Category Archives: Seymour Hersh

Trying to force a regime change in Iran the old fashion way-through covert ops.

The old fashioned way is using clandestine and/or covert ops by various US governmental agencies. The usual agencies are the CIA and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). Seymour Hersh addresses these operations in his latest article for the New Yorker.

Mr. Hersh received the information on new covert ops against Iran from various military, intelligence, and congressional sources, per his article. The President received funding for these ops late last year from the Democratic-controlled Congress. The dollar amount Bush was seeking is in the ballpark of $400 million.

Christ, that is some ballpark isn’t it? If you think this is something new in Bush’s War on Terror, think again. From Hersh’s article in July’s New Yorker:

Clandestine operations against Iran are not new. United States Special Operations Forces have been conducting cross-border operations from southern Iraq, with Presidential authorization, since last year. These have included seizing members of Al Quds, the commando arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, and taking them to Iraq for interrogation, and the pursuit of “high-value targets” in the President’s war on terror, who may be captured or killed. But the scale and the scope of the operations in Iran, which involve the Central Intelligence Agency and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), have now been significantly expanded, according to the current and former officials. Many of these activities are not specified in the new Finding, and some congressional leaders have had serious questions about their nature.

Serious questions? No…really? Who the hell wouldn’t have serious questions about such actions by our government? Well, the Gang of Eight has been briefed as well as the upper echelons of the Republican and Democratic Congressional leadership. When such covert ops are to begin, the President must issue what is known as a “Presidential Finding“. This is a highly classified executive directive from Bush and its similar to an Executive Order. for a peek into this PF, Hersh has this:

“The Finding was focused on undermining Iran’s nuclear ambitions and trying to undermine the government through regime change,” a person familiar with its contents said, and involved “working with opposition groups and passing money.” The Finding provided for a whole new range of activities in southern Iran and in the areas, in the east, where Baluchi political opposition is strong, he said.

Evidently the congress critter’s with questions about these tactics/operations were appeased since the funding for these operations did get approved by both the Senate and the House. This is all done in secret of course. Interestingly enough, this all came to pass right around the time the NIE came out which stated Iran had stopped work on their nuclear weapons program in 2003.

Can you smell the irony? I can..but I digress.

So BushCo is pushing all the buttons that need to be pushed for his attack on Iran. There are, however, substantial opinions, Robert Gates among them, that bombing Iran would be a huge clusterfuck that would see our children’s children fighting Jihadists, and not only abroad but here on US soil. Again, from Hersh’s article:

A Democratic senator told me that, late last year, in an off-the-record lunch meeting, Secretary of Defense Gates met with the Democratic caucus in the Senate. (Such meetings are held regularly.) Gates warned of the consequences if the Bush Administration staged a preëmptive strike on Iran, saying, as the senator recalled, “We’ll create generations of jihadists, and our grandchildren will be battling our enemies here in America.” Gates’s comments stunned the Democrats at the lunch, and another senator asked whether Gates was speaking for Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney. Gates’s answer, the senator told me, was “Let’s just say that I’m here speaking for myself.”

Whoa, isn’t that some shit? The Joint Chiefs of Staff aren’t crazy about BushCo’s plan to bomb Iran. Neither are plenty of “the four-star officers who direct military operations around the world”. Before he was shit-canned, Admiral William Fallon, who until recently was the head of U.S. Central Command, was a very vocal advocate for NOT bombing the bejesus out of Iran. Admiral Fallon has quite a bit to say to Mr. Hersh on the subject of Iran and the covert ops:

“Did I bitch about some of the things that were being proposed? You bet. Some of them were very stupid.”

The Democratic leadership’s agreement to commit hundreds of millions of dollars for more secret operations in Iran was remarkable, given the general concerns of officials like Gates, Fallon, and many others. “The oversight process has not kept pace—it’s been coöpted” by the Administration, the person familiar with the contents of the Finding said. “The process is broken, and this is dangerous stuff we’re authorizing.”

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