Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 23, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

THE IRAN LEAK....Yesterday ABC News revealed that President Bush has signed a "nonlethal presidential finding" that approves covert action to destabilize the Iranian regime. The CIA plan "reportedly includes a coordinated campaign of propaganda, disinformation and manipulation of Iran's currency and international financial transactions."

The very first comment on this story over at the ABC site is this: "If it was a secret, it isn't any longer. I will turn off ABC News and never watch again. I consider ABC News [traitors] to the United States." Plenty of other commenters agree, as do most conservative pundits and bloggers.

But there's something about this story that's been nagging at me. ABC says its sources are "current and former officials in the intelligence community," and I'm having a hard time figuring out who they might be. The presumption among right-wing bloggers is that the leakers are a cabal of CIA doves, and this makes sense since it's an article of faith among modern conservatives that the CIA is a virtual fifth column, full of Ivy League softies unwilling to do anything more forceful than write a stern memo to the United Nations. And they all hate Bush and are just itching for a chance to undermine him.

That's the view from the fever swamp, anyway. Back in consensus reality, the CIA is mostly populated by hardnosed Republicans who hate countries like Iran and love covert operations like this that strike back at them. It's their bread and butter. And they love presidential findings, too, since this is what covers their ass legally when they start up their field operations. What's more, contrary to conservative dogma, they really, really don't make a habit of disclosing active covert operations to major news organizations. That can get people killed, whether the operation itself is lethal or not.

And let's face it: a campaign of "propaganda, disinformation and manipulation of Iran's currency and international financial transactions" is just about the mildest possible covert operation you can imagine. Why would anyone at the CIA, let alone multiple sources, be so outraged by it that they decided to leak its existence to ABC News?

Beats me. Maybe I'm not using my imagination enough. But there is an alternative: namely that this wasn't the work of malcontents at all. Rather, it was deliberately leaked as a way of sending a message to Iran, in much the same way that Simon Tisdall's "senior US official in Baghdad" decided that the Guardian might be a good place to plant a similar message. There seems to be a fair amount of that kind of thing going on right now.

Anyway, it's just a thought. Things are not always as they seem on the surface.

UPDATE: Here's a statement from ABC News responding to criticism that they disclosed a covert operation:

In the six days since we first contacted the CIA and the White House, at no time did they indicate that broadcasting this report would jeopardize lives or operations on the ground. ABC News management gave them the repeated opportunity to make whatever objection they wanted to regarding our report. They chose not to.

Hmmm.

Kevin Drum 7:10 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (70)

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Comments

The CIA is full of treacherous liberals who destroyed our fighting men in Vietnam by supplying them with heroin because they wanted Communism to win.

Or something like that.

Posted by: first troll on May 23, 2007 at 7:18 PM | PERMALINK

America's hatred of, and attacks on, Iran haven't been a secret for more than fifty years.

Meanwhile... "strike back at them"? What's this "back"?

Posted by: derek on May 23, 2007 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

>>Meanwhile... "strike back at them"? What's this "back"?

Didn't Iran mastermind September 11? I'm sure I heard Dick Cheney say that, even if it is in the future.

Posted by: Spike on May 23, 2007 at 7:24 PM | PERMALINK

Or maybe it was deliberately fabricated in order to (further) discredit the CIA in the rightwing media.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on May 23, 2007 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

Is this Seymour Hersh's story repackaged?

Is this the administration "leaking" what Seymour Hersh told us months ago? Is this the administration giving Iran reasons to back away from negotiating with us, so the administration will be able to point to Iran's refusal to negotiate when (if?) Cheney decides it is time to start bombing?

What exactly is new here?

Posted by: William Slattery on May 23, 2007 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

Or someone is seeing this administration manoevering to widen the conflict in the Middle East even more to the detriment of everyone, and they are trying to spike these guns.

These people are just that loose. As cannons.

Like I've said before, it's not just Iran stirring up the problems in the Gulf. We are doing a mighty fine job ourselves. Mostly through incompetence and lack of attention.

Posted by: notthere on May 23, 2007 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK

please. the only people unaware that the u.s. is running covert ops inside iran are the american people. and most likely dumbfuck his own self. i don't believe for a second that the u.s. hasn't got operatives in there -- prolly since the invasion of iraq.

