...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that "President Bush approved a plan to provide covert support to certain Iraqi candidates and political parties, but rescinded the proposal because of Congressional opposition...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!