From Pensito Review
Downing Street Memo Redux: DoD Provides New Evidence of Bush ‘Fixing’ Pre-War Intel
Posted by Jon Ponder | Apr. 6, 2007, 11:53 am
There is a new report out from the inspector general at the Dept. of Defense that provides clear evidence that senior Bush officials at DoD “fixed” the pre-war intelligence on Iraq to suit their policy of fictitiously connecting Saddam Hussein to al Qaeda’s attacks on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, in order to motivate the public to go to war against Iraq.
In particular, the IG’s report includes a January 2002 memo from Paul Wolfowitz, the neocon architect of the war who was then deputy defense secretary, written to Douglas Feith, DoD’s number three official:
“We don’t seem to be making much progress pulling together intelligence on links between Iraq and Al Qaeda,” Wolfowitz wrote…
Using Pentagon jargon for the secretary of Defense, Donald H. Rumsfeld, he added: “We owe SecDef some analysis of this subject. Please give me a recommendation on how best to proceed. Appreciate the short turn-around.”
…The memo marked the beginnings of what would become a controversial yearlong Pentagon project supervised by Feith to convince the most senior members of the Bush administration that Hussein and Al Qaeda were linked — a conclusion that was hotly disputed by U.S. intelligence agencies at the time and has been discredited in the years since.
What this brings to mind, of course, is a key section of the Downing Street Memo:
[Unnamed British official “C”] reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime’s record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.
You recall that the “memo” was actually the minutes of a meeting of top officials in Tony Blair’s government in July 2002 — seven months into the “yearlong project” to link Saddam and 9/11.
When the memo was leaked in May 2005, the mainstream media ignored it for weeks. As I recall it, its release dd not make the front page of the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the Washington Post or any major U.S. daily paper. When the memo finally made it into the news, the Gang of 500 dismissed it, as did rightwingers like comedian comedian Rush Limbaugh:
I purposely haven’t talked about this Downing Street memo much because, frankly, A, it didn’t interest me. And, you know, if it doesn’t interest me I’m not going to talk about it. And the reason it didn’t interest me is because it was just another one of these ginned up things by the libs…
Wrong again, Rush. And yet, while it’s nice to (once again) get proof of Bush’s skulllduggery, this revelation (once again) amounts to little more than cold comfort.
A normal president would be held accountable if proof were offered from within his own government that his team deliberately falsified intelligence in order to trick the country into going to war. And yet this revelation yesterday is barely even news.