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This looks like yet another Obama stumble

From the WaPo:

The Iranian nuclear scientist who claimed to have been abducted by the CIA before departing for his homeland Wednesday was paid more than $5 million by the agency to provide intelligence on Iran's nuclear program, U.S. officials said.

Shahram Amiri is not obligated to return the money but might be unable to access it after breaking off what U.S. officials described as significant cooperation with the CIA and abruptly returning to Iran. Officials said he might have left out of concern that the Tehran government would harm his family.

"Anything he got is now beyond his reach, thanks to the financial sanctions on Iran," a U.S. official said. "He's gone, but his money's not. We have his information, and the Iranians have him."

Amiri arrived in Tehran early Thursday to a hero's welcome, including personal greetings from several senior government officials. His 7-year-old son broke down in tears as Amiri held him for the first time since his mysterious disappearance in Saudi Arabia 14 months ago.

In brief remarks to reporters at Imam Khomeni International Airport, Amiri said, "I am so happy to be back in the Islamic republic," and he repeated his claims of having been abducted by U.S. agents. He said CIA agents had tried to pressure him into helping them with their propaganda against his homeland and offered him $50 million to remain in the United States.

Amiri, who flashed victory signs as he stepped into the airport, also said that he knew little of Iran's main nuclear enrichment site. "I'm a simple researcher. A normal person would know more about Natanz than me."

He was greeted by Hassan Qashqavi, a high-ranking Foreign Ministry official, as well as a deputy interior minister and a deputy science minister.

Amiri's request this week to be sent home stunned U.S. officials, who said he had been working with the CIA for more than a year.

Whether the agency received an adequate return on its investment in Amiri is difficult to assess. The size of the payment might offer some measure of the value of the information he shared. But it could also reflect a level of eagerness within the U.S. intelligence community for meaningful information on Iran.

Let's assume for a moment that you're an Iranian scientist who wants to help overthrow the Ahmadinejad regime.  Let's assume that you decide to work with U.S. officials to do so but that after a while, you see that in fact, the United States isn't serious about it and that in fact, they've made moves that instead seem to bolster the regime and weaken her enemies. 

Is there little wonder that you get cold feet about the whole thing?  I mean really.

Amiri was likely a very willing player in the beginning who became discouraged the longer he had to deal with Obama and his minions.

And so he flopped.  His hope for change dashed by the ideology of Barack Hussein Obama.

Lots of hope for change dashing going on with this President.


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Comments (19)

"Amiri was likely a very... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

"Amiri was likely a very willing player in the beginning who became discouraged the longer he had to deal with Obama and his minions."

Or, in my opinion, this is more like it: "Officials said he might have left out of concern that the Tehran government would harm his family."

They may have gotten wind of his cooperation and threatened his family. The whole "hero's welcome" thing may just be a show and he's in big trouble there now. Senior government officials were there with his family to greet him. Never underestimate Tehran's duplicity.

His story about being abducted won't wash with them as the CIA allowed him to return to Iran without issue.

In Spy vs Spy, you never kn... (Below threshold)
epador:

In Spy vs Spy, you never know who is going to be a double/triple agent.

Let's not forget the vastly... (Below threshold)

Let's not forget the vastly-experienced intelligence expert that Obey-Won decided was the right person to be leading the CIA...

I doubt the scientist chang... (Below threshold)
Bill Long:

I doubt the scientist changed his mind because of Obama's incompetence and ideology. This scientist became concerned for his family. Not anticipating that Iran would threaten his family, and failure to protect his family -- THOSE are Obama's failure here.

Amiri is soooooooo screwed.... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Amiri is soooooooo screwed. By Barry and his acolytes and the Iranian mullahs when they get hold of him.

There's alway's plenty of f... (Below threshold)
914:

There's alway's plenty of failure to go around when Barry's involved.

Amiri had to know that his ... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Amiri had to know that his family would be in jeopardy as a result of his disappearance before it actually took place (assuming that he was a willing participant, as the article claims). So, the question would be what didn't happen that he thought would which would have protected his family ?

My guess is that he was promised something (most likely that his family would be brought also) which the Obama administration / CIA was later unable or unwilling to deliver.

