If it wasn't so pathetic it might be mildly comedic to read this piece in the Washington Post by Douglas Feith.
The IG, Thomas Gimble, focused on a single Pentagon briefing from 2002 -- a critique of the CIA's work on the Iraq-al-Qaeda relationship. His report concluded that the work my office generated was entirely lawful and authorized, and that Sen. Carl Levin was wrong to allege that we misled Congress.Hold it. That's Feith's interpretation of the way the Pentagon's inspector general stated things. In fact, the report was couched in a highly diplomatic language and Feith, who was largely responsible for "cooking" the intelligence for the Bush administration's march to war with Iraq, is trying, once again to distort the facts.
Gimble made Levin happy, however, by calling the Pentagon briefing "inappropriate," a word the senator has whipped into a political lather. At issue is a simple but critical question: whether policy officials should be free to raise questions about CIA work. In Gimble's opinion, apparently, the answer is no. I disagree.Wow! Talk about a leap around the board.
The CIA has a hard job. Some of its work has been good; some has been famously and disastrously bad, as everyone familiar with the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction fiasco knows. Intelligence is inherently sketchy and speculative -- and historically often wrong. It is improved when policy officials freely probe and challenge it.
In evaluating our policy toward Iraq after Sept. 11, 2001, my office realized that CIA analysts were suppressing some of their information. They excluded reports conflicting with their favored theory: that the secular Iraqi Baathist regime would not cooperate with al-Qaeda jihadists. (We now face a strategic alliance of jihadists and former Baathists in Iraq.) Pentagon officials did not buy that theory, and in 2002 they gave a briefing that reflected their skepticism. Their aim was not to enthrone a different theory, but to urge the CIA not to exclude any relevant information from what it provided to policymakers. Only four top-level government officials received the briefing: Donald Rumsfeld, George Tenet, and (together) Stephen Hadley and I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.
First, the IG report was critical of Feith's office, not for disagreeing with the CIA, but for developing an alternative analysis which the CIA would not support. Feith manufactured a completely different theory which he then submitted to the Bushies without first having the established intelligence community survey and report back on the information.The information Feith says the CIA was suppressing is pure fiction. It either didn't exist or the material was completely untrustworthy. It is the untrustworthy information which Feith decided to use as a basis for forming a mythical link between Al Qa'ida and Saddam.
Secondly, Feith, in an attempt to defend his defiance of the CIA position that Al Qa'ida and secular Baathists would not form an alliance, points to a current situation which he seems to feel is valid. What he doesn't tell you, of course, is that there really is no jihadist/baathist alliance today. The insurgency in Iraq, to which we must all assume he is referring, is split along Shi'a/Sunni religious lines and the baathists are almost exclusively Sunni. US intelligence has already discounted any grand alliance between the jihadis and baathists which means Feith is once again manufacturing a condition on absolutely no evidence. Just yesterday he told Wolf Blitzer that he hadn't "been in government for the last year and a half. There may be some more intelligence on that subject."
Right. In other words, he doesn't have a fucking clue. He defends himself by producing his view of a situation today and then defends his wild assumption by saying he's not privy to current intelligence.
That's how he did it when he was running the Office of Special Plans! He invented the scenario, al Qa'ida allied with Saddam, by stating that he had to make that assumption because he believed he wasn't getting the intelligence to support his assumption.
Tommy Franks called Douglas Feith, "The fucking stupidist guy on the face of the earth."
Yeah, he is, but he's also a pathological liar. He is still using the same deceptive methods of his Pentagon days to defend his actions today.
The truth is, Feith is now a fall-guy for the Bush administration. It is nearly impossible to accept that the rest of the cabal wasn't completely involved in the manufacture of intelligence. Cheney and Rumsfeld picked Feith to do the heavy lifting. Bush, too stupid to critically analyse Feith's products, had to be involved in the cookery. Otherwise, he would have sent Feith's briefings to the appropriate intelligence agency for vetting - the CIA.
Feith shouldn't be left holding the bag on his own. The entire Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld operation was in on this. Paul Wolfowitz is deeply involved and the political advisors, Karl Rove and I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby promoted the idea of circumventing the inconvenient assessments of the CIA.
There is one truth which is easy to deduce: They all lied and this column by Feith and his interview on CNN support that presumption.
That's why, as the Bush administration tries to lay out a case for attacking Iran, nobody is going to bite. The facts are out and the facts illuminate the outright lies which were used to justify the invasion of Iraq.
Bushco has another problem, however. While I don't believe Bush is beyond defying Congress and the public by attacking Iran anyway, there is a great ugly spear being held to his throat.
It's Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, General Peter Pace.
Pace has been defying the administration line. There is some serious back-peddling taking place as the White House withdraws from the position it held just this last Sunday, when a field briefing on Iranian supplied weapons was presented. Pace is being allowed to continue his stance that there is no substantive evidence to support the idea that the Iranian government is involved in supplying weapons to Iraqi insurgents. And the White House is being forced to admit that Pace is right.
Why would that happen?
General Peter Pace has been in possession of the entire Pentagon Inspector General's report since it was delivered. We have only heard of the few recently declassified portions. Pace has had the whole thing for some time and he knows the US military was lied into a war. Further, the Bush administration knows he knows.
Pace has over 3000 dead, tens of thousand of wounded and a force depleted to unacceptable levels because of a lie. He isn't going to let them do it again. He's going to want solid, verifiable, high-quality intelligence. He has the IG report as the ultimate weapon to defend against an illegal move against Iran. He has proof of how Bushco does business.
I do believe George and Dick are fucking with the wrong marine.