The Iran Policy Committee (IPC) has a website up and running at iranpolicycommittee.org.  The IPC made the news in February of 2005 when it released a report titled “US Options for Iran.” In that report, the IPC recommended that a terrorist group known as the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK) be removed from the US government’s hit list. The authors of the IPC report equate the terrorist MEK with the African National Congress that fought long and hard against the despicable all-white South African regime and its US supporters so many years ago. Of course, the implication here is that the MEK will somehow produce a Nelson Mandela, or at least is on the same playing field as Mandela’s group was.
Those two wacky thoughts should be enough to dismiss the eleven IPC principals, their mission and their clumsy report as nonsense. But here inside the Washington, DC Beltway, it’s never wise to dismiss ignorance until performing background checks on the individuals and their affiliations. The record shows that the IPC operates in very close proximity to the US intelligence community, has the support of 150 members in the US Congress, and is linked to individuals/groups who successfully lied and led the US into another Vietnam-like war, and whose primary purpose is the creation of a US empire that controls the world’s resources and protects a greater Israel. Crazy is selling these days and the loonies are in charge.
The IPC is supported by the neocon all-stars that we’ve come to know and love such as Doug Feith, Frank Gaffney, Mike Ledeen, Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Don Rumsfeld, Condi Rice, et al. But these first benchers are running out of political muscle as their war in Iraq continues to drain the resources of the American people on all political, economic and military fronts. What’s worse, perhaps, is their “with us or against us” mentality that has caused new political and economic alliances to form (example: South America-China-Iran) and that has accelerated both conventional and nuclear arms races. Having failed on so many fronts, they recognize that to get the US into Iran, some new faces are needed and that’s where the IPC back benchers are critical to the forthcoming anti-Iranian/Persian propaganda operations.
The IPC is linked through its purpose and people to the Coalition for a Democratic Iran and the MEK, the Washington PAC, JINSA, AIPAC, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the DOD, the Center for Security Policy, and all the major US intelligence agencies. IPC members are primarily defense & security contractors/consultants and would benefit financially from a war with Iran.
Anyone who can tolerate FOX News -- the electronic equivalent of Reverend Moon’s Washington Times--on a regular basis will recognize these IPC members: LTG Tom McInerney, USAF (Ret.) formerly of the Business Executives for National Security and member of the Center for Security Policy; MG Paul Vallely, USA (Ret.); CAPT Chuck Nash, USN (Ret.); and LTC Bill Cowan, USMC (Ret.). These four folks are frequently seen and heard discussing military matters on FOX. Other IPC heavy hitters include Raymond Tanter, a former staffer at the National Security Council and current member of the Committee for the Present Danger and the Washington Center for Near East Policy; Clare Lopez a former CIA analyst; and Jim Atkins, former US President Richard Nixon’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, who is known in some circles as “the westerner who knows the most about the Middle East...”
The military heavyweight of the IPC is McInerney. One of the highlights of McInerney’s military career, besides being a top-notch pilot in Vietnam, was assisting Alaska in the clean up of the oil spill caused by the Exxon Valdez when it ran aground in March of 1989. From April to September of that year, McInerney admirably headed the Joint Task Force Alaska Oil Spill while commander of the Alaskan Air Command (then SECDEF Cheney argued for a minimalist DOD/federal government role). These days, though, McInerney is busy promoting the neocon cause and dabbling in a host of money-making and influence peddling activities.
You can find him -- and fellow IPC cohorts Vallely, Cowan and Lopez -- at conferences like Intelcon 2005  as speakers and members of the Intelcon’s Program Advisory Group (Mike Ledeen, Frank Gaffney and Daniel Pipes are among them). Former directors of the NSA, CIA and DIA are featured panelists, along with more, yes more, FOX News commentators no doubt opining in conference as on the network with all the volume of an announcer at a Monster Truck bash. Yehoshuah Mizrachi of Operation Shiloh apparently spoke at Intelcon about handling terror like an Israeli (he equates the Battle of Shiloh from the US Civil War with 9-11). Finally, the conference program shows that the standard mix of defense contractors and US government bureaucrats round out Intelcon’s conferees, along with a few token liberals thrown in for what appears to be some sort of balance.
Do You Hear What I Hear?
So what are all these IPC characters doing at Intelcon? Well it’s a good place to drum up business and get nod-and-wink-intel about what’s really going on “over there and with that contract award.” At the Intelcon blast held this past February, McInerney chaired a panel on Securing Intelligence Networks. As a director of NetStar Systems, that subject matter is an important part of his job. According to NetStar’s website, it is “a fast-growing Virginia corporation with headquarters in Vienna, Virginia. It was founded in 1998 and most of our employees are cleared at the Top Secret or higher levels. NetStar is growing rapidly in the Intel and DOD sectors and has provided numerous solutions and staff to many of the Intelligence agencies in the DC metro area.” Clients include the NSA, CIA, DIA, FBI, DHS and the Office of Naval Intelligence. NetStar is a member of the National Military Intelligence Association (NMIA). Most of NetStar’s clients were at Intelcon 2005 including General Jim Williams, USA (Ret.), former director of DIA, and NMIA’s current director.
With the IPC plugged into US global and domestic intelligence operations, and connected with neocon/Israeli lobbying activities here in the USA, it’s important to listen to them—no matter how maniacally they articulate their position. So when McInerney was quoted by the Washington Times Rowan Scarborough in February of 2005 about the likelihood of an attack on Iran, one has to wonder how and where he is getting his information as he states it with an air of complete certainty.
