January 27, 2009

LET'S PUT IT THIS WAY...:

The CIA Vs. the Mullahs (Reuel Marc Gerecht, January 27, 2009, Washington Post)

Iran is perhaps the best and the most important barometer we have for judging how well the CIA can perform against a hostile Middle Eastern state with a terrorist track record that includes, according to the Sept. 11 commission report, abetting al-Qaeda. It is also probably the "easiest" hard target that Langley has. Unlike in Iraq under Saddam Hussein or North Korea today, the CIA can reach inside the Islamic republic if it really tries. Iran is an authoritarian theocratic state that believes in its civilizing mission to the Muslim world. Its borders are hardly porous, but a range of people -- Muslims, non-Muslims, business executives, academics, students, religious pilgrims and tourists -- travel there regularly.

More important, Iranian VIPs travel abroad. Members of the Revolutionary Guard Corps frequently receive scholarships for foreign study, usually in the West. Iranian scientists and engineers also go abroad. Iranian mullahs are not uncommon in foreign lands, where prolonged contact with them is possible. Although Iran's progressive intellectuals -- the people to whom Western journalists and scholars usually talk -- rarely have much influence and insight into the clerical regime, sometimes they matter, and sometimes they can be reached. The key is whether Langley has developed patient but aggressive measures that make it more likely that its operatives cross paths with interesting Iranians.


...the Agency's offiocial position is that the Shah will survive this little dust-up.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Posted by Orrin Judd at January 27, 2009 8:20 AM
blog comments powered by Disqus
« YET THE BRIGHTS CELEBRATE THE RETURN OF "SCIENCE": | Main | LIKE THE YANKEES, THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE TO FIND A SHORTSTOP TO FIELD A COMPLETE TEAM: »