As the Bush administration ratchets up pressure on Iran, Vice President Cheney’s top national security aide has been quoted by the Washington Post — in the 10th paragraph on page A18 — that war with Iran is “a real possibility” this year:
Some senior administration officials still relish the notion of a direct confrontation. One ambassador in Washington said he was taken aback when John Hannah, Vice President Cheney’s national security adviser, said during a recent meeting that the administration considers 2007 “the year of Iran” and indicated that a U.S. attack was a real possibility. Hannah declined to be interviewed for this article.
Those with knowledge of the build-up to war in Iraq will recognize John Hannah’s name. In Bush’s second term, he replaced Scooter Libby as the head of Cheney’s national security staff. During Bush’s first term, he personally wrote the first draft of the infamous speech that Secretary of State Colin Powell delivered to the United Nations, according to Powell’s former aide Lawrence Wilkerson.
Moreover, Hannah was a top source for false pre-war intelligence from Iraqi exiles that was “stovepiped” past the intelligence agencies and sent directly to the White House:
For months, Cheney’s office has denied that the veep bypassed U.S. intelligence agencies to get intel reports from [Ahmad Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress]. But a June 2002 memo written by INC lobbyist Entifadh Qunbar to a U.S. Senate committee lists John Hannah, a senior national-security aide on Cheney’s staff, as one of two “U.S. governmental recipients” for reports generated by an intelligence program being run by the INC and which was then being funded by the State Department. Under the program, “defectors, reports and raw intelligence are cultivated and analyzed”; the info was then reported to, among others, “appropriate governmental, non-governmental and international agencies.” The memo not only describes Cheney aide Hannah as a “principal point of contact” for the program, it even provides his direct White House telephone number.
John Hannah’s comments about Iran should be taken seriously. He knows how to mislead a nation into war.