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Editor's Note:

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Air Force Refused To Fly Weapons to Middle East Theater – 
By Wayne Madsen

WMR has learned from U.S. and foreign intelligence sources 
that the B-52 transporting six stealth AGM-129 Advanced 
Cruise Missiles, each armed with a W-80-1 nuclear warhead, 
on August 30, were destined for the Middle East via 
Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana. 

However, elements of the Air Force, supported by U.S. 
intelligence agency personnel, successfully revealed the 
ultimate destination of the nuclear weapons and the mission 
was aborted due to internal opposition within the Air Force 
and U.S. Intelligence Community. 

Yesterday, the /Washington Post/ attempted to explain away 
the fact that America's nuclear command and control system 
broke down in an unprecedented manner by reporting that it 
was the result of "security failures at multiple levels." 
It is now apparent that the command and control breakdown, 
reported as a BENT SPEAR incident to the Secretary of 
Defense and White House, was not the result of a command 
and control chain-of-command "failures" but the result of 
a revolt and push back by various echelons within the Air 
Force and intelligence agencies against a planned U.S. 
attack on Iran using nuclear and conventional weapons. 

The /Washington Post/ story on BENT SPEAR may have 
actually been an effort in damage control by the Bush 
administration. WMR has been informed by a knowledgeable 
source that one of the six nuclear-armed cruise missiles 
was, and may still be, unaccounted for. In that case, the 
nuclear reporting incident would have gone far beyond BENT 
SPEAR to a National Command Authority alert known as EMPTY 
QUIVER, with the special classification of PINNACLE. 

Just as this report was being prepared, /Newsweek/ reported 
that Vice President Dick Cheney's recently-departed Middle 
East adviser, David Wurmser, told a small group of advisers 
some months ago that Cheney had considered asking Israel 
to launch a missile attack on the Iranian nuclear site at 
Natanz. Cheney reasoned that after an Iranian retaliatory 
strike, the United States would have ample reasons to 
launch its own massive attack on Iran. However, plans for 
Israel to attack Iran directly were altered to an Israeli 
attack on a supposed Syrian-Iranian-North Korean nuclear 
installation in northern Syria. 

WMR has learned that a U.S. attack on Iran using nuclear 
and conventional weapons was scheduled to coincide with 
Israel's September 6 air attack on a reputed Syrian nuclear 
facility in Dayr az-Zwar, near the village of Tal Abyad, 
in northern Syria, near the Turkish border. Israel's 
attack, code named OPERATION ORCHARD, was to provide a 
reason for the U.S. to strike Iran. The neo-conservative 
propaganda onslaught was to cite the cooperation of the 
George Bush's three remaining "Axis of Evil" states -- 
Syria, Iran, and North Korea -- to justify a sustained 
Israeli attack on Syria and a massive U.S. military attack 
on Iran. 

WMR has learned from military sources on both sides of the 
Atlantic that there was a definite connection between 
Israel's OPERATION ORCHARD and BENT SPEAR involving the 
B-52 that flew the six nuclear-armed cruise missiles from 
Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota to Barksdale. There 
is also a connection between these two events as the 
Pentagon's highly-classified PROJECT CHECKMATE, a compart-
mented U.S. Air Force program that has been working on an 
attack plan for Iran since June 2007, around the same time 
that Cheney was working on the joint Israeli-U.S. attack 
scenario on Iran. 

PROJECT CHECKMATE was leaked in an article by military 
analyst Eric Margolis in the Rupert Murdoch-owned news-
paper, the /Times of London/, is a program that involves 
over two dozen Air Force officers and is headed by Brig. 
Gen. Lawrence Stutzriem and his chief civilian adviser, 
Dr. Lani Kass, a former Israeli military intelligence 
officer who, astoundingly, is now involved in planning a 
joint U.S.-Israeli massive military attack on Iran that 
involves a "decapitating" blow on Iran by hitting between 
three to four thousand targets in the country. Stutzriem 
and Kass report directly to the Air Force Chief of Staff, 
General Michael Moseley, who has also been charged with 
preparing a report on the B-52/nuclear weapons incident. 

Kass' area of speciality is cyber-warfare, which includes 
ensuring "information blockades," such as that imposed by 
the Israeli government on the Israeli media regarding the 
Syrian air attack on the alleged Syrian "nuclear installa-
tion." British intelligence sources have reported that the 
Israeli attack on Syria was a "true flag" attack originally 
designed to foreshadow a U.S. attack on Iran. After the 
U.S. Air Force push back against transporting the six 
cruise nuclear-armed AGM-129s to the Middle East, Israel 
went ahead with its attack on Syria in order to help 
ratchet up tensions between Washington on one side and 
Damascus, Tehran, and Pyongyang on the other. 