What are the chances Amiri ... (Below threshold)
John S:

What are the chances Amiri will "mysteriously" disappear again. But since we now have the location of nuclear targets in Iran, we had no more need for Amiri. Watch for a joint Israel-U.S. attack on Iran in October. A wag the dog exercise in time for the mid-term elections. Of course Obama will fuck that up as well: Iran will mount suicide attacks within the U.S. as we wait in long lines for $20 gallon gas.

John S, a joint US-Israel a... (Below threshold)

John S, a joint US-Israel attack on Iran would be the worst thing for American since the invasion of Iraq.

If not even worse - because the unnecessary invasion of Iraq gave us two occupations. This would give us a third.

And the notion of Iran sponsoring suicide attacks on the US for any reason is pretty silly. How many Iraqis or Afghanis have done this?

Its terrorist groups we have to watch out for. They are small enough to slip in and do damage. Not nations.

"Its terrorist groups we... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

"Its terrorist groups we have to watch out for. They are small enough to slip in and do damage. Not nations."

Who do you think supports those terrorist groups?

jim x:It... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

jim x:

Its terrorist groups we have to watch out for. They are small enough to slip in and do damage. Not nations.

Yeah, especially if those groups were to acquire nuclear materials from some rogue nation. Maybe we should look at what we can do to reduce the likelihood that happens...

"And the notion of Iran ... (Below threshold)
914:

"And the notion of Iran sponsoring suicide attacks on the US for any reason is pretty silly. How many Iraqis or Afghanis have done this?"

They sponsor them in the west bank. They would here to if they could. The notion is completely logical.

You all forget that the CIA... (Below threshold)
ron:

You all forget that the CIA may have offered him the money as a point of discreditment. Tehran will probably not trust him again. They are not going to ever be sure whether he tried to defect or was kidnapped. The fact that he was let go is a policy that our intellegence services use with defectors. We here in the US try to aclimate defectors to the Western World but oft the cultural shock is too much. Either way Tehran is kindof tied in the matter because if they harm him we will know and that would make it into the press. Bad for Iran good for us propaganda wise.

"John S, a joint US-I... (Below threshold)
John S:

"John S, a joint US-Israel attack on Iran would be the worst thing for America... "

I agree absolutely. But it would save the House, which is all the Israeli national Rahm Emanuel cares about. You're probably not old enough to remember that JFK staged the Cuban Missile crisis. This bit of theater turned expected Democratic losses into a gain of seats in the mid-term election two weeks after the "crisis." And the Republican opposition that had been warning about missiles in Cuba for more than a year -- to White House denials and stonewalling -- lost their seats.

I'm interested in hearing m... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

I'm interested in hearing more about this alleged "staging", John S. Can you provide any sources where I might go to learn more?

I'm with Bruce - I'd like t... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

I'm with Bruce - I'd like to see the sources for the 'staging' of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Or are they the same sources who suggest that FDR manipulated the Japanese into attacking Pearl Harbor through trade sanctions dating back to the mid-30s, forcing them into their murderously expansionist policies in China, which occasioned further restrictions, so they had no choice BUT to strike at the US?

As an aside on that, sometimes even with men of goodwill trying to negotiate sensitive issues to a point where everyone's okay on them, no accomidation can be reached and things escalate. And when the folks on one side do NOT negotiate in good faith, then it's practically impossible to reach any sort of peaceful accord.

And sometimes it's necessary to go to war with all its attendant horrors to make the folks in charge realize their best bet in the first place would have been to negotiate honestly at the outset.

Unfortunately, I think we're approaching that point with Iran. They've not been negotiating in good faith, we've been pretending they were - with all too predictable results.

It reminds me of that littl... (Below threshold)
rich K:

It reminds me of that little gambit saddam offered his son in law .And one day,,,,,ooops, Off with his head.

"I'm interested in heari... (Below threshold)
914:

"I'm interested in hearing more about this alleged "staging", John S. Can you provide any sources where I might go to learn more?"


Yes... But we still cant fix stupid.


Or use apostrophes, apparen... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Or use apostrophes, apparently.




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