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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 6/22/09

The CIA and US Media Roles in Destabilizing Iran

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Message Michael Green
While everyone who writes about the recent Iranian election has very strong opinions, very few have very many, if any, firm facts.  Even such a seemingly solid article by Mr. ZMag, Stephen Zunes, i.e.,  "Has the Election Been Stolen in Iran?" Posted on June 13, 2009, Printed on June 14, 2009,
makes broad claims and assertions of patent theft without citing a single source or providing a satisfactory example of any of his claims.  I have emailed Professor Zunes for solid examples and have asked him how he obtained so much information so quickly, but have not had a reply (his website advises that he typically cannot answer all inquiries).  For example, Zunes writes from the omniscient perspective:
At the same time, the predictions of knowledgeable Iranian observers from various countries and from across the political spectrum were nearly unanimous in the belief that the leading challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi would defeat incumbent president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad decisively in yesterday's presidential election, certainly in the runoff if not in the first round.  This also appeared to be the assumption among independent observers in Iran itself.

So overwhelming were the signs of imminent Ahmadinejad defeat and so massive was the margin of his alleged victory, the only reasonable assumption was that there has been fraud on a massive scale.

Not only is this fascinating claim not documented or sourced, but also Zunes seems oblivious of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund sponsored nationwide public opinion survey taken in Iran during an interim circa four weeks prior to the election -- flawed and fallible and incomplete as it is -- showing Ahmadinejad ahead in the very areas where he is reported to have triumphed and Zunes asserted that he could not have won, e.g., northern Tehran; Azeri strongholds.  Now that the Rockefeller poll is out, Zunes has taken no notice of it but has instead spiffed up and reposted his original piece on many sites including Huffington Post, and written another piece entitled "Iran's Stolen Election Has Sparked an Uprising -- What Should the U.S. Do?" for Huffington Post that reiterates without any evidence that there was a "clumsy effort by Iranian authorities to steal last Friday's election"   It begins, "As the fraudulent outcomes in the presidential races of 2000 in the United States and 2006 in Mexico demonstrate, elections can be stolen without the public rising up to successfully challenge the results." http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stephen-zunes/irans-stolen-election-has_b_215472.html 

So here is one of ZMag's progressive stars denouncing the theft in Iran and comparing it to the US election theft of 2000, which prompted me to ask what Zunes had said of the US 2000 and 2004 presidential thefts when they were occurring and where the sources of his information would not have been so dubious as they appear to be in Iran. 

Fortunately, Zunes has a list of his recent articles, one category of which is "Electoral Politics," that answers those questions.  According to his own website, which has articles dating back to 1998, Zunes wrote nothing about the 2000 election theft.  As for the 2004 gross theft, Zunes did publish a November 5, 2004 Common Dreams article entitled "Some Potentially Positive Developments from a Disastrous Election" that made no mention of mass-disenfranchisement and accepted the integrity of the count in full.  It began, "No progressive should be happy with the results of the presidential election. However, it is hard to predict what the longer-term impact on American politics of a particular presidential election result might be. ...[So] we should keep in mind that there are a number of ways that Bush's re-election could conceivably prove more beneficial in the longer term than had Kerry been elected."  No subsequent Zunes article on electoral politics has a title even remotely suggesting electoral fraud. 

So, here is Zunes on the spot declaring fraud for Iran but silent about fraud in the US in 2000 and 2004 except just now, and only with respect to 2000, to illustrate how what he says is happening in Iran has a precedent.  Unless Zunes has hard data that he has chosen not to share with his public, he is either a very dim-witted progressive academic, or he has another agenda.  He does not appear to be dim-witted.

Paul Craig Roberts, the kind of former  WSJ right-winger I would not normally touch with a ten-foot pole, makes the interesting factual claim that Mousavi declared his victory before the polls even closed, which (if true) may explain the otherwise puzzling fact -- on which Zunes relies for his allegation of fraud -- that the Khamenei government was so quick to declare Ahmadi-Nejad the winner without (at that moment) providing a district-by-district count.  Roberts writes,

The claim is made that Ahmadinejad stole the election, because the outcome was declared too soon after the polls closed for all the votes to have been counted. However, Mousavi declared his victory several hours before the polls closed. This is classic CIA destabilization designed to discredit a contrary outcome. It forces an early declaration of the vote. The longer the time interval between the preemptive declaration of victory and the announcement of the vote tally, the longer Mousavi has to create the impression that the authorities are using the time to fix the vote. It is amazing that people don't see through this trick.  "Are the Iranian Election Protests Another US Orchestrated 'Color Revolution'?" http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22875.htm

