Iran and the CIA plan
ABC News and Brian Ross have firmly embraced their ongoing role as the go-to Bush administration disinformation outlet with their latest offering about yet another shipment of arms coming out of Iran and heading into Afghanistan:
NATO officials say they have caught Iran red-handed, shipping heavy arms, C4 explosives and advanced roadside bombs to the Taliban for use against NATO forces, in what the officials say is a dramatic escalation of Iran's proxy war against the United States and Great Britain.While even Secretary of Defense Gates balked at such claims, saying that the US had no evidence of "the involvement of the Iranian government in support of the Taliban," Richard Clarke reprises his previously assumed role as disinformation specialist by once again claiming that
It is inconceivable that it is anyone other than the Iranian government that's doing it.Actually, Richard, it is entirely conceivable that someone or, indeed, many ones are involved in shipping arms to the Taliban. All that opium can buy a lot of influence with the arms trade.
Recall ABC's previous "exclusive" that the Iranian government was sending IEDs into Iraq. Despite Joint Chiefs chairman General Peter Pace saying that there was no evidence of Iranian government involvement, Richard Clarke had then lent his voice to the charges by then saying,
I think the evidence is strong that the Iranian government is making these IEDs, and the Iranian government is sending them across the border....In fact, the evidence was not strong at all and, as Pace asserted later, the evidence was actually non-existent.
And of Clarke's recurring role in these kinds of stories. Once again, I can trot out what was previously said of Clarke's role in these press releases.
Of note is the inclusion of the opinion of Richard Clarke, a severe critic of the Bush adminstration, but who can hardly be considered "in the loop" these days. His presence in the story appears to be there for no reason other than to add an air of credibility to Pentagon claims. This is always a nifty media spin trick: reveal the opinion of a critic, whether he would or could know anything about the evidence or not.One element that is different this time out is that it is now "NATO officials" who are cited as making the claims. Apparently, the authority of "Pentagon officials" has been rather compromised by all the previously exposed bullshit they've been shoveling onto guileless media organs.
Of further note (h/t to Susie Madrak at Suburban Guerrilla for pointing to this one) is a context wrapper that must always be applied when trying to assess the value of such stories, attended as they are by the well-known agenda of the Cheney administration to attack Iran.
The Central Intelligence Agency has received approval at least twice in the last several years to conduct an “information war” against several countries in the Middle East, including Iran, Lebanon and Syria, according to current and former intelligence officials.Ironically and apparently unaware of their own reporting, ABC News itself had revealed that "black propaganda" would be employed by the Bush administration against Iran.
In addition, the Bush Administration has been running operations out of the Defense Department that are not subject to Congressional oversight, intelligence sources say. These programs appear murkier, and have included support for an alleged terrorist group in Iran.
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.In other words, almost everything you are likely to hear or read regarding Iran is highly questionable. But one thing remains evident. "Real men" still want to go to Tehran.