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 â€œa new strategic alignment in the Middle East,â€ separating â€œreformersâ€ and â€œextremistsâ€; she pointed to the Sunni states as centers of moderation, and said that Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah were â€œon the other side of that divide.â€ (Syriaâ€™s Sunni majority is dominated by the Alawi sect.) Iran and Syria, she said, â€œhave made their choice and their choice is to destabilize.â€
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. â€œWe havenâ€™t got any of this,â€ he said. â€œWe ask for anything going on, and they say thereâ€™s nothing. And when we ask specific questions they say, â€˜Weâ€™re going to get back to you.â€™ Itâ€™s so frustrating.â€
Frustrating ain’t half of it. See also Think Progress.