Regrettably, Roberts does not source his key factual claim, but confirmation may be found in early claims of victory by both factions even before the votes are fully counted.  The interesting fact is that "Reformist challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi has reportedly announced that he has won by a substantial margin" since the reported totals, such as they were, did not reflect this claim.   We would still like to know who first declared victory.  http://www.casavaria.com/cafesentido/2009/06/12/3011/rivals-ahmedinajad-mousavi-both-declare-victory-in-iran-election/  

More importantly, Roberts links to a Lew Rockwell blog that notes that the day before the Iranian election, neoconservative columnist Kenneth Timmerman was already reporting a likely upcoming "green revolution" in Iran.

 Arch neo-conservative Kenneth Timmerman spilled the beans on activities of the other arm of US meddling overseas, the obscenely mis-named National Endowment for Democracy, in a piece written before the election, stating curiously that "there's the talk of a 'green revolution' in Tehran." Interesting. I wonder where that "talk" was coming from. Timmerman did not appear to be writing from Iran.
Stephen Lendman's excellent article referenced below details efforts of the US intelligence community declared several years ago to destabilize Iran with covert operations, and links them to the 1953 CIA sponsored coup against the democratically elected Mohammed Mossadegh who had reclaimed Iran's oil for its own people.  A video link from Information Clearing House provides a laundry list of these operations and televised pronouncements of intent to destabilize Iran http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22839.htm.  Bill Van Auken has documented journalism as the media arm of the imperial state in The New York Times and Iran: Journalism as state provocation, including the direct military participation of one its CIA-reporters in the 1953 coup against the democratically elected government of Mohamed Mossadegh:
In 1953, their [NYT] correspondent in Tehran, Kennett Love, was not only a willing conduit for CIA disinformation, but also acknowledged participating directly in the coup. He subsequently wrote of giving an Iranian army tank column instructions to attack Mossadegh's house. Afterwards, the Times celebrated the coup and demanded unconditional support for the Shah's regime.  
Let me elaborate on the "media's" active participation in coups abroad by quoting a footnote about the 1953 Iranian coup from an unpublished (and unpublishable) manuscript:
[fn] Harrison Salisbury's book [Without Fear or Favor: An Uncompromising look at The New York Times] is brilliantly executed disinformation, and though arguing this would take us astray, one clear example is too good not to mention.  In a subchapter entitled "The Gruson Affair," Salisbury details how CIA Director Allen Dulles tricked NYT publisher Arthur Hays Sulzberger into withdrawing Sydney Gruson, his most knowledgeable reporter on Guatemala, from that country just before the illegal 1954 CIA coup, by maliciously maligning Gruson as a likely subversive.  (pp.494-499).  By contrast, the equally illegal CIA coup against Mossadegh led by Kermit [Kim] Roosevelt is mentioned twice only in passing.  Salisbury makes no mention of the NYT coverage of August 23, 1953 that distorts the CIA's coup into a coup by Mossadegh against the Shah, which supposedly forced the Shah to flee his country temporarily.  In fact, the Shah fled after his CIA-back coup momentarily faltered before Roosevelt put more muscle into the effort.  The Times reports that as Mossadegh gained control, "Communist and nationalist mobs raced through Teheran streets screaming 'Death to the Shah!' Statues of the monarch and his father were pelted and desecrated, then toppled from their pedestals.  The Mossadegh press screamed for 'revenge' and the 'gallows.'"  In fact, Kermit Roosevelt hired and paid for both those mobs and the presses that reported on them in order to turn the population against Mossadegh.  The Times can now admit this without noting its prior deceit through its foreign correspondent, Stephen Kinzer, when it no longer matters.  Here is Kinzer gushing with admiration for the CIA coup.
The way that Kermit Roosevelt organized this [the coup] was really brilliant.  He had people writing articles in the press condemning Mossadegh.  Four-fifths of Iran's newspapers were actually in the pay of the CIA.  And those papers were printing stories every day about how Mossadegh was a communist.  He wanted to destroy the monarchy.  He was undermining the Iranian Army.  And just for good measure because they were capital crimes in Iran, he was a Jew and a homosexual.  And these articles were printed the next day in papers that were under the control of the CIA.  In fact, these papers were so eager to print what the CIA wanted that they didn't have enough reporters to produce all this stuff and the CIA actually had people here in the United States, in Washington, writing these articles and sending them to Iran by plane. Kinzer's book is All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2003.  The quote is from a speech made by Kinzer about his book given September 17, 2003 at the Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, California, memorialized on a CD from Los Angeles Sound Posse.  The Times newspaper account from 1953 clearly comes directly from Kermit Roosevelt, who memorialized his own fiction in his first-person account, Countercoup, that represented the Shah as acting against a Mossadegh-led attempted communist takeover.
Stephen Lendman has also noted how the pseudo-left propagandists have jumped on the "Iran election fraud" bandwagon in order to destabilize the country:  
The Nation magazine has had a shameful record since inception. In more recent years, it called the US-led NATO Serbia-Kosovo aggression "humanitarian intervention." Initially it supported the Afghanistan war and the Iraq war in its run-up and early months. In 2000 and 2004, it ignored blatant electoral fraud for George Bush. It attacks Hugo Chavez, and was hostile to Jean-Bertrand Aristide during his years as Haiti's President. It called the 2008 US presidential campaign the "Obama Moment" for his "historic candidacy" and keeps supporting him despite his brazen betrayal of voters who elected him.

