Investigative Reporter Seymour Hersh: US Indirectly Funding Al-Qaeda Linked Sunni Groups in Move to Counter Iran
John Negroponte was sworn in to his new position as Deputy Secretary of State on Tuesday at a ceremony attended by President Bush. Negroponte resigned from his post as National Intelligence Director in early January. His career includes stints as Ambassador to Iraq after the US invasion and ambassador to Honduras, where he was accused of overseeing the arming of Nicaraguan rebels during the Iran-Contra scandal of the 1980s.
In an explosive new article, the New Yorker Magazine reports that Negroponte’s decision to resign as National Intelligence Director was made in part because of the Bush administration’s covert actions in the Middle East, which so closely echo Iran-Contra. According to investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, the Bush administration, with Saudi Arabia, is secretly funding radical Sunni groups - some with ties to al-Qaeda - to counter Shiite groups backed by Iran. Moreover, this is being done without any Congressional authority or oversight. Hersh also reports the Pentagon has established a special planning group within the office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to plan a bombing attack on Iran. The new panel has been charged with developing a plan that could be implemented within 24 hours of getting the go-ahead from President Bush. Hersh also reveals that U.S. military and special-operations teams have already crossed the border into Iran in pursuit of Iranian operatives. Seymour Hersh joins me now from Washington DC.(Click here to read more)