Oct 15, 2007

Gates vs. Cheney on Iran; Friction within U.S. Government

This is a story that broke Saturday in the U.K.. It is especially noteworthy in that U.S. press and media have had NO coverage on this. There is much more evidence that there is serious friction within the U.S. government on the war-mongering against Iran. Here Gates is opposing Cheney, and it is claimed that Cheney is being duly suppressed for usurping powers not his own. However, the article says that McConnell, who also works for James Woolsey's firm Booz Hamilton (major neocon contractor and outsourced Pentagon power), is close to Gates on this. Thus there is much more than what is reported, Gates himself is being controlled by the radical neocons, whom Cheney is in involved with, while it is stated that Cheney is being checked. Note who controls America's war powers in the government in all of this. Nevertheless the friction and resistance to open a war with Iraq is very good. A constitutional crisis (since Congress only has power to declare war, which Pelosi just invoked) is in the works, typical with this rogue government and usurping administration.

The man who stands between US and new war

Last Updated: 1:50am BST 10/10/2007

Robert Gates, the US defence secretary, has taken charge of the forces in the American government opposed to a US military attack on Iran, writes Tim Shipman.

Pentagon and State Department officials say Mr Gates has set himself up as chief rival to Dick Cheney in a bid to thwart the vice president's desire to bomb the Islamic state.

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates
Defence secretary Robert Gates: a force for peace

Those familiar with internal battles in the Bush administration say Mr Gates has eclipsed Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state, as the chief opponent of air strikes and is the main reason President George W.Bush has yet to resort to military action.

Pentagon sources say Mr Gates is waging a subtle campaign to undermine the Cheney camp by encouraging the army's senior officers to speak frankly about the overstretch of forces, and the difficulty of fighting another war.

Bruce Reidel, a former CIA Middle East officer, said: "Cheney's people know they can beat Condi. They have been doing it for six years. Bob Gates is a different kettle of fish. He doesn't owe the President anything. He is urging his officers to be completely honest, knowing what that means."

Officials say Mr Gates's strategy bore fruit when Admiral William Fallon, the head of US Central Command, charged with devising war plans for Iran, said last month that the "constant drumbeat of war" was not helpful.


He was followed by General George Casey, the army's new chief of staff, who requested an audience with the House of Representatives armed services committee to warn that his branch of the military had been stretched so thin by the Iraq war that it was not prepared for yet another conflict.

Gen Casey told Congress the army was "out of balance" and added: "The demand for our forces exceeds the sustainable supply. We are consumed with meeting the demands of the current fight, and are unable to provide ready forces as rapidly as necessary for other potential contingencies."

Mr Gates has forged an alliance with Mike McConnell, the national director of intelligence, and Michael Hayden, the head of the Central Intelligence Agency, to ensure that Mr Cheney's office is not the dominant conduit of information and planning on Iran to Mr Bush.

Insiders say Mr Gates has ensured that Mr Bush has seen more extensive studies of the probable negative effects of an attack on Iran than he was privy to before the war in Iraq.

One CIA insider said: "Bush understands that any increase in real military hostilities in Iran right now could have a negative effect. Bob Gates is the only one opposed to it. He's the single person in the US government who has any standing with the White House fighting it."