Posted by: linda on May 23, 2007 at 7:29 PM | PERMALINK

brian, you don't seem to know your history.

Posted by: notthere on May 23, 2007 at 7:30 PM | PERMALINK

reportedly includes a coordinated campaign of propaganda, disinformation and manipulation of Iran's currency and international financial transactions.

And a coordinated campaign of propaganda, misinformation and manipulation is different from standard Bush operating procedure how exactly?

Really, replace "Iran" in the sentence above with "America" and you have a pretty fair description of what this gang has been doing to us.


Posted by: Stefan on May 23, 2007 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

Interesting. Kevin, you are suggesting a recursive disinformation/propaganda operation, in which the leak of its existence becomes a part of the program itself.

By leaking the program description (which anyone in Iran with a dime's worth of good sense already is sure is being done anyway) it puts additional public pressure on the Iranian government. The shock and bluster of the American wing-nut response will add to the convincing nature of the propaganda that is being put out.

As a disinformation/propaganda program I would consider this a winner.

Posted by: Rick B on May 23, 2007 at 7:36 PM | PERMALINK

Honestly, this was my assumption from the start. Iran would be impossibly stupid not to assume we were doing exactly this, and probably more -- hasn't it been more or less official policy for time immemorial? I don't know the tactical value of formalizing it, but that seems like the most reasonable explanation.

Posted by: Mike Meginnis on May 23, 2007 at 7:36 PM | PERMALINK

See the previous presidential finding where Bush found that heretofore the "US" shall be referred to as "Iran" in all future presidential findings.

Posted by: Disputo on May 23, 2007 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

Has ABC really pissed somebody off recently? It seems like thay are the ones who could really get hurt by this story, if a boycott sticks.

Posted by: Michael7843853 G-O in 08! on May 23, 2007 at 7:44 PM | PERMALINK

Brian: "See, there are two types of Presidents. Leaders (Republicans) and Pieces of Shit (Democrats)..."

Wow, that's such a compelling argument. But when did you become a Democratic president? It's usually difficult for people who despise democracy as much as you do, but hell, the bar HAS been significantly lowered of late.

Back in the real world, does anyone have much sense of what proportion of major leaks in the last six years have come from inside the regime, versus whistleblowers or grudgeholders?

Posted by: Kenji on May 23, 2007 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK

Leaders (Republicans, Bush,Hitler, Pol Pot, Stalin) at least have the courage to do something, to make a decision, and follow through.

And torture, lets not forget torture!

Double Gitmo bitches.

Your love of authority is duly noted and is the cause of your rejection into the roll-call of patriotic Americans, as America is actually a repudiation of Royalty and Dictatorship.

Why don't you move your sorry ass to some conservative wet dream like China? They seem a pretty decisive bunch, very little talkee talkee, lots of executions, and no unions.

What could be better?

Posted by: SnarkyShark on May 23, 2007 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

And here I thought brian's post had to be sarcasm. I guess it wasn't. Holy mackerel.

Posted by: shnooky on May 23, 2007 at 7:50 PM | PERMALINK

Not only that - wasn't Iran claiming to have shot down a couple of US-flagged UAV's a year, maybe two years ago?

And haven't we been backing/funding MEK - since like 1981?

And what about the story about the Afghan terror group that we're funding for ops over the Iranian border?

This story is so DUH, it could only have come out of ABC news.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on May 23, 2007 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK

From the renown administration that gives nothing up information wise, here comes disclosure of the compromising type?

N.O.

Bush has had 7 years to show the globe the bent of his character. He is over on the other channel giving a very familiar speach: "The danger has not passed. Here in America, we are living in the eye of a storm. All around us, dangerous winds are swirling and these winds could reach our shores at any moment." says he.

Translation: We are gearing up to start some shit in Iran, we have already sent more ships to the straits, the media is being pumped full of anti-Iran propoganda, and Congress just rolled over on the war timeframes.

"We have lost our voices", said Andrew Bracevich. I believe him and we are in the process of loosing our country.

That bastard is escalating war, how much you wanna bet.

