hersh unveils new information on u.s. covert operations in iran

In the new issue of “The New Yorker,” Seymour Hersh reports that, with the secret approval of our Congressional leaders, U.S. Special Forces, working with the CIA and the Joint Special Operations Command, have already begun large-scale cross-border operations inside of Iran. The following quote from Hersh comes from an interview he just had with Amy Goodman:

…Late last year, at the time of the — as many in the audience will remember — the National Intelligence Estimate was made public, in late November/early December. And that was a document that — I don’t know why, but it’s been totally devalued by everybody, including all of the candidates. Both the two Democratic candidates during the primary and McCain kept on talking about Iran as if it were on the edge of being nuclear. What the NIE said, and it was a really very carefully done document, it said that since 2003, the evidence is clear that Iran has not pushed a weapons program. There is no evidence they’re actually seeking weapons, as they’ve been saying. And that’s what the NIE said at this same time as we all know this president, and the vice-president, and the Secretary of Defense, and the National Security Advisor, and the Secretary of State, they’ve all disavowed it just as if it didn’t exist.

At that time, Bush went to Congress with a finding that said “I need this huge chunk of money to continue operations.” He has the right as president to ask that only a few members of Congress — it’s know in the laws sort of informally as the Gang of Eight. And that would be the House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, her counterpart, the leading Republican in the House, the Majority Leader in the Senate, Harry Reid of Nevada, his counterpart, and all the Democrat and Republican chairmans of the House and Senate. Intelligence Committee, in the case of the Democrats, it’s Rockefeller in the Senate and Reyes from Texas in the House. So you have those four Democrats got a chop at this. The finding was given to them, particularly the Intelligence Committee’s lawyers look at it, and did nothing. And the money was, eventually the money was appropriated by both the House and Senate Defense Appropriations Sub-Committee, just as a line item.

Congress — the rest of the Congress knows nothing about these kind of operations. When it gets to highly classified operations, the money is promulgated through the highly-classified Defense Appropriations Sub-Committee. And the rest of the people in the business — on the floor, in various committees — it could be the other side of the moon as far as they’re concerned. But those eight people, the four Democrats: Reid, Pelosi, Rockefeller, and Reyes, did nothing. And it’s complicated because I can’t tell you officially … there’s the answer everybody gives, is “We can’t talk about this kind of stuff.” That’s the amazing, that’s sort of the Catch 22…

The question doesn’t seem to be if Iran will be bombed, but by whom. Some are suggesting that we have Israel do it, but Cheney seems to be of the opinion that the bombs should be ours. And, for what it’s worth, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton thinks it’s a good idea too.

Fortunately, we have McCain around to urge serious, thoughtful consideration of the possible ramifications.

This is kind of an aside, but one wonders if perhaps OEC might have been onto something in the comments section today when he suggested that we have our Governor recall our Michigan National Guard… Does someone want to start a petition now, before we get into yet another cluster fuck of an unprovoked war?

[This post is brought to you by the organization Super-Sized Republicans Demanding the Head of Wall-e.]

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  1. Ol' E Cross
    Posted July 1, 2008 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    Eh. If you believe wikipedia. It would appear Granholm can no longer do squat:

    The Montgomery Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1987 provides that a governor cannot withhold consent with regard to active duty outside the United States because of any objection to the location, purpose, type, or schedule of such duty. This law was challenged and upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States in 1990 in Perpich v. Department of Defense.[6])

    Who the hell was President in 1987, anyway?

  2. Robert
    Posted July 2, 2008 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    It doesn’t say anything about recalling active duty back stateside for purposes of domestic dissaster relief.

    Shouldn’t Iowa be able to recall their guardsmen to help in the recovery efforts in their home state?

  3. Robert
    Posted July 2, 2008 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    We could also recall some troops here to Michigan to help me with my spelling.

  4. Steph's Dad
    Posted July 2, 2008 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Democrats across the board are useless. They know that we’re waging an illegal war, and yet, at best, they sit by and watch it happen. Conyers may be the one exception. He seems to be doing what he can, given the circumstances. It doesn’t surprise me at all to hear that Pelosi signed off military operations in Iran. God forbid that she sprout a mini ball and stand up for what’s right.

