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B-52 Nukes Headed for Iran, Not For Decommissioning: Airforce Refused
Air Force refused to fly weapons to Middle East theater
By Wayne Madsen
Sept. 24, 2007
WMR has learned from U.S. and foreign intelligence sources that the B-52
transporting six stealth AGM-129 Advanced Cruise Missiles, each armed with a
W-80-1 nuclear warhead, on August 30, were destined for the Middle East via
Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana.
However, elements of the Air Force, supported by U.S. intelligence agency
personnel, successfully revealed the ultimate destination of the nuclear
and the mission was aborted due to internal opposition within the Air Force
and U.S. Intelligence Community.
Yesterday, the Washington Post attempted to explain away the fact that
America's nuclear command and control system broke down in an unprecedented
by reporting that it was the result of "security failures at multiple levels."
It is now apparent that the command and control breakdown, reported as a BENT
SPEAR incident to the Secretary of Defense and White House, was not the result
of a command and control chain-of-command "failures" but the result of a
revolt and push back by various echelons within the Air Force and intelligence
agencies against a planned U.S. attack on Iran using nuclear and conventional
The Washington Post story on BENT SPEAR may have actually been an effort in
damage control by the Bush administration. WMR has been informed by a
knowledgeable source that one of the six nuclear-armed cruise missiles was, and
still be, unaccounted for. In that case, the nuclear reporting incident would
have gone far beyond BENT SPEAR to a National Command Authority alert known as
EMPTY QUIVER, with the special classification of PINNACLE.
Just as this report was being prepared, Newsweek reported that Vice President
Dick Cheney's recently-departed Middle East adviser, David Wurmser, told a
small group of advisers some months ago that Cheney had considered asking
to launch a missile attack on the Iranian nuclear site at Natanz. Cheney
reasoned that after an Iranian retaliatory strike, the United States would have
ample reasons to launch its own massive attack on Iran. However, plans for
Israel to attack Iran directly were altered to an Israeli attack on a supposed
Syrian-Iranian-North Korean nuclear installation in northern Syria.
WMR has learned that a U.S. attack on Iran using nuclear and conventional
weapons was scheduled to coincide with Israel's September 6 air attack on a
reputed Syrian nuclear facility in Dayr az-Zwar, near the village of Tal Abyad,
northern Syria, near the Turkish border. Israel's attack, code named OPERATION
ORCHARD, was to provide a reason for the U.S. to strike Iran. The
neo-conservative propaganda onslaught was to cite the cooperation of the George
three remaining "Axis of Evil" states -- Syria, Iran, and North Korea -- to
justify a sustained Israeli attack on Syria and a massive U.S. military attack
WMR has learned from military sources on both sides of the Atlantic that
there was a definite connection between Israel's OPERATION ORCHARD and BENT
involving the B-52 that flew the six nuclear-armed cruise missiles from Minot
Air Force Base in North Dakota to Barksdale. There is also a connection
between these two events as the Pentagon's highly-classified PROJECT CHECKMATE,
compartmented U.S. Air Force program that has been working on an attack plan
Iran since June 2007, around the same time that Cheney was working on the
joint Israeli-U.S. attack scenario on Iran.
PROJECT CHECKMATE was leaked in an article by military analyst Eric Margolis
in the Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper, the /Times of London/, is a program
that involves over two dozen Air Force officers and is headed by Brig. Gen.
Lawrence Stutzriem and his chief civilian adviser, Dr. Lani Kass, a former
military intelligence officer who, astoundingly, is now involved in planning a
joint U.S.-Israeli massive military attack on Iran that involves a
"decapitating" blow on Iran by hitting between three to four thousand targets
in the c
ountry. Stutzriem and Kass report directly to the Air Force Chief of Staff,
General Michael Moseley, who has also been charged with preparing a report on
B-52/nuclear weapons incident.
Kass' area of speciality is cyber-warfare, which includes ensuring
"information blockades," such as that imposed by the Israeli government on the
media regarding the Syrian air attack on the alleged Syrian "nuclear
installation." British intelligence sources have reported that the Israeli
Syria was a "true flag" attack originally designed to foreshadow a U.S. attack
Iran. After the U.S. Air Force push back against transporting the six cruise
nuclear-armed AGM-129s to the Middle East, Israel went ahead with its attack
on Syria in order to help ratchet up tensions between Washington on one side
and Damascus, Tehran, and Pyongyang on the other.
