See my earlier extended diary – Coalition of the Willing Against Iran: US Justice Dept, Ungar, UANI and Mossad .
Where is U.S. Foreign policy drafted? In think-tanks, billionaires, political friends and business alliances? WTF
- U.S. Anti-Iran Lobby Group Accused of Mossad Ties | Tikun Olam |
- Justice Dept. Moves to Shield Anti-Iran Group’s Files | Pakistan Defence |
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has gone to court to protect the files of an influential anti-Iran advocacy group, saying they likely contain information the government does not want disclosed.
The highly unusual move by the Justice Department raises questions about the connections between the American government and the group, United Against Nuclear Iran, a hard-line voice seeking to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. The group has a roster of prominent former government officials and a reputation for uncovering information about companies that sometimes do business with Iran, in violation of international sanctions.
The Justice Department has temporarily blocked the group from having to reveal its donor list and other internal documents in a defamation lawsuit filed by a Greek shipping magnate the group accused of doing business with Iran. Government lawyers said they had a “good faith basis to believe that certain information” would jeopardize law enforcement investigations, reveal investigative techniques or identify confidential sources if released.
- The Restis group denies the allegations by the US anti-Iran lobbying group United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), claiming that none of its ship visits to Iran violated international sanctions because they were carrying humanitarian aid as permitted by the US government.
A follow-up @Emptywheel …
Last week, I [Emptywheel] called attention to the fact that in printing an op-ed by Olli Heinonen (co-authored by Michael Hayden and Ray Takeyh), the Washington Post failed to disclose Heinonen’s position on the advisory board of the anti-Iran group United Against Nuclear Iran. One week later, the Post still has not corrected its identification of Heinonen. Today, we see that Heinonen’s deceptive anti-Iran campaign continues, where he appears as a key expert quoted in a front page New York Times article by David Sanger and Michael Gordon. Once again, Heinonen is only identified by his previous IAEA and current Harvard roles, ignoring his more relevant current role with UANI.
Heinonen’s co-conspirator from the Post op-ed, Ray Takeyh, also makes an appearance in today’s Sanger and Gordon article, suggesting that their propaganda will remain as a package deal for the duration of the P5+1 negotiations.
Note also that last Monday, the defamation case by Victor Restis against UANI was thrown out by a district court after the Department of Justice successfully intervened to have the case quashed under a claim that state secrets would have been divulged. Writing in Bloomberg View, Noah Feldman mused:
“Usually when I write about a case, I begin by describing the facts. Here the facts are so secret I can barely say anything. United Against was founded in 2008 by a former CIA director and a group of retired diplomats to advocate against the nuclear Iran. Its board includes former directors of foreign intelligence services including the U.K.’s MI-6, Germany’s BND — and Israel’s Mossad.
What makes matters worse is the lingering possibility, indeed probability, that what the government fears is not a true threat to national security, but a severe case of embarrassment. It’s difficult to escape the conclusion that United Against is a front organization for U.S. intelligence, possibly acting in conjunction with other foreign intelligence services.”
Though Feldman notes that it seems obvious there is an intelligence conduit between the CIA and/or Mossad and UANI and he even notes that disclosing this now would be awkward for the P5+1 negotiations, he should have gone further to note that this intelligence link, and the subsequent selective leaks, seem aimed to disrupt those negotiations and prevent an agreement.
UPDATE: Richard Silverstein has posted a new article on his blog …
Continued below the fold …
As the deadline looms for the P5+1 nations to achieve a framework for a nuclear deal with Iran, the steady drumbeat of hostile coverage directed at Iran in the media increases. Jim White at Emptywheel, in two good posts, noted a tendentious Washington Post op-ed by Ray Tayekh, Michael Hayden, and Ollie Heinonen, along with a separate piece by perennial NY Times Iran doomsayer, David Sanger.
Regarding the Post op-ed, everyone knows about Michael Hayden’s role as a holdover spook from the Bush administration, who ran both the NSA and CIA during that period. He also is a partner in the Chertoff Group, founded by Bush’s Homeland Security czar, Michael Chertoff.
Ray Tayekh, though he served in the Obama administration for a time and is Iranian-American, has chosen to throw in his lot with the Iranophobes. According to Nima Shirazi, he is a founding member of the Iran Strategy Task Force, whose avowed mission was to pressure the Obama administration to adopt a tougher approach to Iran. ISTF includes the neocon Freedom House as its co-founding sponsor, and individual members like Josh Block of The Israel Project and Rob Satloff of WINEP. Tayekh is also a member of another Iran committee founded by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), one of the leading hawkish, pro-Israel security outfits in DC.
In 2009, Shamai Leibowitz was working secretly for the FBI, translating wiretapped conversations among Israeli diplomats in this country. He passed some transcripts of these conversations to me, which described an Israeli diplomatic campaign in this country to create a hostile environment for relations with Iran. I published excerpts from them in my blog, Tikun Olam.
Leibowitz comes from a family of distinguished Israeli Orthodox public intellectuals.
In searching for an online community, I came across Shamai’s Pursuing Justice blog. When I read his last name, I presumed he might be related to the eminent Leibowitz family and wrote to him. He confirmed he was the grandson of Yeshaia Leibowitz, one of the most distinguished Israeli philosophers and public intellectuals. His aunt was Nechama Leibowitz, an eminent professor of Bible at Hebrew University, with whom I studied when I was a student there.
- ○ Shamai Leibowitz, Once Jailed Victim of Obama’s War on Whistleblowers: Snowden a ‘Man of Conscience’