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Thread: Bush Authorizes New Covert Action Against Iran

  1. #1
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    Bush Authorizes New Covert Action Against Iran

    Not widely reported so I figured I'd share:



    [url]http://blogs.abcnews.com/theblotter/2007/05/bush_authorizes.html[/url]

    Bush Authorizes New Covert Action Against Iran
    May 22, 2007 6:29 PM

    Brian Ross and Richard Esposito Report:

    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 ABCNews.com.

    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.

    "I can't confirm or deny whether such a program exists or whether the president signed it, but it would be consistent with an overall American approach trying to find ways to put pressure on the regime," said Bruce Riedel, a recently retired CIA senior official who dealt with Iran and other countries in the region.

    A National Security Council spokesperson, Gordon Johndroe, said, "The White House does not comment on intelligence matters." A CIA spokesperson said, "As a matter of course, we do not comment on allegations of covert activity."

    The sources say the CIA developed the covert plan over the last year and received approval from White House officials and other officials in the intelligence community.

    Officials say the covert plan is designed to pressure Iran to stop its nuclear enrichment program and end aid to insurgents in Iraq.

    "There are some channels where the United States government may want to do things without its hand showing, and legally, therefore, the administration would, if it's doing that, need an intelligence finding and would need to tell the Congress," said ABC News consultant Richard Clarke, a former White House counterterrorism official.

    Current and former intelligence officials say the approval of the covert action means the Bush administration, for the time being, has decided not to pursue a military option against Iran.

    "Vice President Cheney helped to lead the side favoring a military strike," said former CIA official Riedel, "but I think they have come to the conclusion that a military strike has more downsides than upsides."

    The covert action plan comes as U.S. officials have confirmed Iran had dramatically increased its ability to produce nuclear weapons material, at a pace that experts said would give them the ability to build a nuclear bomb in two years.

    Riedel says economic pressure on Iran may be the most effective tool available to the CIA, particularly in going after secret accounts used to fund the nuclear program.

    "The kind of dealings that the Iranian Revolution Guards are going to do, in terms of purchasing nuclear and missile components, are likely to be extremely secret, and you're going to have to work very, very hard to find them, and that's exactly the kind of thing the CIA's nonproliferation center and others would be expert at trying to look into," Riedel said.

    Under the law, the CIA needs an official presidential finding to carry out such covert actions. The CIA is permitted to mount covert "collection" operations without a presidential finding.

    "Presidential findings" are kept secret but reported to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and other key congressional leaders.

    The "nonlethal" aspect of the presidential finding means CIA officers may not use deadly force in carrying out the secret operations against Iran.

    Still, some fear that even a nonlethal covert CIA program carries great risks.

    "I think everybody in the region knows that there is a proxy war already afoot with the United States supporting anti-Iranian elements in the region as well as opposition groups within Iran," said Vali Nasr, adjunct senior fellow for Mideast studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

    "And this covert action is now being escalated by the new U.S. directive, and that can very quickly lead to Iranian retaliation and a cycle of escalation can follow," Nasr said.

    Other "lethal" findings have authorized CIA covert actions against al Qaeda, terrorism and nuclear proliferation.

    Also briefed on the CIA proposal, according to intelligence sources, were National Security Advisor Steve Hadley and Deputy National Security Advisor Elliott Abrams.

    "The entire plan has been blessed by Abrams, in particular," said one intelligence source familiar with the plan. "And Hadley had to put his chop on it."

    Abrams' last involvement with attempting to destabilize a foreign government led to criminal charges.

    He pleaded guilty in October 1991 to two misdemeanor counts of withholding information from Congress about the Reagan administration's ill-fated efforts to destabilize the Nicaraguan Sandinista government in Central America, known as the Iran-Contra affair. Abrams was later pardoned by President George H. W. Bush in December 1992.

    In June 2001, Abrams was named by then National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice to head the National Security Council's office for democracy, human rights and international operations. On Feb. 2, 2005, National Security Advisor Hadley appointed Abrams deputy assistant to the president and deputy national security advisor for global democracy strategy, one of the nation's most senior national security positions.

    As earlier reported on the Blotter on ABCNews.com, the United States has supported and encouraged an Iranian militant group, Jundullah, that has conducted deadly raids inside Iran from bases on the rugged Iran-Pakistan-Afghanistan "tri-border region."

    U.S. officials deny any "direct funding" of Jundullah groups but say the leader of Jundullah was in regular contact with U.S. officials.

    American intelligence sources say Jundullah has received money and weapons through the Afghanistan and Pakistan military and Pakistan's intelligence service. Pakistan has officially denied any connection.

    A report broadcast on Iranian TV last Sunday said Iranian authorities had captured 10 men crossing the border with $500,000 in cash along with "maps of sensitive areas" and "modern spy equipment."

    A senior Pakistani official told ABCNews.com the 10 men were members of Jundullah.

