Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sunni, Shiite, Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Iranian, Saudi Arabian, Pakistani, Iraqi

Just who are we giving money to? Have we considered the blowback on this?... forget I asked that of this crew in the Bush White House....

Listen to Seymour Hersh:

Hersh says the U.S. has been “pumping money, a great deal of money, without congressional authority, without any congressional oversight” for covert operations in the Middle East where it wants to “stop the Shiite spread or the Shiite influence.” Hersh says these funds have ended up in the hands of “three Sunni jihadist groups” who are “connected to al Qaeda” but “want to take on Hezbollah.”

Hersh summed up his scoop in stark terms: “We are simply in a situation where this president is really taking his notion of executive privilege to the absolute limit here, running covert operations, using money that was not authorized by Congress, supporting groups indirectly that are involved with the same people that did 9/11.”
And Hersh says the US has been running secret operations inside Iran.

Hersh talking to Wolf Blitzer

BLITZER: Your bottom line is that Negroponte was aware of this, obviously, and he wanted to distance himself from it? That is why he decided to give up that position and take the number two job at the State Department?

HERSH: He — that is one of the reasons, I was told. Negroponte also was not in tune with Cheney. There was a lot of complaints about him because he was seen as much of a stickler, too ethical for some of the operations the Pentagon wants to run.

As you know, this Pentagon has been running covert operations. I think Mr. Gates' job and one of the things he wants to do is get some control over it. But under Rumsfeld we were running operations all over the world with who knows what money and who knows what authority, because most of those operations were not briefed to the intelligence committees.

And the Pentagon has basically been open about it in saying, hey, this is military stuff that has nothing to do with CIA operations. We have nothing to do with them. We are running military operations. And the president has the authority to do this.

But Negroponte was unhappy about — in general about some of the things. He also, I don't think, liked — he may not have been terrific at his job, that is another factor. But certainly John Negroponte went through this issue, Iran-Contra in the '80s, when we had the first big debate over the use of unlawfully obtained money to buy arms.

We know, the whole arms-for-hostages business was to generate cash to fight the war — the Contra war against the Sandinistas, that mess that we had. Negroponte was ambassador to Honduras there, very sensitive to the issue that took place 20 years ago. He did not want a repeat of it.

And I frankly — it is something that I think to be asking him in congressional session or whatever. But I have that — you know, I understand this is very serious stuff. And my magazine understands this is very serious stuff.

And we have really taken a lot of time with this story and couched it as carefully as we could and with all of the caveats, this is serious business.

Tristero at Hullabaloo:
Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker has a concise article explaining only a fraction of the fiendishly complex twists and turns of the political situation in the Middle East right now. As you read it - and you'll have to read it several times even to begin to understand the vertigo-inducing complexities - perhaps, like me, you will shudder to remember that the US is led by a "gentleman's C+" and a demented flake who shot his friend in the face, neither of which have had a lick of genuine experience in the Middle East, not to mention a glimmer of understanding as to how the world works. These are the people who deliberately are sending your children, your friends, and your neighbors to mutilation and death in a faraway desert for no sensible purpose whatsoever.

Digby at Hullabaloo:
And now the Bush administration has spawned untold numbers of future war criminals who will claw their way back into power so they can "prove" they were right the first time. This pattern is repeating itself over and over again and we simply have to figure out a way to put an end to it.

Today we have the DOD equivalent of Brownie running around with boatload of cash making deals with Muslim extremists and Saudi princes, whom the administration has divided up into completely useless designations of "reformer" and extremist." Nobody knows who's talking to who or what agenda they really have. Liberals think up complex plots like this and make them into movies. Republicans steal billions from the taxpayers and actually try to implement their hare-brained schemes.

No comments: