Many foreign policy experts and investigative journalists have said that they hear a drumbeat, getting louder and louder, signaling the Bush administration's eagerness to attack Iran. Flynt Leverett and his wife, Hillary Mann, are among them. For several years, they worked as advisers to Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell. Shortly after the United States attacked Iraq, they resigned. Since then, they've sounded a clarion call, to the chagrin of an administration that has tried to silence them. Last year, when Leverett and Mann wrote an opinion piece for The New York Times, the Central Intelligence Agency's Publications Review Board forced them to redact 168 words. (They wrote a complement to that article, with public sources for the redacted material).
In a new piece, published in Esquire magazine, John H. Richardson chronicles the couple's disillusionment and growing desperation. They argue that the administration was not, and is not, interested in diplomacy. According to Richardson, Leverett and Mann believe that "America's approach to rogue nations was all sticks and no carrots, all economic sanctions and threats of war without any dialogue." Leverett joins us today, in the first hour, to talk about Iran. Can you hear that drumbeat? Should Iran be allowed to pursue a nuclear program? Are strikes inevitable?