Iran, the Associated Press, and Covert-War of 'Imperial Mobilization'

Iran, the Associated Press, and Covert-War of 'Imperial Mobilization'

(The synthesis and propagation of 'doctrinal motivation' for 'war on terror')

Zahir Ebrahim

April 13, 2008.

PDF of a condensed version (1976 words) for print syndication is archived at

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Letter to Editor: Iran, the Associated Press, and Covert-War of 'Imperial Mobilization'

April 13, 2008.

In the Associated Press wire story of April 12, 2008 (cached) dispatched from Shiraz Iran by AP writer Ali Akbar Dareini, headlined “Bomb Kills 9 at Mosque in Southern Iran” and echoed across the United States from Fredericksburg to Oregon and on all the internet news reflectors from AOL to Yahoo reaching throughout the globe, and subsequently, within a few hours, on April 13, 2008, re-titledIran dismisses sabotage in mosque blast” by another AP writer Nasser Karimi, there is a crucial omission in both that will be entirely lost in the memoryless United States of America unless specifically pointed out.

The first AP report of the bomb explosion, after describing the fast breaking event, editorialized as follows to supposedly give a larger overarching context to the reader:

Bombings are unusual in Shiraz, a major draw for foreign tourists who come to see the ruins of nearby Persepolis, an ancient Persian kingdom that was a center for ceremonies and worship. No one claimed responsibility for the attack.

Iran has faced several ethnic and religious insurgencies that have been behind rare but deadly attacks in recent years — though none have amounted to a serious threat to the government.

In February 2007, a car loaded with explosives blew up near a bus carrying members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, killing 11 of them and wounding more than 30 in southeastern Iran. A Sunni militant group that has been blamed for past attacks on Iranian troops claimed responsibility.

Some believe the group, known as Jundallah, is linked to al-Qaida. Jundallah, or God's Brigade, has waged a low-level insurgency in southeastern Iran.

Besides the violence in the southeast, ethnic Arab Sunni militants have been blamed for bombings in the western city of Ahvaz near the border of Iraq — including blasts in 2006 that killed nine people. ...

The fundamentalist Wahabi strain of Islam considers Shiites heretics and Iran is dominated by Shiite Muslims. Wahabis are suspected of having influence over some militants waging the insurgency in Iraq.

Please note that it appears quite comprehensive in its gamut – pretty much accounting for everything, from “insurgency” to “fundamentalism” to “terrorism” to “Jundallah” to the Muslim on Muslim violence bred from “radical Islamism” (although that last semantically loaded terminology is itself not employed). One might say it is as comprehensive in its attempt to capture the significant and essential contexts in a quick birds eye view as is possible in the limited word-space of urgent fast-breaking wire news. So what's the crucial omission?

Before analyzing this further, just for completeness, the second AP report of today, which mainly only offered the latest update on the calamity without editorializing any additional contexts, noted the following:

Iranian officials on Sunday ruled out an attack as the cause of an explosion that killed 11 people inside a mosque in the southern city of Shiraz. ... The police chief of the southern Fars Province, Gen. Ali Moayyedi, said he "rejects" the possibility of an intentional bombing and "any sort of insurgency" in the blast. ... Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini said Sunday that no group has claimed responsibility for the explosion.

Since this only transpired less than 24-hours ago, more is sure to be reported. The subject here is only the editorializing in the first AP report and what's missing in it.

While constructing a comprehensive forensic analysis and rational solution-space for the urgent problem of the apparent full spectrum destabilization of Pakistan at the time of Benazir Bhutto's grotesque assassination that was being blamed upon the ubiquitous 'Al Qaeeda', Project HumanbeingsfirstTM had compiled the following short-list of news reports on what was publicly known at the time about the systematic destabilization of its next-door neighbor, the equally beleaguered Iran.

In the context of the 'trumpeting elephant in the bedroom' omission in the AP news report quoted above, it appears useful to rehearse a few sentences from that short-list here.

Jundallah and American covert-ops inside Iran, as publicly reported; a snapshot:

September 18, 2006 ‘We Are Conducting Military Operations Inside Iran Right Now. The Evidence Is Overwhelming' CNN report with Air Force Col. Sam Gardiner (Ret.)

Gardiner: It’s been given. In fact, we’ve probably been executing military operations inside Iran for at least 18 months. The evidence is overwhelming

March 8, 2007 CIA funds terrorist operations against Iran

Responsibility for the attack was claimed by Jundallah (Party of God), a Pakistan-based Baluchi separatist group. ...

