Sunday, July 17, 2005

I'm Shocked, Shocked...

...to learn the Bush administration had a plan in place to covertly influence the Iraqi elections.

A piece by Douglas Jehl and David E. Sanger in today's New York Times reports that "President Bush approved a plan to provide covert support to certain Iraqi candidates and political parties, but rescinded the proposal because of Congressional opposition...

"Frederick Jones, the spokesman for the National Security Council, said that 'in the final analysis, the president determined and the United States government adopted a policy that we would not try - and did not try - to influence the outcome of the Iraqi election by covertly helping individual candidates for office.'

"The statement appeared to leave open the question of whether any covert help was provided to parties favored by Washington, an issue about which the White House declined to elaborate."

An article by Seymour Hersh in the next issue of The New Yorker will outline how "the administration proceeded with the covert plan over the Congressional objections."

"Several senior Bush administration officials disputed that, although they [uh] recalled renewed discussions [yeah, that's what they were, 'renewed discussions'] within the administration last fall about how the United States might [hammana hammana] counter what was seen as extensive Iranian support to pro-Iranian Shiite parties [yeah, that's what we did, all right.]"

And get this...

"None [of the senior administration officials] would speak for the record, citing the extreme sensitivity of discussing any covert action, which by design is never to be acknowledged by the United States government."

Give me a break! They can't discuss covert action for the record, but they can do it on deep background?

They're killing me!

3 comments:

  1. A bit off-topic...

    I think that what Hersh, and Frank in particular,are doing is valuable. While many of us in the blogosphere have mentioned some of this stuff on our blogs in months past, we tend to let the MSM set the parameters of the discussion. Which is to say that we tend to react rather than be proactive.

    Hersh and Frank do a masterful job of reminding us of the big picture and bringing us back to what is really important.

    That's not to take anything away from Jehl and Sanger. They serve a purpose too. It's just that Hersh and Frank bring a gravitas to the table which gets attention. Sheer name recognition has it's value...

    I look forward to Hersh's forthcoming article.

    This issue reminds me of Iran/Contra in some respects. Congressional objections being ignored, in particular. Which strikes close to home for me because I was a loyal conservative Republican before Iran/Contra. Everything changed after that.

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  2. This is also off topic, but I've been wondering about the rank and file in the Pentagon, CIA, FBI, and State Department. They can't be happy about what the Bush Administration has been doing.

    In order to shift blame for ignoring something like 39 PDBs about Bin Laden, Bush et al. trash talked the CIA and FBI.

    Then they blamed the CIA for "faulty" intelligence on Iraqi WMDs.

    Then they ignored the State Dept. analysis and plans for post-war Iraq.

    Then they completely screwed up the invasion and occupation of Iraq, both militarily and politically, but insisted that they followed the advice and planning from the Pentagon.

    Then they got 1700+ American soldiers killed, 10,000+ wounded severely, and stretched the Army to the breaking point. To most of America, those statistics don't really hit home but I suspect that the Pentagon rank and file has a more personal view.

    I'm wondering if we'll be seeing many more leaks about Bush Administration misdeeds.

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  3. Yeah, Kevin, I'm glad Hersh and Frank are out in front (even if they're a bit behind some of the blogosphere.) I hope the rest of the MSM sees and reports this perspective.

    Karen,

    That's another aspect of the Plame issue I'm thinking will come out...how the CIA was divided between rank and file and Bush implants. Same true for State and FBI. (And Pentagon, for that matter, though the high rollers who didn't play ball with Rummy got the axe.

    I'm quite happy to be out of government, myself.

    Jeff

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