Barbara Lee: No covert action in Iraq

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, yesterday introduced H.R. 6951, the “Transparent Actions over Covert Tactics in Iran Act of 2008” (“TACT in Iran Act” — ah, political acronyms!), which would bar the Central Intelligence Agency and the Department of Defense from providing covert or clandestine support, including military training or advice or equipment for military activities, for the purpose of overthrowing Iran’s government.

Lee says her bill “will send a loud message that the United States again recognizes the importance of diplomatic engagement and smart power as the preferred instruments for advancing American interests. Covert action by the United States to destabilize the Iranian regime would be reckless and contrary to both international law and U.S. interests.”

“My legislation will help repair the damage done to our nation’s reputation in the world by making it clear that it is not a policy of the United States to undermine or overthrow by covert or clandestine means the government of Iran,” she said.

The bill’s six original co-sponsors include Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma, with whom Lee co-chairs the Congressional Progressive Caucus. It has been referred to the House Armed Services and Intelligence committees.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.