Wednesday, May 23, 2007

WH Had Six Days To Nix ABC's Covert Ops Scoop

By Cernig

Two rightwing presidential nominees, Tancredo and Romney, have complained about ABC's breaking of the story that Bush authorized covert ops against Iran. ABC's reaction:
In a statement ABC News said, "In the six days since we first contacted the CIA and the White House, at no time did they indicate that broadcasting this report would jeopardize lives or operations on the ground. ABC News management gave them the repeated opportunity to make whatever objection they wanted to regarding our report. They chose not to."

ABC News said, "This piece was very carefully reported, and it puts solid facts on the table concerning a crucial foreign policy challenge facing the United States and the world."
I guess that confirms the story is true.

And moderate conservative James Joyner poured some cold water on the idea that this leak presents any kind of danger to U.S. agents.
There’s not much meat to the alleged plan laid out in the piece, so I’m less concerned than Ed Morrissey or AllahPundit that these revelations necessarily derail it. After all, the working assumption has long been that we’ve got covert ops going on in Iran for both intelligence collection and counter-regime purposes. Indeed, it’s quite possible that these “leaks” are part of an authorized psychological warfare campaign aimed at bolstering diplomatic efforts and/or strengthening the resolve of anti-regime players in Iran.
Romney is playing to the peanut gallery, as always. Tancredo is so nutzo that he might even believe his frothings. Either way, there's no "there" there on this one. Iran would have already assumed it was the subject of a covert ops campaign and now every Iranian leadership figure will be doubly paranoid about his companions - which compleates a major objective of any such destabilization effort very neatly.

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