Brian Ross for ABC News in 2007 and Seymour Hersh for The New Yorker in 2008 reported the Bush Administration’s Presidential Finding enacting a C.I.A. plan to use propaganda to push regime change in Iran. Democrats in Congress backed the $400 million dollar appropriation. The July ’08 article by Mr. Hersh quotes a member of the House Appropriations Committee: “[I]t will take another year before we get the intelligence activities under control…. We control the money and they can’t do anything without the money. Money is what it’s all about. But I’m very leery of this Administration.”
We (nor do we believe Mr. Hersh or Mr. Ross) would say the “Green Revolution” is a C.I.A. operation. That would be proposterous and insulting to millions upon millions who revolted in 1979, had their revolution hijacked and have felt the strength in numbers with the cause of removing a tyrant (or more) to revive it. This story does deserve attention, though.
If your mind wanders too far into conspiracy theory working in the form of the “Green Revolution” we’ve seen over the last week, read Justin Raimondo’s, “Iran’s Green Revolution: Made in America?” after this. A realist view of this operation toward its logical conclusion is that funding thugs like Jundallah and M.E.K aren’t for the purpose of changing regime, but strengthening a feeling among Iranians to need a nut-job like President Ahmadinejad to protect them under the guise of “regime change” in order to secure the funding from Congress. The logical conclusion of this C.I.A. operation is an Ahmadinejad re-election to pile anti-Iran propaganda on top of — before diplomatic efforts (manufactured to go nowhere) — preceding an expensive war where more wealth trickles-up through the State to the banksters, energy racket and military-industrial-complex. Mr. Hersh spells out the endgame of this operation best in Part Two of the Democracy Now! interview in this post.
Daniel Luban shows the Neo-Con’s Plan 1A approach to a potential failure of “manufacturing consent” of the Iranian people toward Pres. Ahmadinejad — playing up an intervention under a Democratic Party president to be some sort of “humanitarian intervention”, the M.O. of Democratic Party-backed warmongering, analyzed best by Prof. Noam Chomsky. The Neo-Con’s adopted this angle to sell the Iraq War after Plan A of selling weapons of mass destruction was an ex post facto fail in the face of empirical evidence. Plan 1A was: spreading democracy [sic]. What are the Neo-Con’s Plan 1A for selling intervention in Iran after Plan A of selling Iran as a nuclear threat has failed against empirical evidence? Spreading democracy [sic].
Before this election, when did you hear guys like Henry Kissinger Newspeaking of a “popularly-based government” as a positive move for Iran? Usually, these civilians only exist when you can get a picture of people with dark features burning the American flag. But, all of a sudden the Iranians are humanized and Mr. Kissinger says that if a “popularly-based government” doesn’t emerge, “then, we [the U.S.] must conclude that we must work for regime change in Iran from the outside“, but at the moment the president doesn’t want to do this in a “visible” manner. (1:04):
by Brian Ross and Rich Epstein
22 May 07 | ABC News
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.
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Excerpt from “Preparing the Battlefield“
The Bush Administration steps up its secret moves against Iran. (7:20):
Article by Seymour Hersh
7 July 08 | The New Yorker
Late last year, Congress agreed to a request from President Bush to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran, according to current and former military, intelligence, and congressional sources. These operations, for which the President sought up to four hundred million dollars, were described in a Presidential Finding signed by Bush, and are designed to destabilize the country’s religious leadership. The covert activities involve support of the minority Ahwazi Arab and Baluchi groups and other dissident organizations. They also include gathering intelligence about Iran’s suspected nuclear-weapons program….
“The Finding was focussed on undermining Iran’s nuclear ambitions and trying to undermine the government through regime change,” a person familiar with its contents said, and involved “working with opposition groups and passing money.” The Finding provided for a whole new range of activities in southern Iran and in the areas, in the east, where Baluchi political opposition is strong, he said….
The most outspoken of those officers is Admiral William Fallon, who until recently was the head of U.S. Central Command, and thus in charge of American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. In March, Fallon resigned under pressure, after giving a series of interviews stating his reservations about an armed attack on Iran. For example, late last year he told the Financial Times that the “real objective” of U.S. policy was to change the Iranians’ behavior, and that “attacking them as a means to get to that spot strikes me as being not the first choice.”…
Many of the [terrorist] activities may be being carried out by dissidents in Iran, and not by Americans in the field. One problem with “passing money” (to use the term of the person familiar with the Finding) in a covert setting is that it is hard to control where the money goes and whom it benefits. Nonetheless, the former senior intelligence official said, “We’ve got exposure, because of the transfer of our weapons and our communications gear. The Iranians will be able to make the argument that the opposition was inspired by the Americans. How many times have we tried this without asking the right questions? Is the risk worth it?” One possible consequence of these operations would be a violent Iranian crackdown on one of the dissident groups, which could give the Bush Administration a reason to intervene….