The other part of CHECKMATE's brief is to ensure that a 
media "perception management" is waged against Syria, Iran, 
and North Korea. This involves articles such as that which 
appeared with Joby Warrick's and Walter Pincus' bylines in 
yesterdays /Washington Post/. The article, titled "The Saga 
of a Bent Spear," quotes a number of seasoned Air Force 
nuclear weapons experts as saying that such an incident is 
unprecedented in the history of the Air Force. For example, 
Retired Air Force General Eugene Habiger, the former chief 
of the U.S. Strategic Command, said he has been in the 
"nuclear business" since 1966 and has never been aware of 
an incident "more disturbing." 

Command and control breakdowns involving U.S. nuclear 
weapons are unprecedented, except for that fact that the 
U.S. military is now waging an internal war against neo-
cons who are embedded in the U.S. government and military 
chain of command who are intent on using nuclear weapons 
in a pre-emptive war with Iran. 

CHECKMATE and OPERATION ORCHARD would have provided the 
cover for a pre-emptive U.S. and Israeli attack on Iran 
had it not been for BENT SPEAR involving the B-52. In on 
the plan to launch a pre-emptive attack on Iran involving 
nuclear weapons were, according to our sources, Cheney, 
National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley; members of the 
CHECKMATE team at the Pentagon, who have close connections 
to Israeli intelligence and pro-Israeli think tanks in 
Washington, including the Hudson Institute; British Foreign 
Secretary David Miliband, a political adviser to Tony Blair 
prior to becoming a Member of Parliament; Israeli political 
leaders like Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Likud leader 
Binyamin Netanyahu; and French Foreign Minister Bernard 
Kouchner, who did his part last week to ratchet up tensions 
with Iran by suggesting that war with Iran was a prob-
ability. Kouchner retracted his statement after the U.S. 
plans for Iran were delayed. 

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Although the Air Force tried to keep the B-52 nuclear 
incident from the media, anonymous Air Force personnel 
leaked the story to /Military Times/ on September 5, the 
day before the Israelis attacked the alleged nuclear 
installation in Syria and the day planned for the 
simultaneous U.S. attack on Iran. The leaking of classified 
information on U.S. nuclear weapons disposition or movement 
to the media, is, itself, unprecedented. Air Force 
regulations require the sending of classified BEELINE 
reports to higher Air Force authorities on the disclosure 
of classified Air Force information to the media. 

In another highly unusual move, Defense Secretary Robert 
Gates has asked an outside inquiry board to look into BENT 
SPEAR, even before the Air Force has completed its own 
investigation, a virtual vote of no confidence in the 
official investigation being conducted by Major General 
Douglas Raaberg, chief of air and space operations at the 
Air Combat Command. 

Gates asked former Air Force Chief of Staff, retired 
General Larry Welch, to lead a Defense Science Board task 
force that will also look into the BENT SPEAR incident. 
The official Air Force investigation has reportedly been 
delayed for unknown reasons. Welch is President and CEO 
of the Institute for Defense Analysis (IDA), a federally-
funded research contractor that operates three research 
centers, including one for Office of Science and Technology 
Policy in the Executive Office of the President and another 
for the National Security Agency. One of the board members 
of IDA is Dr. Suzanne H. Woolsey of the Paladin Capital 
Group and wife of former CIA director and arch-neocon James 
Woolsey. 

WMR has learned that neither the upper echelons of the 
State Department nor the British Foreign Office were privy 
to OPERATION ORCHARD, although Hadley briefed President 
Bush on Israeli spy satellite intelligence that showed the 
Syrian installation was a joint nuclear facility built 
with North Korean and Iranian assistance. However, it is 
puzzling why Hadley would rely on Israeli imagery 
intelligence (IMINT) from its OFEK (Horizon) 7 satellite 
when considering that U.S. IMINT satellites have greater 
capabilities. 

