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CNN by way of Think Progress

GOP Rep Says Strike On Iran’s Nuclear Facilities Would Not Be An Act Of War

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said on CNN last night that neither he, nor the Iranians, would consider an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities an act of war.

Rogers said that he believed there are options “short of war” that could prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and, strangely, CNN host Erin Burnett wondered if bombing suspected nuclear weapons facilities would be an option that is “short of war.” While Rogers at first appeared taken aback by Burnett’s odd question, he then went a bit further, saying definitively that such an attack would indeed be “short of war” and the Iranians would see it that way too:

   BURNETT: Do you think that bombing those key facilities, whether it’s Parchin or Fordow, is that short of war, in your opinion, or would that actually spark a war? If we use one of those, you know, massive ordinance, penetrators, 30,000 ton bombs that could actually penetrate deep under the ground, where as you say they have been placing some of their facilities?

    ROGERS: Well, again, I would be cautious of — short of war. I will say that —

    BURNETT: So that’s not — that would be war. OK.

    ROGERS: Well, in very targeted strikes, we use very targeted strikes against al Qaeda. And so if it is a very targeted strike, many would argue that that’s short of war. And if it only seeks to go after their nuclear program, that is — we’re not talking about invasions or naval engagements or troops on the ground, none of that. And this has been used by other — President Clinton used this tactic.

    But there’s also other things under that. I’m not saying that’s — that is the right answer. That is an option that I believe is short of war if it is very selective, very targeted, only to the nuclear program. And we do know, those — that the Iranians believe that there is a whole panoply of options — war and then these targeted strikes they don’t see as — wouldn’t see as an act of war.

Rogers used to be the sane GOP in congress on these matters.

Gee how about calling it an Act of Genocide that make ya happy Mike.

Uranium hexafluoride

Uranium hexafluoride (UF6), referred to as "hex" in the nuclear industry, is a compound used in the uranium enrichment process that produces fuel for nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons. It forms solid grey crystals at standard temperature and pressure (STP), is highly toxic, reacts violently with water and is corrosive to most metals. It reacts mildly with aluminium, forming a thin surface layer of AlF3 that resists further reaction.


Milled uranium ore—U3O8 or "yellowcake"—is dissolved in nitric acid, yielding a solution of uranyl nitrate UO2(NO3)2. Pure uranyl nitrate is obtained by solvent extraction, then treated with ammonia to produce ammonium diuranate ("ADU", (NH4)2U2O7). Reduction with hydrogen gives UO2, which is converted with hydrofluoric acid (HF) to uranium tetrafluoride, UF4. Oxidation with fluorine yields UF6.

During nuclear reprocessing, uranium is reacted with chlorine trifluoride to give UF6:

U + 2 ClF3 →UF6 + Cl2

Creating the world's largest dirty bomb and letting this crud land on civilian populations.
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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (13+ / 0-)

    The 1st Amendment gives you the right to say stupid things, the 1st Amendment doesn't guarantee a paycheck to say stupid things.

    by JML9999 on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 03:22:40 PM PDT

  •  sanctions working tighter+tighter. no need/war (4+ / 0-)

    Job Crater Republicans Made Our Lives Miserable. Tell It To The Morans!

    by renzo capetti on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 03:26:06 PM PDT

  •  Wait (7+ / 0-)

    He's saying Iraq wouldn't consider targeted strikes of their nuclear facilities by the U.S. as an act of war?

    Would the U.S consider this an act of war if the roles were reversed?

    "Romney/Ryan 2012 - A chicken in every pot, a burka in every closet."

    by Otis29 on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 03:33:46 PM PDT

  •  Iran won't regard it as an act of war? (9+ / 0-)

    Sure.  And monkeys will fly out of Rogers' butt.

  •  So this is Michele Bachmann exponential (6+ / 0-)

    She was just a member of the Intelligence Committee

    this a&*hole is the chair of the House Intelligence Committee

    demonstrating again, like Bachmann, that being on the Intelligence committee does not require the member of have any

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 03:57:20 PM PDT

  •  Goof grief! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, divineorder

    This makes Hank Johnson's Guam question look bright by comparison.

    "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

    by sceptical observer on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 04:00:43 PM PDT

  •  Just as rape delivers God's gift of life (9+ / 0-)

    to women, so, too, do cruise missiles deliver America's gift of freedom to Iran.

