John Richardson writes a profile for Esquire:
In the years after 9/11, Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann worked at the highest levels of the Bush administration as Middle East policy experts for the National Security Council. Mann conducted secret negotiations with Iran. Leverett traveled with Colin Powell and advised Condoleezza Rice. They each played crucial roles in formulating policy for the region leading up to the war in Iraq. But when they left the White House, they left with a growing sense of alarm — not only was the Bush administration headed straight for war with Iran, it had been set on this course for years. That was what people didn’t realize. It was just like Iraq, when the White House was so eager for war it couldn’t wait for the UN inspectors to leave. The steps have been many and steady and all in the same direction. And now things are getting much worse. We are getting closer and closer to the tripline, they say.
For further reading on what Richardson terms the “secret history of the impending war with Iran” I’d recommend Gareth Porter’s “Burnt Offering”. If you’re interested in an account of why “War with Iran would be a catastrophe that would make us look back fondly on the minor inconvenience of being bogged down in Iraq” read Fallows.