Sy Hersh: U.S. Escalating Covert Ops in Iran
The New YorkerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Seymour Hersh reports that late last year, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Congress agreed to a request from President Bush to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran.Ã¢â‚¬Â The Ã¢â‚¬Å“Presidential FindingÃ¢â‚¬Â was designed to destabilize religious leadership and gather Ã¢â‚¬Å“intelligence about IranÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s suspected nuclear-weapons programÃ¢â‚¬Å“:
But the scale and the scope of the operations in Iran, which involve the Central Intelligence Agency and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), have now been significantly expanded, according to the current and former officials. Many of these activities are not specified in the new Finding, and some congressional leaders have had serious questions about their nature.Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Finding was focused on undermining IranÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s nuclear ambitions and trying to undermine the government through regime change,Ã¢â‚¬Â a person familiar with its contents said, and involved Ã¢â‚¬Å“working with opposition groups and passing money.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Update: U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker, reacting to Hersh's story on CNN's Late Edition, said: "I can tell you flatly that U.S. forces are not operating across the Iraqi border into Iran."