@@ "Stolen Iranian Laptop", GLADIO's new campaign of misinformation @@
- From: "Arash" <A7000@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sat, 12 Nov 2005 21:58:19 -0500
New York Times
November 12, 2005
The Laptop: Decoding Iran's Ambitions
Relying on Computer, U.S. Seeks to "Prove" Iran's Nuclear Aims
By William J. Broad & David E. Sanger
In mid-July, senior American intelligence officials called the leaders of the
international atomic inspection agency [IAEA] to the top of a skyscraper overlooking
the Danube in Vienna and unveiled the contents of what "they said" was a stolen
Iranian laptop computer.
The Americans flashed on a screen and spread over a conference table selections from
more than a thousand pages of Iranian computer simulations and accounts of
experiments, "saying" they showed a long effort to design a nuclear warhead,
according to a half-dozen European and American participants in the meeting.
The U.S. documents, the Americans acknowledged from the start, do not prove that Iran
has an atomic bomb.
U.S. government (http://rightweb.irc-online.org/charts/fpteam.php) presented them as
the strongest "evidence" yet that, despite Iran's insistence that its nuclear program
is peaceful, the country is trying to develop a compact warhead to fit atop its
Shahab missile, which can reach "Israel" and other countries in the Middle East.
The U.S. government briefing for officials of the United Nations' International
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), including its director Mohamed ElBaradei, was a secret
part of an "American-European-Israeli campaign" to increase international pressure on
But while the [fake] intelligence has sold well among NATO countries like Britain,
France and Germany, which reviewed the [fake] documents as long as a year ago, it has
been a tougher sell with countries outside the "inner circle" [This is for obvious
reasons--since most nations know that these so called documents are fakes, and so are
the "American-European-Israeli intelligence". The Western agenda's are obvious to any
The [U.S. government provided] computer contained studies for crucial features of a
nuclear warhead, said European and American officials who had examined the material,
including a telltale sphere of detonators to trigger an atomic explosion. The
documents specified a blast roughly 2000 feet [600 meters] above a target -
considered a prime altitude for a nuclear detonation [Americans should know--they
exploded two nuclear bombs on Japanese cities!].
Nonetheless, doubts about the intelligence persist among some foreign analysts. In
part, that is because American officials, citing the need to protect their source,
have largely refused to provide details of the origins of the laptop computer beyond
saying that they obtained it in mid-2004 from a longtime contact in Iran.
Moreover, this chapter in the confrontation with Iran is infused with the memory of
the faulty [not faulty; FAKE] intelligence on Iraq's unconventional arms. In this
atmosphere, though few countries are willing to believe Iran's denials about nuclear
arms, few are willing to accept the United States' weapons intelligence without
"I can fabricate that data", a senior European diplomat said of the documents. "It
looks beautiful, but is open to doubt".
Robert G. Joseph (http://rightweb.irc-online.org/ind/joseph/joseph.php), the under
secretary of state for arms control and international security, who led the July
briefing, declined to discuss any classified material from the session but
acknowledged the existence of the warhead intelligence. He called it one of many
indicators "that together lead to the conclusion Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons
Even if the documents accurately reflect Iran's advances in designing a nuclear
warhead, Western arms experts say that Iran is still far away from producing the
radioactive bomb fuel that would form the warhead's heart.
American intelligence agencies recently estimated that Iran would have a working
nuclear weapon no sooner than the early years of the next decade.
Still, nuclear analysts at the international atomic agency [IAEA] studied the laptop
documents and found them to be "credible" evidence of Iranian strides, European
diplomats said. A dozen officials and nuclear weapons experts in Europe and the
United States with detailed knowledge of the intelligence said in interviews that
they believed it reflected a concerted effort to develop a warhead. "They've worked
problems that you don't do unless you're very serious", said a European arms
official. "This stuff is deadly serious".
In fact, some nations that were skeptical of the intelligence on Iraq - including
France and Germany - are deeply concerned about what the warhead discovery could
portend, according to several officials. But the Bush administration, seeming to
understand the depth of its credibility problem, is only talking about the laptop
computer and its contents in secret briefings, more than a dozen so far. And even
while President Bush is defending his pronouncements before the war about Iraq's
unconventional weapons, he has never publicly referred to the Iran documents.
R. Nicholas Burns (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._Nicholas_Burns), the under
secretary of state for political affairs, who has coordinated the Iran issue with the
Europeans, also declined to discuss the intelligence, but insisted that the Bush
administration's approach was one of "careful, quiet diplomacy designed to increase
international pressure on Iran to do one thing: abandon its nuclear weapons designs
and return to negotiations with European countries".
Until now, there has been only one official reference to them: a year ago in a
conversation with reporters, Colin L. Powell
(http://www.state.gov/secretary/former/powell/remarks/2003/17300.htm), then secretary
of state, briefly referred to new, missile-related intelligence on Iran.