    The leader of the Jundullah group, according to the Pakistani official, has been recruiting and training "hundreds of men" for "unspecified missions" across the border in Iran.

  2. #2
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    So much for "covert black operation"... :P

    In any case, I applaud this type of action. This is the way the WOT should be fought overseas: gathering of intel, covert missions, precision strikes. Perhaps Bush HAS learned a thing or two from his failures.

  3. #3
    I have to assume that every single Liberal who cried a river of tears for Valerie "Inactive-Desk-Jockey" Plame will come out STRONG against the leaking of this vital confidential information, and DEMAND that the Democrat Party and Congress hold hearings and investigations until the traitors who leaked this security and national defense information are found, and tried in a court of law for breach of security in this manner.

    Leaking this information, and having it public hurts the United States, it's goals in the region, and our Millitary and puts our covert assets on the ground in REAL life-threatening danger.

  4. #4
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    I don't get why "Democrat" Party is a diss and why they get offended...

    I also don't get why you GOPers think saying "Democrat" Party will be taken offensively

  5. #5
    [QUOTE=Warfish]I have to assume that every single Liberal who cried a river of tears for Valerie "Inactive-Desk-Jockey" Plame will come out STRONG against the leaking of this vital confidential information, and DEMAND that the Democrat Party and Congress hold hearings and investigations until the traitors who leaked this security and national defense information are found, and tried in a court of law for breach of security in this manner.

    Leaking this information, and having it public hurts the United States, it's goals in the region, and our Millitary and puts our covert assets on the ground in REAL life-threatening danger.[/QUOTE]

    Absolutely, as soon as we find out who outed NOC Valerie Plame and who was behind ordering andrew card and Alberto 'early senility" Gonzales to harrass a critically ill Ashcroft into signing off on the highly illegal domestic spying program. But first we must solve these mysteries.

  6. #6
    [QUOTE=kennyo7]Absolutely, as soon as we find out who outed NOC Valerie Plame and who was behind ordering andrew card and Alberto 'early senility" Gonzales to harrass a critically ill Ashcroft into signing off on the highly illegal domestic spying program. But first we must solve these mysteries.[/QUOTE]

    It goes to how twisted and political you are that you view the outing of Plame as more relevant and important to the USA and it's security than the leaking of a Confidential and ongoing Black Op. As for your "Domestic Spying" issue, take it up with the Court if you think it's illegal, and next time stay on topic.

    I should have expeced as much from you Ken. You are hatefully political to the core, and you have no true sense of reality if you think Plame was more important than this. But hey, I guess anything that hurts Bush must be good, right?

  7. #7
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    I think A. J. Soprano outed this action in last Sunday's episode...
    ;)

  8. #8
    [QUOTE=Warfish]It goes to how twisted and political you are that you view the outing of Plame as more relevant and important to the USA and it's security than the leaking of a Confidential and ongoing Black Op. As for your "Domestic Spying" issue, take it up with the Court if you think it's illegal, and next time stay on topic.

    I should have expeced as much from you Ken. You are hatefully political to the core, and you have no true sense of reality if you think Plame was more important than this. But hey, I guess anything that hurts Bush must be good, right?[/QUOTE]

    The only one twisted and full of political hatred is you, for belittling what Valerie Plame really was , a NOC who risked her life in gathering intelligence that would help us in the so called WOT. The fact that you dont recognize the true damage done in outing her and hencefore all her associates and their years of work who were gathering intelligence from our purported enemies just shows that you are simply politically hateful and no true sense of reality. There is no point in discussing this with you. You are blinded by your support for this disasterous president. Call yourself independent, you are not.

  9. #9
    [QUOTE=kennyo7]The only one twisted and full of political hatred is you, for belittling what Valerie Plame really was , a NOC who risked her life in gathering intelligence that would help us in the so called WOT. The fact that you dont recognize the true damage done in outing her and hencefore all her associates and their years of work who were gathering intelligence from our purported enemies just shows that you are simply politically hateful and no true sense of reality. There is no point in discussing this with you. You are blinded by your support for this disasterous president. Call yourself independent, you are not.[/QUOTE]

    It's okay Ken. We all see that you are more than happy to let people sell your Countries secrets to the highest media bidder, as long as it hurts Bush.

    You cannot even come out and say this leak was wrong. I can say leaking Plame, inactive fame-hungry desk-jockey that she was, was still wrong. But you cannot say the same about this horrible leak of vital secrets.

    It's clear who's the political shill here Ken, and it isn't me. I'm "blinded by support", lol, lol, lol.....Support for Bush the Fool, who I mock openly, cannot wait to see repalced in 08', have no support for, who sold out America on immigration and the budget, and who has done just about everything wrong he possibly could in Iraq? Right, my "support" is truly unwavering, lol.

    Shill.

  10. #10
    [QUOTE=Warfish]It's okay Ken. We all see that you are more than happy to let people sell your Countries secrets to the highest media bidder, as long as it hurts Bush.

