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May 23, 2007

Bush Authorizes New Covert Action Against Iran


The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert "black" operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell the Blotter on

The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the subject, say President Bush has signed a "nonlethal presidential finding" that puts into motion a CIA plan that reportedly includes a coordinated campaign of propaganda, disinformation and manipulation of Iran's currency and international financial transactions.


ALSO: Don't read the comments on the ABC website if you tend to get depressed about the human condition.

Posted at May 23, 2007 07:46 AM | TrackBack

Too late. Ronny Ray Gun sold us out to the Iranians to aggrandize his massive ego in Central America.

Iran has all of the leverage and the only reason we hear about them is Israel and their bitching. Fuck 'em I say.

If Israel can massacre civillians and manufacture "splits" in the Palestinian power structure, then they can pick on someone their own size, too.

In short, Israel is just pissed that Iran has their number.

Posted by: at May 23, 2007 08:54 AM

I wouldn't get too worried about the comments there Jonathan - the Freepers also linked to that article - I am guessing that's where the majority of those comments came from.

Not that they're still not loony, but at least it's a known quantity of loony.

Posted by: gil at May 23, 2007 09:24 AM

What "human condition" are you talking about?
Is it like the "vision thing?"
Dead white male talk.
Have a shot of self-esteem ("I'm unique and wonderful") and get with the program.
What "program" am I talking about?
Fuggedabout it, already.

Posted by: donescobar at May 23, 2007 09:41 AM

Terry Jones wrote an amazing piece about this:,,2073133,00.html

Posted by: En Ming Hee at May 23, 2007 10:02 AM

If the Democrats pass the war funding bill without timelines, I give up on them and all politics completely. That will be the end. I'm almost fifty years old now and I don't think we have a government left that gives a rat's ass about government, just politics. So screw it. They're all out for themselves and they don't care what anyone thinks anyway.

Posted by: DBK at May 23, 2007 10:08 AM

If the Democrats pass the war funding bill without timelines, I give up on them and all politics completely.

I've tried giving up on politics, but it never sticks.

Posted by: Dayv at May 23, 2007 10:45 AM

manipulation of Iran’s currency and international financial transactions

Hmmmm, this sounds like counterfeiting and hacking into their banking institutions. Certainly makes me proud to be an American, that we would conduct such things against a country with whom we are not at war.

Posted by: Minion at May 23, 2007 12:08 PM

"Certainly makes me proud to be an American, that we would conduct such things against a country with whom we are not at war."

I tend to prefer nonlethal activities such as "propaganda, disinformation and manipulation of Iran's currency and international financial transactions" to an actual shooting war.

I don't favor aggressive military action against Iran. However, as I feel no great love for them either, whatever we might do short of military action to make President Ahmadidgeridoo's life difficult is fine by me!

Posted by: JSmith at May 23, 2007 12:24 PM

I don't know ANY Iranians so I REALLY don't have any idea what they are about and I suspect 99% of AMERICA is in the same boat. We have our "three minutes of hate" for the Iranians (and other foreigners) and thanks to all the media coverage we now know their names and what part of Baghdad or Terhran they live in. So now we seem to REALLY know these people, their ideology, how they live and think, whether we should hate them or not, although we've NEVER met them or spoken to them. WE FEAR the unknown and that's our problem, our ignorance. Those people who commented on ABC, FEAR is their common cause, OUR common cause. (the CIA's job is to overthrow other governments. If YOU don't like the CIA doing that STOP PAYING THEM.)

Posted by: Mike Meyer at May 23, 2007 01:22 PM

Cernig is of the opinion that the plan may have been leaked by Cheney's camp specifically to sabotage the possibility of non-military attacks on Iran.

This dovetails rather well with today's arrival of a nine ship strike group in the Gulf.

Posted by: Agent Smith at May 23, 2007 01:42 PM

It's the fault of those crazy Quakers, again. Read "The Case for Bombing Iran," by Norman Podhoretz in the current Commentary.
Nixon was one of them, wasn't he, and he sure loved bombing swarthy people. Darn Quakers!

Posted by: donescobar at May 23, 2007 02:47 PM

The discouraging thing is that ABC news might come to the conclusion that the goombahs who write that crazy stuff are representative of their website readers and tv viewers, and make subsequent editorial decisions accordingly.

I still remember when CNN was highly regarded for their news coverage, even though in the Glenn Beck/Nancy Grace era I feel like I might as well be talking about when they still made Studebakers and Packards.

Posted by: Jonathan Versen at May 23, 2007 03:18 PM

I like the first commenter who now considers "ABC News Traders to the United States". He must have been reading Robert McChesney.

Posted by: RobW at May 23, 2007 08:05 PM

Sanctions against Iraq were a prelude to war. Now we have sanctions against Iran. Bush will tell us how hard he tried to use reason to persuade Iran to give up its nuclear program and how much he regrets his efforts were to no avail and though war should be the last option yada, yada. Bush tells us the Iranian government is arming the Iraq insurgents, the Navy has adopted a threatening posture in the Gulf. I would say we should expect the use of U.S. military force against Iran very soon now.

The comments are ugly but are to be expected, this is America after all and we do love our violence though we love it more when it is happening over there and not here. Governments have always been expert at stirring up unreasoning bigoted hate but when you consider the killer chimp genes so much a part of American culture I can’t give the government too much credit for their cleverness. In fact I suspect that they find it all too easy. Tell a few lies, stir in some tribalism, invoke some mealy-mouthed sickening sentimentality, a dash of salt, a little pepper and viola, you have the recipe for war.

Posted by: rob payne at May 24, 2007 01:52 AM

rob payne: Can I have vanilla in mine, I love vanilla? I'm thinking that the PAYOFFS to Mass Media to help rig the game weren't that large neither. Sometimes selling the country "down the river" is not as expensive a proposition as one might think, up front.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at May 24, 2007 03:10 AM

Mike Meyer,

Yup, that would not surprise me, the media are eager little beavers when it comes to beating the war drums.

Posted by: rob payne at May 24, 2007 04:18 AM

whatever we might do short of military action to make President Ahmadidgeridoo's life difficult is fine by me!

So if the Iranians flood our economy with counterfeit money and hack into our banks' computers as a response to our doing the same thing to "President Ahmadidgeridoo", what then? Or is it O.K. for us to do these things, but not the Iranians?

Posted by: Basharov at May 24, 2007 11:58 AM

Last night, NPR news had a short bit on Iran's imprisonment of Professor Esfandiari and another person whose name I can't remember. Esfandiari is in Ervin prison, accused of trying to foment a 'soft revolution'. NPR says the WH calls this ridiculous and unacceptable, etc etc etc. But NPR did not include any mention of this news leak about our own government's policy of overthrowing the current Iranian regime.

As for these leaks, I think they might not prove propitious for the people being held by Iranians on suspicion of covert actions against the government. I am unhappily pretty sure, however, that this doesn't figure in at all in the calculations of those who come up with these shitty insane policies or of those who leak about them.

Posted by: Aunt Deb at May 24, 2007 01:59 PM

Aunt Deb,

i wouldn't rule out the possibility that the WH folks wanted the leaks and want to see professors detained in Iran. It helps make the case that these are really evil people that need to be violently overthrown.

As a practical matter, I don't actually believe that they are carrying out a covert operation to overthrow the Iranian government because I don't think that they are stupid enough to believe that they have this capacity. I assume that the leak was deliberate (this was not a whistle-blower) and that they are testing public reactions.

Posted by: Dean Baker at May 27, 2007 10:33 AM