GOP Candidates Criticize ABC News Report on CIA-Iran Plan

Two Republican presidential candidates today criticized the ABC News report Tuesday about the CIA's covert plan to destabilize the Iranian regime.

"I was shocked to see the ABC News report regarding covert action in Iran," Mitt Romney said as he opened a session with reporters in Tulsa, Okla.

Congressman Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., called for an investigation into who leaked the information and "condemned" ABC News for "running the story which could jeopardize American lives."

The ABC News story reported that President Bush had given the CIA authorization to conduct a nonlethal covert action against Iran involving propaganda, disinformation and the manipulation of Iran's international banking transactions.

"The reporting has the potential of jeopardizing our national security. To put it quite plainly, it has the potential of affecting human life, we may never know," Romney said.

Romney said he had called ABC News president David Westin to register his concerns.

In a statement ABC News said, "In the six days since we first contacted the CIA and the White House, at no time did they indicate that broadcasting this report would jeopardize lives or operations on the ground. ABC News management gave them the repeated opportunity to make whatever objection they wanted to regarding our report. They chose not to."

ABC News said, "This piece was very carefully reported, and it puts solid facts on the table concerning a crucial foreign policy challenge facing the United States and the world."

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