That was the message coming from Capitol Hill on Tuesday following a meeting of the Senate Intelligence Committee (an oxymoron of a name if there ever was one), where US intelligence chief Gen. James Clapper (ret.) was grilled on the current standoff with Iran over that country's supposed nuclear weapons program.
According to Clapper, there is no credible intelligence of Iranian plans to stage terror attacks within the United States, yet the takeaway from the Committee meeting was that Iran has plans to stage terror attacks within the United States. The one item offered as proof of Iranian subterfuge within the United States was last year's comically bad alleged plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington DC. If you recall, this was the plot that used an Iranian-American used car dealer with a sketchy past to hire a hitman from Mexico's Zetas drug cartel to blow up a DC restaurant where the Saudi ambassador was dining. The plot was discounted by most experts as not being an official Iranian operation simply because it sounded like the plot of a bad spy movie and because the Iranian intelligence agencies pride themselves on being a professional and efficient organization.
Still, that didn't stop the Senate Intelligence Committee from buying into in on Tuesday. They presented the specter - based on no credible information - of a network of Iranian sleeper cells waiting in America, ready to launch terror attacks if the US followed through on threats of military action against Iran's nuclear research sites. The threat of retaliatory terror attacks was then used as evidence in favor of military action against Iran.
And at this point my head really starts to spin at the circular logic being employed by our esteemed Senators. To quote the great Yogi Berra, this is really starting to seem like deja vu all over again. It all recalls the tortured logic that led up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Then we were told we had to act because of the threat of a “mushroom cloud” erupting over an American city. Even though there was no evidence that Iraq had a nuclear program (and after the war we learned definitively that they did not), the Iraqis could not prove that they did not have a nuclear program, which to our leaders at the time was proof enough of a threat. Once again we are tying ourselves up in logical knots as we rush headlong to what would be our third war in the region in just over a decade. Considering that we've arguably gone 0-2 in regional conflicts, you'd think we wouldn't be in such a hurry.