The Administration may have been willing to rely on dissident organizations in Iran even when there was reason to believe that the groups had operated against American interests in the past. The use of Baluchi elements, for example, is problematic, Robert Baer, a former C.I.A. clandestine officer who worked for nearly two decades in South Asia and the Middle East, told me. “The Baluchis are Sunni fundamentalists who hate the regime in Tehran, but you can also describe them as Al Qaeda,” Baer told me. “These are guys who cut off the heads of nonbelievers—in this case, it’s Shiite Iranians. The irony is that we’re once again working with Sunni fundamentalists, just as we did in Afghanistan in the nineteen-eighties.” Ramzi Yousef, who was convicted for his role in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who is considered one of the leading planners of the September 11th attacks, are Baluchi Sunni fundamentalists.
One of the most active and violent anti-regime groups in Iran today is the Jundallah, also known as the Iranian People’s Resistance Movement, which describes itself as a resistance force fighting for the rights of Sunnis in Iran…. According to Baer and to press reports, the Jundallah is among the groups in Iran that are benefitting from U.S. support..
The C.I.A. and Special Operations communities also have long-standing ties to two other dissident groups in Iran: the Mujahideen-e-Khalq, known in the West as the M.E.K., and a Kurdish separatist group, the Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan, or PJAK.
The M.E.K. has been on the State Department’s terrorist list for more than a decade, yet in recent years the group has received arms and intelligence, directly or indirectly, from the United States. Some of the newly authorized covert funds, the Pentagon consultant told me, may well end up in M.E.K. coffers. “The new task force will work with the M.E.K. The Administration is desperate for results.” He added, “The M.E.K. has no C.P.A. auditing the books, and its leaders are thought to have been lining their pockets for years. If people only knew what the M.E.K. is getting, and how much is going to its bank accounts—and yet it is almost useless for the purposes the Administration intends.”
The Kurdish party, PJAK, which has also been reported to be covertly supported by the United States, has been operating against Iran from bases in northern Iraq for at least three years.
U.S. ‘Esclates Covert Iran Missions’
30 June 08 | al Jazeera English
Al Jazeera’s Ghida Fakhry talks to investigative journalist Seymour Hersh about his latest article in The New Yorker magazine, claiming that U.S. congressional leaders have agreed to a presidential request for up to $400 million in funding for covert operations against Iran. (3:15):
30 June 08 | Democracy Now!
Congressional leaders agreed to a request from President Bush last year to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran aimed at destabilizing Iran’s leadership, according to a new article by veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker magazine. The operations were set out in a highly classified Presidential Finding signed by Bush which, by law, must be made known to Democratic and Republican leaders. The plan allowed up to $400 million in covert spending for activities ranging from supporting dissident groups to spying on Iran’s nuclear program. Hersh joins us from Washington, D.C….
Seymour Hersh is a Pulitzer prize-winning journalist. He joins us from Washington, D.C.
Seymour Hersh, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist for The New Yorker.
Part One (10:35):
Part Two (10:45):
Mr. Hersh can also be viewed discussing this article with Wolf Blitzer on CNN.
Excerpt from: “Who Put the ‘Green’ in the Green Revolution?“
by Daniel McAdams
19 June 09 | LRC Blog
The United States, of course….
Arch neo-conservative Kenneth Timmerman spilled the beans on activities of the other arm of U.S. meddling overseas, the obscenely mis-named National Endowment for Democracy, in a piece written one day before the election, stating curiously that “there’s the talk of a ‘green revolution’ in Tehran.” Interesting. I wonder where that “talk” was coming from. Timmerman did not appear to be writing from Iran.
Timmerman went on to write, with admirable candor and honesty, that:
“The National Endowment for Democracy has spent millions of dollars during the past decade promoting ‘color’ revolutions in places such as Ukraine and Serbia, training political workers in modern communications and organizational techniques.
“Some of that money appears to have made it into the hands of pro-Mousavi groups, who have ties to non-governmental organizations outside Iran that the National Endowment for Democracy funds.”
Yes, you say, but what does a blow-hard propagandist like Timmerman know about such things? Well, he should know! His very spooky Foundation for Democracy in Iran has its own snout deep in the trough of N.E.D.’s “open covert actions” against the Iranian government.
How does the “Foundation for Democracy in Iran” seek to “promote democracy” in Iran with our tax dollars? Foundation co-founder Joshua Muravchik gives us a hint in his subtly-titled L.A. Times piece, “Bomb Iran.”