Posted by: Zit on May 23, 2007 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK

No, brian is clearly a traitor to the United States. But it is also none of our business that he is a gay sheep-fucker who wears jackboots while shitting on the American flag. After all, that's personal, and at least he has the "courage to do something", even the wrong thing. That is all that should matter to a real man, I mean sheep-fucker. Plus staying away from "icky" vaginas, which are just for, ya know, liberals!

BTW, I understand that he has egbert trembling again.

Posted by: Kenji on May 23, 2007 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

ABC News >"...a coordinated campaign of propaganda, disinformation..."

Gee, you don`t suppose all this recent "leakage" is part of that program do you ?

"They" wouldn`t be that crass now would "they" ?

DUH !

Wonder when the light bulb is going to go on for most people.

(And yes, I do consider people that haven`t gotten it yet very dim bulbs.)

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw

Posted by: daCascadian on May 23, 2007 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

"Piece of Shit" brian? Takes one to know one I guess.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on May 23, 2007 at 8:01 PM | PERMALINK

Brian is Ann Coulter speaking in her man voice.

You need to go over to Human Events, dear Brian where the Republicans conjugate, laugh loudly, and pat each other on the back for absolutely no reason.

You can't blog over there though, they don't tolerate any dissenting opinions or alternate views or debate, or discussion, or much else that clashes with their outwardly moral, inwardly corrupt hedonistic possession they call a soul but is really their wallet.

Posted by: Nitch on May 23, 2007 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

Yep, Seymour Hersh in "The Redirection," 3/5/07:
"...The Bush Administration’s reliance on clandestine operations that have not been reported to Congress and its dealings with intermediaries with questionable agendas have recalled, for some in Washington, an earlier chapter in history. Two decades ago, the Reagan Administration attempted to fund the Nicaraguan contras illegally, with the help of secret arms sales to Iran. Saudi money was involved in what became known as the Iran-Contra scandal, and a few of the players back then—notably Prince Bandar and Elliott Abrams—are involved in today’s dealings.

Iran-Contra was the subject of an informal “lessons learned” discussion two years ago among veterans of the scandal. Abrams led the discussion. One conclusion was that even though the program was eventually exposed, it had been possible to execute it without telling Congress. As to what the experience taught them, in terms of future covert operations, the participants found: “One, you can’t trust our friends. Two, the C.I.A. has got to be totally out of it. Three, you can’t trust the uniformed military, and four, it’s got to be run out of the Vice-President’s office”—a reference to Cheney’s role, the former senior intelligence official said.

Posted by: consider wisely on May 23, 2007 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

brian: "The Democrats are as good at foreign policy as Ted Kennedy is good at driving drunk. ... They more resembled that place where Slick Willy stuck that stogie."

That you would feel compelled to sling insults about like a pre-pubescent twelve-year-old boy, is in fact far more revelatory about yourself than your purported subject matter. Pity.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on May 23, 2007 at 8:18 PM | PERMALINK

These guys only learn the wrong lessons from history. Traitors, I think you could call them.

Posted by: Kenji on May 23, 2007 at 8:18 PM | PERMALINK

I see that "brian" has been deleted, but I'm not sure why.

Surely it is important to know about the ignorant and stupid and not be isolated? And I hardly feel insulted or, I think, prior Democratic Presidents by such obvious ignorance.

Wouldn't mind a comment as to why he was deleted and exactly what are the measures and standards applied.

You do have some sort of set policy, don't you, not just whim?

Posted by: notthere on May 23, 2007 at 8:20 PM | PERMALINK

The trolls on The Blotter were calling them "Traders" (and I always knew that damned Joe was up to no good!)

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on May 23, 2007 at 8:21 PM | PERMALINK

[I was cleaning up doubleposts and inadvertently zapped both entries. That was some prime wingnut idiocy that should have been left for posterity. Apologies.]

Posted by: . on May 23, 2007 at 8:27 PM | PERMALINK

Leaders (Republicans, Bush,Hitler, Pol Pot, Stalin) at least have the courage to do something, to make a decision, and follow through.

Yes, like such Republicans(?) as Wilson, FDR, Truman, and Lyndon B. Johnson. [Not that LBJ was correct - but he was certainly decisive and had follow-through.]

