Saturday, August 09, 2003

Iran-Contra II: Wrath of the Neocons

Gulf News today reports a meeting between Pentagon employees working for Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith and an Iranian arms dealer named Manucher Ghorbanifar, who was the middleman from the arms-for-hostages scandal under President Reagan. The context is that the Bush administration was involved in secret negotiations with Iran, a policy opposed by Pentagon hawks who want to depose the Iranian government. According to U.S. government officials, the was a deliberate ploy by the DoD to undercut those negotiations in the hopes that Iran would retaliate somehow and bring the rest of the administration in line with their views. The CIA, State Department, and White House then learned of it, and the meetings ceased quickly.

I think that when we have a President, and he decides on a foreign policy to pursue on important matters like fighting terrorists who threaten the U.S. and nuclear proliferation, then his administration should oppose it only in the political realm. When the Secretary of Defense deliberately tries to defeat American foreign policy objectives by trying to get a foreign country to stop negotiation with us, that is a bad thing. When he and his staff continue in office after doing it, that is an even worse thing, and highlights one of the main flaws I see in the Bush administration.

UPDATE: One of the people who met with Ghorbanifar was Harold Rhode. Josh Marshall thinks he might be important.


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