The Air Force's "information warfare" campaign against 
media reports on CHECKMATE and OPERATION ORCHARD also 
affected international reporting of the recent Inter-
national Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) resolution asking 
Israel to place its nuclear weapons program under IAEA 
controls, similar to those that the United States wants 
imposed on Iran and North Korea. The resolution also 
called for a nuclear-free zone throughout the Middle East. 
The IAEA's resolution, titled "Application of IAEA Safe-
guards in the Middle East," was passed by the 144-member 
IAEA General Meeting on September 20 by a vote of 53 to 2, 
with 47 abstentions. The only two countries to vote 
against were Israel and the United States. However, the 
story carried from the IAEA meeting in Vienna by Reuters, 
the Associated Press, and Agence France Press, was that it 
was Arab and Islamic nations that voted for the resolution. 

This was yet more perception management carried out by 
CHECKMATE, the White House, and their allies in Europe and 
Israel with the connivance of the media. In fact, among 
the 53 nations that voted for the resolution were China, 
Russia, India, Ireland, and Japan. The 47 abstentions were 
described as votes "against" the resolution even though an 
abstention is neither a vote for nor against a measure. 
America's close allies, including Britain, France, 
Australia, Canada, and Georgia, all abstained. 

Suspiciously, the IAEA carried only a brief item on the 
resolution concerning Israel's nuclear program and a roll 
call vote was not available either at the IAEA's web site 
-- www.iaea.org -- or in the media. 

The perception management campaign by the neocon operation-
al cells in the Bush administration, Israel and Europe was 
designed to keep a focus on Iran's nuclear program, not on 
Israel's. Any international examination of Israel's nuclear 
weapons program would likely bring up Israeli nuclear 
scientist Mordechai Vanunu, a covert from Judaism to 
Christianity, who was kidnapped in Rome by a Mossad "honey 
trap" named Cheryl Bentov (aka, Cindy) and a Mossad team 
in 1986 and held against his will in Israel ever since. 

Vanunu's knowledge of the Israeli nuclear weapons program 
would focus on the country's own role in nuclear pro-
liferation, including its program to share nuclear weapons 
technology with apartheid South Africa and Taiwan in the 
late 1970s and 1980s. The role of Ronald Reagan's Director 
of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency Ken Adelman in 
Israeli's nuclear proliferation during the time frame 1983-
1987 would also come under scrutiny. Adelman, a member of 
the Reagan-Bush transition State Department team from 
November 1980 to January 1981, voiced his understanding for 
the nuclear weapons programs of Israel, South Africa, and 
Taiwan in a June 28, 1981 /New York Times/ article titled, 
"3 Nations Widening Nuclear Contacts." The journalist who 
wrote the article was Judith Miller. Adelman felt that the 
three countries wanted nuclear weapons because of their 
ostracism from the West, the third world, and the hostility 
from the Communist countries. Of course, today, the same 
argument can be used by Iran, North Korea, and other "Axis 
of Evil" nations so designated by the neocons in the Bush 
administration and other governments. 

There are also news reports that suggest an intelligence 
relationship between Israel and North Korea. On July 21, 
2004, New Zealand's /Dominion Post/ reported that three 
Mossad agents were involved in espionage in New Zealand. 
Two of the Mossad agents, Uriel Kelman and Elisha Cara 
(aka Kra), were arrested and imprisoned by New Zealand 
police (an Israeli diplomat in Canberra, Amir Lati, was 
expelled by Australia and New Zealand intelligence 
identified a fourth Mossad agent involved in the New 
Zealand espionage operation in Singapore). The third 
Mossad agent in New Zealand, Zev William Barkan (aka Lev 
Bruckenstein), fled New Zealand -- for North Korea. 

New Zealand Foreign Minister Phil Goff revealed that 
Barkan, a former Israeli Navy diver, had previously worked 
at the Israeli embassy in Vienna, which is also the head-
quarters of the IAEA. He was cited by the /Sydney Morning 
Herald/ as trafficking in passports stolen from foreign 
tourists in Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia. New 
Zealand's One News reported that Barkan was in North Korea 
to help the nation build a wall to keep its citizens from 
leaving. 

The nuclear brinkmanship involving the United States and 
Israel and the breakdown in America's command and control 
systems have every major capital around the world wondering 
about the Bush administration's true intentions. 

NOTE: WMR understands the risks to informed individuals in 
reporting the events of August 29/30, to the present time, 
that concern the discord within the U.S. Air Force, U.S. 
intelligence agencies, and other military services. Any 
source with relevant information and who wishes to contact 
us anonymously may drop off sealed correspondence at or 
send mail via the Postal Service to: Wayne Madsen, c/o The 
Front Desk, National Press Club, 13th Floor, 529 14th St., 
NW, Washington, DC, 20045. 

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