Report: John Bolton is Puffing Up Intelligence Again

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Trump's top national security adviser John Bolton made a spectacle of it when he announced that a carrier strike group and bombers would be deployed to the region to counter specific threats from Iranian-backed forces, but if you've been at least semi-conscious for the past 20 years you know we can't take what Bolton says at face value.

Sources who spoke to the Daily Beast say the White House has overreacted and exaggerated the threat.

Justifying the move, anonymous government officials cited intelligence indicating Iran had crafted plans to use proxies to strike U.S. forces, both off the coast of Yemen and stationed in Iraq. National Security Adviser John Bolton also discussed the intelligence on the record. A consensus appeared to be emerging: that Iran was gearing up for war.

But multiple sources close to the situation told The Daily Beast that the administration blew it out of proportion, characterizing the threat as more significant than it actually was.

“It’s not that the administration is mischaracterizing the intelligence, so much as overreacting to it,” said one U.S. government official briefed on it.

Another source familiar with the situation agreed that the Trump administration’s response was an “overreaction” but didn’t dispute that a threat exists.

The idea that Iran is gearing up to start a war with the United States is so hilariously preposterous it could only emerge from the fever dreams of John Bolton.

It seems more plausible to me that Iran is gearing up to defend itself against John Bolton and Donald Trump and their efforts to prepare for that have been intentionally mischaracterized as an offensive threat rather than defensive posturing.

I'm obviously not an intelligence analyst, but it's not like we haven't seen this movie before. Iran does not pose a serious threat to the United States and neither did Iraq.

I will consider it a minor miracle if we rid ourselves of Trump before he starts a war somewhere.

  • sawadee2000

    Get ready for a phony “Gulf of Tonkin” incident which will let Bolton to get the war he’s been praying for. With Trump riding a tank into Tehran like George fucking Patton. I only hope someone coldcocks Trump before he decides to start lobbing nukes. All “patriotic” Americans will rally around the commander in chief, right? Please excuse me while I vomit, as The President of the United States continues to shit all over the constitution.

  • fry1laurie

    Funny how the Drumpf admin takes the intelligence community’s word on Iran, but on Russia….

  • Aynwrong

    Glenn Greenwald’s, Susan Sarandon’s and Jill Stein’s idiotic usefulness is on full display.

  • muselet

    Juan Cole on Monday:

    Iran does not have so much as a battleship and has no air force to speak of, and so you do not actually need an aircraft carrier to deal with it. Back when Dick Cheney was trying to provoke Iran, late in the Bush administration, he also sent an aircraft carrier to the Gulf, and the snowflake conservatives were crying that Iranian skiffs had menaced it. Skiffs.


    For all we know four young Shiites in Sadr City were overheard wishing ill on foreign troops on Iraqi soil, and Bolton wants to blame Iran for the conversation.

    [link omitted]

    John Bolton desperately wants Donald Trump to get the US into a war with someone, anyone.

    The government of Iran is a lot of thing, few of them good, but it’s not filled with stupid people. Everyone knows Iran would be turned into a glass parking lot (h/t Charlie Pierce) if it even hinted at menacing the US, let alone sending undefined “proxies” to carry out actual attacks.

    Bolton is a dangerous madman and Trump is stupid enough to believe his lies.