In the latest episode of “On Contact,” Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges examines the dangers of President Donald Trump’s decision to dismantle the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), better known as the Iran nuclear deal. Hedges is joined by fellow Truthdig contributor and former weapons inspector for the United Nations in Iraq Scott Ritter, who accuses former CIA director and current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of a “dereliction of duty.”

“This is another example of the United States using intelligence information to sell a lie,” says Ritter of the Trump administration’s insistence that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. “And Pompeo as director of the CIA willfully went along with this. … One of the greatest insults you can level at an intelligence professional is to be part and parcel of selling a manufactured lie that you know is a lie, or are in a position to determine is a lie.”

Ritter also explores Israel’s motivations for perpetrating this falsehood. “Netanyahu has been using the Iran boogeyman since 1995 to bolster his political ambitions,” he continues. “And that’s really what’s happening here. This is Netanyahu trading upon fear to generate domestic political support for his career as a politician, plain and simple. This isn’t about the truth. This isn’t about Iran posing a genuine threat to Israel. This is about Netanyahu manufacturing an Iranian threat so that he can pursue extreme policies that separate him from others in the political field in Israel.”

Read Ritter’s column about the bipartisan failures of the agreement here, or watch his conversation with Hedges above.

— Posted by Truthdig Staff

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