In 2011, the CIA declassified documents admitting its involvement in the 1953 coup that overthrew Iran's elected government and installed Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, details of which were first first disclosed by the New York Times in 2000. Timeline. However, they refused to release them to the public. Today, the National Security Archive research institute has (after a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit) obtained and made the 21 documents public. "Marking the sixtieth anniversary of the overthrow of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq, the National Security Archive is today posting recently declassified CIA documents on the United States' role in the controversial operation. American and British involvement in Mosaddeq's ouster has long been public knowledge, but today's posting includes what is believed to be the CIA's first formal acknowledgement that the agency helped to plan and execute the coup. [more inside]
Current TV previously & previously, the media company founded by Al Gore after the 2000 election, has picked up the kinds of in depth long form journalism being rapidly dropped by major networks, but has been tantalizingly unavailable for those without cable; until now. They have been putting their Vanguard episodes up on their website and on YouTube. [more inside]
The Making of an Iran Policy: Inside the Obama administration’s struggle with its biggest diplomatic challenge.
in a democracy, the ordinary citizen is effectively a king, but a king in a constitutional democracy, a king whose decisions are merely formal
Berlusconi in Tehran by Slavoj Žižek in the London Review of Books
40 million Iranians watched a "remarkable, no-holds-barred" and nationally televised debate between President Ahmadinejad (blog) and his rival, former Prime Minister Mousavi (Facebook). [more inside]
John McCain served on the advisory board to the U.S. chapter of an international group linked to ultra-right-wing death squads in Central America in the 1980s. As the head of the IRI, he helped finance coups against democratic governments in Haiti and Venezuela. Were those governments fairly elected? The 1984 elections were perhaps the freest and fairest in Nicaraguan history. Aristide...won the first free and fair election in the country’s history with 67 percent of the vote. In Venezuela, all of Chavez's victories in elections were monitored and certified by a variety of observers including the Organization of American States, the European Union and the Carter Center.
The war in Iran has already begun. "Iran's leadership proclaims its confidence and ambition but it draws power from a western threat that enables it to target and crush grassroots protest." Opinion and analysis from the authors of Iran on the Brink.
Is the U.S. suffocating reform in Iran? "'Despite sporadic verbal concern with the condition of human rights in Iran, the U.S. is protecting and providing clandestine support to the right-wing conservatives in Iran,' says Sayed Ali Asghar Gharavi, a member of the banned but tolerated Iran Freedom Movement (IFM), the country’s leading opposition party. 'The U.S. government in no way favors the coming to power of the reformist groups in Iran and is secretly supporting the religious conservatives.' Government insiders in Iran allege that the deal, first proffered by British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, is simple: If the hard-liners quietly support the United States in Iraq, Washington will quietly support them. U.S. State Department officials declined to comment." It seems unlikely that the Bush administration would side with the mullahs, but considering the U.S.'s troubled history with Iranian democracy, it's not inconceivable. Perhaps this is why Michael Ledeen's cries of alarm aren't being heeded.