From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
"Iraq is just one campaign."

January 18, 2005 7:58 AM

Seymour Hersh has a must-read on the un-checked power Bush (and Rumsfeld) now exert over intelligence and covert ops, and what they plan to do with it:

George W. Bush’s re-election was not his only victory last fall. The President and his national-security advisers have consolidated control over the military and intelligence communities’ strategic analyses and covert operations to a degree unmatched since the rise of the post-Second World War national-security state. Bush has an aggressive and ambitious agenda for using that control—against the mullahs in Iran and against targets in the ongoing war on terrorism—during his second term. The C.I.A. will continue to be downgraded, and the agency will increasingly serve, as one government consultant with close ties to the Pentagon put it, as “facilitators” of policy emanating from President Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney. This process is well under way.

Despite the deteriorating security situation in Iraq, the Bush Administration has not reconsidered its basic long-range policy goal in the Middle East: the establishment of democracy throughout the region. Bush’s re-election is regarded within the Administration as evidence of America’s support for his decision to go to war. It has reaffirmed the position of the neoconservatives in the Pentagon’s civilian leadership who advocated the invasion, including Paul Wolfowitz, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, and Douglas Feith, the Under-secretary for Policy. According to a former high-level intelligence official, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld met with the Joint Chiefs of Staff shortly after the election and told them, in essence, that the naysayers had been heard and the American people did not accept their message. Rumsfeld added that America was committed to staying in Iraq and that there would be no second-guessing.

"This is a war against terrorism, and Iraq is just one campaign. The Bush Administration is looking at this as a huge war zone," the former high-level intelligence official told me. "Next, we’re going to have the Iranian campaign. We’ve declared war and the bad guys, wherever they are, are the enemy. This is the last hurrah -- we’ve got four years, and want to come out of this saying we won the war on terrorism."

Hersh goes on to reveal that the U.S. has been running recon missions in Iran since "at least" last Summer.

The Pentagon immediately came out saying this piece was "riddled with errors", but they didn't deny reconnaissance missions in Iran.

Hersh claims the Pentagon is "quibbling."

More from the archive in Intelligence, Neocons, Terrorism.

"Iraq is just one campaign." (01.18.2005)

Next Entry: The Inauguration (01.20.2005)
Previous Entry: "Because he's hiding." (01.16.2005)

Read the 8 comments.

Paul Stone:

This is an extremely damaging article. It's going to be difficult to conduct covert operations in Iran now. Hersh is now firmly at the top of the Bush administration's "Enemies List".

Tue Jan 18 2005 10:52 AM


I'll give Hersh some credit, at least he didn't claim his source was sending information from a Kinko's in Texas. If he had even the basis of a named source with the Pentagon or the Whitehouse I might consider some of what he said, but its too much like most Old Media revelations - long on speculation short on facts. My assessment of "unnamed source" equates "we're making this shit up" stands on this "story". All in all its amateurish speculation on what the paranoid left thinks is going on behind closed doors.

As for spying on Iran, isn't that what the CIA is supposed to be doing? To be honest I fully expect the defense department to be conducting reconnaissance missions in Iran, it would be irresponsible if they were not. What does one expect, the Pentagon to shut off the satellites when they pass over Iran?

Tue Jan 18 2005 12:31 PM

Mike of the Great White North:

Unamed sources = we're making this shit up

Guess the White House is full of unamed sources huh?

Tue Jan 18 2005 3:40 PM

Tom from Madison:

It's not paranoid to ask what is going on behind closed doors, especially given this President's problem with the truth. We're supposed to have a government of the People -- not a ruling Junta.

What are we supposed to think if the President states in his next State of the Union speech that IRAN has WMDs? Even HE would have a hard-time maintaining a controlled smirk through that line!

Tue Jan 18 2005 3:57 PM


Its one thing to ask or demand to know what's going one, its quite another to speculate what is going on and report it as fact.

Why is his Whitehouse source such a secret? How hard is it to figure out who this "former high-level intelligence official" is? He's someone who has sat in on cabinet level meetings, was there for some time after the election but has since quit - how many people fit this profile. If such a person exists his identity was know to the administration before the "story" was even published. The only people who the identity would be hid from are the readers. I call BS.

Wed Jan 19 2005 6:27 AM

Tom from Madison:

I suggest that those familiar with Seymour Hersh consider whether he has a record of telling lies in print. Then make your own call as to whether you believe he is fabricating this story.

Wed Jan 19 2005 7:56 AM

Defending Your Ass:

Why is his Whitehouse source such a secret........
Hmm, why are the members of the Cheney Energy Task Force a secret? Why were the President's Military records a secret? Why was Amstrong Wallace's salary a secret? The only information that ever gets out of this White House is leaked. Someone has an "Oh Shit" moment and realizes that this confederacy of dunces is actually going to implement the next and most innovative assault on our constitution, our world standing or our basic dignity and reacts. They do not wish to completely destroy there career so the information is leaked to a truly credible source in hope that public pressure will follow.

As amazed as I am that this could be conceived right now, I put nothing past this administration. To paraphrase our great leader. "our enemies are constantly thinking of new ways to hurt America, and so are we..........

If this is not some form of brinksmanship on the part of the White House, a move like this will polarize the small minority of the Islamic faithful that have not already bought into a "Defensive Jihad" against the United States.

Although this will do even more to solidify my job security, I truly hope that this is brinksmanship.

Read up on the Neoconservative movement. See what there agenda is for the Middle East. Find out why the Bush adminstation sees fit to fight fires with gasolean.

Thu Jan 20 2005 1:37 AM

Mike of the Great White North:

Oh great, here we go again.

If people can't see who's pullin Americas strings now, who's giving you all that 'credible' intelligence now, making you fight it's proxy wars now... god help you all.,2933,153403,00.html

I would get into a discussion about how Iran has not violated any terms of its NPT accords or its inalianable right to posess nuclear power for peaceful purposes, but somehow i think that would be lost amongst many.

Tue Apr 19 2005 12:19 PM

Jim Gilliam
Jim Gilliam


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