Slush Funds

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Bush Administration, Middle East

Crooks and Liars:

Sy Hersh tells us that the echos of Iran Contra weighed heavily in Negroponte’s decision to resign his post and is claiming that Bush is funneling money without authorization or oversight that has ended up in the hands of Sunni jihadist groups.

Negroponte — Iran Contra — Hmmmm.

We already know that the Bushies used money appropriated for Afghanistan in Iraq. We know that money appropriated for Iraq reconstruction was directed elsewhere. It would not surprise me at all if all kinds of money is being spent that Congress doesn’t know anything about.

See Hersh’s new New Yorker article, “The Redirection.”

The new American policy, in its broad outlines, has been discussed publicly. In testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in January, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that there is “a new strategic alignment in the Middle East,” separating “reformers” and “extremists”; she pointed to the Sunni states as centers of moderation, and said that Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah were “on the other side of that divide.” (Syria’s Sunni majority is dominated by the Alawi sect.) Iran and Syria, she said, “have made their choice and their choice is to destabilize.”

Having failed to mop up the Taliban and al Qaeda, the Bushies are now turning their misdirection toward Hezbollah. This is just the sort of thing the neocons would have thought up, isn’t it?

Some of the core tactics of the redirection are not public, however. The clandestine operations have been kept secret, in some cases, by leaving the execution or the funding to the Saudis, or by finding other ways to work around the normal congressional appropriations process, current and former officials close to the Administration said.

A senior member of the House Appropriations Committee told me that he had heard about the new strategy, but felt that he and his colleagues had not been adequately briefed. “We haven’t got any of this,” he said. “We ask for anything going on, and they say there’s nothing. And when we ask specific questions they say, ‘We’re going to get back to you.’ It’s so frustrating.”

Frustrating ain’t half of it. See also Think Progress.

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. sachem515  •  Feb 25, 2007 @2:51 pm

    More Sy Herch from C&L. Our pro Sunni position reminds me of our actions in keeping Iraq and Iran at war for a decade in the 80’s, and I’m sure in some damn DC conference room that Kissinger’s paws on on this.

    But more to the immediate point, the following quote from the above piece is yet another call for Congress to live up to its Constitutional mandate. We are not talking about things that have happened, or lies that have been told, but what is happening now.

    “We are simply in a situation where this president is really taking his notion of executive privilege to the absolute limit here, running covert operations, using money that was not authorized by Congress, supporting groups indirectly that are involved with the same people that did 9/11, and we should be arresting these people rather than looking the other way…”

  2. eCAHNomics  •  Feb 25, 2007 @3:14 pm

    I’m wondering when the drugs are going to come in. They have frequently been a source of financing U.S. covert ops. I’m playing a little game with myself, trying to figure out in advance where they’ll come from (Afganistan seems to have more than enough to go around and U.S. does business with lots of warlords there), and how they’ll get into the U.S., which offers the most lucrative market. During Vietnam they came back in body bags which went to funeral parlors with mob links, to which the CIA was linked. Too few body bags for that route now. Perhaps they could just shrink wrap it in a package with U.S. currency on the outside & claim we’ve found that $8 billion in U.S. bills that disappeared in Iraq.

  3. Bonnie  •  Feb 25, 2007 @3:36 pm

    There’s no hope for this country. No hope.

  4. wmr  •  Feb 25, 2007 @4:50 pm

    I’m moving toward Bonnie’s position. Two more years gives these clowns enough rope to hang us all.

    Here’s a link to Hersh’s New Yorker piece

  5. sachem515  •  Feb 25, 2007 @5:10 pm

    And this is the link to the printable version of The Redirection

    I think now is the time to regain lost hope. The last nine paragraphs, under the Telling Congress heading contain accusations that are impeachable offenses, if true.

    My question is why are Negroponte and Cheney not under a freshly inked Congressional subpeona or two? Many have long held the the covert diversion of funds from Afghanistan to the pre-Iraq war buildup in Kuwait was illegal, and here we have an ongoing assault on Congressional authority.

