Congressional leaders late last year secretly agreed to fund and expand a Bush administration push for covert operations against Iran, according to a new investigative piece by Seymour Hersch in the New Yorker.
Considering the administration’s track record in Iraq, one must ask: Why?
The White House objective, according to Hersch’s inside sources, is to destabilize Iran’s religious leadership, foment regime change, and lay the groundwork for a possible U.S. military strike before President Bush leaves office. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and other Pentagon leaders are said to have strongly opposed a military strike.
It’s startling that Democratic congressional leadership would sign off on such an operation, given a National Intelligence Estimate in December that concluded Iran had halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003. One source is quoted as saying that the oversight process had been “co-opted” by the White House: “The process is broken, and this is dangerous stuff we’re authorizing.”
Hersch’s piece portrays a president who remains committed to regime change in the Middle East and isn’t going to go quietly from office.