Since then, reports in The Wall [War] Street Journal, The Washington Post and other
[Zionist] publications have "revealed" some details of the "intelligence", including
that the United States has obtained thousands of pages of Iranian documents on
In interviews in recent weeks, analysts and officials from six countries in Europe
and Asia revealed a more extensive picture of the intelligence briefings. In turn,
several American officials confirmed the intelligence. All who spoke did so on the
condition of "anonymity", saying they had pledged to keep the intelligence secret,
though it is being discussed by an array of senior government officials and
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) board members.
"Officials" said scientists at the American weapons labs, as well as foreign
analysts, had examined the documents for signs of fraud. It was a particular concern
given the fake documents that emerged several years ago purporting to show that
Saddam had sought uranium from Niger
"Officials" said they found the warhead documents, written in Persian, convincing
because of their consistency and technical accuracy and because they showed a
progression of developmental work from 2001 to early 2004.
Within the United States government, "the nature and the history of the source has
left everyone pretty confident that this is the real thing," said a former senior
American intelligence official who was briefed on the laptop.
But one nongovernment expert cautioned that the intelligence could simply represent
the work of a faction in Iran. "What we don't know is whether this is the
uncoordinated effort of a particularly ambitious sector of the rocket program or is
it, as some allege, a step-by-step effort to field a nuclear weapon within this
decade", said Joseph Cirincione
(http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Joseph_Cirincione) of the Carnegie
Endowment for International Peace
who said he had not seen the secret documents.
The Iranians themselves deny any knowledge of the warhead plans. "We are sure that
there are no such documents in Iran", Ali A. Larijani, secretary of the Supreme
National Security Council and the country's chief nuclear negotiator, said in an
interview in Tehran. "I have no idea what they have or what they claim to have. We
just hear the claims".
As a measure of the skepticism the Bush administration faces, officials said the
American ambassador to the international atomic agency (IAEA), Gregory L. Schulte
(http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/biog/51106.htm), was urging other countries to consult
with his [NATO] French counterpart. "On Iraq we disagreed, and on Iran we completely
agree", a senior U.S. State Department official said. "That gets attention".
Inspectors and Secret Sites
For years, American intelligence agencies argued that Iran was hiding a range of
nuclear facilities. Then, in February 2003, inspectors from the International Atomic
Energy Agency (IAEA) went to Iran and confirmed reports of two secret sites under
construction that could make concentrated uranium and plutonium, standard fuels for
nuclear arms. At Natanz, in central Iran, they found preparations for more than
50,000 whirling centrifuges meant to purify uranium. At Arak, to the west, they found
construction of a heavy-water plant and reactor meant to make plutonium. [Iran has an
INALIENABLE RIGHT to all of the above mentioned facilities and technologies under
Article-4 of the NPT Treaty. See the text of the NPT Treaty:
Iran insisted the sites were for conducting peaceful research and making fuel for
nuclear power, and were kept secret to evade American-led penalties on sales of
atomic technology to Iran.
Over time, a string of "revelations" challenged that explanation, even as inspectors
eventually uncovered at least seven secret nuclear sites.
In August 2003, agency inspectors discovered traces of uranium concentrated to the
high levels necessary for a bomb, rather than the low levels for a power-producing
reactor. Some of the uranium was shown to have arrived in Iran on nuclear equipment
purchased from "Pakistan", but a European diplomat disclosed that the origin of the
rest was still a mystery.
Then there were questions about what Iran had obtained from the atomic black market
run by Abdul Qadeer Khan, the "Pakistani" rogue nuclear engineer. Iran has
acknowledged buying from Dr. Khan, but the extent of those dealings is still under
By late 2003, many government and nongovernment experts agreed that Iran was rapidly
progressing. "Most people", said [neocon fabricator] Gary Milhollin
(http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/middle_east/jan-june03/blix_2-13.html), director of
the [Israeli front org, recieves funding from SRF:
http://www.mediatransparency.org/funderprofile.php?funderID=6 ] Wisconsin Project on
Nuclear Arms Control in Washington (http://www.wisconsinproject.org), "believed that
they had mastered the essential capabilities and had the potential to develop what
they needed to make a bomb".
Diplomacy aimed at defusing Iran moved haltingly. Tehran agreed to suspend the
enrichment of uranium as it negotiated with the West over the fate of its atom
program, but months later began making uranium hexafluoride, the raw material for
If Iran hid parts of its atomic program, it boldly displayed its missiles. And in
August 2004, it conducted a test that deepened suspicions that it was at work on a
Tehran test-fired an upgraded version of the Shahab - shooting star in Persian - in a
flight that featured the first appearance of an advanced nose cone made up of three
distinct shapes. Missile experts noted that such triconic nose cones have great
range, accuracy and stability in flight, but less payload space. Therefore, experts
say, they have typically been used to carry nuclear arms.
