Seymour Hersh writes in The New Yorker today that the US Congress late last year approved a top secret Presidential Finding to fund major covert operations against Iran.
Although covert activities in Iran are not new on the part of the US, the magazine said the “scale and the scope of the operations in Iran, which involve the Central Intelligence Agency and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), have now been significantly expanded.”
The Presidential Finding is conveyed to a select group of Congressional leaders and their intelligence committees, otherwise known as the Gang of Eight, the report said. The group approved President Bush’s request to allocate $400 million for covert operations.
The Bush administration's request for funding came around the same time as the December 2007 release of the National Intelligence Estimate, which said that Iran halted nuclear weapons work in 2003.
Citing former military, intelligence, and congressional sources, Hersh reports that the move reveals a “major escalation” in clandestine operations aimed at destabilizing the Islamic Republic's leadership.