Or perhaps like Ronald Reagan who, when we took the massive Marine casualties in Lebanon for no value, quickly pulled our troops out of that benighted country in spite of the disaster that would occur once we left. How long was it after we left Lebanon that Syria finally stepped in and stopped the civil war? I'll take the answer in a round number of years, thank you.

I'd call Bush a stupid, ignorant, horribly indecisive, incompetent, bullying asshole infected with false religiosity, but that would be overrating him by too many orders of magnitude.

But I will say that he is the worst American President ever, and seems to be working extremely hard to lower the bar so that no one will ever possibly compete with him for the record he as set - and he damned sure isn't going to commit an incident of comptence in the remainder of his sad, sick term of office. That would back away from his effort to create a new, low record.

This is the only achievement in his life that wasn't just handed to him. He'd never screw that up by making the mistake of appearing competent.

Posted by: Rick B on May 23, 2007 at 8:32 PM | PERMALINK

Let's keep in mind this is part of the slow preparation of the American public to accept nuclear war with Iran.

"All options on the table" is a euphemism for using a "low-yield" nuke, making such an act an offensive nuclear strike, that is, Nuclear War. Of course, no one would in any elected/appointed political position ever admit this.

Eventually there will be a Gulf of Tonkin moment and off we go...

Posted by: r_m on May 23, 2007 at 8:40 PM | PERMALINK

"The Republicans are as good at foreign policy as Laura Bush is good at driving drunk.

Fixed it for ya, brian.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on May 23, 2007 at 8:41 PM | PERMALINK

it's an article of faith among modern conservatives that the CIA is a virtual fifth column, full of Ivy League softies

This is how they complained tv news into submission in the 70s. Never far from the Republican party line in the first place, they managed to take reality out of it nearly altogether.

And that's what the gangster faithful want to do with the CIA, turn it into a projector of what they want to see, like the court of Louis XVI.

Posted by: cld on May 23, 2007 at 8:49 PM | PERMALINK

Easy one: this came right from the White House -- either the veep's office or Rove's.

It's not one piece of news in isolation. You must combine it with two other facts: one, the US has an unGodly amount of naval power in the Gulf right now; and two, Rice will be meeting with her Iranian counterpart soon.

Most intelligent people would lay low prior to an important meeting where compromises might be hashed out. But this is the Bush administration. There will be no compromises, there will be no real tête-à-tête.

Therfore they are loading up their guns with all the firepower they can prior to the meeting.

It won't matter. Iran won't give up its nuclear ambitions -- why should they -- and Bush won't become sane overnight either -- why should he, he has no oppostion party to deal with.

Posted by: Dicksknee on May 23, 2007 at 9:15 PM | PERMALINK

One of the best ways liberals can help to bring an end to the war/occupation in Iraq is by signing this petition to remind Democrats that it takes only one of their party members to make it a reality. Thank you.
http://www.filibusterforpeace.org/

Posted by: Erroll on May 23, 2007 at 9:30 PM | PERMALINK

I do not know why the link did not light up to the above post. Perhaps this will be better.http://www.filibusterforpeace.org/

Posted by: Erroll on May 23, 2007 at 9:32 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

ABC and CIA, two peas in a pod. Both are filled with bris-eating, cabernet-sipping ivory league elites bent on strengthening multinationalist, multiculturalist institutions at the expense of there hated enemy: the United States.

By the way, today Bush revealed that bin Laden and Zarqawi were in contact with each other, just in case any one needed any more proof of how important it is we win in Iraq.

Posted by: egbert on May 23, 2007 at 9:38 PM | PERMALINK

Oooooh: "bris-eating"! That's even more disgusting than sheep-fucking.

And wow, Zarqawi and bin Laden are in touch with each other--proof that Bush did the right thing in not capturing them! You give us a liot to chew over, eggy, ol' bean.

Posted by: Kenji on May 23, 2007 at 9:57 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, egbert, you ignorant, live-action Freudian Slip.

Bris is a Hebrew word meaning "covenant". It is more frequently used as part of the term Bris Milah, which is the Jewish religious ceremony whereby a male infant is circumcised on his eighth day of life and then formally named, to symbolize God's covenant by joining body and soul.

