Past and Future U.S. Covert Operations

What’s next for the Department of Defense now that Iraq has successfully conducted elections? Check out the latest from journalist Seymour Hersh in his New Yorker article . In “The Comming Wars” Hersh says the Pentagon (Rumsfeld in particular) has gained control over the “war on terrorism” through a series of secret presidential findings and orders, and he is planning covert attacks on Iranian nuclear sites and other targes.

The Department of Defense categorically denies the thrust of Hersh’s article, and is particularly harsh on his use of unnamed sources. Of course we can’t know what Bush and Rumsfeld are up to because it’s all classified. But some time in the future, these documents will come to light if the National Security Archive at George Washington University is still around. The NSA (not to be confused with the National Security Agency) web site is thick with declassified documents of U.S. foreign policy most of which have been acquired through Freedom of Information Act suits.

One set of these docs is on the 1953 CIA-inspired coup of Iranian leader Mohammad Mossadeq. Read this to get an understanding of why people in Iran might not be so happy with the well-intentioned interventions of the U.S. and Britain.

They also have a very intense collection of documents on the 1973 coup of elected Chilean President Salvadore Allende. Ironically, it was the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet that forced a reform of the Chilean social security system that moved the pensions of most workers into private accounts. These accounts are now proving to be inadequate to meet retirees needs. Pinochet kindly exempted the military from that “reform.”

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