The other part of CHECKMATE's brief is to ensure that a media "perception
management" is waged against Syria, Iran, and North Korea. This involves
such as that which appeared with Joby Warrick's and Walter Pincus' bylines in
yesterdays /Washington Post/. The article, titled "The Saga of a Bent Spear,"
quotes a number of seasoned Air Force nuclear weapons experts as saying that
such an incident is unprecedented in the history of the Air Force. For
example, Retired Air Force General Eugene Habiger, the former chief of the U.S.
Strategic Command, said he has been in the "nuclear business" since 1966 and
never been aware of an incident "more disturbing."
Command and control breakdowns involving U.S. nuclear weapons are
unprecedented, except for that fact that the U.S. military is now waging an
against neo-cons who are embedded in the U.S. government and military chain of
command who are intent on using nuclear weapons in a pre-emptive war with
CHECKMATE and OPERATION ORCHARD would have provided the cover for a
pre-emptive U.S. and Israeli attack on Iran had it not been for BENT SPEAR
the B-52. In on the plan to launch a pre-emptive attack on Iran involving
nuclear weapons were, according to our sources, Cheney, National Security
Stephen Hadley; members of the CHECKMATE team at the Pentagon, who have close
connections to Israeli intelligence and pro-Israeli think tanks in Washington,
including the Hudson Institute; British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, a
political adviser to Tony Blair prior to becoming a Member of Parliament;
political leaders like Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Likud leader Binyamin
Netanyahu; and French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, who did his part last
week to ratchet up tensions with Iran by suggesting that war with Iran was a
probability. Kouchner retracted his statement after the U.S. plans for Iran
Although the Air Force tried to keep the B-52 nuclear incident from the
media, anonymous Air Force personnel leaked the story to /Military Times/ on
September 5, the day before the Israelis attacked the alleged nuclear
in Syria and the day planned for the simultaneous U.S. attack on Iran. The
leaking of classified information on U.S. nuclear weapons disposition or
to the media, is, itself, unprecedented. Air Force regulations require the
sending of classified BEELINE reports to higher Air Force authorities on the
disclosure of classified Air Force information to the media.
In another highly unusual move, Defense Secretary Robert Gates has asked an
outside inquiry board to look into BENT SPEAR, even before the Air Force has
completed its own investigation, a virtual vote of no confidence in the
investigation being conducted by Major General Douglas Raaberg, chief of air
and space operations at the Air Combat Command.
Gates asked former Air Force Chief of Staff, retired General Larry Welch, to
lead a Defense Science Board task force that will also look into the BENT
SPEAR incident. The official Air Force investigation has reportedly been
for unknown reasons. Welch is President and CEO of the Institute for Defense
Analysis (IDA), a federally-funded research contractor that operates three
research centers, including one for Office of Science and Technology Policy in
Executive Office of the President and another for the National Security
Agency. One of the board members of IDA is Dr. Suzanne H. Woolsey of the
Capital Group and wife of former CIA director and arch-neocon James Woolsey.
WMR has learned that neither the upper echelons of the State Department nor
the British Foreign Office were privy to OPERATION ORCHARD, although Hadley
briefed President Bush on Israeli spy satellite intelligence that showed the
Syrian installation was a joint nuclear facility built with North Korean and
Iranian assistance. However, it is puzzling why Hadley would rely on Israeli
imagery intelligence (IMINT) from its OFEK (Horizon) 7 satellite when
that U.S. IMINT satellites have greater capabilities.
The Air Force's "information warfare" campaign against media reports on
CHECKMATE and OPERATION ORCHARD also affected international reporting of the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) resolution asking Israel to place
its nuclear weapons program under IAEA controls, similar to those that the
United States wants imposed on Iran and North Korea. The resolution also called
for a nuclear-free zone throughout the Middle East. The IAEA's resolution,
titled "Application of IAEA Safeguards in the Middle East," was passed by the
144-member IAEA General Meeting on September 20 by a vote of 53 to 2, with 47
abstentions. The only two countries to vote against were Israel and the United
States. However, the story carried from the IAEA meeting in Vienna by Reuters,
Associated Press, and Agence France Press, was that it was Arab and Islamic
nations that voted for the resolution.
