogs on a WikiLeaks cable that had originated in the U.S. Embassy in Berlin. Apparently, a senior adviser to Angela Merkel, Christoph Heusgen, proposed a quid-pro-quo relationship between Netanyahu ending settlement construction and “favorable” treatment of the Goldstone Report in the UN Security Council. Weinthal refutes the possibility of linkage between ending settlement construction and achieving peace between Israel and its neighbors.  Instead, he rolls out the neoconservative trope of “reverse linkage,” arguing, “[U.S. diplomats’] willingness, like that of President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton, to remain incurably fixated on the construction of housing complexes as the impediment to peace shows the dangerous merger of American and EU foreign policy. Iran’s drive to obtain nuclear weapons is relegated to an inferior status — at the expense of global security.”
  • The Washington Post: Jennifer Rubin interviews Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Post for the Right Turn blog, extracting tough talk from him on Iran. She writes, “McConnell agrees with those who think strong measures are needed to disrupt the Iranian regime’s nuclear program: ‘What I am saying is that we should be squeezing these guys like a lemon.’ He says he senses, as the WikiLeaks documents suggested, that Arab leaders are deeply worried and believe ‘only we have the swat’ to deal with the threat.”
  • Pajamas Media: Foundation for Defense of Democracies‘ “Freedom Scholar” Michael Ledeen transcribes a made-up conversation with a dead friend, former CIA counter-intelligence official James Jesus Angleton. They banter about a number of possible conspiracies within the ongoing news stories about Iran –addressing the Stuxnet virus, the WikiLeaks cable dump, and the bombing of two Iranian nuclear scientists in Tehran. Ledeen, feigning use of a Ouija board, has his ghost friend suggest that the Russians could be behind the Stuxnet virus, and that the murdered Iranian nuclear scientists could have been killed by Tehran for their (possible) collusion with the Russians, Israelis, or Americans.

Eli Clifton

Eli Clifton reports on money in politics and US foreign policy. He is a co-founder of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. Eli previously reported for the American Independent News Network, ThinkProgress, and Inter Press Service.


One Comment

  1. I read the news today oh boy. But I’ll just comment on the last bit. Angleton was an alcoholic and a paranoid. I’m not just being insulting, it’s the truth. At one point an internal CIA investigation came to the conclusion that Angleton was quite possibly a Soviet mole, because his actions as counterintelligence chief had done so much damage the service. He wasn’t a mole, but channeling his ghost for wisdom just shows how deceptive and/or clueless Ledeen can be. Freedom scholar, my a–.

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