    These actions are so incendiary that hopefully, at long last, a few more Repub Senators will break free of their unitary masters and regain some of the lost institutional memory of the higher legislative body. The House must scream, but the Senate must act.

    Perhaps the Libby verdicts will be the grease to get this moving.

  6. erinyes  •  Feb 25, 2007 @7:24 pm

    Some times I think there is no hope also.
    Our record since 2000 has been abyssmal, so bad that I wonder if many of us are paying attention. Bush was basically installed as President in ’04, he sat on his ass in Crawford until 9/11/01.He and his buddies terrorized America into believing Iraq had something to do with the attack, the anthrax attacks have not been solved, but were “linked” to Iraq.Whatever you think about 9/11, the fact remains that the event was the key for the Bush administration to do anything they wanted to do, and they picked the wrong war.
    Bush has even tried to get rid of Social Security in favor of individual retirement accounts. The man is a walking menace, and he goes virtually unchecked. In any fair and decent society he would have been banished, but few have even mentioned impeachment! The man’s arrogance and sheer stupidity have cost the U.S hundreds of billions of dollars , killed damned near three quarters of a million people, displaced two million Iraqis, and caused personal pain and suffering to our armed forces.
    Even with his poll numbers down, people are afraid “he” will attack Iran. WTF?!? This ain’t no stinkin” monarchy!
    I can no longet get an E-mail to my representative, I wouldn’t be surprised if he has “twit filtered” my e-mail address.
    I mentioned to one of my favorite journalists that might leave the U.S. out of frustration and being just plain heart sick about what we have become. He replied”you must stay and fight for a better America”. He is right, we must pressure our leaders and inform our neighbors. We need to get Bush/Cheney out before the year is over.The tide is turning, ‘gotta row harder!

  7. erinyes  •  Feb 25, 2007 @7:27 pm
  8. Madison Guy  •  Feb 25, 2007 @8:02 pm

    I want to scream — or is it that I’m hearing a scream echoing back to us from the future? The latest Seymour Hersh story in the New Yorker has more to do with the world of Thomas Pynchon than with the world of last week’s cover kid Eustace Tilley. “A screaming comes across the sky.” Is Bush trying to bluff and threaten the Iranians into submission? Maybe. Who knows? But as we saw in the buildup to the Iraq war, the threat of force by these guys has a way of turning into the use of force. We’re rapidly approaching an apocalyptic future that has a screaming written all across the sky — unless there’s a real screaming right here, at home, on the ground.

    Postscript: If this gang hasn’t committed high crimes and misdemeanors, the words are meaningless. Two years is too long to listen to the screaming — from iraq, from our troops, from the sky. Impeach!

  9. Donna  •  Feb 25, 2007 @8:29 pm

    I just shivered with an unbidden thought: Americans may have more in common with Iraqis than we would ever wish for.

    The lawlessness which has overtaken Iraq and created helplessness in its citizens may only be different by some [albeit strong] degree of progression than the insidious unchecked lawlessness institutionalized here at home by the Bush Administration. It is truly alarming that Bush and Cheney and the rubber-stamping Republicans have successfully ignored laws, trashed our Constitution, robbed our treasury, killed more Americans than Al Qaeda, and yet…..are still wielding power.

    Shivers.

  10. Kevin Hayden  •  Feb 25, 2007 @8:52 pm

    Write your Congressional representatives. Funding terror groups allied with Al Qaeda is quite above ‘high crimes and misdemeanors”.

    It’s treason. If Congress can’t get that, I guess I’ll have to unpack my weary old bones and prepare for the Jeffersonian remedy: revolution.

  11. biggerbox  •  Feb 25, 2007 @9:51 pm

    I read Sy Hersh’s words but my head exploded when I got to the line about Negroponte being too ethical for the kinds of ops the Pentagon want to run. Negroponte?

    The whole thing has me thinking of the BBC drama ‘The State Within’, only that had a dashing British Ambassador, formerly complicit with backing a dictator, but now repentent, who could save the day by blowing the whistle on the whole conspiracy. The fictional character did seem to think more would be required than talking to Sy Hersh, though.



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