Now it's at it again in a June 13 Robert Dreyfuss article headlined, "Iran's Ex-Foreign Minister Yazdi: It's a Coup" in which (without no substantiating evidence) he called the election "rigged," referred to Ahmadinejad as "radical-right," and said "his paramilitary backers were kept in office." Now "Iran's capital (is) steeped in anger, despair, and bitterness" as he almost cheerled for a "color revolution" with comments like:
For years, the hardline clergy and their allies, including Ahmadinejad, have feared nothing more than an Iranian-style 'color revolution.' Now, Mousavi - with solid establishment credentials, an Islamic revolutionary pedigree second to none, and an outspoken pro-reform message - finds himself at the head of a green parade" in contrast to "Ahmadinejad's Red Tide," a reference to "the red-armband-wearing, virtual fascist movement in support of reelecting" him. http://www.opednews.com/articles/Iran-s-Election-and-US--I-by-Stephen-Lendman-090619-283.html
I draw your attention to the reliance of Robert Dreyfuss, a contributing editor to The Nation, on former foreign minister Yazdi as a reliable source that the election was rigged for a specific reason.  Nearly thirty years ago Dreyfuss outed Yazdi as a trained agent of the Central Intelligence Agency:
The other arm of Khomeini's revolution was the coterie of experienced, Western-trained, intelligence agents who clustered around the clergy.  These are today's surviving secular office-holders: Sadegh Ghotbzadeh, Ibrahim Yazdi, and Abolhassan Bani-Sadr.
Directions from Washington and London came via the "professors," men such as Professor Richard Cottam of the University of Pittsburgh.
Cottam had met Yazdi in Iran as early as the 1950s, when Cottam was a field office for the CIA attached to the U.S. embassy in Teheran.  Cottam also met and guided another member of the future leadership of the Iranian revolution, Ghotbzadeh.  For the next twenty years, the Pittsburgh professor joined Yazdi and Ghotbzadeh for strategy sessions in the United States, Europe and Iran.  Yazdi and Cottam were so close that Yazdi's wife once described Cottam as "a very close friend of my husband, the one person who knows more about him than even I do."   ...
In 1963, Yazdi worked to found the Muslim Brotherhood's American Branch, the "Muslim Student Association."  By now a political operative, Yazdi had also set up the Iranian Students Association and later the Young Muslims Organization.
In 1964, he left the United States for Europe, spending about three years in France, West Germany, and the American University of Beirut, a bastion of Anglo-American intelligence in the Middle East. ...(Robert Dreyfuss, Hostage to Khomeini, New Benjamin Franklin House, 1980, pp. 24-27)

