Nine Minutes to Catastrophe

Intelligence operations almost always make good copy and sometimes exciting movies. The reality is somewhere between with tedium, patience and determination becoming the most decisive factors. Seldom do intelligence operations resemble a “Mission Impossible” scenario, but occasionally they’re close.

Navy nuclear attack submarine crews are unlikely James Bond characters but engage in incredibly dangerous and vital operations. During the Cold War one such crew penetrated the fleet anchorage of the Soviet Northern Fleet and tapped into an undersea cable, capturing the most closely held secrets of the Soviet High Command for several months. The operation was a spectacular success until the Soviets got wise from Washington leaks via high-ranking political types trying to score points with the media. The Glomar Explorer operation in the Pacific to recover Soviet nuclear missile warheads from a sunken sub off Hawaii was another case of “blown cover” by the press. Loss of secrecy costs money (Glomar Explorer cost millions) and could cost lives, such as an entire Sub crew when engaged in dangerous operations. One of my peers lost his life in East Germany in 1985, executed by the KGB when his operation was leaked and penetrated by Soviet counterespionage. Thus when I hear about a high-ranking politician acting in a totally irresponsible and arrogant manner in the handling of military or diplomatic classified information, I do a slow burn.

Former Secretary of State Clinton’s use of an unsecure server and e-mail put herself and the nation at extreme risk as diplomatic communications and military operations are always the highest priorities for intelligence collection. Diplomatic communications reveal “Intent,” the “Holy Grail” of intelligence collection. We can count tanks and planes all day, but having insight into foreign intentions is the key to sound foreign policy decision-making. If they’re reading your mail they have you at their mercy, in war, diplomacy or trade. Every intelligence analyst will confirm that ALL cabinet-level officers and their aides are targeted by multiple foreign intelligence services. We can safely assume virtually all of Clinton’s conversations as Secretary of State are archived in Russian, Chinese, Iranian and North Korean intelligence databanks. She put your families at extreme risk for her own nefarious reasons.

That brings me to the Iran nuclear agreement under review by Congress. Hopefully, they will garner the votes to override a presidential veto and kill the agreement as it’s worse than a very bad agreement.

We were promised inspections “anywhere, anytime” by the White House, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Energy and other key negotiators as recently as April 2015. There is no such provision and the Ayatollah’s and Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander says all military installations are permanently off-limits. The agreement also ignores the four American hostages still being held by Iran and lifts the embargo on conventional weapons and ballistic missiles.

The only use for a ballistic missile is to put a weapon of mass destruction on top of it, like a nuclear weapon. Iran’s ballistic missile program already has the ability to conduct space launches of small satellites into orbit; now they can refine their missiles, increasing range and accuracy with impunity. They are also already violating existing sanctions: They sent the commander of the Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani, to Moscow, contravening a travel ban under current sanctions to negotiate arms transfers from Russia to Iran. The Quds Force clandestinely operated in Iraq to kill and wound over 1000 American troops during the last decade. Soleimani’s mission was to expedite the delivery of prohibited S-300 anti-aircraft/anti-ballistic missiles to Iran from Russia. The S-300 is a game-changer for the Israeli and American military. It’s a quantum leap in capability, greatly increasing the risk to aircrews launching strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities.

For the Israelis, the situation is extremely grave. The Obama administration has made it abundantly clear they have no intention of ever exercising a military option against the Iranian nuclear program. The Israelis were left out in the cold as the window of opportunity for a successful airstrike against Iranian nuclear sites diminishes. The Iranian nuclear “agreement” with President Obama allows Iran to eventually become a legally armed nuclear state by the next decade without internal change to their apocalyptic foreign policy requiring the annihilation of Israel. Half the world’s Jewish population lives in Israel. The flight time of a ballistic missile from Iran to Israel is nine minutes. In nine minutes Iran can murder more Jews than Hitler murdered in nine years.

Sunday, the Israeli Ambassador to the United States stated that Israel will have to act in its own interest, which in this case, is national survival. Facing a regime determined to destroy every Jew in the world, Israel will be forced to strike Iran first. Obama’s agreement leads not to “Peace In Our Time,” but paves the way for nuclear war.


Written by Al Fonzi
5th District Chairman, Republican Party, SLO County
Past President, SLO County Lincoln Club

First printed in Atascadero News article 21 August 2015


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