When Shit is Just Too Secret For Us

The World Can’t Wait sent out an email around the end of May, early June about a panel discussion wherein Jeremy Scahill, Chris Hedges, Laila Al-Arian, and Seymour Hersch were to be the panel members. It was also to be the “dual book launch” of Al-Arian & Hedges collaboration Collateral Damage: America’s War Against Iraqi Civilians, and the paperback edition of Scahill’s book: Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army. The discussion was to be broadcast via the Internet as well; however I was at work, and I’ve been waiting for it to show up. It did, on ‘The Nation’s’ website.

It IS an absolutely fascinating and absorbing discussion. It’s an hour and a half in length, but well worth the time spent watching it.

Laila Al-Arian was someone with whom I wasn’t familiar.

Laila Al-Arian is a producer for Al Jazeera English in Washington DC. A graduate of the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, she has interned for USA Today and The Nation magazine, and has written for United Press International, the Dupont Current newspaper and the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. She is the author, with Chris Hedges, of the newly released Collateral Damage: America’s War Against Iraqi Civilians (Nation Books), based on their 2007 Nation magazine article “The Other War.” She can be reached at Lailaa@gmail.com.

She is co-author with Chris Hedges and both were featured on Democracy Now! in mid-June.

During the discussion, Sy Hersh was a bit cryptic about some information regarding Iran out. Then today I saw this on Huffington Post – huge red letters with blue underlining: “SEYMOUR HERSH: NEW COVERT OPS INSIDE IRAN.” Hersh’s report is posted on ‘The New Yorker’ website. Sy was on CNN with Candy Crowley, who doesn’t appear to be too sure about his report.

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Under federal law, a Presidential Finding, which is highly classified, must be issued when a covert intelligence operation gets under way and, at a minimum, must be made known to Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and the Senate and to the ranking members of their respective intelligence committees—the so-called Gang of Eight. Money for the operation can then be reprogrammed from previous appropriations, as needed, by the relevant congressional committees, which also can be briefed.

Although some legislators were troubled by aspects of the Finding, and “there was a significant amount of high-level discussion” about it, according to the source familiar with it, the funding for the escalation was approved. In other words, some members of the Democratic leadership—Congress has been under Democratic control since the 2006 elections—were willing, in secret, to go along with the Administration in expanding covert activities directed at Iran, while the Party’s presumptive candidate for President, Barack Obama, has said that he favors direct talks and diplomacy.

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3 Responses

  1. As if we didn’t have enough problems with the frickin’ Unitarians. 😉

    But seriously, this is disturbing, especially the aspect that there are sufficient co-operative Democrats to allow this thing to get off the ground. Aren’t there always.

    You can bet the Republicans won’t ever roll over that way for the next Democratic President.

  2. You can bet the Republicans won’t ever roll over that way for the next Democratic President.

    No shit, huh….

    One of the more disturbing imaging was the interviewing of Seymour Hersh by Candy Crowley. Jeezus, what a joke of a journalist – one of those touted as “the best political analysis team on TV” or “in cable news” – whatever the laughable trite labeling Wolf Blitzer has spun out.

    Yeah – those frickin’ Unitarians; right up there with those damned Quakers!

  3. “CNN – The most trusted name in news.” They failed to mention that they meant trusted by the White House Press Secretary.

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