This was yet more perception management carried out by CHECKMATE, the White
House, and their allies in Europe and Israel with the connivance of the media.
In fact, among the 53 nations that voted for the resolution were China,
Russia, India, Ireland, and Japan. The 47 abstentions were described as votes
"against" the resolution even though an abstention is neither a vote for nor
a measure. America's close allies, including Britain, France, Australia,
Canada, and Georgia, all abstained.
Suspiciously, the IAEA carried only a brief item on the resolution concerning
Israel's nuclear program and a roll call vote was not available either at the
IAEA's web site -- _www.iaea.org_ (http://www.iaea.org/) -- or in the media.
The perception management campaign by the neocon operational cells in the
Bush administration, Israel and Europe was designed to keep a focus on Iran's
nuclear program, not on Israel's. Any international examination of Israel's
nuclear weapons program would likely bring up Israeli nuclear scientist
Vanunu, a covert from Judaism to Christianity, who was kidnapped in Rome by a
Mossad "honey trap" named Cheryl Bentov (aka, Cindy) and a Mossad team in 1986
and held against his will in Israel ever since.
Vanunu's knowledge of the Israeli nuclear weapons program would focus on the
country's own role in nuclear proliferation, including its program to share
nuclear weapons technology with apartheid South Africa and Taiwan in the late
1970s and 1980s. The role of Ronald Reagan's Director of the Arms Control and
Disarmament Agency Ken Adelman in Israeli's nuclear proliferation during the
time frame 1983-1987 would also come under scrutiny. Adelman, a member of the
Reagan-Bush transition State Department team from November 1980 to January
voiced his understanding for the nuclear weapons programs of Israel, South
Africa, and Taiwan in a June 28, 1981 /New York Times/ article titled, "3
Widening Nuclear Contacts." The journalist who wrote the article was Judith
Miller. Adelman felt that the three countries wanted nuclear weapons because of
their ostracism from the West, the third world, and the hostility from the
Communist countries. Of course, today, the same argument can be used by Iran,
North Korea, and other "Axis of Evil" nations so designated by the neocons in
the Bush administration and other governments.
There are also news reports that suggest an intelligence relationship between
Israel and North Korea. On July 21, 2004, New Zealand's /Dominion Post/
reported that three Mossad agents were involved in espionage in New Zealand.
the Mossad agents, Uriel Kelman and Elisha Cara (aka Kra), were arrested and
imprisoned by New Zealand police (an Israeli diplomat in Canberra, Amir Lati,
was expelled by Australia and New Zealand intelligence identified a fourth
Mossad agent involved in the New Zealand espionage operation in Singapore). The
third Mossad agent in New Zealand, Zev William Barkan (aka Lev Bruckenstein),
fled New Zealand -- for North Korea.
New Zealand Foreign Minister Phil Goff revealed that Barkan, a former Israeli
Navy diver, had previously worked at the Israeli embassy in Vienna, which is
also the headquarters of the IAEA. He was cited by the /Sydney Morning Herald/
as trafficking in passports stolen from foreign tourists in Thailand,
Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia. New Zealand's One News reported that Barkan was in
Korea to help the nation build a wall to keep its citizens from leaving.
The nuclear brinkmanship involving the United States and Israel and the
breakdown in America's command and control systems have every major capital
the world wondering about the Bush administration's true intentions.
NOTE: WMR understands the risks to informed individuals in reporting the
events of August 29/30, to the present time, that concern the discord within
U.S. Air Force, U.S. intelligence agencies, and other military services. Any
source with relevant information and who wishes to contact us anonymously may
drop off sealed correspondence at or send mail via the Postal Service to: Wayne
Madsen, c/o The Front Desk, National Press Club, 13th Floor, 529 14th St., NW,
Washington, DC, 20045.
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