  5. Paw
    Posted July 2, 2008 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    I do not think that it would be difficult to make the case that Detroit is in more need of infrastructure building and peace keeping than some parts of Iraq.

  6. Ol' E Cross
    Posted July 2, 2008 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Isn’t that exactly the case Ann Coulter was just making?

  7. Brackache
    Posted July 2, 2008 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Strong evidence for the National Guard not really filling the role of a State Militia, eh?

    I suggest petitioning for a repeal of the Montgomery Ammendment, if that’s the case. I believe you can get a lot of States to sign on to such a petition, if they really are serious about not supporting the Iraq (and potential Iran) occupation.

    Of course, if they’re just blowing smoke up their anti-war constituants’ asses in order to attain and hold political power, then they won’t do shit but talk.

  8. egpenet
    Posted July 2, 2008 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Goerge W. Bush to himself …

    “Running outta time, Dick.”

    “Gotta do somethin’ about the economy and all this unemployment, Dick.”

    “Need’ta put these kids ta’work doin’ somethin’ meaningful, Dick.”

    “Any ideas?”

    “Three words, sir … bombs … Iran … draft.”

    “Dickie, y’ur so suckstinct.”

  9. Posted July 5, 2008 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Boy Steph’s Dad and egpenet, I’m with you. Such a topsy turvy world.

    Back in 1980 I had friends (a couple) who rode their bikes everywhere… thru the winter. They got to all of the meetings on time…and laughed at those of us driving our cars.

    They insisted that they were not going to be part of the “oil wars” and have that mess of business on their consciences. Back then, I just didn’t get it. I was doing political work in other ways… but getting off oil — well, I can only say the lightbulb hadn’t gone on for me… even after watching “Missing” and following what we did in El Salvador, Chile, Nicaragua – you name it.

    But now, it seems to me that going alternative energy, relocalizing is just the ultimate threat to the powers that be, and the only way to stop all this crap. (sorry, i realize i’m not being funny…)

    Just contacting 5 friends and asking them to support this by advocating with their representatives (as well as passing it on to 5 friends) would I think be the most certain way to impact the oil wars, and all of the black ops that go along with it while staying simple, and solution focused:

    I.e. “I’m sure you know that it is vital to our children and the world that we lower our carbon
    footprint because of global warming (we’ve all seen its effects in the news in the last 6 months)
    – its also essential that we lower our energy dependency because of so many factors in addition to the fact that
    we can’t afford the rising costs and many homeowners are being ruined by
    rising costs of utilities, taxes…. fuel.

    Here is what Canada is offering homeowners for home retrofitting


    Lets all push our congressmen to get this kind of sensible and adequate program of intervention in place – asap! –
    instead of the paltry tax credits we now have that stimulate nothing. These kinds of measures would
    stimulate energy jobs, alternative energy development, but from the bottom up bringing relief to and empower
    the homeowner and taxpayer that seems to keep getting forgotten in the rush for relief — as well as getting us one step closer to ending our big oil dependency”

    I don’t think we can’t keep waiting for the top people to figure this out, or get the courage to do something sensible about it.

  10. Robert
    Posted July 7, 2008 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    If folks who tried but failed are useless, what does that make those who’ve never tried?

  11. MaryD
    Posted July 7, 2008 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    I have to agree with you Robert. Many have tried, just never with big enough majorities. This is why the elections, every single one is so important.

  12. Brackache
    Posted July 7, 2008 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    Robert: ahead of the curve?

  13. Robert
    Posted July 8, 2008 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    MaryD: I think everyone should vote as if it were their last opportunity to do so. More than most people, I believe that it might actually be.

    Brackache: I like it.

    My advice to the Democratic Party in 2006 was to not run any congressional candidates and simply let the Republicans have the whole thing. They were just looking for someone to pin their shit on anyway. That’s practically all they do anymore.

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