Thursday, January 04, 2018

Meanwhile, In The Cruel and Cutthroat World of Spy vs. Spy...,

Haaretz |  Washington gave Israel a green light to assassinate Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force, the overseas arm of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida reported on Monday.

TheAmericanConservative |  Speaking at the annual Reagan National Defense Forum, CIA Director Mike Pompeo recently disclosed that he sent a direct communication to Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani, the longtime commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force division responsible for Iran’s overseas paramilitary and intelligence activity. “What we were communicating to him in that letter was that we will hold he and Iran accountable for any attacks on American interests in Iraq by forces that are under their control,” Pompeo told the audience. “We wanted to make sure he and the leadership in Iran understood that in a way that was crystal clear.”

To some who have operated in the clandestine and murky world of intelligence tradecraft, Pompeo’s maneuver was a surprise. Former CIA director Mike Hayden told Newsweek that he couldn’t recall ever doing such a thing during his tenure, while others labeled Pompeo’s move a too-clever-by-half strategy to signal toughness to Soleimani, who retains enormous power and influence within the Iranian political system.