Air Force refused to fly weapons to Middle East theater
By Wayne Madsen
Sept. 24, 2007
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
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
compartmented 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 newspaper, 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 no w 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 installation." 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 Ira n.
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 probability.
Kouchner retracted his statement after the U.S. plans for Iran were
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
Gates asked former Air Force Chief of Staff, retired General Larry
Welch, to lead a Defense Science Board tas k 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
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 International 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 Safeguards 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
This was yet more percep tion 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
The perception management campaign by the neocon operational 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 proliferation, 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 headquarters 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
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 anonymou sly 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,
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