Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Covert action against Iran

Pravda reports that Bush Authorizes New Covert Action Against Iran:
The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert "black" operation to destabilize the Iranian government...

A chilling aspect of this story is the sheer number of those commenting who understand neither the First Amendment nor their responsibility as citizens. (There's a big bolus of comments in the beginning denouncing ABC as "traitors" (or "Traders") and then the proportion evens out; I suspect some wingnut blog sent its sheep over to comment.)

All right, kids, settle down and pay attention. It's time for Civics 101.

Democratic governments do not wage secret wars. Full stop. Secret wars are a feature of dictatorships and oligarchies. "Destabilizing" a foreign sovereign government is an act of war (and is clearly State-Sponsored Terrorism) and requires at the very least Congressional approval, and ought to require the explicit consent of the citizenry. This action is most probably not only unethical and unconstitutional, but also contrary to Federal law.

The citizens of a Democracy are the fundamental government. If you do not want to know your representatives' governing policy, then you have abrogated your fundamental duty and responsibility as the citizen of a democracy. We don't call them "representatives" for nothing.

The First Amendment absolutely immunizes publications from criminal charges, including treason, for printing government secrets. Those leaking the information might, however, be subject to prosecution. Just because our representatives call something a secret does not automatically entail that such secrecy is deserved.

Anyone who believes that Pravda or Izvestia would print something the Bush administration does not want to be printed is living in a fantasy world. Bush is getting a "twofer" here: He releases the information he wants to be released, and he's gets another phony instance of the "liberal bias" and irresponsibility of the commercial media. This "bias narrative" allows him and his cronies to deny responsibility when the media, overwhelmed by obvious evidence of failure, starts tentatively printing some of it.

And let's not forget this fundamental point: The US government has repeatedly and explicitly refused to reassure the government of Iran that its sovereignty will be honored if it abandons its nuclear weapons program. Regardless of its form, the government of Iran would be failing in its fundamental responsibility to maintain the country's territorial sovereignty if it did not seek nuclear weapons, the only proven means to deter US aggression.


  1. You are brilliant, my love.

  2. An important aside: The American people would not know of this without the CIA. Clearly, at least to me, the CIA needed some way to scuttle a program it had been ordered to fulfill and felt was profoundly ill-considered. Public disclosure does that quite nicely.

    Because, you know, that first CIA-backed coup in Iran ended up working out so well for us.


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