    One must be consistent in one's logic on these things.

    Politics is about the improvement of people's lives. - Paul Wellstone

    by occams hatchet on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 04:00:53 PM PDT

  •  Just in Time (3+ / 0-)

    Nice.  Just in time for the 50th anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis. Nixon came close with the '73 Arab-Israeli war.  Sadam could have responded with chemical weapons in either of the Bush wars.  The Repubs won't be happy until they create a worldwide catastrophe.  Oh wait... that's what global warming is.

  •  Targeted attacks on AQ, whether with drones... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ... or boots on the ground, are acts of war against Al Qaeda, a subnational group that exists in a number of countries.  

    Per Congress and the UN, the US has authorization to pursue and take out AQ in any country that "harbors" them, where "harboring" is defined as giving aid and comfort, or willfully or negligently failing to pursue and prosecute or extradite.

    That means if Obama called up David Cameron in London and told him there was an AQ cell hiding out in a London apartment preparing to shoot down airliners with shoulder-launched missiles, and Cameron said "we don't care, we're not going to move on them," Obama could order the US military to do the job by whatever means were likely to produce the smallest number of civilian casualties.  

    Now the likelihood of Great Britain failing to act is zero, so we're not going to see US drones in London.  

    But Pakistan, whose government has a full-on festering infestation of AQ and Taliban, is a different story.

    And Iran is a wholly different story, per my next comment, shortly.

    "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

    by G2geek on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 04:14:43 PM PDT

    •  That's not true (3+ / 0-)

      See here:

      None of the United Nations Security Council resolutions on the fight against international terrorism, and in particular al-Qaida (Res. 1267 of 1999 to Res. 1974 of 2011), authorize the carrying out of operations on foreign territory, nor the arrest, and even less the killing, of (suspected) terrorists. These resolutions can, at best, be read, in line with the various Terrorism Conventions, as allowing the extradition or prosecution (aut dedere aut iudicare) of terrorism suspects.
      •  But what of the first AUMF nt (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shawn Russell

        The 1st Amendment gives you the right to say stupid things, the 1st Amendment doesn't guarantee a paycheck to say stupid things.

        by JML9999 on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 04:32:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  AUMF does not authorize drone strikes in the way (5+ / 0-)

          we have used them. See here:

          The administration justifies its use of armed drones with reference to the Authorization for the Use of Military Force that Congress passed just days after the September 11 attacks. In the AUMF, Congress authorized force against groups and countries that had supported the terrorist strikes. But Congress rejected the Bush administration's request for open-ended military authority "to deter and preempt any future acts of terrorism or aggression against the United States." Deterrence and preemption are exactly what Obama is trying to accomplish by sending robots to kill "suspected militants" or those who happen to be present in an area where suspicious activity has taken place.

          Moreover, in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, Congress specifically declared, "Nothing in this section is intended to... expand the authority of the President or the scope of the Authorization for the Use of Military Force [of September 2001]."</blockquote>

  •  A little inarticulate, to be sure (0+ / 0-)

    He was actually doing alright, saying that a bombing run wouldn't necessarily spark an all-out war. He was using the word in a dynamic political sense to describe what the Supreme Court said about war in "The Prize Cases" that it is "a state of things."

    It was only at the end that he erred in using terminology with legal significance: an "act of war." It was inarticulate and a mistake -- but the idea he was trying to express, I think, was not the legalities of acts of war. I do think it's clear he was suggesting that there would not necessarily be a steady escalation that would bring military forces into conflict beyond the scope of the bombing mission itself. He might even be saying that he believes the Iranians would see it and respond to it as a one-off incident, rather than as the opening salvo in steadily increasing conflict.

    I would prefer that we engage the debate on ideas, rather than trying to find gotcha moments of semantical slips.

    Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you:

    by FischFry on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 04:15:25 PM PDT

    •  In fact, this puts me in mind of markos' new diary (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      divineorder, truong son traveler

      Markos is celebrating the burgeoning numbers of visits and members for this site, claiming it's a fair and very encouraging measure of the vitality of the site and the netroots themselves.

      I can't agree, because the bigger this site gets, the worse ti gets. Instead of being filled with informational and provocative  ideas, all we get are a string of back-slapping pro-Obama diaries, or the carping about the polls.

