19.12.06

Assassinating Gemeyel and blaming Syria was just a start for Bush | Syria in Bush's Crosshairs

TIME.com: Syria in Bush's Crosshairs:

American officials say the U.S. government has had extensive contacts with a range of anti-Assad groups in Washington, Europe and inside Syria. To give momemtum to that opposition, the U.S. is giving serious consideration to the election- monitoring scheme proposed in the document, according to several officials. The proposal has not yet been approved, in part because of questions over whether the Syrian elections will be delayed or even cancelled. But one U.S. official familiar with the proposal said: 'You are forced to wonder whether we are now trying to destabilize the Syrian government.'

Some critics in Congress and the Administration say that such a plan, meant to secretly influence a foreign government, should be legally deemed a 'covert action,' which by law would then require that the White House inform the intelligence committees on Capitol Hill. Some in Congress would undoubtedly raise objections to this secret use of publicly appropriated funds to promote democracy.

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