Just like brian's recently deleted crude offerings, your post is more self-revelatory than you could possibly imagine. I beleive that you owe Kenji an apology for making him nauseous.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on May 23, 2007 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK

I already get sick just thinking about all that trembling he's been doing lately.

Posted by: Kenji on May 23, 2007 at 10:26 PM | PERMALINK

But there's something about this story that's been nagging at me. ABC says its sources are "current and former officials in the intelligence community," and I'm having a hard time figuring out who they might be.

That's rather the point of anonymous leaks, isn't it? But, clearly, whoever the leakers are, this is a deliberate administration leak, not a "resistance to the policy" leak. The Administration has been making official announcements and leaks as part of clear, coordinated saber-rattling effort directed at Iran for quite some time.

I think its largely a way to shore up support for maintaining a presence in Iraq ("we need it to go keep Iran in check") and to distract from domestic scandals, though I wouldn't be entirely surprised if the Administration was insane enough to be planning to build up to an actual war with Iran somewhere between late Summer and early Winter.

Posted by: cmdicely on May 23, 2007 at 10:28 PM | PERMALINK

Insane is the correct word for this administration. Some commenter above seems to not be aware that people don't survive nuclear wars.

Posted by: Mazurka on May 23, 2007 at 10:40 PM | PERMALINK

If ABC committed treason in this instance, so did Novak when he reported what the White House told him about Valerie Plame. These string-em-up defenders of national security can't have it both ways.

Posted by: DNS on May 23, 2007 at 10:48 PM | PERMALINK

Hmmm... so this is officially a 'Non-lethal Presidential finding'. Did they conjure this quasi-legal term up out of thin air?

I guess we should assume a 'Lethal Presidential Finding' is a death warrant issued on the whim of the president?

Scary stuff here. We already know that Bush II has claimed the right to kill anyone on the planet he personally deems to be a threat.

Now we have the terminology for it.

Posted by: Buford on May 23, 2007 at 10:49 PM | PERMALINK

When Ahmadinejad spoke at the UN, he condemned it for failing to protect the weak from the strong. I thought he was right, and now this outright bullying by the US to disrupt Iran's political economy is accepted as a regular part of US diplomatic power without any complaint. This continued baiting by the US is wrong, misguided, and cannot lead to a constructive relationship with a huge part of the world. It would make a lot more sense and lead to a better world, if the US would be friendly to Iran and return to normal relations.

Posted by: Brojo on May 23, 2007 at 10:49 PM | PERMALINK

Haven't we been down this road before? We used covert means to overthrow Prime Minister Mossadegh of Iran in 1953. We then installed a tinhorn dictator (the Shah), just like we did in Iraq, Panama and several other countries, which led directly to the Islamic revolution of Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979. That was the beginning of our problems with Islamic extremists (except of course the Barbary wars of the early 1800s). Every action like this simply plants the seeds of the next crisis.

When will we ever learn???

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on May 23, 2007 at 10:51 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin states "things are not always as they seem on the surface". True enough. Especially in this case.

Deliberate leak? Yes. But the reason has little to do with Iran. Brian Ross and ABC leaked the Mark Foley scandal just prior to the election. This is more likely an RNC/Rove attempt to discredit Ross and ABC in revenge.

Read the comments. They are not credible. They are planted and fake.

Posted by: Chrissy on May 23, 2007 at 11:04 PM | PERMALINK

Chrissy - I stopped counting instances of "trader" misused in place of "traitor" at around 20 - and I was not very far in. They couldn't spell "treson" either.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on May 23, 2007 at 11:08 PM | PERMALINK

When will we ever learn???

You're forgetting that a pillar of conservatard thinking is that just because something has failed every time in the past doesn't mean in will fail this time.

And when pressed on a tactic having clearly been proven a failure, simply argue that it wasn't a failure at all but rather a splendid success, one that we shouldn't be denying ourselves today.

Posted by: trex on May 23, 2007 at 11:08 PM | PERMALINK

today Bush revealed that bin Laden and Zarqawi were in contact with each other, just in case any one needed any more proof of how important it is we win in Iraq.

