US Steps Up Covert Plots in Iran

Critics view $400M program as prelude to war
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 30, 2008 2:15 AM CDT
Navy Adm. William Fallon, former head of US Central Command, was forced to resign after publicly voicing doubts about the efficacy of an American attack on Iran.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Congress agreed to boost covert operations against Iran last year despite reservations by key officials, Seymour Hersh writes in the New Yorker. President Bush sought up to $400 million for the program, which supports dissidents intent on undermining Tehran and gathers data on its nuke plans. Some analysts believe the moves foreshadow a military strike against the country.

If the US does attack, “we’ll create generations of jihadists, and our grandchildren will be battling our enemies here in America,” said Pentagon chief Robert Gates. Gauging the success of US operations is difficult—and blowback is always a risk. One Washington-backed Iranian group may have ties to al-Qaeda and the nation's drug culture, Hersh writes.