Iran insists it is pursuing only peaceful energy, and notes that nations like Japan,
South Korea and Brazil have advanced civilian nuclear programs and sophisticated
missiles, but have been aided by the West in building their programs rather than
being accused of trying to make atomic warheads.
"Second-class countries are allowed to produce only tomato paste", said Mr. Larijani,
Iran's nuclear negotiator. "The problem is that Iran has come out of its shell and is
trying to have advanced technology".
A Laptop's Contents
American officials have said little in their briefings about the origins of the
laptop, other than that they obtained it in mid-2004 from a source in Iran who they
said had received it from a second person, now believed to be dead [how convenient!].
Foreign officials who have reviewed the intelligence speculate that the laptop was
used by someone who worked in the Iranian nuclear program or stole information from
it. One senior arms expert said the material was so voluminous that it appeared to be
the work of a team of engineers [or the work of a team of American-European-Israeli
Without revealing the source of the computer, American intelligence officials
insisted that it had not come from any Iranian "resistance" groups [he is talking
about American-European-Israeli-funded terrorist group, the Mojahedine Khalgh, aka
MKO/MEK/NCR. http://www.iran-interlink.org ], whose claims about Iran's nuclear
program have had a mixed record for accuracy.
In July, as the Bush administration began stepping up the pressure on the United
Nations to take punitive action against Tehran, it decided to brief Dr. ElBaradei on
the contents of the laptop. The session on July 18 on the top floor of the American
mission in Vienna was a meeting of former rivals. Before the Iraq war, Dr. ElBaradei
had attracted the wrath of the Bush administration by declaring that his agency had
found no evidence that Saddam was reconstituting his nuclear program. And the
administration had tried to oust Dr. ElBaradei, an Egyptian, from his post, partly
because they found him insufficiently tough on Iran [this is nonsense, since
ElBaradei is a puppet].
The briefing primarily revealed computer simulations and studies of various warhead
configurations rather than laboratory work or reports on test flights, according to
officials in Europe and the United States. But one American official said notations
indicated that the Iranians had performed experiments. "This wasn't just some
theoretical exercise", he said.
In an interview, Dr. ElBaradei, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in October, declined to
discuss the secret briefing.
Assessing just how far the Iranians have gone from plan to product is difficult.
"It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that beautiful pictures represent
reality", a senior intelligence official said. "But that may not be the case".
One major "revelation" was work done on a sphere of detonators meant to ignite
conventional explosives that, in turn, compress the radioactive fuel to start the
nuclear chain reaction. The documents also wrestled with how to position a heavy
ball - presumably of nuclear fuel - inside the warhead to ensure stability and
accuracy during the fiery plunge toward a target. And a bomb exploding at a height of
about 2000 feet, as envisioned by the documents, suggests a nuclear weapon, analysts
said, since that altitude is unsuitable for conventional, chemical or biological
After more than a year of analysis, questions remain about the trove's authenticity.
"Even with the best intelligence, you always ask yourself, 'Was this prepared for my
eyes?' " one American official said.
Several intelligence experts said that a sophisticated Western spy agency could, in
theory, have produced the contents of the laptop.
But American officials insisted there was no evidence of such fraud. [what else do
you expect them to say!]
(http://www.ecssr.ac.ae/CDA/en/ProfileBank/ViewProfile/0,1421,2303,00.html), the head
of nonproliferation at the National Security Council in the Clinton administration,
who recently directed a [fake] report on Iran
(http://www.iiss.org/conferencepage.php?confID=80) that drew on interviews with
government officials in many nations, said, "The most convincing evidence that the
material is "genuine" is that the technical work is so detailed that it would be
difficult to fabricate" [except by nations who already have nuclear weapons and have
all the technical knowledge to fabricate such documents, such as the British
Strategic Institute's Gary Samore].
An Unclassified Briefing
In August and September, as the United States was preparing for a showdown vote at
the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on whether to recommend action by the
United Nations Security Council against Iran, the Bush administration stepped up its
The United States rarely shares raw intelligence outside a small circle of close
[terrorist] allies. But it decided to disseminate a shortened version of the secret
warhead briefing. Robert Joseph (http://www.counterpunch.org/barry06162005.html) and
his colleagues presented it to the president of Ghana and to officials from
Argentina, Sri Lanka, Tunisia and Nigeria, among other nations.
But the administration felt uncomfortable sharing any classified intelligence with
another ring of countries. For them, it developed the equivalent of the white paper
on Iraq that Britain and the United States published before the Iraq war.
The 43-page unclassified briefing includes no reference to the warhead documents, but
uses commercial satellite photos and economic analysis to argue that Iran has "no
need" for nuclear power and has long hidden its true ambitions.