What are we to make of his almost 30 year old assessment of Iranian anti-aircraft defenses? Is it likely that Iran has done nothing about its defenses since the 1970’s or does personnel experience mean something else given his contacts in the neocon pipeline, and US/foreign intelligence communities?
“He [Bush] doesn't have any choice [but to attack Iran because] he understands [the Iranians] are the king of terror right now. They are striving for nuclear weapons that can get into the hands of terrorists and then it's too late. B-2 stealth bombers, armed with the huge penetrating bombs commonly called bunker busters, would be able to pierce Iran's aging air defenses and hit 20 or more sites. They have not updated that very, very old air defense system. McInerney said that as a colonel in 1977 he went to Iran and conducted a war exercise against various Iranian targets during the rule of the United States' ally, the Shah of Iran. They were not very good then, and they have clearly just gotten worse…I can tell you from my personal experience we would have no problem there."
McInerney’s buddy, Vallely, is of the same mind. According to FOX News, Vallely believes that “while the United States has the ability to launch a major ground invasion, it wouldn’t have to…we can take a country down with just our air assets…we don't have to put boots on the ground all the time if we're after specific targets.”
Did they forget about how difficult Iran could make it for US troops on the ground in Iraq? What about the impact on the US and world economy?
It is vacuum packed thinking like this that prompted the following Amazon Books review of McInerney and Vallely’s book Endgame: Blueprint for Victory in the War on Terror. Robert Steele of the noted Open Source Solutions had this to say:
I finally figured it out. This is a puff piece of, by, and for FOX Cable News viewers. There are no footnotes in this book. It is a rambling opinion piece. Let us not confuse rank with brains, or opinions with thought. This is a double-spaced book that could probably be distilled to 30 pages of core reading, all summed up as 'we're always right, no matter the cost. This book also adopts the Richard Perle neoconservative game plan of using terrorism as a pretext to invade Syria and Iran. The authors -- who demonstrate how far one could get in the Cold War military without reading or thinking, call this a military assessment. It is not. . . It avoids discussing Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Central Asia, Muslim Africa, and Muslim Pacifica. This is not analysis, this is flim-flam. . .This book is a blueprint for a nuclear winter in which America self-immolates.
We Know Terrorism?
IPC notable Cowan runs a company called wvc3. Among other things, Cowan’s group states “Talking about terrorists is one thing. Having conducted successful operations against them in their midst is another. We know terrorism. It’s not something we’ve learned since 9/11. We can speak with absolute authority about how they organize, think, act, and operate. Programs and operations designed to neutralize them will only be as successful as the thinking behind them. We provide the bedrock around which sound counterterrorism initiatives and efforts are based.”
Uh, if that’s so, where were they on 911? What about the MEK?
Anyway, Cowan’s group links to companies like Aegis whose claim is that, “Our management staff consists of prior U.S. military, police and government personnel. Their many years of dedicated service provides Aegis MEP with a network of international contacts that enable us to act anywhere in the world. Our linguists are rigorously tested to ensure their proficiency in English and their specialty language(s). Our consultants and operational personnel have extensive international experience and are accustomed to acting professionally in politically sensitive environments…The projects we complete for our clients are generally sensitive in nature.”
In sum, they are either guarding people and things, killing/destroying people and things, or watching and listening to someone on something. Which makes one wonder why resort to all the self-inflating crypto military/intelligence speak?
MEK: Terrorists Working for America
On April 6, 2005, a number of IPC principals met with elected officials in the US government. The IPC has the complete account on its website from US Newswire. Here are some of the highlights:
“The IPC convened on Capitol Hill at the invitation of the Iran Human Rights and Democracy Caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives. At issue were US policy options for Iran. In attendance were over 80 members of the Congress and their aides, foreign diplomats, experts from other think tanks...Co-chairs of the caucus, Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO.) and Congressman Bob Filner (D-CA), chaired the briefing. Tancredo raised the issue of the terrorist designation of Iran’s main opposition group, the Mujahedeen e-Khalq organization and IPC panelists concurred on the need to remove it from the U.S. Foreign Terrorist Organizations List. Tancredo stated that the MEK was designated not because it was involved in terrorist activities, but because the Clinton administration sought to curry favor with the Iranian regime.”
In fact, the MEK did a lot of Saddam Hussein’s dirty work inside Iraq, according to globalsecurity.org. The MEK assisted Saddam Hussein’s suppression of the 1991 Iraqi Shiite and Kurdish uprisings and in the 1970s MEK members killed a number of US soldiers and contractors. Its membership has been steadily falling. “The MEK was allied with the Iraqi regime and received most of its support from it. MEK members supported the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, in which 52 Americans were held hostage for 444 days.
The MEK assisted the Hussein regime in suppressing opposition within Iraq, and performed internal security for the Iraqi regime. MEK was founded in the 1960s by a group of college-educated Iranian leftists opposed to the country’s pro-Western ruler, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Although the group took part in the 1979 Islamic revolution that replaced the Shah with a Shiite Islamist regime, MEK’s ideology, a blend of Marxism and Islamism, put it at odds with the post-revolutionary government. MEK activities have dropped off in recent years as its membership has dwindled.”
But the future is bright. The MEK has the IPC and its supporters working on its behalf.
John Stanton is a Virginia Based writer specializing in
political & national security matters. He is the author of
America 2004: A Power But Not Super. Reach him at:
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