So here is the farce of objective Nation contributing editor Robert Dreyfuss pretending to rely on the objective assessment of the current Iranian election by an Iranian former foreign minister whom Dreyfuss has formerly outed as an agent of the Central Intelligence Agency -- don't worry, nobody will remember because that was flushed down the Orwellian memory-hole.  That the CIA had overthrown the Shah and installed the Ayatollah Khomeini was very little known outside of the agencies that did so.  I learned details of this coup years ago via an Iranian who was part of the democratic revolutionary forces to suppress which the Ayatollah was installed.  After the Embassy was taken, CIA documents were seized and some of them sold to the public.  This fellow bought them and subsequently had to flee Iran. 
Surprisingly, though, the story of the CIA and British intelligence's overthrow of the Shah is also told by Robert Dreyfuss in Hostage to Khomeini, 1980.   Dreyfuss rewrote the history of the Shah's overthrow in The Devil's Game, 2005.  In Hostage to Khomeini, Dreyfuss details how and why the CIA and the US military installed the Ayatollah and how Carter was manipulated into setting up the taking of the U.S. embassy -- Dreyfuss even quotes the NYT to show how Carter knew that giving sanctuary to the Shah would lead to seizure of the embassy.  But now, as a Nation contributing editor, this time around Dreyfuss wrote, "Never did a revolution catch the United States more by surprise than did the one that swamped Iran in 1978-1979." p. 214.
Why the change?  The obvious and most reasonable conclusion is that Dreyfuss is an intelligence agent or asset.  Dreyfuss's earlier book was published by New Benjamin Franklin House, a Lyndon LaRouche affiliate.  One of the functions LaRouche served for the USG intelligence community was to advertise obscurely a covert operation that they dearly wished to keep secret, but to wrap it with the noxious LaRouchian ideology and nimbus so that anyone else respectable who revealed it could be smeared and dismissed as touting a crazy LaRouchian idea.
The Nation has a very long and dishonorable history of taking a "liberal" posture in order to channel political dissent back into the existing systems of establishment power and to legitimize that establishment.  One of its particular tasks is to deny the existence of major USG domestic covert operations, especially since its editorial staff and some of its writers are engaged in at least the propaganda cover for such.  I won't detail its history here except for one of its more recent efforts that prompted me to cancel my subscription to The Nation in 2006. 

The Nation published CIA author Max Holland's smear against early JFK researcher and Warren Commission critic, attorney Mark Lane, author of the best seller, Rush to Judgment.  Holland, who is a published author on the website of the Central Intelligence Agency, falsely and maliciously claimed that Lane had taken KGB funds to finance his "conspiracy interpretation" of the Kennedy assassination. My recollection -- I can't readily find the cites -- is that The Nation initially refused to accept rebuttal letters from the victim and his supporters until Lane threatened a lawsuit, at which point letters were accepted but -- as Ralph Schoenman advised me -- his initial letter, which I have, spelling out a vast number of intelligence links to the JFK assassination and main stream media was refused. 
In lieu of that letter I offer the bromide that the apple, or applet, does not fall far from the tree.  In this case the applet is Katrina vanden Heuvel, long-time editor of The Nation, and daughter of William vanden Heuvel, former president of the International Rescue Committee.  For an exposition of the ties between the International Rescue Committee and the CIA and their joint and mutually supporting efforts on behalf of U.S. foreign policy, I recommend Covert Network: Progressives, the International Rescue Committee, and the CIA, 1995, by Eric Thomas Chester, publisher M.E. Sharpe. 

Katrina is not William, but William vanden Heuvel assumed the Presidency of the International Rescue Committee in 1961 and while in Berlin January 1963 as IRC president, passed money to Egon Bahr, Willie Brandt's closest confidant, to fund digging escape tunnels from the West into the East, a clear act of provocation at a time when Kennedy was pursuing de'tente with the Soviet Union. 

William vanden Heuvel got his start in U.S. intelligence under Office of Strategic Services founder "Wild Bill" Donovan:

In an effort to widen its base of support, the Committee began recruiting from among Wall Street's power brokers.  William vanden Heuvel began his career as a young corporate lawyer with William Donovan's law firm, a firm that had been the starting point for many of the highest officials in the OSS during WWII.  When Donovan traveled to Thailand as US ambassador, a post he held from July 1953 to August 1954, vanden Heuvel accompanied him as personal confidant and special assistant.  Upon his return from Thailand, Donovan became a key participant in the Committee. ... (Pp. 197-198)

Thus did Katrina's father launch his career under William Donovan, the founder of the Office of Strategic Services, the WWII forerunner to the Central Intelligence Agency.  Now Katrina runs The Nation, which repeatedly stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the Agency, and mainstream media, to deny domestic covert operations, including election theft by means of systematically rigged vote counting.

Finally, as an illustration of how U.S. media functions to stabilize the domestic government by selective and dishonest reporting while doing the opposite abroad when it suits U.S. foreign policy, I recommend the following moralistic analysis by Lori Price.


'Hello, Pot? This is Kettle. You're Green.' --US Hypocrisy Toward Iran By Lori Price, www.legitgov.org http://www.legitgov.org:80/price_us_hypocrisy_iran_210609.html

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