[U.S. President Gerald Ford's administration endorsed Iranian plans to build a
massive nuclear energy industry, but also worked hard to complete a
multibillion-dollar deal that would have given Tehran control of large quantities of
plutonium and enriched uranium -- the two pathways to a nuclear bomb. President Ford
signed a directive in 1976 offering Tehran the chance to buy and operate a US-built
reprocessing facility for extracting plutonium from nuclear reactor fuel. The deal
was for a complete "nuclear fuel cycle" -- reactors powered by and regenerating
fissile materials on a self-sustaining basis. See: U.S. officials sang a different
tune on Iran's need for nuclear power
Analysts from the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Pacific Northwest National
Laboratory wrote the briefing paper for the State Department, which distributed it
widely. In graphic detail, the paper offers a tour of the previously hidden sites,
saying, for instance, that a "dummy" building at the centrifuge plant in Natanz hides
a secret entrance ramp to an underground factory.
The briefing asserted that Iran did not have enough proven uranium reserves to fuel
its nuclear power program beyond 2010. But it does have enough uranium, the report
added, "to give Iran a significant number of nuclear weapons".
The briefing landed with something of a thud. Some officials found its arguments
superficial and inconclusive.
"Yeah, so what?" said one European expert who heard the briefing. "How do you know
what you're shown on a slide is true given past experience?"
Even so, the American [misinformation] campaign helped produce a consensus among
International Atomic Energy Agency board members, although a fragile one. On
September 24, the board passed the resolution against Iran by a vote of 22 to 1, with
12 countries abstaining, including China and Russia.
It cited Iran for "a long history of concealment and deception" and repeated failure
to live up to its obligations under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which it
signed in 1970. The resolution said Iran's failings had set it up for consideration
by the Security Council for possible punishment with economic penalties, though it
left the timing of the referral to a future meeting.
Manouchehr Mottaki, Iran's foreign minister, denounced the resolution as "illegal and
illogical" and the result of a "planned scenario determined by the United States".
Debating the Next Step
On Thanksgiving, November 24, the board of the international atomic agency (IAEA)
plans to meet again to confront the Iranian nuclear question - and decide whether to
take the next step and send the issue to the Security Council.
The Bush administration is confident in its [fake] evidence. "There is not a single
country we deal with that does not believe Iran is seeking a nuclear weapon", said
Nicholas Burns, the under secretary of state.
The Iranians have taken steps to forestall any penalties. After months of delays,
they have allowed inspectors into a secret military site, shared more information
about the history of their program, and signaled a willingness to reopen
negotiations, even while vowing to continue turning raw uranium into a gas that can
be enriched. Those steps may convince some atomic agency board members. And at least
two countries rotating onto the board for the next meeting - Cuba and Syria - are
almost certain to defy Washington. (In September, only Venezuela voted with Tehran).
Given those politics, the fresh [fake] intelligence that the United States says
"proves" Iran's true intentions may not be pivotal in the long confrontation with
Tehran. One reason is that the United States has so far refused to declassify the
warhead information, making it impossible to seek a detailed explanation from the
Dr. ElBaradei said his agency was bound to "follow due process, which means I need to
establish the veracity, consistency and authenticity of any intelligence, and share
it with the country of concern". In this case, he added, "That has not happened".
European nations and the international atomic agency (IAEA) are now working out
details of a new proposal that offers Tehran the chance to conduct very limited
nuclear activities in Iran, but move any enrichment of uranium to Russia [basically
ordering Iran to give-up it's legal right under the NPT Treaty] - part of the effort
to keep the country from obtaining the nuclear fuel that could go atop the Shahab
Some European diplomats are concerned that confronting the Iranians with strong
evidence of the warhead studies could cause Tehran to abandon negotiations with the
West, expel international inspectors and move forward with its plans, whatever they
"It's a card that will explode the system in place, so the question becomes when and
how you play it", a senior European diplomat said. "If there is information that can
serve to make progress with the Iranians, without blowing up the system, that's
better". [he is basically saying, so what if the Western terrorists put even more
sanctions on Iran, the consequences will be that Iran will withdraw from the NPT
Treaty, will continue it's nuclear activities without IAEA inspections; and even more
importantly the Western terrorists can NOT confront Iran militarily, since they know
Iran will hit them back hard].
Iran's uranium conversion plant at Isfahan, where work resumed in August. Work
remains suspended at its uranium enrichment plant at Natanz.
"Clues"? About Iran's Nuclear Activity (Source: "U.S. government")
David E. Sanger Interviews Mohamed ElBaradei
The Times's White House correspondent talks with the head of the International Atomic
U.S. State Department's Nuclear Briefing on Iran [PDF]
U.S. State Department's Nuclear Briefing on Iran [PowerPoint presentation]
* Dexter Filkins contributed reporting from Tehran for this article.
IAEA documents about Iran
Authoritative mis-information on Iran