Right-wingers are in a tizzy again because ABC News reported last night that the U.S. government is doing to Iran what any sentient Iranian would already have assumed the U.S. was doing:
The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert "black" operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell the Blotter on ABCNews.com.
The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the subject, say President Bush has signed a "nonlethal presidential finding" that puts into motion a CIA plan that reportedly includes a coordinated campaign of propaganda, disinformation and manipulation of Iran's currency and international financial transactions....
We're trying to destabilize the government with propaganda, disinformation, and financial manipulation? Do you think this is a surprise to any Iranian?
What's odd, though, is this:
Current and former intelligence officials say the approval of the covert action means the Bush administration, for the time being, has decided not to pursue a military option against Iran.
"Vice President Cheney helped to lead the side favoring a military strike," said former CIA official Riedel, "but I think they have come to the conclusion that a military strike has more downsides than upsides."
"They"? I'm sure he -- Cheney -- hasn't come to that conclusion.
What's going on? Have all the generals threatened to resign if Cheney's cabal overtaxes the military even more with a new war?
Or is it Bush? Has the Democratic victory in midterms that were clearly a referendum on his Iraq policy made Bush so determined to redouble his war efforts in Iraq -- not as a way of winning the war, but as a counterattack against the real enemy, Reid and Pelosi -- that he's now decided to put Iran on the back burner?
I think that could be it. I think, after the midterms, Bush is even more certain that Iraq is the central front in the war ... on Democrats.