    You cannot even come out and say this leak was wrong. I can say leaking Plame, inactive fame-hungry desk-jockey that she was, was still wrong. But you cannot say the same about this horrible leak of vital secrets.

    It's clear who's the political shill here Ken, and it isn't me. I'm "blinded by support", lol, lol, lol.....Support for Bush the Fool, who I mock openly, cannot wait to see repalced in 08', have no support for, who sold out America on immigration and the budget, and who has done just about everything wrong he possibly could in Iraq? Right, my "support" is truly unwavering, lol.

    Shill.[/QUOTE]

    I did say it was wrong. Read my first post.
    The fact that you still refer to Plame as an "inactive fame-hungry desk-jockey " says it all. Not only are completely ignorant as to what her job entailed (being a NOC is the most dangerous job for an agent), but you reinforce that you are nothing but a right wing shill by repeating their laughably ignorant talking points

  11. #11
    I don't get the Plame paralell at all.

    There are no specifics in this article at all. No places or names that would endanger anyone.

    U.S. officials have said publicly for years that they've wanted to encourage pro-democracy Iranian youth movements. I somehow doubt the Iranians will be surprised to see we're doing it and, from this article, they won't know anything about it they didn't know already.

    It is not the same thing as naming a covert operative who worked on keeping nukes away from terrorists, which was what Valerie Plame did. Belittle her as a desk jockey all you want, she worked in the area Bush and Cheney have said is the most important all along, yet they thought nothing of destroying her career for a cheap political point.

  12. #12
    [QUOTE=nuu faaola]I don't get the Plame paralell at all.

    There are no specifics in this article at all. No places or names that would endanger anyone.

    U.S. officials have said publicly for years that they've wanted to encourage pro-democracy Iranian youth movements. I somehow doubt the Iranians will be surprised to see we're doing it and, from this article, they won't know anything about it they didn't know already.

    It is not the same thing as naming a covert operative who worked on keeping nukes away from terrorists, which was what Valerie Plame did. Belittle her as a desk jockey all you want, she worked in the area Bush and Cheney have said is the most important all along, yet they thought nothing of destroying her career for a cheap political point.[/QUOTE]

    Exactly!!!
    In the words of J5E "This is a Non-Story".

    ABC news contacted the CIA and the White House2 weeks before they put out the story and at no time did they indicate that broadcasting this report would jeopardize lives or operations on the ground. The CIA and WH new about the story and had time to object before it was published but did not. Why didnt they if this was endangering the lives/or jeopardizing operations??

    Maybe b/c the ABC story was vague and contained no specifics that the Iranians could act on?

    Again this is an example of why Fish truly is a Right Wing Partisan Hack. No one made this an issue (not even the CIA or WH) except for the Right Wing Talk Shows and Fish jumps all over this. Then he has the AUDACITY to accuse those who want answers re the Gonzales investigation and Comey Testimony "Political Theatrics"! What a hypocrite!

  13. #13
    [QUOTE=kennyo7] What a hypocrite![/QUOTE]

    :zzz:

  14. #14
    [QUOTE=Warfish]:zzz:[/QUOTE]

    Nice.

    Now how about addressing the bulk of what i wrote:


    1. That the CIA and WH knew about the story weeks in advance and had time to object before it was published but did not.

    2. That the ABC story was vague and contained no specifics that the Iranians could act on.

    3. That the Iranians already knew the USA is active in pushing for regime change from within and hence this story is hardly a surprise to them

  15. #15
    [QUOTE=kennyo7]Nice.

    Now how about addressing the bulk of what i wrote:


    1. That the CIA and WH knew about the story weeks in advance and had time to object before it was published but did not.

    2. That the ABC story was vague and contained no specifics that the Iranians could act on.

    3. That the Iranians already knew the USA is active in pushing for regime change from within and hence this story is hardly a surprise to them[/QUOTE]

    1. Source please, that they (the WH and CIA Director) knew the story had been leaked AND made no objections (hence approved of the story).

    And lets be honest, even if they HAD made objections, would they have not gone ahead and broadcast it anyway? We both know they would have.

    And the issue isn't if the WH and CIA knew it had been leaked. It is that leaking this kind of information without approval is dangerous and bad for America and our defense.

    Hey, if Mangini knows his playbook has been leaked by a Player to the Pats, is it ok because he knows it? Will he not persue the player that leaked it? Maybe in your world, he wouldn't.

    2. Vague or not, it announced in public a Black Op, and what that Black Op was designed to do. If you tell someone you're using their newspapers as propaganda, it kind of takes away the abillity to do so, AND it puts the people behind the paper in lifethreatening danger.

    3. So what? "Knowing" isn't the same as knowing. For example, many Liberals "know" that Bush was behind 9-11. However, they do not know it, nor can they prove it. Point being, the story is enough to help Iran fight off this Operation much easier.

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