Love those post facto justifications. Like the OBL/Zarqawi contacts took place two years after we invaded Iraq. So that was a good reason for invading Iraq...

[cue Twilight Zone theme: doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo...]

Posted by: Wascally Wabbit on May 23, 2007 at 11:10 PM | PERMALINK

I stopped counting instances of "trader" misused in place of "traitor" at around 20

That's because you're a whinner and a looser, moran!

Posted by: Wascally Wabbit on May 23, 2007 at 11:12 PM | PERMALINK

today Bush revealed that bin Laden and Zarqawi were in contact with each other,

Old news, retard.

Posted by: Disputo on May 23, 2007 at 11:15 PM | PERMALINK

From tonights post at the Blotter:

In a statement ABC News said, "In the six days since we first contacted the CIA and the White House, at no time did they indicate that broadcasting this report would jeopardize lives or operations on the ground. ABC News management gave them the repeated opportunity to make whatever objection they wanted to regarding our report. They chose not to."
ABC News said, "This piece was very carefully reported, and it puts solid facts on the table concerning a crucial foreign policy challenge facing the United States and the world."

And tonights comments are not so venomous and fascistic.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on May 23, 2007 at 11:18 PM | PERMALINK

When will we ever learn???

Only chablee and bree lefties learn shit.
Real Murkins stand tall.

Posted by: Wascally Wabbit on May 23, 2007 at 11:19 PM | PERMALINK

Key part is that ABC told the administration that they would spread this news, waiting on their complaint.

Administration said nothing. No embargo.

Sort of negates any, ANY complaints from repub types.

No secret. No need to hold back. Administration part of the willing.

For Christ's sake. This USA administration is the most corrupt, nastiest, most murderous ever, EVER!

And any of you want to associate with these people? You are beyond contempt.

Justify your choice!

Come on, Repugnuts. Justify it!

Posted by: notthere on May 23, 2007 at 11:55 PM | PERMALINK

When will we ever learn???

I've run several analyses, based on historical data since Babylon, and they all come up with the same answer: Never.

Please, someboby, sometime, somewhere, prove me wrong.

On the brighter side, 36 hours to cat blogging!

Posted by: thersites on May 24, 2007 at 12:28 AM | PERMALINK

As Edward Abbey said, a patriot is someone who defends his country against his government. The traitors to America are Bush and the rest of his cabal. The folks at ABC are patriots for informing us of their schemes.

I just wish the press had had the balls to demonstrate such patriotism before Bush's approval rating fell to 32%, instead of bending over and grabbing their ankles (remember that contemptible "no sunlight between me and the president" remark by Dan Rather?).

Posted by: Kevin Carson on May 24, 2007 at 12:30 AM | PERMALINK

When will ABC learn. The most conservative of the major networks, home of The Note, home of Chris Vlasto, home of the worst of the Clinton-haters, home of 'Path to 9/11,' and the second they do reporting contrary to wingnuttia, they're tarred as the thing they strive so hard to hate. Or, worse, they're set up by the White House. What's the point of being a right-wing lapdog again?

Posted by: djangone on May 24, 2007 at 1:10 AM | PERMALINK

"Translation: We are gearing up to start some shit in Iran, we have already sent more ships to the straits, the media is being pumped full of anti-Iran propoganda, and Congress just rolled over on the war timeframes."
Posted by: Zit on May 23, 2007 at 7:52 PM

Yes. This also fits in with the recent warming to the Sunni tribes and the Cheney visit to Saudi Arabia. Perhaps we do see the Iraqi Shia moving toward significant alignment with Iran and nothing is working with the Maliki government anyhow. The Oil Law isn't getting passed. Check out this interview with The Grand Ayatollah Ahmed Alhasani al-Baghdadi:
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/IE24Ak02.html

"MA: What about the death squads, and who is responsible for their existence?

Al-B: Recall the Phoenix agreement in Vietnam at the time of Ho Chi Minh when he was the leader of the resistance and when the resistance achieved victories: American political thinkers established death squads. They bore the slogan "We are thirsty for fresh blood" in order to demonize the Vietnamese resistance. When the Americans faced an increase in the Iraqi resistance and its victory, American ambassador [John] Negroponte used his brain to establish death squads in order to discredit the real national resistance. One of the things to prove that is when the so-called Iraqi police check the remains of an exploded car, they find the chassis number is American."

