The latest theories about Iranian nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri are that he was kidnapped by the CIA or was a willing defector (and later, a double agent). But the facts don't seem to be matching up too well for either scenario.
So here's a conspiracy theory: Amiri wasn't kidnapped and he wasn't defecting, either. He's just an incompetent would-be traitor who wanted to sell out the Islamic Republic for cold hard cash (Editor's Note: We really have no great issue with Iranians selling out the Iranian regime -- we just wanted to note that Amiri's motivations may have nothing to do with any great love for the USA or opposition to the thuggish Mullahs back home).
Here's how the scenario goes. Amiri goes to Saudi Arabia to do his religious duty -- perhaps as pre-emptive penance for the treason he has planned. Possibly, he enjoys the company of some Russian hookers after he finishes up at the mosque. He then proceeds to enter the USA on a commercial airliner and wanders out of the airport.
Next, he hunkers down in the relative backwater of Tucson, Arizona while contacting the CIA to negotiate the turnover of sensitive nuclear secrets.
After a few days or weeks, the CIA decides that Amiri's information is utterly worthless. Thanks to technical universities that focus more on Koranic scripture and sycophantic student-professor vassalage than technical expertise, he can't tell the difference between plutonium and a pile of scrap metal.
They break off negotiations but keep tabs on the scientist for reasons of national security, tailing him into diners and strip clubs.
Fearing he'll eventually get tossed into Gitmo or just run out of money, Amiri decides he's better off heading back to Iran. But how to capitalize on a bad situation -- maybe even become a hero? Well, make a video suggesting he'd escaped the clutches of the CIA a la Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible. Next, go back to Iran and tell wild tales about his cunning exploits, staying one step ahead of the CIA before reaching safety at the Pakistani embassy in Washington, D.C. -- in the very belly of the beast.
If it works, he's a hero. They make a movie about him (played by Cruise, naturally). He writes a best-selling tell-all book. And he gets a framed letter from President Ahmadinejad lauding him as a great hero of the people.
Hey, it's just a theory.
Jonathon Narvey is Editor of The Propagandist