A Pakistani tribal militant group responsible for a series of deadly guerrilla raids inside Iran has been secretly encouraged and advised by American officials since 2005, U.S. and Pakistani intelligence sources tell ABC News.
The group, called Jundullah, is made up of members of the Baluchi tribe and operates out of the Baluchistan province in Pakistan, just across the border from Iran.
It has taken responsibility for the deaths and kidnappings of more than a dozen Iranian soldiers and officials.
How is the Right spinning this report. It seems fairly straight forward and is a reminder that Bush and the Right seem to suffer from some kind of attention deficit syndrome. Just recently we found out that Bush is supporting Sunni terror groups in Iraq that are only a half step removed from the same radicals that attacked America on 9-11. No unsupported accusations, no manufactured outrage or gibberish needed about supporting terror – Bush and the Right in fact do support terror. The best they can claim is that all these supposedly clever semi clandestine operations are just too sophisticated for the average American to grasp. The only other defense that Bush supporters can muster is the rhetorical spin. From the comments at the right-wing Newsbusters, Day After Highlighting Iran’s Nuclear Threat, ABC Exposes ‘Secret War’ to Avert It, Posted by Brent Baker on April 3, 2007 – 19:41.
April 3, 2007 – 20:40
I heard this question come up today to the President in the Rose Garden….
I think it is time…well past time to do some very serious fighting with the democrat party and the communist media that is their spokesman.
I have had it.
The enemy within is not even trying to be subtle about it all anymore.
War needs to be held here within….I do not care how anymore.
April 3, 2007 – 21:09
There is no question that the government of Iran is dangerous, both to its own citizens and to the region. If this report is true, it is exactly how the government should be taken on – via internal destabilization. The Bush admin is to be applauded for taking this tack.
However, it is disappointing and disturbing that ABC would report on this, thereby tipping off the enemy and further jeopardizing both the mission and the people involved.
The first one was just because it was so funny ( decent Americans that disagree with right-wing policy will now have war declared on them by the rabid Right. If Iraq is any indication the war on liberals will go just as well), but we’ll be hearing something along the lines of the second one quite a bit. There are problems with ratioanlizing the support of etrror groups against Iran. One is that Sunnis among others are minority groups in Iran – others include Arabs. The majority of Iranians are not all that happy with the Iranian leadership. Still there is the phenomenon of nationalism, a concept that the Right embraces over patriotism everyday, so one can assume they’re experts on it. If the majority of Iranians feel that they are being attacked by minority groups with funding or other support even indirectly from the U.S., who will the majority of Iranians rally around? Their leadership. Jjust in the same way that America’s rabid Right has rallied around Bush regardless of whatever foreign quagmires he lands us in, or how corrupt, or how incompetent doesn’t matter to the Right – Bush is their man – better the evil they know in other words. The average Iranian in the street is as open to this kind of nationalistic call to arms over threats real or not as America’s Right is. Another reason that will resonate with American moderates is the hypocrisy of a Republican president supporting terror in order one supposes to end terror – many Americans are realists and understand that in trying to defeat terorrists that some rules might be bent, but the majority will not understand supporting terror or even looking the other way as an American ally (Pakistan) allows themselves to be used as a terror haven.
ABC cited U.S. government sources it did not identify as saying the United States does not provide direct funding for the group but has maintained close ties to its leader, Abd el Malik Regi, since 2005.
A CIA official said the account was not accurate.
Regi claims to have personally executed some of the Iranian captives, the ABC News report said.
“He is essentially commanding a force of several hundred guerrilla fighters that stage attacks across the border into Iran on Iranian military officers, Iranian intelligence officers, kidnapping them, executing them on camera,” said Alexis Debat, a senior fellow on counterterrorism at the Nixon Center and an ABC News consultant.
“He used to fight with the Taliban. He’s part drug smuggler, part Taliban, part Sunni activist,” Debat told ABC.
The group took credit for an attack in February that killed at least 11 members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard riding on a bus in the Iranian city of Zehedan, ABC said.
According to the report, Iranian state television last month broadcast what it said were confessions by those responsible for the bus attack.
They reportedly admitted to being members of Jundullah and said they had been trained for the mission at a secret location in Pakistan, ABC said.
ABC cited Pakistani government sources as saying the secret campaign against Iran was on the agenda when Vice President Dick Cheney met with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in February.
The Right has decided that Iran is the greater enemy of the U.S. then those with the same ideological bent as those that perpetrated 9-11( A loosely associated group of Sunni radicals). So lying down with some of the same 9-11 terrorists is OK as part of some grand strategy. Not only has that never really worked, but tends to come back to haunt us by begetting the next wave of terrorism in response to the last wave. Bush once said that all terrorism and those that sponsored it would not be tolerated. He and his supporters keep proving that those words were just empty rhetoric. Bush and the Right keeps accusing Iran of acting in a way that is provocative and certainly Iran could be handling its international relation better and more productively, but as Bush uses Pakistan as a proxy to act in a provocative way toward Iran the Right hands Iran’s most radical elements another victory in the war of saber rattling and moral high ground. Conservatives have a history of these games of playing off the enemy of the week against against one, U.S. and Iraq’s Weapons (LA Times-23 Feb 93), Cheney Lobbied Congress To Ease Sanctions Against Terrorist Countries While He Was CEO Of Halliburton, and Cheney has tapped Iranian expatriate, arms dealer to surveil discussions with Iran, officials say. Who is the enemy, who is America’s friend – well according to the Right it depends on what is convenient this week – or which way the wind is blowing. They give new meaning to the term moral relativity.
Another bit of deep Conservative denial that has come up again is the Niger letter – the right-wing spin now is that poor Bush and Cheney who are according to their supporters the experts, the go to guys on national security were duped. As always Bush and Cheney are the experts when it suits the Right’s rhetorical purposes and poor dupes when it doesn’t, How Bogus Letter Became a Case for War
Dozens of interviews with current and former intelligence officials and policymakers in the United States, Britain, France and Italy show that the Bush administration disregarded key information vailable at the time showing that the Iraq-Niger claim was highly questionable.
Administration officials were warned by State Department analysts tha the claims in the letter were dubious and that the letter itself contained among other suspicious items a screwy state seal.
“Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.”- Bush – Address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People (September 20, 2001)