The case of Mansour Arbabsian, the used car dealer who allegedly tried to assassinate Saudi Ambassador Adel al Jaberin gets curiouser and curiouser. When it was first announced by President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, incontrovertible evidence was supposedly introduced linking Iran's top Quds force operatives to a bizarre plot involving Zetas of the Mexican drug cartel. The whole thing sounded like something taken straight from a Tom Clancey novel. More importantly, this was supposedly a sign that the Iranian regime was even more dangerous and unstable than before. All of this called for a substantially higher level of tension between the two countries.
And yet, conversations with seasoned American intelligence experts demonstrate profound skepticism as to whether such an event really took place. Here's why. The Iranian Qud force models itself closely on the operational techniques of the Israeli Mossad. As a traditional cloak and dagger outfit, the Quds is much like Larry the Cable Guy. Everyone in the business has a "Git 'er done!" mentality.
A standard wet job (assassination) takes place in the following order:
The target is identified. He is tailed to establish a basis for his routine. Particular locations are identified that are weak security spots. A plan for execution is worked on in matters of timing and manner, etc. with review by higher authorities. And then it's implemented.
With information from a Texas informant who dodged state criminal action by turning into a paid DEA informant, Arbabsian supposedly initiated contact with Quds, and someone from the Mexican Zeta drug cartel was supposedly enlisted to assassinate the Saudi ambassador at his favorite restaurant in Washington, DC.
This plan completely fails the Occam's Razor test for intelligence operations. Why would Quds feel compelled to make use of some militarily trained hit men for the Mexican cartel -- people who are demonstrably tempermental and uncontrollable? After all, remember Larry the Cable Guy.
And it fails the foreign policy test. The Saudi ambassador to the USA is no more of a concern to the Iranians than any other Saudi official. If the Iranians were that intent on making some kind of political statement, there are literally thousands of targets available much closer to home. Why in hell would a fifth rate power like Iran want to piss off Uncle Sam so much for no good reason?
There's no doubt that Arbabsian probably fits the profile of a terrorist. Think of Mohamed Osman Mohamed, the Portland Al Queda Christmas bomber recently convicted. The profiles for people like these are deeply disgruntled loners with marginal personality disorders and a profound hatred of the United States. However, in the case of Mohamed and Jose Padilla, and God knows how many other misfits there is a commonality that has not been paid much attention to by the press.
Thanks to the steady erosion of Constitutional rights over the last twenty years or more, the concept of due process has gotten much fuzzier. And it's become much easier to perform government entrapment than before by a wide margin.
When the total evidence against Mohamed came out in the Oregon press, it was revealed the he was in fact a star in a one man play completely funded by government expense at great cost. Mohamded was literally surrounded by a bubble of government agents pretending to play specific roles. There wasn't just one FBI agent. An entire infrastructure had to be constructed around the criminal suspects to give the bubble that flavor of reality.
We can bemoan the loss of civil liberties in this country, but we have to dig deeper to reveal some of the American blind spots in the whole world of terrorism. This blind spot applies not only to real terrorists like the 9/11 perps, but to stupid dupes like Mohamed and Arbabsian. And that is, that hatred of America is based in fact -- on American foreign policy crimes.
When any objective view is given to the treatment of the general Palestinian population in Israel for one out of many examples, we are telegraphing that America is complicit in committing major crimes -- not only in Israel but all over the Middle East. Friends and relatives of real people are being killed by drones or artillery fire or other means of military violence. This is called our foreign policy.
And President Obama appears to have wanted to court the neoconservative, militarist elements within Washington, DC to curry their favor. And these new sanctions against Iran are a put up job. And all of this is a sign of Obama's weakness and insecurity as to what he thinks is his ability to retain his position in the next election.