      Of course, in and out of election season,, we can always find on the rec list the gotcha diaries that give folks a chance to gather and and celebrate how much smarter we are than the dumb Republican who said something stupid or the corrupt reporter who wrote some deluded column. It's the rare diary along these lines that actually has anything constructive to add to the national discourse.

      Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you:

      by FischFry on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 04:23:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This was no semantic slip (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JML9999, divineorder
      He might even be saying that he believes the Iranians would see it and respond to it as a one-off incident, rather than as the opening salvo in steadily increasing conflict.
      No matter what one thinks of the semantics, Rep Rogers' comment is daft.
      •  Well -- their response is uncertain (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Would they see any benefit in a response that would escalate inevitably into all-out war? Maybe, they would respond with some act of terrorism or cyber-attack. Or, maybe they will relish the role as the victim of Western in  the political capital they would gain in an orgy of international recrimination against the US...and set about rebuilding their nuclear program.

        Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you:

        by FischFry on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 04:38:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Iran is a State, Al Qaeda is not. (0+ / 0-)

      Bombing a State is an act of war.

      •  Wha...? (0+ / 0-)

        Umm, did I mention Al Qaeda? For that matter, did I suggest that bombing a state is not an act of war? If you'd actually read  my comment before replying, it should be obvious that I know that.

        By the way, I have a Master's in International Law. I have studied the laws of war fairly thoroughly -- taught by NSC and State Dept counsel. I do have at least a rudimentary understanding of what is and is not an act of war, but thank you for your enlightening observation.

        Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you:

        by FischFry on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 08:19:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  so about Iran: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, KenBee

    Iran isn't AQ or the Taliban, so the existing Congressional and UN authorizations to use force, do not apply.

    A military action against a nation-state's forces is an act of war by any definition.  

    So here's what Obama is going to do:

    First, continue the sanctions and continue the diplomatic pressure for a negotiated solution.

    Second, if Iran develops the means by which to assemble deliverable nuclear weapons on short notice: not just the enriched uranium but the rest of the components, some of which are specialized and complex, then Obama will assemble a coalition of countries that are ready and willing to participate in a joint military action to destroy those capabilities.  

    At that point he'll go to Congress and to the United Nations with that coalition ready, and ask for authorizations to engage in limited warfare with the limited objectives of destroying Iran's nuclear weapons infrastructure.

    He'll get the authorization from Congress, slam-dunk.  This will be a put-up-or-shut-up moment for bellicose Republicans, so they will have to come along.  Whether he gets UN authorization depends on the strength of his coalition, but Obama does not act unless he's confident he's going to get a successful outcome.

    China and Russia will object verbally and vociferously, but will not block a UN authorization for action.

    With all the ducks lined up in a row and ready to go, Iran will be given a last chance to comply, and will be given sufficient information as to conclude that if it comes to war, their regime is finished.

    And I think at that point it's highly likely that Iran will in fact comply, and the international inspectors will go in there to oversee the dismantling of the nuclear weapons infrastructure.  

    "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

    by G2geek on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 04:25:22 PM PDT

    •  IAEA inspects nuclear facilities in Iran (6+ / 0-)

      The IAEA inspects all nuclear facilities in Iran. See here:

      Iran's nuclear sites, facilities, and centrifuges are all under 24-hour video surveillance by the IAEA, subject to IAEA monitoring and bimonthly inspections, and material seal application.  Though not required or authorized under Iran's Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA, since March 2007 the IAEA has conducted dozens of unannounced and snap inspections of Iran's facilities.

      "There is no truth to media reports claiming that the IAEA was not able to get access" to Iran's nuclear facilities, IAEA spokesman Marc Vidricaire affirmed in 2007. "We have not been denied access at any time."

      The IAEA has consistently confirmed - often four times a year for nearly a decade - that "all the declared nuclear material in Iran has been accounted for, and therefore such material is not diverted to prohibited activities."

      •  You are quite wrong in regard to the Parchin (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wilderness voice, G2geek


        See ttp://

        The IAEA is quite concerned about what is going on at Parchin and the Iranians will not allow them to inspect it.

        This is from 2012, not 2007 like the comment from your link.

        You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

        by sewaneepat on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 06:36:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Parchin is not a nuclear facility (0+ / 0-)

          IAEA has no jurisdiction in Parchin because it is a military facility.

