“This ‘brilliant’ FBI and DEA coordinated sting operation that has, allegedly, ‘uncovered an Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington and to attack the Saudi and Israeli embassies’: How does its exposure distract from the investigation into your U.S.-Mexican gunrunning operation?”
That’s the question I’d have liked to pose to Attorney General Eric Holder had I been present at the news conference he and FBI Director Robert Mueller gave to a group of journo lap dogs Tuesday.
The indictment is the kind of cloak-and-dagger that belongs in an episode of “The Unit,” not in the courts of a civilized country. To entrap the two defendants, Mansour Arbabsiar and Ali Gholam Shakuri, assistant U.S. attorneys relied on Title 18 of the United States Code. Sections in this “versatile” law were used to ensnare domestic diva Martha Stewart (for fibbing to the feds about a recipe, not for insider trading).
Indeed, the court complaint has more twists than a serpent’s tail, but none leads conclusively to Tehran, unless Tehran is code for “Surveillance State USA.”
It is befitting that the second defendant is named Gholam. In Jewish folklore “Golem” means zombie. Golem well describes Ali Gholam, who is alleged to have wired funds to Arbabsiar via “an overseas wire transfer from a bank located in a foreign country,” in furtherance “of the plot to kill the ambassador to the United State of Saudi Arabia.” According to the claims of the two accused clowns, Gholam is a member of the Iranian Qods Force, a branch of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (the IRGC) that conducts “sensitive covert operations abroad.”
If we know anything about the Iranian special forces, it is that they are nothing like the schlemiels we’ve just indicted. The two remind me of Chipopo, the hero in a series of Hebrew children’s books I used to devour as a kid in Israel. Chipopo was a monkey. Defendants Mansour and Shakuri’s antics, as detailed in the legal brief that reads like a hastily written potboiler, conjure “Chipopo Joins the IDF,” an adventure in this series. Needless to say, it was not his height that gave the monkey away during basic training.
CS-1 is the chief witness against Holder’s aspiring terrorists, “a paid confidential source” who had been “previously charged in connection with a narcotics offense by authorities of a certain U.S. state. In exchange for CS-1′s cooperation … the State charges were dismissed.”
Put it this way, allowing CS-1 to conduct a sting operation is a lot like letting a criminally minded attorney general run guns to Mexico’s drug cartels.
Oops. Holder has already done his subversive best to corner that “market” by allegedly authorizing “Operation Fast and Furious,” in which a gang going by the acronym ATF – the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives – sold assault rifles to Mexican gangsters and their local gunrunners, who later used their taxpayer-funded ammunition and immunity to gun down innocent Americans and many more, mostly unmentioned, Mexicans.
Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed with one of these weapons. (When good guys like Agents John Dodson and Lee Casa questioned the practice, they were ordered to “stand down,” or confine their activities to “surveillance.”)
The feds can be funny. CS-1 and his compadres were told to pose as “associates of a sophisticated and violent international drug-trafficking cartel,” and offer themselves up as assassins for hire to Gholam Shakuri and his Iranian amigos. CS-1 met Team Chipopo in Mexico. It’s almost like our sophisticates were tracing the smuggling routes of Operation Fast and Furious.
Or perhaps, these simpletons were simply drawn to the original scene of the crime. “Elementary, my dear Watson.”
At this rate, it is not impossible to imagine America’s attorney general funneling arms to odd-balls in Iran using Operation Fast and Furious as a fig leaf.
In his broken English – a U.S. citizenship requirement – Arbabsiar, a naturalized American, boasted about his culprit-cum-cousin: The man Arbabsiar called the “Colonel” was a “wanted man in America,” “on CNN” and a top banana in Iran. (I told you this is funny.)
Enough of this nonsense. The FBI often entraps pliable dolts (to better serve their political masters). The seven Miami-based men who were accused of “concocting a plot to blow up Chicago’s Sears Tower” come to mind. They were illiterate and probably borderline retarded.
Not even Fouad Ajami, a dedicated Arab neoconservative, managed to divine a motive for this moronic plot, whose targets, conveniently, are satellites of the U.S. The Saudis and the Israelis would gladly corroborate any American tall tale. And not even A-Jad, much less alleged members of the Qods crack team, would be so foolish as to think a minor Saudi functionary is a worthy target for terror.
On Oct. 3, 2011, days prior to this single arrest (the “Colonel” is still at large in Iran or Cancún), CBS News reported that “Attorney General Eric Holder was sent briefings on the controversial Fast and Furious operation as far back as July 2010,” in contradiction to his statement to Congress.
The Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform are breathing down Holder’s neck, about to crack Fast and Furious asunder.
The plot to frame Iran might well have been hatched in Disneyland, the code name for D.C.