The Latest on Iran

THE LATEST ON IRAN….Jane Harman is a generally hawkish and fairly sober Democrat who recently received an intelligence briefing on Iran:

Her bottom line: “I remain skeptical ? lots of unanswered questions.”

“The conjecture that I have is that if I were Iran, and I wanted to put out disinformation, it might look a lot like what our government is claiming is information,” she said. “I can’t tell you that’s true, but I can’t tell you it’s not true.”

….Harman said she does not doubt that Iran is a threat. “The issue is how capable are they and what are the real intentions of Iran’s leaders, and I think the jury is out on both of those,” Harman said.

But Jane Harman is not president of the United States. Here’s Seymour Hersh on what George Bush thinks:

A government consultant with close ties to the civilian leadership in the Pentagon said that Bush was ?absolutely convinced that Iran is going to get the bomb? if it is not stopped. He said that the President believes that he must do ?what no Democrat or Republican, if elected in the future, would have the courage to do,? and ?that saving Iran is going to be his legacy.?

….One of the military?s initial option plans, as presented to the White House by the Pentagon this winter, calls for the use of a bunker-buster tactical nuclear weapon, such as the B61-11, against underground nuclear sites.

…The attention given to the nuclear option has created serious misgivings inside the offices of the Joint Chiefs of Staff….[A Pentagon adviser on the war on terror] called it ?a juggernaut that has to be stopped.? He also confirmed that some senior officers and officials were considering resigning over the issue. ?There are very strong sentiments within the military against brandishing nuclear weapons against other countries,? the adviser told me. ?This goes to high levels.?

As usual, Hersh’s piece is based almost entirely on anonymous sources, so take it for what it’s worth. But it warrants reading regardless. It may or may not be a bluff, but the PR campaign for an air strike against Iran is clearly moving into high gear.