The February 26 London Sunday Telegraph reported: “America is secretly funding militant ethnic separatist groups in Iran … The operations are controversial because they involve dealing with movements that resort to terrorist methods in pursuit of their grievances against the Iranian regime …

Funding for their separatist causes comes directly from the CIA’s classified budget but is now ‘no great secret’, according to one former high-ranking CIA official in Washington who spoke anonymously to the Sunday Telegraph.

His claims were backed by Fred Burton, a former US state department counter-terrorism agent, who said: ‘The latest attacks inside Iran fall in line with US efforts to supply and train Iran’s ethnic minorities to destabilise the Iranian regime.’ ...

In an article in the Washington Quarterly magazine’s first issue for 2007, John Bradley, the former managing editor of the Saudi Arabia-based Arab News, wrote that Baluchistan province is “particularly crucial for Iran’s national security as it borders Sunni Pakistan and US-occupied Afghanistan … In fact, the Sunni Balochi resistance could prove valuable to Western intelligence agencies with an interest in destabilizing the hardline regime in Tehran …

The Pentagon”, Bradely wrote, “is especially interested in whether Iran is prone to a violent fragmentation along the same kinds of faultlines that are splitting Iraq and that helped to tear apart the Soviet Union with the collapse of communism.”

March 25, 2007 Subverting Iran Washington’s Covert War inside Iran

Much attention has been given to the Bush Administration’s preparations for possible war against Iran as well as its drive to impose sanctions. Meanwhile, a less noticed policy has been unfolding, one that may in time prove to have grave consequences for the region. There is a covert war underway in Iran, still in its infancy, but with disturbing signs of impending escalation. In the shadowy world of guerrilla operations, the full extent of involvement by the Bush Administration has yet to be revealed, but enough is known to paint a disturbing picture.

April 03, 2007 ABC News Exclusive: The Secret War Against Iran

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.

April 04. 2007 CIA hires terrorist group to operate inside Iran

New York, April 4, IRNA - Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has hired a Pakistani terrorist group that has carried out a series of deadly terrorist attacks inside Iran, ABC News has reported on Wednesday.

The group, members of the Baluchi tribe, operates from Pakistan's province of Baluchestan, just across the border from Iran.

ABC cited US government sources it did not identify as saying the US has maintained close ties to its leader, Abdel-Malik Regi, since 2005.

The group, called Jundullah, has carried out raids, resulting in the deaths or kidnapping of Iranian ordinary people as well as soldiers and officials.

April 05, 2007 US backing 'secret war' against Iran?

An analysis by Strafor, a global intelligence consulting firm based in Texas, noting that Jundullah has stepped up its attacks recently, says that the US could be using Jundullah as a "poking device" against Iran.

U.S. support for Jundallah fits into the larger picture of U.S.-Iranian negotiations over Iraq. Iran has made painfully clear that it has -- and can use -- a variety of militant assets throughout the region to pressure Washington to meets its demands in Iraq. At the same time, the United States has an interest in demonstrating that it has friends among Iran's minority groups to gather intelligence, stir up public unrest and distract the clerical regime from its Iraqi agenda.

April 10, 2007 Active CIA Terrorist Cells operate inside Iran

The past year witnessed a series of attacks targeting ethnic minority border areas of Iran. Relentless violence, including bombing and assassination campaigns against soldiers and government officials, resulted in a chaotic situation in the country that left a negative impact on the image of the current government. Aid to separatists and radical groups comes directly from the CIA's classified budget but is now no great secret.

April 2007 Through the Veil: The Role of Broadcasting in U.S. Public Diplomacy toward Iranians

From widespread mistranslation on the State Department's Persian website to terrorists appearing on Voice of America as "political activists," these flaws are keeping U.S. government broadcasting from effectively reaching the Iranian people.

May 23, 2007 Bush Authorizes New Covert Action against Iran

'A report broadcast on Iranian TV last Sunday said Iranian authorities had captured 10 men crossing the border with $500,000 in cash along with “maps of sensitive areas” and “modern spy equipment.” A senior Pakistani official told the 10 men were members of Jundullah. The leader of the Jundullah group, according to the Pakistani official, has been recruiting and training “hundreds of men” for “unspecified missions” across the border in Iran.'

