Following the Russian spy scandal, it looks like there are a lot of movie plots in the news these days:
Shahram Amiri — a nuclear scientist Tehran claimed was kidnapped by U.S. agents — told a state-run television station in Iran that he was abducted by U.S. intelligence officials and faced “psychological warfare and pressure that are much worse than being in prison.”
State-run Press TV said Wednesday that Amiri spoke in an interview after his escape, telling the channel, “I think I will be unable to get into details during this limited period of time and I will postpone it to when I am hopefully in my dear country Iran, so I can speak to the media and my own people with ease of mind and tell them about my ordeal over the past 14 months.”
Amiri has left the United States and is headed back to Iran, the country’s state-run media said Wednesday morning.
Anyone know more?
All I know is that we were watching an anti-communist 1950s propaganda film yesterday and both of us thought that the modern U.Sof A seems more like the the Soviets in the film than the good guys.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
When they make the movie about the Russian “spies” I expect Jewel Staite to play Amber (I believe that was the redhead’s name).
BBC Newshour interviewed a variety of informed analysts on the topic and it seems more convincing that the scientist would likely have preferred to remain in the US, but with his family back in Iran, some pretty heavy persuasion could be brought by the regime.
This story reminds me of one involving Sadam Hussian. I seem to recall a son-in-law of his go to the west and handing over evidence of his WMD program then getting home sick or something. Sadam said all was forgiven and he had nothing to fear so he returned only to be executed.
I fear Shahram Amiri is going to have a Fredo in the boat moment in his future.
Third Eye Open
Obviously the CIA worked with another agency to get their hands on this guy, which is why they don’t bother massaging their claim that, “the CIA did not abduct him”.
The real question is: Are we so concerned that we don’t have proper human-intelligence that we snagged this guy to pump him for info, without regard for his family’s safety? Or, is this more of a Kabuki dance where we are just trying to see what sort of reaction we can get out of Iran, perhaps to tip their hand, or perhaps just to thump our chest? I don’t see the second option being too likely, but then again, I am not part of the Council on Foreign Relations, so I am not a serious person.
He wasn’t abducted, he was on vacation. Because all Iranian nuclear scientists are allowed to travel freely in the U.S., on vacation by themselves, choosing to fly out of the Paki embassay instead of Raygun International. Which is all normal behavior.
You know what I find annoying and very curious?: that the MSM and most Americans pretend that such things happen ONLY in movies and novels, and that anyone who says otherwise is a “conspiracy theorist.”
In such a manner are we told over and over again to just shut up and move along…happens on this site quite a bit too.
Third Eye Open
@tim: I don’t understand, I am sorry. Are you saying that people in America don’t believe that we abduct people for fun and profit? Didn’t we just have a protracted, 7+ year discussion about rendition, which while slightly different, does pretty much imply that we are snatching people for our own reasons.
Aww, fuck it. Just shut-up and move along…
J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford
After his escape?
If this guy was in U.S. possession he would not have escaped.
some other guy
@Third Eye Open:
The response I often got (and get) when talking about warrantless searches/wiretapping, data-mining, torture, indefinite detention, rendition, and the like is that, sure, this stuff occurs, but only very rarely and only to really, really bad people. It’s considered evidence of paranoia and conspiratorial thinking to believe that these policies could possibly affect anyone other than people like Osama Bin Laden. And if it does on occasion, well, who cares about foreigners because they don’t have any rights anyway.
Even when I point to something like COINTELPRO as evidence that, yes, the national security state has even been used against US citizens to stifle dissent in the very recent past, people remain very skeptical that such a thing could ever happen here in the Land of the Free. A few bad apples, perhaps.
In any case, the government needs these tools to protect us from the
communiststerrorists. Everyone, from the politicians, to the intelligence officers, to the media talking heads, says so. Who are you to disagree with the experts? A simp or a symp?
Yeah, he was on vacation. That’s why he sent two videos saying he’d been abducted by the US Government.
the black ops guys promised to get his family out as a conditional on his defect.
so he has to go back.
the US is prolly complicit and will try to give him some cover for his return.
Third Eye Open
@some other guy: We are never more than one blown-up Federal building away from piss-puddling our collective jammies. Constitutional guarantees haven’t really meant much of anything in at least a century, and mean even less in today’s interconnected world.
We are in a post-fact environment, good luck getting a majority of Americans to accept a single narrative that wasn’t first written for a reality-TV show.
Third Eye Open
@matoko_chan: See, this is the question that bugs me: Was this the only good opportunity to snag this guy? If Black Ops really needed this guy, and couldn’t get to his family, what made them think that after he escaped, that option would be any easier? This really makes no sense, unless this was simply to get some info that they couldn’t get in any other way. This is far too messy for professional operators, IMHO.
@Belafon (formerly anonevent):
Her name was Anna, actually, Anna Chapman.
And the thought of Jewel Staite playing her just sent me to my happy place.
Amiri defected to the US in June of 2009. He was in Saudi Arabia at the time. He has been spilling what he knows about the Iranian nuclear program until April of this year. At that time he made a Skype video saying that he was being held prisoner. Then he released another you-tube video saying that he was living happily in Arizona, followed by a third video stating that he wanted to go back to Iran.
It is assumed that pressure was put on his family, who remaned in Iran, to coerce him into coming back. The only good news for him is that the Iranian government has always denied the defection story and have made him a hero who was kidnapped by the CIA. So they can’t really throw him in prison or anything because that would be an admission that they had been lying all along.
@Tim I: borrowing a page from B5 that doesn’t mean that they can’t have him suffer a sudden heart attack or cia “assasination” after he’s done touring the country showing how strong and rightous the regime is.
The guy was getting a pHD in Arizona, it seems. Some kidnapping.
That he was ‘debriefed’ about what he might have known, I am sure. But it looks much more like a defection – change of heart (or failure on our part to secure his family) – return home than anything.
I wouldn’t put it past our ‘security’ agencies to grab someone and spirit them away, but this one looks more like what I outlined above.
The multiple videos, by the way, may be a tactic we should encourage our own side to use. Issue a tape for your captors, issue (if possible) another calling the first one a lie, rinse and repeat, so that neither side gets the propaganda coup. It lessens the pressure, in a way, and makes the same process from the other side look as flimsy. That is, if several competing videos emerge, it’s sure someone is playing games, and eventually becomes part of the the meme, so that no one knows what to believe.
So, of course, they’ll believe what their inclination says, anyway, just like studies show when people are shown facts that contradict their strongly-held beliefs (tax cuts increase tax revenues, etc.) — they hold the beliefs and reject the facts. Such is human nature.
No, it’s forever Amber.
(And few here are old enough to recall that book.)
@Third Eye Open: we don’t have that much access to Iranians, because of Operationa Ajax and the Shah, and we don’t have an embassy there.
it was prolly some dumb fuckup like his family was supposed to go to the Brit embassy or the german embassy.
I’m pretty sure Amiri was promised a clean extraction of his family as part of the standard defector contract.
mebbe the stolen elections and the Green Wave screwed it for them.
Nobody knows nothing.
However, there were 4 (?) videos sent to YouTube, plus one from his wife :
Anyone know Persian well enough to judge the language in these videos and willing to comment on these ? I would like to put together a review of these videos.