Wow, the fog is starting to get mighty thick.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on May 24, 2007 at 1:17 AM | PERMALINK

This "leak" information is no suprise to anyone in the world except the American public . . . given our covert history, the ME expects "tourists" - I just hope we don't have the same great Bush Commander Guy Picks like those running our "A-Rab" radio station . . . (for Limpball listeners, they did not speak "arab" and broadcast "terrorist" messages . . .)

Posted by: Jess Wonderin on May 24, 2007 at 1:39 AM | PERMALINK

The Conservative Deflator >"...Every action like this simply plants the seeds of the next crisis..."

And every action plants the seeds for more & greater arms sales to the parties involved. Ever hear of the Carlyle Group ? How about Science Applications International Group ?

WHAT will it take for you dim bulbs to admit how things work ?

Quit whining and FOLLOW THE MONEY !!!

“You would label it cynicism-as if that proved it wrong.” - Robert A. Heinlein

Posted by: daCascadian on May 24, 2007 at 3:38 AM | PERMALINK

The Conservative Deflator >"...Every action like this simply plants the seeds of the next crisis..."

And every action plants the seeds for more & greater arms sales to the parties involved. Ever hear of the Carlyle Group ? How about Science Applications International Corporation ?

WHAT will it take for you dim bulbs to admit how things work ?

Quit whining and FOLLOW THE MONEY !!!

“You would label it cynicism-as if that proved it wrong.” - Robert A. Heinlein

Posted by: daCascadian on May 24, 2007 at 3:40 AM | PERMALINK

daCascadian:

No doubt. The book of Timothy in the New Testament talks about "money being the root of ALL evil". Not a little bit of evil, not some evil, ALL evil. Words to think about...

TCD

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on May 24, 2007 at 5:39 AM | PERMALINK

These string-em-up defenders of national security can't have it both ways.

But oh, will they try, will they try (and too often apparently succeed).

Posted by: snicker-snack on May 24, 2007 at 6:46 AM | PERMALINK

Looks like someone in the U.S.A. wanted Iran to arrest those scholars and to hold them.

Posted by: Love Doctor on May 24, 2007 at 8:34 AM | PERMALINK

Also, if a dove leaked this it was a dove as stupid as a pigeon! The timing of this leak plays right into the hands of Iranian hardliners who want to derail the coming Iran US talks about Iraq. The timing fits perfectly with this purpose, and it fits with the Cheney MO of influence and if it fails sabotage.

Ironically the the last ally the US hardliners will have left will be the Iranian hardliners.

Here is a bet: I bet the Iranian hardline newspapers picked this story up instantaneously along with calls for an even harder crackdown on reformers suspected of ties to "Iran "freedom" support act" funds or not.

The hardliners in Iran are arresting American Iranian after American Iranian trying to drive home the "US funded second coup or umpteenth colored revolution" message. This rapport confirms their storyline with no less of a source than the CIA. Not a well loved agency in Iranian politics, I suspect. (I suspect Iranians think of the CIA as the Shas diebold ;-) )

And do I need to explain again that ABC has been the official CIA stenographer before?

When Condi Rice did a tour of Europe the WaPo had just revealed a months long investigation that found not just torture prisons, but torture prisons in Europe. Oh and people were asking questions if EU governments wouldn`t know more about their people getting abducted by CIA planes.

On top of all of this the European opinion pages had turned rather sour with the childish torture definition word games coming from the supposed leaders of the free world.

During all this it would be convenient if the CIA could release some facts to temper some of the wild (but to often informed and accurate) speculation. Of course the CIA could not go on the record on something so illegal that it results in arrest warrants exposing CIA agents throughout Europe (Italy, Germany).

And guess what, ABC has high level CIA sources explaining that the operation is secret and cant be discussed in detail. But the torture victims have been moved out of Europe to an unnamed North African country! And all that just in time for the Rice visit! This cant be discussed in detail but these were 20something really bad Al qaida people. On the ABC site reuters spots a list of names. Oddly enough these names are not reported in the TV segment ABC does on the story for which the CIA sources cant give details. Another odd thing is that the list has only 10+ names... I would say an investigative reporter that doesn`t just transcribe anonymous press releases should know basic math. Could it be the CIA is less proud of the missing names? Nah, lets just run the story without critical comments and wait for the next "leak".