          Parchin is not a nuclear facility.  It is a military facility not safeguarded by the IAEA and therefore off-limits legally to its inspectors.  Iran voluntarily allowed two rounds of inspections of Parchin by IAEA personnel in 2005.  No traces of nuclear weapons work were found

          •  so if I was Ahmadinejad, and I wanted to build... (0+ / 0-)

            ... nuclear bombs, where do you think I'd do it?

            Right: at a military facility and then deny IAEA inspectors access, under one excuse or another.  

            "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

            by G2geek on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 08:02:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  We must then assume U.S. and Israeli intelligence (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              are wrong, because they claim Iran is not developing nuclear weapons:

              United States intelligence community and its  allies have long assessed that Iran is not and never has been  in possession of nuclear weapons, is not building nuclear weapons, and its leadership has not made any decision to build nuclear weapons.  Iranian officials have  consistently maintained  they will never pursue such weapons on religious, strategic, political, moral and legal grounds.

              U.S. Defense Secretary  Leon Panetta , Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Brigadier General  Martin Dempsey , Director of National Intelligence  James Clapper , Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency  Ronald Burgess , President  Barack Obama , his National Security Council , and Vice President  Joe Biden  have all agreed  Iran isn't actively building nuclear weapons .

              Israeli Defense Minister  Ehud Barak , IDF Chief of Staff  Benny Gantz, and Military Intelligence Director  Aviv Kochavi  have also said the  same thing .

              •  none the less, Netanyahu howls about... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                ... the "need" to attack Iran "or else."    And there's a substantial risk the voters will send him back to office again.

                In situations where there is risk of spiraling positive feedback, it only takes one element in a network to provide negative feedback that prevents the spiraling positive feedback.  

                Thus even if Netanyahu gets re-elected, as long as we can keep Obama in office, there won't be a shooting war in Iran or an Iranian nuclear weapon.  

                OTOH if Romney gets in, then we have the spiraling positive feedback scenario with Romney and Netanyahu reinforcing each other until a war starts.  

                One more reason to GOTV as if our lives depend on it.

                "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

                by G2geek on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 12:02:33 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Absolutely. (0+ / 0-)
                  One more reason to GOTV as if our lives depend on it.
                  See my post below with the link and where in the report to find the IAEA's assessment of Iran's "possible military dimensions" of their nuclear program.

                  You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

                  by sewaneepat on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 04:01:52 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  You are parsing words about being in possession of (0+ / 0-)

                nuclear weapons and developing the capabilities of building nuclear weapons. No one thinks Iran possesses nuclear weapons at this point, but there is quite good evidence that they are trying to do so. And they do not allow the IAEA to inspect those facilities at which they are doing so.

                You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

                by sewaneepat on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 03:58:18 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Here is the link to the (0+ / 0-)

            August 2012 IAEA report on Iran

            Look on page 8, Section H Possible Military Dimensions. For some reason  I cannot copy from the report. The conclusion is:

            "The activities observed and Iran's letter of 29 August 2012 further strengthen the Agency's assessment that it is necessary to have access to the location at Parchin without further delay."
            They lay out the evidence quite well that they are very concerned about military uses of nuclear development including satellite images showing an explosive containment vessel and "run off" and other activity.

            So you are wrong, as I said before, about what the IAEA says about Parchin and possible military concerns.

            You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

            by sewaneepat on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 03:55:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  So if the Iranians blew up Indian Point Nuclear (4+ / 0-)

    reactor, possibly killing thousands of New Yorkers in the process it wouldn't be an act of war?

    I mean really, what do we think Iran would do in response to a US attack -- shrug its shoulders?   Despite what you may believe, they are a modern technological nation (they brought down one of our drones probably by hacking the data steam) with a population that mostly supports the government where it counts.    (Iranian views on their government are remarkably similiar to our views of our own government.)   There would certainly be calls for retailation.

  •  I think he mumbled answer to an important question (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    truong son traveler, JML9999

    asked inarticulately by a fool.
    Very clumsy  babble by both of these.
    we're doomed if these are the best and brightest.

    This machine kills Fascists.

    by KenBee on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 06:07:28 PM PDT

  •  bombing not war. Right. Got it. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 06:26:59 PM PDT

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