Representative Dennis Kucinich knows the neocon playbook used to lead our nation into war. That’s why the courageous Congressman is doing everything he possibly can to ensure that the Bush administration fails in its effort to pull the same old tricks in manufacturing a war with Iran.

On October 10 Kucinich convened a panel of experts on Capitol Hill to answer two questions: is the Administration preparing for war? And is Iran an imminent threat?

Panelists included former chief weapons inspector, Dr. David Kay; retired Colonel Sam Gardiner of the National War College; Joseph Cirincione, senior vice president for national security and international policy at the Center for American Progress; Alfred Cummings, specialist in intelligence and national security foreign affairs at the Congressional Research Service; and Dr. Trita Parsi, President of the National Iranian American Council. There was unanimity around a few key points:

1) Iran is at least 5 years – but more likely 10 or more years – away from producing weapons-grade nuclear materials

2) Iran poses no imminent threat to the US, Israel, or its neighbors

3) The Bush administration has already selected the military option and is moving to make it operational

4) The consequences of a military confrontation with Iran are global and nightmarish

5) We should be pursuing multilateral negotiations and have missed key opportunities to do so – including not even responding to an Iranian offer to put recognition of Israel and suspension of its nuclear program on the table. Perhaps more than anything else, our refusal to engage Iran frustrates this panel.

There was also a consensus that the threat assessment conducted by the intelligence agencies should be declassified. Let dissenters voice their opinions before Congress. We should have learned this lesson from the intelligence failure in Iraq.

The panel suggested that the cheerleaders for this war are – you guessed it – Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney. The Joint Chiefs are believed to be opposed to yet another catastrophic misadventure.

Some consequences of this insane déjà vu-like war would include: skyrocketing oil prices; Hezbollah attacks on Israel; Iranian attacks on US forces in Iraq; Iranian sabotage of pipelines in Iraq; Iran blocking Gulf oil flow; and threats to regional governments.

Cirincione summarized, “If you like the war in Iraq, wait until you see the war in Iran. It will be a massive, global war.”