If this is the only kind of reporting Americans are getting then I am switching my bet for next president from anyone but a GOPer to Schwarzenegger, or maybe on of the bush dogs.

Also leaking to newspapers in the UK is always rumored to be a way of getting around laws against domestic propaganda in the US. The Guardian stories would fit.

The way I (and my tinfoil hat) read this? The Cheneyites have taken heavy casualties. As a result the remaining ones no longer have lots of people with the right titles ("current official"), contacts and experience to sabotage talks trough subtle leaking and propaganda. Unsubtle desperate propaganda over a short period is the result. ABC was the only place reliably stupid enough not to take the official leak and run it past some non neocon CIA sources who could extend on CIA involvement in Iran.

Also, on the "CIA = conservative men" stereotype, that may be but that makes then anything but ideological NEOcons. I cant think of crowd theoretically stronger tied to realpolitik than the CIA. How else but trough cold strategic goals would you justify some of the more crummy covert ops to yourself? These are the people who predicted Iraq would be a mess.

Posted by: asdf on May 24, 2007 at 8:55 AM | PERMALINK

What the wingnuts can't comprehend is that the traitors are the people who occupy the White House and that it is those people who "leaked" the information to pacify their base (with the added bonus that they knew their addle-brained base would believe it was White House opponents who did the "leaking").

Never underestimate the ability of the wingnuts to find a piece of "edible" candy in a landfill of sh*t.

Posted by: anonymous on May 24, 2007 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK
The book of Timothy in the New Testament talks about "money being the root of ALL evil".

Not quite. It is, consistently across translations, the love of money that is described as the (or "a") root of all (sometimes "kinds of") evil.

I Timothy 6:10, KJV:

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

The same verse, from the NIV:

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

And from the RSV:

For the love of money is the root of all evils; it is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced their hearts with many pangs.
Posted by: cmdicely on May 24, 2007 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

"nonlethal presidential finding"? Are you serious? That's the most hilarious bit of doublethink I can think of.

Posted by: Cyrus on May 24, 2007 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

This "leak" information is no suprise to anyone in the world except the American public . . .
Posted by: Jess Wonderin on May 24, 2007 at 1:39 AM

I went over to cbs.news and read the posts over there. You wouldn't believe the diatribe against ABC for aiding and abetting the terrorists with their "disclosure".

The American public seem quite capable of taking one scrap of information and formulating, with no corroboration, a firm opinion on it.

We are So Busy these days we have to form quick n' easy opinions on what is being fed us, and speaking from here in AL, what is being fed us is News Talk and nothing else. Even NPR, vibrant and informative in FL, is relegated in AL to hours and hours of dusty high-brow classical music. And that, other than Christian or music, is it.

You are what you eat, and America stuffs itself on a media diet just as heavy in large portions of empty and non-nutritious calories as our food diets.

It is hard work to learn, understand, and follow the minutia of critical issues, even harder to dissern what truth is, as opposed to what is fluff, spin, lies, and half-truths. And much of We the People just aren't putting in the effort. We have made it so very easy for Bush and Co to carry on their personal campaigns vastly unobstructed by justice or sanity.

It is my dawning thought that Bush is winning. Yes, he has lost a few players, one of them key, but the rest are only collateral damage. The Dems are rolling over, which is not what the 2006 elections were about. There seems to be no end to the Bush Party's capability for legal tight-rope walking, no end to excuses used to justify the hopping back and forth over the line between ligitimate and illigitimate actions. And no authentic challenge, not just by Dems, but by supposedly moral religious leaders watching this play out, little media, few action groups, other countries, God, anyone?

The silence of all this non-challenge is deafening me with its implicit approval.

Posted by: Zit on May 24, 2007 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

I was going to put something thoughtful on here until I read all the drama. Instead I'll just say:

LOL INTERNET.

Posted by: Ty on May 24, 2007 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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