Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 29, 2008

Hersh on Ongoing Operations Against Iran

Seymour Hersh on Iran: Preparing the Battlefield - The Bush Administration steps up its secret moves against Iran.

There is not much new information in the piece. Hersh mostly pulls together many know bits and pieces on U.S. activities versus Iran.

Hersh confirms the existence of a new secret presidential finding first reported six weeks ago by Andrew Cockburn of Counterpunch.

The finding allows for support of groups hostile to Iran as well as for direct operation by U.S. special commands and by the CIA within Iran including the use of 'defensive lethal force.' It is supported by bipartisan funding of up to $400 million. U.S. operations against Iran are not new, but have now been 'significantly expanded.'

Admiral Fallon, who was been dismissed as Centcom commander, was, according to Hersh, not kicked out over disagreement about an attack on Iran, but for insisting on unity of command and protesting against special force operations that are run outside of the regular chain of command.

According to Hersh groups used to make trouble in Iran include:

  • Ahwazi Sunni Arab groups in south-eastern Iran.
  • Baluchi groups in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran including Jundullah, the 'army of god', a radical al-Qaeda like group
  • the Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan, PJAK, that operates in Iraq's northern region.
  • the Mujahideen-e-Khalq cult, MEK, also operating from Iraqi grounds

Hersh reports also that U.S. special operation groups have seized Al Quds commanders in Iran and taken them to Iraq for interrogations.

CIA and the military joint special operations command disagree on using these groups and some of the tactics.

There seems to be an up tick of incidents within Iran that may be related to the U.S. operations there.

Hersh notes that these are 'regime change' operations that have nothing to do with nuclear issues. This new wave of such operations was initiated after the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran published in December found that there is no active military nuclear program in Iran.

Regime change in Iran and control over Iran's natural resources as well as the routes into Central Asia are strategic U.S. foreign policy goals which have bipartisan support. All other issues, including the squabble over nuclear stuff, are simply ways and means to reach those goals.


Somehow I missed the most important sentence of the piece. FCL caught it:

But a lesson was learned in the incident [IRG/US Navy 'interaction in the Gulf]: The public had supported the idea of retaliation, and was even asking why the U.S. didn’t do more. The former official said that, a few weeks later, a meeting took place in the Vice-President’s office. “The subject was how to create a casus belli between Tehran and Washington,” he said.

Posted by b on June 29, 2008 at 8:12 UTC | Permalink


Bonus line from Hersh for b real and other Africa watchers:

The Pentagon consultant told me, “We’ve had wonderful results in the Horn of Africa with the use of surrogates and false flags—basic counterintelligence and counter-insurgency tactics. And we’re beginning to tie them in knots in Afghanistan. But the White House is going to kill the program if they use it to go after Iran.
'wonderful results' ...

Posted by: b | Jun 29 2008 8:18 utc | 1

I no longer trust Hersh anymore, well, I trust he thinks he's right, and perhaps he is well meaning, However, I think he's being fed. What lizard calls. controlled disclosure. In other words, I suspect he is being mis/dis-informed, and passing false info, Being led etc...

Of course I can't back that up, it's just a intuition. However, I do still trust Scott Ritter

Or maybe I should say, I don't trust Hersh's sources...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 29 2008 10:27 utc | 2

Ritter must be one of Icke's alien lizard overlords, judging by the sound of that clip

Posted by: jcairo | Jun 29 2008 11:04 utc | 3

None of the Democratic leaders in Congress would comment on the finding, the article said. None of the Democratic leaders in Congress would comment on the finding, the article said. None of the Democratic leaders in Congress would comment on the finding, the article said.

Uh, jcairo , what the hell are you talking about? You don't think the Iranian guard would take out Musharraf and ignite the middle east to the tenth power? Among many many other things? Perhaps I'm obtuse, and I am feeling a bit ethereal at the moment but, rumor has it, Abdul Khan admitted to selling nuclear technology to Iran, Libya as well as possible other countries many of those that know full well, this is the last crusades.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 29 2008 11:49 utc | 4

Ritter is spot on here in the second part. Except that, of course, the genie won't come back once a US city us nuked. And China and Russia will openly move to support Iran if there are US troops moving in to take ground control of the country, or if there's any serious chance of a regime change with a US-friendly one taking over.

Then, as for his insights into Bush plans, one could suspect that he might be subjected to disinformation just as well as Hersh and others are.

Posted by: CluelessJoe | Jun 29 2008 12:52 utc | 5

Uncle Scam at 2, Hersh has always been strident about the attack/bombing/invasion of Iran. Always. Predicting it, raising alarms about it, discussing it, etc. He has made it his speciality, in a way. It may be a bee in his bonnet, or something else, who knows. Certainly if he wrote that the US would never attack Iran he wouldn’t get the press he does, that might be part of it.

Posted by: Tangerine | Jun 29 2008 13:51 utc | 6

Laura Rozen:

In the end, I just don't think the Bush administration is trying to seriously destabilize the Iranian regime or change it, while no doubt it would be thrilled if the Iranian Thomas Jefferson suddenly came to power or Ahmadinejad stepped on a poison viper. I think the thrust of the policy is overwhelmingly geared towards the fairly unsexy effort to cobble and keep together however imperfectly an international coalition to try to pressure and isolate this Iranian regime diplomatically, economically, etc. while preparing to turn over that multilateral diplomatic framework to its successor.

