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Seymour Hersh has been writing about the Bush administration's aggressive stance against Iran for years now. His latest article for The New Yorker, "Preparing the Battlefield", Hersh claims that the Bush administration has been carrying out clandestine operations in Iran for some time now, with the funding and cooperation of the Democratic leadership in Congress.
HERSH: I think this is another example of putting an awful lot of pressure on the Iranian government. There's been a dramatic increase in kinetic events and chaos inside of Iran. Almost every other day, there's another story in the Iranian press -- I write about this in the article, too -- about things blowing up, et cetera, et cetera. It looks like things are falling apart, a little bit. And the central government certainly has more trouble.
And I think the goal of this operation, this incredible operation, with all this money -- and, by the way, it's the Democrats in Congress who basically looked the other way and said, take the money and run. They did not stop this money, the leadership that I'm talking about, the Democratic leadership.
So, basically, my guess is that -- I don't think we can safely say that any military action is off the table, no matter what happens. And that's -- as I say, I wish I'm going to be wrong about all that, but this is really, sort of, an amazing development.
CROWLEY: Absolutely. I want to read a graph out of your book because it goes to the oversight of the Democrats you just mentioned. [snip] "'The oversight process has not kept pace -- it's been co-opted by the administration,' the person familiar with the contents of the findings said. 'The process is broken and this is dangerous stuff we're authorizing.'"
Tell me, first, what your sources say is so dangerous about this?
HERSH: The president has to give a finding on covert action, any action that's covert. In other words, when CIA goes in some place, if they get caught, there could be spies.
So he has to tell the Congress about it. And the military simply is -- the president, since 9/11, has decided anything we do militarily, we don't have to tell anybody in Congress about.
Guest host Candy Crowley brings on Iraq Ambassador Ryan Crocker to officially deny that any cross border operations have taken place, but Hersh points out that Crocker may not be in the loop--plausible deniability being the operative word.
That is simply a reality, that when you run secret operations, if you're not telling the commander, the military commander of the Central Command, who is supposedly running the country -- you may not tell the ambassador everything. Sometimes it's better not to have the ambassador know.
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