Preparing the Battlefield The Bush Administration steps up its secret moves against Iran.
by Seymour M. Hersh
A Democratic senator told me that, late last year, in an off-the-record lunch meeting, Secretary of Defense Gates met with the Democratic caucus in the Senate. (Such meetings are held regularly.) Gates warned of the consequences if the Bush Administration staged a preŽmptive strike on Iran, saying, as the senator recalled, ďWeíll create generations of jihadists, and our grandchildren will be battling our enemies here in America.Ē Gatesís comments stunned the Democrats at the lunch, and another senator asked whether Gates was speaking for Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney. Gatesís answer, the senator told me, was ďLetís just say that Iím here speaking for myself.Ē (A spokesman for Gates confirmed that he discussed the consequences of a strike at the meeting, but would not address what he said, other than to dispute the senatorís characterization.)