So this was what Junior was talking about ….
Feith-based intelligence: Before the Invasion, There Was Feith
by Robert Scheer
February 18, 2007
Someday, you are going to read a whole lot about the shenanigans of one Douglas J. Feith and an elaborate scheme to get the United States to invade Iraq. That is because Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., has been determined to get to the bottom of this sordid tale and is now, fortunately, head of the Senate Armed Services Committee and thereby empowered to get at the truth.
Last week, his focus led to the partial declassification of a report produced by the Pentagon’s inspector general. Although its shocking revelations did not get the coverage they deserved — what with a jealous astronaut under arrest and the death of a certain voluptuous stripper/heiress — efforts such as Levin’s eventually will uncover the full picture of why President Bush committed to a war costing tens of thousands of lives and an expected $1 trillion that served no valid national security purpose.
The tale begins with Feith, who was appointed undersecretary of defense for policy in the Pentagon by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld after Bush was installed in the White House in 2000 by the Supreme Court. Feith’s office manufactured an “Alternative Analysis on the Iraq-Al Qaeda Relationship,” which ignored the consensus of the intelligence community that the two natural enemies — one a secular Arab government, the other a fundamentalist terror group bent on destruction of same — were not, nor ever had been, working together, despite a shared enmity for the United States.
Most important, as the Pentagon’s independent inspector general noted, the intelligence did not support any connection between Saddam Hussein’s regime and the brutal Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Nevertheless, such an apocryphal connection was asserted repeatedly by the Bush administration based largely on the cherry-picked information compiled and presented by Feith’s highly ideological group within the Pentagon.
“[I]ntelligence indicates cooperation in all categories” and a “mature symbiotic relationship” between Iraq and al-Qaida, Feith conveniently reported to superiors who had already decided on the need to overthrow Saddam and were seeking a way to link it to Americans’ rage at Osama bin Laden. These alleged “multiple areas of cooperation” included “shared interest and pursuit” of weapons of mass destruction and “some indications of possible Iraq coordination with al Qaeda related to 9/11.” All of those claims were known by the intelligence community to be false or completely unproven, as documented by the nonpartisan 9/11 commission. Yet, they were presented by Feith’s office “unbeknownst to the Director of Central Intelligence,” according to the report, were “not vetted by the Intelligence Community” and were “not supported by the available intelligence.”
Read the rest here.