ABC's 'The Blotter' Tips Off Iran to Covert CIA Operation

Brian Ross joins a not so exclusive set of reporters who are using their positions in the national media to divulge national security secrets as passed to them by unnamed sources.
The report, Bush Authorizes New Covert Action Against Iran, appeared in Ross's investigative blog, The Blotter. In it he divulges secret information about an alleged covert CIA operation aimed at destabilizing the terrorist friendly nation. (h/t Wizbang)

The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert "black" operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell the Blotter on ABC News.com.
The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the subject, say President Bush has signed a "nonlethal presidential finding" that puts into motion a CIA plan that reportedly includes a coordinated campaign of propaganda, disinformation and manipulation of Iran's currency and international financial transactions. (all emphasis mine)

Suffice it to say that if this information was secret it isn't any more. But the ABC report goes beyond the standard dissemination of national security information and veers right into Iran-Contra comparisons with pullquotes in the middle of the article such as the following:

Click Here to See Photos of the Players in Another Iran Operation -- the Iran-Contra Affair: Where Are They Now?

Ross even follows it up with an explanation from Richard Clarke, the former counter-terrorism advisor for the U.S. National Security Council.

"There are some channels where the United States government may want to do things without its hand showing, and legally, therefore, the administration would, if it's doing that, need an intelligence finding and would need to tell the Congress," said ABC News consultant Richard Clarke, a former White House counterterrorism official.

I can't help but wonder if Mr. Clarke is both source and consultant. But this is idle speculation; just something to ponder.
The report was published at 6:30 yesterday evening and lasted about an hour or so before the left glommed onto the story. The first set of comments were overwhelmingly in agreement at condemning ABC for printing the information. But the left finally came to Brian Ross's rescue. I imagine that somewhere along the line the Daily Kos or Huffington Post picked it up and the America haters are weighing in with their own brand of reality. Their take, the U.S. and the CIA are the real terrorists.

  • I can't believe there are so many superignorant hillbillies in the states. No wonder you are hated all over the world. Bush and his clique do their best to destabilize the planet and guess what the other countries will strike back! The sad part that all people including those who do not support the criminals currently in White House will also suffer.
  • Why is it, that when U.S.A. activly destabalise another country its called intelligence gathering, and considered ok. When it happens to U.S.A. its called terrorism??? What a double standard. No wonder U.S.A. is hated world wide. Yankes go home, you are the problem.

    Posted by: Rob | May 23, 2007 4:17:39 AM

  • I place my bets on Iran winning. If you have to choose between fanatics, Iran beats USA by the slightest of margins.
    Posted by: Lee Harvey | May 23, 2007 3:27:55 AM
  • History repeats itself. America became the thug of the world.
    With current flow of the government actions and american policy I see a future police state of america and long line for food rations.
    Posted by: Terry | May 23, 2007 3:19:04 AM
  • It's frightning what this administration has been getting away with.
    I also can't believe there are still people who support this uneducated monkey.
    Posted by: Julie, CA | May 23, 2007 3:08:20 AM
  • Kudos to ABC for having the courage to behave like true patriotic Americans. At this stage in America's history, when the real terrorists and traitors live amongst us, sowing discord, clamoring for war, and fanatically rooting for Bush, every example of actual journalism is sorely needed.
    Posted by: Izzy Smart | May 23, 2007 3:04:48 AM

There is much more along these lines.
Last night when I wrote my original article I pondered what ABC news would have to gain from printing such a story. This morning appears to have answered that question as evidenced by the comments in support of such reports. At least we know how ABC plans to attract readers and viewers going forward.
This article is based on an earlier one that appeared on Webloggin. The Webloggin article highlights reports of Iran's most recent efforts to destabilize Iraq and the Middle East while this article concentrates on the media aspects.