May 24, 2007 More Bad Intelligence on Iran and Iraq

Time magazine: Both cases show how the Administration is still trying to manipulate intelligence to further its strategic goals. ABC says that Deputy National Security Advisor Elliot Abrams is behind the covert action against Iran,

June 10, 2007 Iran protests over US ‘spy networks’

TEHRAN, June 9: Iran has handed an official protest to the United Nations accusing the United States of supporting a militant group and creating spy networks inside the country, media reported on Saturday. The protest, addressed to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, accuses the United States of supporting Jundallah, an outlawed armed group blamed for deadly attacks in Iran's southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan province.

July 09, 2007 U.S. Support for the Iranian Opposition

Some reports indicate that U.S. financial support is in fact aimed at regime change and goes beyond the allocated $75 million. In May, ABC News reported that the CIA had hired Jundallah, a Pakistan-backed Baluchi group, to carry out sabotage operations inside Iran. (Later, ABC reported that President Bush had in fact authorized a covert CIA program against the regime.) ... In addition to public and covert funding of Iranian opposition groups, the United States also supports individual dissidents through various means.

July 11, 2007 Will the real Al Qaeda please step forward?

ABC News (US) reports that the Americans claim they are not providing direct funding to Jundallah (although they admit its leadership has met regularly with US officials), but that they find the alliance convenient for various reasons:

A senior U.S. government official said groups such as Jundullah have been helpful in tracking al Qaeda figures and that it was appropriate for the U.S. to deal with such groups in that context. Some former CIA officers [however] say the arrangement is reminiscent of how the U.S. government used proxy armies, funded by other countries including Saudi Arabia, to destabilize the government of Nicaragua in the 1980s.

July 24, 2007 The NYT, Doing What It Does Best: “Covering” War

Eleven members of the Revolutionary Guards have been killed in clashes with drug smugglers in southeast Iran near the border with Pakistan . . . Nine others were wounded. The clashes occurred Thursday in a mountainous area in southeastern Sistan and Baluchestan Province after drug smugglers ambushed a group of Revolutionary Guards . . . The drug smugglers left without casualties, the [Fars News Agency] said.”

As should be rather self-evident from this snapshot that spans almost a year worth of reporting, the reality when 'Alice' is wide awake is quite otherwise from that projected by the Associated Press correspondent from the 'unbirthday party' table. This coverage of the 'Mad Hatter's' rampage is also consistent with the last of the afore-cited items from the New York Times which refined the wonderful tale at the 'unbirthday party' to additionally include “drug smugglers” who have the fire-power to overwhelm and kill eleven members of an Armed Forces service without suffering any casualties. How the Fars News Agency knew they were “drug smugglers”, since all “left without casualties”, is of course irrelevant to when 'Alice' is awake.

The obvious journalistic point to make here is that such a profoundly blatant omission of the most significant context, 'the highest order bit' so to speak, of the 'empire' itself secretly cultivating the 'pirates' in order to continually wage a war of aggression upon other nations through various superpower instruments of coercion, is an excellent example of manufacturing consent in the West for its global “War on Terror” against all shades of 'Islamist terrorists' as being real and un-fabricated.

The un-subtle purpose is to continually lend substance, at every opportunity, to the “doctrinal motivation and intellectual commitment” du jour being employed for “imperial mobilization”.

The ubiquitous Associated Press wire-news service which seeds most of the world's news headlines, is dutifully playing its instrumental role in this process of aiding and abetting in perpetuating doctrinal mythologies. With of course, help in no small measure, from the apparent endless supply of 'native informants' on AP's worldwide payrolls.

In the AP report under scrutiny, all immanent possibilities and speculations except of course the grotesquely real one, were surveyed by the knowledgeable AP writer to ostensibly provide a useful overarching context for the hideous bomb explosion that killed 9 innocent civilians and injured over 100 others inside the very sanctity of their own place of worship. How horrible – who could have possibly done it?

Only the 'radical Islamists' of course, fighting among themselves like barbarians! Since it has indeed been positively shocking how “so many people in the West still don't believe that they are at war [with] .. radical Islam”, as America's favored son Daniel Pipes had lamented, perhaps now the West, and especially the American public, will believe that indeed, it's not a Clash of Civilizations, It's a Clash between the Civilized World and Barbarians!

Thank you.

Zahir Ebrahim



The author, an ordinary researcher and writer on contemporary geopolitics, a minor justice activist, grew up in Pakistan, studied EECS at MIT, engineered for a while in high-tech Silicon Valley (patents here), and retired early to pursue other responsible interests. His maiden 2003 book was rejected by six publishers and can be read on the web at He may be reached at

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Iran, the Associated Press, 9/9 and Covert-War of 'Imperial Mobilization'