When my clock radio came on Monday morning I heard some speculation that we are about to use tactical nuclear weapons on Iran. President Bush denied it. So did Rumsfield. On the other hand, Eric Alterman says, "Believe it this time, buster." and Fred Kaplan from Slate speculates that we are trying mind games with Iran.
How seriously should we take this? What is seldom mentioned is that the whole story comes from Seymour Hersh. Hersh gets a lot of credibility because he broke the Pentagon Papers in the 1970s. What no one seems to be considering is Hersh's more recent record. Specifically, he was making the rounds a bit over a year ago insisting that we were about to launch an attack on Iran in the Spring of 2005. Special Forces were already in Iran mapping out targets and the actual attack would come in April or May - certainly by June.
Now Hersh is making the same assertions. To me, he is an anti-war ideologue who keeps flogging the idea that the Bush administration is on the verge of attacking Iran. He got it wrong in 2005 but he is back with the same warning except now he insists that we are willing to do a first strike with nuclear weapons.
I'm not buying it. Hersh's recent history shows that he is an unreliable source.