August 29, 2004

IRANAMOKAGAIN (continued):

Iran-Contra II?: Fresh scrutiny on a rogue Pentagon operation. (Joshua Micah Marshall, Laura Rozen, and Paul Glastris, September 2004, Washington Monthly)

On Friday evening, CBS News reported that the FBI is investigating a suspected mole in the Department of Defense who allegedly passed to Israel, via a pro-Israeli lobbying organization, classified American intelligence about Iran. The focus of the investigation, according to U.S. government officials, is Larry Franklin, a veteran Defense Intelligence Agency Iran analyst now working in the office of the Pentagon's number three civilian official, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith.

The investigation of Franklin is now shining a bright light on a shadowy struggle within the Bush administration over the direction of U.S. policy toward Iran. In particular, the FBI is looking with renewed interest at an unauthorized back-channel between Iranian dissidents and advisers in Feith's office, which more-senior administration officials first tried in vain to shut down and then later attempted to cover up.

Franklin, along with another colleague from Feith's office, a polyglot Middle East expert named Harold Rhode, were the two officials involved in the back-channel, which involved on-going meetings and contacts with Iranian arms dealer Manucher Ghorbanifar and other Iranian exiles, dissidents and government officials. Ghorbanifar is a storied figure who played a key role in embroiling the Reagan administration in the Iran-Contra affair. The meetings were both a conduit for intelligence about Iran and Iraq and part of a bitter administration power-struggle pitting officials at DoD who have been pushing for a hard-line policy of "regime change" in Iran, against other officials at the State Department and the CIA who have been counseling a more cautious approach.

If the Administration isn't working with dissidents on regime change in Iran and North Korea the President should be investigated.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 29, 2004 5:29 PM

Yeah, the democratic provisional governments in exile for both.

Oh? No democractic provisional governments in exile for either one?

Excuuuse me!

Posted by: Harry Eagar at August 30, 2004 2:31 PM


You guys were big on provisional governments in WWII and it was a disaster.

Posted by: oj at August 30, 2004 4:09 PM

It was.

There's a lesson in there somewhere.

I learned what it was in Vietnam.

No. Korea just might be doable. There is, at least, So. Korea to move up and govern the joint.

Iran, like Iraq, is ungovernable, so you want to think kinda hard about what you do with the residue.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at August 30, 2004 7:31 PM

You have that backwards. The reunification of Germany--and the attempt to redistribute wealth across declining populations--has been a disaster and West Germany was a mature nation. The reunification of the Koreas will destroy the resulting nation.

However, the Shi'ites of Iran and Iraq are likely to forge pretty reasonable democracies.

Posted by: oj at August 30, 2004 8:37 PM

Isn't Ghorbanifar in tight with that Saudi arms dealer and middle-man who is supposedly only 2 or 3 degrees separated from everyone (short, round, glasses, but I cannot remember his name)?

Posted by: jim hamlen at August 30, 2004 11:43 PM

Time to get a move on, then, Orrin.

You've been predicting an Iranian revolution for more than a year now, but Iran is quiet and stable.

There is not the slightest sign that the population wants revolutionary change.

Probably they do want a new, more efficient set of rascals, but that's not revolution.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at September 1, 2004 2:58 PM

a year in a country that's thousands of years old isn't a long time--though its an eternity to an old white guy.

Posted by: oj at September 1, 2004 3:06 PM

Zeno's forgotten paradox said that if the hare never stirs, Achilles wins

Posted by: Harry Eagar at September 1, 2004 10:54 PM