Covert ops in Iran

by phil on Sunday Jun 29, 2008 4:02 PM

Seymour Hersh reports this week in the New Yorker that the United States is engaging in covert ops inside Iran.

The level to which this is "covert" is that only the "Gang of Eight" knew about this:

Under federal law, a Presidential Finding, which is highly classified, must be issued when a covert intelligence operation gets under way and, at a minimum, must be made known to Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and the Senate and to the ranking members of their respective intelligence committees—the so-called Gang of Eight. Money for the operation can then be reprogrammed from previous appropriations, as needed, by the relevant congressional committees, which also can be briefed.
These are the current members of the "Gang," half Democrats and half Republicans:
  • Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
  • John Boehner, Republican House Leader
  • Harry Reid, Democratic Senate Leader
  • Mitch McConnell, Republican Senate Leader
  • Silvestre Reyes (D), Chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
  • Peter Hoekstra (R), Ranking Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
  • John D. Rockefeller, IV (D), Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
  • Kit Bond (R) Ranking Member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

So while high-level members of the Democratic leadership went along with this plan, the Party's presumptive candidate for President, Barack Obama, has been in favor of direct talks and diplomacy with Iran.

A few months ago Vice President Dick Cheney hinted that he could whisper something in Obama's ear that would change his worldview:

"It's true. We are, in fact, distantly related," the Vice President said. "We haven't talked about a family reunion. I have no objections. I'm not sure Sen. Obama is up for it, at least not before November. He'd probably be fearful I might whisper in his ear and change his whole view of the Middle East," Cheney added.

Is Obama naive? Or is it the problem that our leaders lie to us to, as they think, to protect us? To protect us even from our own insight, such as the National Intelligence Estimate's report that downplays Iran's nuclear program? To our current leadership, it's as if the truth is a annoying hinderance to "what you really want to do."

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