COMMENTS: Destabilization

ABC's lead story by Brian Ross was not good news for the supporters of Haleh Esfandiari, a scholar from Washington DC's Woodrow Wilson International Center, who has been arrested in Iran. Ross claimed an Exclusive for the news that the President had signed a formal finding to authorize the CIA to mount a "black or covert operation to destabilize" the government in Teheran. Simultaneously, NBC's Andrea Mitchell covered a press conference by the Wilson Center to claim that Esfandiari has no role in such an operation. She was accused of "trying to overthrow the regime, espionage, a charge that could mean the death penalty."

Ross described the CIA's plot as "non-lethal" involving journalistic propaganda and currency manipulation. ABC's Martha Raddatz (at the tail of the Ross videostream) characterized the policy debate at the White House as "regime change" versus "change the behavior of the regime." Adm William Fallon, the head of the Pentagon's Central Command, assured Raddatz "on the record" that "he has no plans to bomb Iran."

As for Esfandiari, NBC's Mitchell consulted unnamed experts, who offered two theories about why she is being held as a spy. Neither theory countenanced her guilt. First, hardline supporters of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad could be trying to foment a crisis in order to sabotage "groundbreaking" US-Iran diplomacy scheduled to begin next week. Second, her arrest could be "retaliation" for the US military's arrest of five Iranian officials in Iraq.

UPDATE: Brian Montopoli (text link) at CBS' Public Eye blog points out the ABC's Ross is being lambasted for spilling secrets, even by Republican Presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Tom Tancredo. Brian Stelter (text link) at TV Newser is astonished at the volume of protests on Ross' own blog The Blotter (text link). Contrast these two assessments of Ross' journalism from conservatives: Andrew Sullivan (text link) on The Daily Dish calls the story "no big whoop" and the leak that triggered it "a complete non-event." Lynn Davidson (text link) at saw Ross' journalism as critical of the covert action, portraying it as "just another neo-con adventure in global domination." For its part ABC News claims it gave the CIA six days' notice to respond with a warning as to whether reporting this leak would "jeopardize lives or operations on the ground." None was forthcoming.

The reading of the story at Tyndall Report rests on ABC's decision to pair Ross' Exclusive with Martha Raddatz' stand-up at the White House. Ross used the words "non-lethal" and Raddatz repeated the assurance that the United States would not bomb Iran. So, far from portraying this as an "adventure in global domination," Ross and Raddatz characterized the covert action as a peaceful alternative to war. The gist of the story was how little the CIA was doing not how much. No wonder the CIA did not warn ABC to block the story. This does not seem like spilling secrets. Instead it looks like the Bush Administration using ABC as a conduit to send out peace feelers.

FURTHER UPDATE: Lynn Davidson has asked me to clarify the above reference to her post. To reiterate, her view is in contrast to Sullivan's at The Daily Dish not in concurrence with it. When Tyndall Report used the phrase "portraying the covert action as 'just another neo-con adventure in global domination'" that referred to how Davidson described Ross' journalism about the CIA program not Davidson's own characterization of the program itself.


That's a smart asnwer to a tricky question

Ένας ακόμη πασπάτης-καλαφάτης, που "τα στρογγυλεύει όλα" για "να τάχει καλά με όλους", στη χουντοκυβέρνηση του φαύλου και αδίστακτου αντισυνταγματολόγου.Την όποια επιστημοσύνη του βέβαια στη γλωσσολογία, δεν την εξετάζουμε.Î'κόμη κι΄ ο ίδιος αισθάνεται ένοχος που αναλαμβάνει, γι αυτό και σπεύδει να δηλώσει, πριν ακόμη τον κράξουν, ότι "τον καλεί το καθήκον στη δύσκολη τούτη στιγμή της πατρίδας", και "θεωρεί χρέος του να μην αρνηθεί"!!!!!!!!!!!!!.Τον πλούτο μπορεί λίγοι μεν να τον εμίσησαν, τη δόξα όμως ουδείς!!!!!!!!!!|effexor =DDD|buy online pharmacy zyrtec 66109|buy car insurance online =-OOO|insurance quotes 595413

You must be logged in to this website to leave a comment. Please click here to log in so you can participate in the discussion.