Posted by: Pitirre | Jun 29 2008 19:53 utc | 7

Tangerine at 6

Why would Hersh's motivation be an issue, at all? Does his motivation change the facts he reports? Perhaps if it were an opinion piece one might question his motivation, but as long as he sticks to facts then what is the problem?

It is a welcome change to the fact-free op-eds I see presented as factual.

Posted by: IntelVet | Jun 29 2008 21:02 utc | 8

Interesting, thanks for the Rozen link Pitirre, don't always agree w/her, but do read and respect her.

@Notso clueless joe, I noticed Ritter, didn't specifically say Iran would retaliate with a nukular (bushspeak) missile or device, he left it open to just a wmd, which leads me to infer, that it very well could be biochem or any number of nasty things, whatever the delivery, he believes it would be sufficient enough to stop a major population center, and I have no reason tho doubt that. Also, it's a given that his sources to need to be vetted as well, I just haven't yet gotten the sense that he has been duped as I feel our veteran journalist sy has.


I hear you, indeed, Hersh is no I.F. Stone. On a different note, I started to post this I.F. Stone link in it's own rite, as I know billmon, respected Stone a great deal. And was hoping it would entice him (billmon) to stop in to share a

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 29 2008 21:39 utc | 9

Righton intelvet...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 29 2008 21:41 utc | 10

Opps, Here's a direct link...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 29 2008 21:44 utc | 11

Sorry to veer of topic, however, is it really that much off topic? Anyway, continuing my theme in my last post above & furthering that train of thought, reporting by, I.F. Stone, Hersh, etc...

The begining of the questioning of authority?

Me and my friend lizard, were just last night discussing at a wonderful art/poetry gathering the implications of how frickin gullible Americans were in the forties & fifties.

MOA's may very well get a kick out of this, it is as entertaining, and enlightening a story as you are ever going to find... bare with me as I try to put in into an articulate context.

Official Lists, polls, PR, Pro-agenda, SPECTUALTION (pdf)*? , creating reality? The power of the unhealthy meme, and perpetual self deception? Or is this a peek behind the 'noble lie'? Just as Rome itself was a lie, (all governments lie) pretending to be a Republic ruled by a noble Senate, so to does... Well, you know where this is going...

I, Claudius** "I, Libertine.

Jean Shepherd has been mentioned before but WFMU's Beware of the Blog has finally dug out an mp3 of Shepherd himself telling the story of "I, Libertine" (mp3 link) (wiki). I, Libertine was a literary hoax that began as a practical joke. Shepherd asked his listeners ("the Night People") to go into bookstores and ask for a book that didn't exist. Fueled by bewildered bookstore owners and distributors, I, Libertine eventually did end up as a genuine bestseller, proving his point that the process of choosing bestsellers was flawed.

But is that all it uncovered? I post you

Don't miss the embedded links w/in...

Comments, thoughts, dare I say it,

*The Role Of Market Speculation In Rising Oil And Gas prices:A Need To Put The Cop Back On The Beat.

** Interesting to note, and although I years ago I enjoyed Graves, The White Goddess, both this and the Claudius novels, I found it ironic that as Wikipedia says, "Graves later professed a dislike for the books and their popularity. He claimed that they were written only from financial need on a strict deadline." What does that tell ya?

Anyone here familiar with the recent story of the GOP agenda driven book getting on the best seller list, when in reality it was itself inflated/manipulated in it's readership? Another form of We’re An Empire and When We Act, We Create Our Own Reality? As dis jointed as this post has been does anybody dig what I'm laying down here?

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 29 2008 23:25 utc | 12

to tie Uncle's disturbing link @ 12 back to the criticism some here can't seem to handle regarding Hersh (and Cole in another thread) anyone who isn't using their voices, journalists included, to call for impeachment are allowing themselves to be used in the staging of another desperate ploy to keep the sinking amerikan ship afloat for a few more years.

jcairo @3: hopefully that comment was just a failed attempt at humor. Ritter is emphatically describing a very possible scenario that shouldn't be ridiculed. amerika is strolling down a path there's no coming back from.

Posted by: Lizard | Jun 30 2008 5:19 utc | 13

Why would Hersh's motivation be an issue, at all? Does his motivation change the facts he reports? Perhaps if it were an opinion piece one might question his motivation, but as long as he sticks to facts then what is the problem?

Because facts can be cherry-picked, highlighted, stressed, focussed on. (Not saying H. is doing that deliberately, I don’t know.) Or one can just report some facts and leave out others.

I could write 5 pages about the Muslim hordes (culture, voters, etc.) taking over Europe, and I would make sure that every fact was correct, that my arguments were measured, fair, etc. It would still be a propaganda piece (and a money maker.) But not relevant to the EU’s strengths, difficulties today; nor its future.

scam, thx for lnks abt I F Stone

Posted by: Tangerine | Jun 30 2008 18:41 utc | 14

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