The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert "black" operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell the Blotter on ABCNews.com.Link, and don't miss the classy comments on that post, calling ABC News "traders to the United States" (sic) for having reported what should come as no surprise to anyone already aware that the US and Ahmadinejad are not BFF. Ryan Singel has more over at the Wired News blog Threat Level: Link. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney slammed ABC today for the report: Link to AP story.
The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the subject, say 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.
Reader comment: Patrick Nielsen Hayden says,
I, for one, am glad to see ABC make this report about the CIA's possible role in Iran (and BoingBoing bringing attention to it). As a journalist and journalism student who understands that the role of the media should be another check and balance on the government (it's called the fourth branch of government for a reason), and as a person who believes Bush is "leading" this country in the wrong direction, I think this kind of reporting is important.
What many of the people who commented on the ABC story don't seem to understand are a.) our government's and the CIA's past roles in the government of Iran, which makes it quite pertinent for us to know if they are planning on messing with them again, and b.) that just about half of this country didn't want this current administration in power to begin with. I think it's only appropriate that we should know what our government is doing, whether you voted for Bush or not. A representative democracy is a nice ideal, but the reality is that only the majority is represented; that does not mean the minority should have to sacrifice its rights for a say in what this country does, especially when the minority is created only by a couple percentage points. If only the election happened now, with Bush's approval ratings as terrible as they are.
Many of the comments suggested (with more-or-less dubious control of the English language) that ABC is a traitorous organization, saying that we are endangering American lives in a "time of war." What war? Iraq? Sorry people, that's called an occupation. It's sad to see how many people think we're there because of 9/11. But aside from all that, did the people even read the article? Did they read what sorts of things the CIA was purported to be doing? Manipulating Iranian currency and writing some false news articles can get pretty hairy, I suppose.
Anyway, keep up the good work with BoingBoing; the site has become a more-than-daily fixture for me and I wish all of you the best.