The Spring 2003 Iran Proposal: The Story is Not Yet Complete or Correct


I have been digging deeper and deeper into various aspects of the alleged Spring 2003 Iran proposal.
I may have just stumbled across some huge part of the story — and it could be shocking to nearly every commentator who has thus far spoken or written about this initiative, including my colleague Flynt Leverett who has been engaged in a strong-worded exchange back and forth with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
My advice to all parties and all journalists in this debate is to pause. I hope to be able to shed some light on something I have heard from an important source tomorrow or early next week. I must protect sources — but I strongly believe that there is far more to this scenario than Iran offering us a package of initiatives to consider normalizing relations.
But there may be a very big problem in the story as it is now being told.
More soon, I hope.
— Steve Clemons


15 comments on “The Spring 2003 Iran Proposal: The Story is Not Yet Complete or Correct

  1. bAkho says:

    I am reading posts that say Trita Parsi passed the Iran doc to Karl Rove. So Condi should have heard about it from Rove if not from State. If Rice did not hear about the document then Rice is incompetent AND the Bush WH is dysfunctional.


  2. grytpype says:

    Steve, maybe when you get a chance you can burrow into the peace offers Saddam made just before the 2003 invasion. He offered to hold elections within 2 years and let US troops into the country to verify there were no WMD. Which is all the invasion accomplished. Except we would have had it for zero casualties. Bush and Cheney personally rejected the offer.,2763,1079769,00.html


  3. liz says:

    All of these people make me sick. They are all chronic liars hell bent on destroying America, so far, they are succeeding, near bout unchallenged.


  4. ... says:

    i wonder if this has anything to do with the meeting a few days ago, where steve and the other journalists were told a big fat secret that was unbelievable and none of them could say anything about it…


  5. CheckingIn says:

    I just hope ‘a’ Judith Miller wasn’t in the line of sources…


  6. mlaw230 says:

    Interesting deduction Marky. A while ago I tried to deduce exactly why Cheney would go on National TV and make claims that were demonstrably false, about the (in)famous Prague meeting, about other ties with Al Queda, even about what he had previously said on MTP. He had to know that he would later be shown to be lieing, as indeed he was.
    I came up with two theories, either 1) he didn’t believe his right wing base cared, and in fact believed that his base would appreciate his lieing, or 2) his only important audience was very, very small, i.e. one man, and he had to stick to his guns publicly to support the story he was selling privately, on the off chance that the Decider would actually see the program.
    Recall that he claimed some “special intelligence” that the various Commissions were not privy to. It seems likely that he privately discloses “intelligence” to the Decider that no one else even knows about and therefore can not refute. It would seem easy to manipulate an incurious man with especially important secret material and to defeat the naysayers by reminding him that the doubters don’t have access to the same “intelligence”
    Maybe its tinfoil hat time, but I hope Steve solves the mystery for us soon.


  7. daCascadian says:

    Marky >”…John Bolton’s name will figure in this story.”
    Very nice !
    Maybe that`s what the NSA intercepts angle was about. He was monitoring the back channel efforts & passed along the info to Shotgun Dick & his followers.
    Something along these lines occurred during the Kissinger/Nixon games in the early 70`s as I recall. Had something to do w/some Navy folks.
    “Patriotism is not a short and frenzied outburst of emotion but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.” – Adlai E. Stevenson, Jr.


  8. Edward Nashton says:

    Steve, you should also be speaking to the Germans…Not only can they tell you a thing or two about this matter, but there was an offer forwarded to them from the Syrians to the U.S. to essentially call a “truce” between our two nations. The VPs office quashed that one as well.
    All of this points to the deluded dream of the neocons to remake the Middle East into a democratic utopia.


  9. Steve Clemons says:

    I will learn what i can and post…


  10. Anonymous says:

    Far more likely than my guess! I still wonder… even for this crew, outright refusal to even talk about an offer like that is too insane to be believed.


  11. Marky says:

    I’ll hazard a guess: Bush never knew about the offers.
    They were torpedoed by the Cheney wing of the White House. John Bolton’s name will figure in this story.


  12. Anonymous says:

    Is Steve perhaps suggesting that the Iranian proposal to negotiate may actually have been taken up at the highest levels, and that the story is in the collapse of negotiations, rather than in the refusal to commence them?


  13. Marky says:

    Thanks for the response, Steve.
    You really have us on tenterhooks here.. because it’s not at all clear which way your information influences the debate!
    Buy your source a few lattes and get permission to print this info, please!


  14. Steve Clemons says:

    understand your view Marky — but protecting these sources is critical…but if i’m right, tomorrow afternoon i’ll have a part of the story that blows some of this Iran proposal positioning out of the water.
    best, steve clemons


  15. Marky says:

    Well, I hope that SOME journalists decide that the public good is a higher value than protecting sources.
    Seriously, the function of journalism has been completely corrupted in this country. We would not have gone to war with Iraq had the newspeople reported what they knew, regardless of protecting sources.
    I’m not saying that’s what’s going on here, but really, it’s time for someone to step up to the plate and say what he knows.


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