Pentagon Whistle-Blower on the Coming War With Iran
Posted on Feb 27, 2007
Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski (ret.), a veteran of the Pentagon with firsthand experience of the administration’s cherry-picking of intelligence, reveals why Bush thinks he can win a war with Iran, why few politicians are serious about withdrawal and why “when they call Iraq a success, they mean it.”
(running time: 32:41 / 29.9 MB)
JAMES HARRIS: This is Truthdig. James Harris sitting down with Josh Scheer, and on the phone we have a special guest. She is a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, formerly working for the Pentagon, The National Security Agency. Needless to say, she knows a lot about intel and a lot about what took place and what went on before we went into Iraq and what went on with that intel. Many questions have been asked in recent weeks, obviously in recent years about what we knew, what was fabricated, what was made up. On the phone we have somebody who has been vociferous in her effort to out the wrongdoings of people like Douglas Feith and people like Donald Rumsfeld. So, Karen Kwiatkowski, welcome to Truthdig.
Square, Site wide
JAMES HARRIS: It’s our pleasure. I want to start, not talking about Douglas Feith, but I want to get your opinion about Iraq. We know that British troops and Tony Blair have decided that they’re out. We’ve seen the commitment of other nations drop by 17 countries and our biggest partner, England, is now out. Why do you think they’re out and Bush is still in? Well we know why Bush is still in. Why now?
KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: It is towards the end of Tony Blair’s long, long term of duty there as the Prime Minister. And the other thing is, the British very much oppose, in spite of the fact that there are some Rupert Murdoch newspapers in Great Britain, some conservative papers, pseudo conservative I should say, not truly conservative. Truly conservatives, true conservatives have opposed this adventure from the beginning. But in spite of the small, loud pro-war faction in London, most people in Britain recognize this for what it is. They have some experience in this kind of thing with, both in Middle East, particularly in Iraq years ago when they left in dishonor. Another time when they tried to occupy Baghdad, years and years ago, and also their experience with terrorism and movements of independents or what have you with Ireland, much more recent memory for many of the people in Great Britain. I don’t think Britain’s economy can afford it. Certainly they see the writing on the all, why get, why not get out now while George Bush is still there than be stuck with, stuck holding the bag when a Democratic president takes over and pulls the troops out abruptly in 2008, 2009. So I think there’s many reasons why they’re doing it. Some people say it is, it is because of Tony Blair’s concern over his legacy. If he doesn’t bring the troops home, his legacy will be that he left Britain in a quagmire. They are in a quagmire now and maybe he doesn’t want to leave office with that being on his record, a lot of reasons. Mainly it’s the right thing to do, the people of Britain want those troops home. And I guess their government is listening. Unlike ours.
JAMES HARRIS: The highly speculative people have said they’re out because we’re going into Iran. You might’ve read the news…
KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: Well yeah, I don’t… I had not seen that connection made, but I certainly am alarmed at the daily signs that indeed this country is getting ready to instigate an attack on Iran. All the signs are there, the suggestions that Iranian bombs are killing American soldiers, that’s not true, but it’s certainly been made in, I think every American newspaper, the suggestion that Iran is somehow killing Americans. The suggestion that Iran has nuclear weapons, is imminently close to nuclear weapons. That is not true but that’s been, those claims are made, even by this Administration. The idea that we have two carrier battle groups currently in the region and in fact I just saw today, Admiral Walsh, one of the big guys in the Navy said that we’re very concerned about what Iran is doing even more so than Al Qaeda. So there, all the signs are there that we are being, we’re going to wake up one morning soon, very soon, and we will be at war with Iran. We will have bombed them in some sort of shock and awe campaign destroying many lives and setting back US relations even further than we’ve already done it with Iraq.
JOSH SCHEER: I want to continue on Iran. You spent obviously many years in the military and you talk in those kind of terms that many people maybe not know about. Can we not just politically, and not just in the region, but can we support another war in another country? Right now we’re in Afghanistan, we’re in Iraq. Can we feasibly actually go into Iran, or is this going to be a shock and awe campaign?
KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: You know, I think the, one of the big reasons that Bush and Cheney think they can do Iran is that they believe, well, they’re hearing from the Air Force and the Navy, two of the three main branches of our military, the two that have been left out of the glory of Iraq, you see. And those guys want a piece of the action, and so they’re advertising to the Administration and publicly, I mean you can read it for yourself, the Air Force and the Navy have targets they believe they can overwhelmingly hit their targets, deep penetration, possibly nuclear weapons, I mean, nothing is off the table as Dick Cheney says “nothing is off the table.” And the delivery of these weapons, whether they’re conventional or nuclear will be naval and Air Force. They’ll be Navy from the sea and Air Force form long range bombers and some of the bases that we have around the… so I don’t think, certainly, I don’t know, I’m not in the Army, wasn’t in the Army, I was in the Air Force, I don’t think the Army could support any type of invasion of Iran and they wouldn’t’ want to. I’m sure that they’ve, they’ve had enough with Iraq and our reserves are in terrible condition. We’ve got huge problems in the Army and in the Reserve system. So I don’t think there’s any intention to go into Iran, but simply to destroy it and to create havoc and disruption and humanitarian crisis and topple perhaps the government of Ahmadinejad. We want to topple that government. Yeah, we’ll do it with bombs from a distance. I don’t know if you call that shock and awe, we’ve been advertising it for a long, long time. It will not be a surprise to the Iranians if we do it.
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