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Spy vs. Spy

Last night, my colleague Kim discussed ABC's Brian Ross and his report of a covert CIA operation aimed at destabilizing the Iranian government. She was outraged at its leaking, and justifiably so. I would be, too, but I'm a bit more jaded and cynical than she is.

First up, I think that the possibility that this was a deliberate leak by the Bush administration is worth considering. It's precisely the sort of thing that we should want to encourage; behind-the-scenes pressures on the Iranian government. As several commenters have noted, the Iranian government has had a rather severe run of bad luck lately. Sometimes it's a good thing to make one's opponents nervous, even paranoid.

Secondly, let's be honest about one thing -- the threshold for "treason" has been lowered through the floor. Two years ago the New York Times exposed a series of CIA front companies and operations involved in transporting suspected terrorists around the globe, complete with names and photos, in what has to be one of the clearest-cut cases of treason I've ever seen in the media, and no charges were ever filed in that case.

But then my cynic reconsiders matters. This would involve far more competency in the Bush administration in managing the leak, and integrity at the CIA in not blowing the move, than we have seen before.

Comments (11)

I realize it's all speculat... (Below threshold)

I realize it's all speculation but what your "cynical nature" considers is worth considering.

Counter intelligence and the notorious "black ops" works are alive and well. Speculatively speaking.

And, from the NYTimes piece... (Below threshold)

And, from the NYTimes piece (your link):

When the Central Intelligence Agency wants to grab a suspected member of Al Qaeda overseas and deliver him to interrogators in another country, an Aero Contractors plane often does the job. If agency experts need to fly overseas in a hurry after the capture of a prized prisoner, a plane will depart Johnston County and stop at Dulles Airport outside Washington to pick up the C.I.A. team on the way.

Aero Contractors' planes dropped C.I.A. paramilitary officers into Afghanistan in 2001; carried an American team to Karachi, Pakistan, right after the United States Consulate there was bombed in 2002; and flew from Libya to Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, the day before an American-held prisoner said he was questioned by Libyan intelligence agents last year, according to flight data and other records.

Two things immediately come to mind:

(1.) Without CIA involvement, there's no way the NYTimes could ever make such declarations (question would then be/was as to what that involvement is/was);


(2.) The federal government can perform these amazing achievements of international flights on a moment's notice, well organized and with great precision, and yet Congress (AND the White House) can continue to declare that "deportation of illegal aliens is not practical...is not a viable [method as countermeasure]."

Perhaps all that's needed is that the CIA broaden it's Aero industry.

"in what has to be one of t... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

"in what has to be one of the clearest-cut cases of treason I've ever seen in the media, and no charges were ever filed in that case."

Are you kidding? They are mostly Lie-berals and never pay the price or are punished according to the laws on the book. BJ Bent Willie Clinton/Chinagate, Fraud Kerry/N Viet/Paris Carter/Intern killer Kenedy/help us Russia and Piglosi foing over to Syria for Carne Assad and the countless others in the party of Criminals Inc. H Rotten Clinton ,Jefferson , Mollohan, Feinstein, Ford etc. They have been in the business of treason ever since George W Bush beat that global lying blowhard Al Gore.

With this Party of traitors , Communists and frauds fiending for power deceiving the people any way they can , how the hell will we ever be safe?

Did someone say Iran was a threat to us?

"...how the hell will we ev... (Below threshold)

"...how the hell will we ever be safe?"

A coward is never safe from his own conscience.

Does anybody think our CIA ... (Below threshold)

Does anybody think our CIA hasn't been working to de-stabilize the Iranian regime? I mean with Val Plame in charge, I can understand them weeping together in the hallways, but she's gone.

Two years ago the ... (Below threshold)
Two years ago the New York Times exposed a series of CIA front companies and operations involved in transporting suspected terrorists around the globe

Clearly, if we know that the CIA is illegally torturing people, the terrorists have already won. Did I say torture? Sorry, I meant "frat hazing."

his would involve ... (Below threshold)
his would involve far more competency in the Bush administration in managing the leak

All they have to do is tell someone. Even for the Bush administration, that's not hard. In fact, they've done it before (Plame, notably). The Bush administration is remarkably dim (has anyone else noticed that Bush looks like he's got a touch of Down's?), but it's hard to screw up a leak.

And, really - propaganda? We already pay millions to do that in Iran through front organizations, and we're already manipulating Iran's currency via the embargo.

Covert efforts to destabi... (Below threshold)

Covert efforts to destabilze the Iranian government? Right, that went well last time around.

"Last night, my colleague K... (Below threshold)

"Last night, my colleague Kim discussed..."


Revealing that your country... (Below threshold)

Revealing that your country's government is simultaneously breaking the country's own laws, and taking the country over a cliff while doing so, is not treason.

Just sayin'.

Lying about what is illegal... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Lying about what is illegal so you can look important to your Lib buddies is not honest.

I'm just sayin'.






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