Monday, June 30, 2008

The final countdown

Seymour Hersh has an article in The New Yorker that scares the hell out of me.

According to Hersh, President George Bush has persuaded key congressmen to go along with covert operations inside Iran--$400 million worth. They're getting nervous about the operations being more extensive than they bargained for: mainly gathering nuclear information. Something like authorizing military action in Iraq a few years ago.

Evidently the operation includes funding dissidents. An excerpt:
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.

Hersh suggests that the White House, particularly Vice President Dick Cheney, is more than interested in direct military action, but the military has been resisting.

Here's the thing: it's Hersh, who has a long record of digging up some pretty well-buried secrets. His stories hold up.

On the other hand, it's Hersh, with a track record of hyperbole when speaking about the stories he covers. He has more Deep Throats than the Mitchell Brothers, and that always makes me nervous. I have to go back over his stories and winnow the sources he names into column A and the unnamed sources into column B. It's almost impossible to check a lot of his facts until other reporters catch up.

He's got enough for me this time. I'm just desperately counting the days until we have a new President.


bigsoxfan said...

Interesting. A friend of mine left a decent book here in UB, titled "See No Evil" by R. Baer. A blurb on the back cover from Hersch calls him; "Robert Baer was considereed perhaps the best on-the-ground field officer in the middle east"

I was a bit surprised to be in the middle of this book when the New Yorker article came out and Baer and Hersch picked up more hits than some of Angelo V's more studied blogs.

I have to admit though, Baers second book made me sit up and take notice. I'm a bit scared too, after reading how badly our intelligence services were gutted.

bigsoxfan said...

Thanks for the link to the New Yorker article, usually I have to wait until I visit my mom to read the back issues. We'll talk more later, maybe. Crikey, if Iraq isn't a world of hurt, I hate to to think what the land of the big assholehurta will be like. Maybe, they will get it right this time, but I'm doubting it. Most of the better people have fled and aren't coming back.

KAP said...

What really bothers me is seeing people like Fallon tossed aside because they won't drink the Kool-Aid.

Hey did you read Condi in Foreign Affairs? If she means it she'd make a halfway decent Secretary of State. Actually, I think she's just packing her parachute so she can drop back into the Ivory Tower. I mention it because I just discovered that, like the New Yorker, it's on the internet. I'd just assumed they wouldn't be available free.

bigsoxfan said...

Thanks, Ken. She seems to be looking ahead with focus, instead of looking for more butts to kick. Strangely, my reply from last night didn't go through. Not sure if it was my notes on the disturbances in UB last night or the mention of Nancy Reyes from the Blogger News Network and finest kind fishmarket blog. She had a bit of a set to with the Obamaists. Oh well. Thanks for the link, I think the New Yorker on line is a new one. I looked for it a few months ago with no sucess. Mark