Sunday, November 27, 2005

Blind loyalty (or blind stupidity?)

The Problem with Bush and Cheney's "Faulty Intelligence" Defense

by Kristina Borjesson

(Excerpt) The entire article is lengthy and excellent. Click here to read it.

Then there was the Office of Special Plans [OSP] for advance war planning and media strategy. Created by Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith, it was hidden away on the Pentagon's fifth floor. The OSP operated in secret. Retired Air Force Lieutenant Karen Kwiatkowski, who was on staff there, says, "We were instructed at a staff meeting that this office was not to be discussed or explained and if people in the Joint Staff, among others, asked, we were to offer no comment." One of the OSP's tasks, according to Bamford, was to "target doubters and non-believers in the government, from the CIA to the Secretary of State. Those who wouldn't go along with the OSP's false information [courtesy of Ahmed Chalabi] or agenda, like CIA intelligence experts and General Anthony Zinni, former commander of Middle East Forces, were attacked and put on enemies lists."

The president, vice-president and Ahmed Chalabi weren't necessarily looking for good intelligence, just pro-war intelligence. Chalabi was the administration's pick to head up Iraq after the invasion. Currently wanted in Jordan for embezzling millions of dollars from a bank, he has been serving as Iraq's oil minister. Chalabi is probably still the administration's top pick for running that country, because he has promised to protect U.S. interests and to make a peace deal with Israel.

In 2002, when the Senate Appropriations Committee demanded to know why the State Department was paying Chalabi's INC for intelligence, the INC sent a letter saying that their information was going directly to William Luti in Rumsfeld's office and John Hannah in Cheney's office. The Pentagon's Kwiatkowski confirmed that the OSP had a "very close relationship with Cheney's office" and told Knight Ridder's Jonathan Landay that staff members in Douglas Feith's office were giving talking points and position papers based on the INC's bogus information to conservative columnists and influential journalists.

Then there was the White House Iraq Group, headed up by Bush's chief of staff, Andrew Card, and charged with selling the war to the public. Karl Rove, Condoleezza Rice and Scooter Libby were members of this group. A computer disk leaked in 2002 showed that they were planning a fall media blitz featuring frightening images of mushroom clouds as well as biological and chemical weapons. The blitz began in August. Cheney talked to veterans groups about Iraq's imminent and actual possession of nuclear arms. He always made the nuclear weapons pitch towards the end of his speeches, to leave a lasting impression. When Knight Ridder's Jonathan Landay heard about Cheney's August 26, 2002 speech at a VFW national convention, he called a government source he knew to be well-versed on the issue of Iraq's nuclear capabilities, and the source told Landay flat out: "The vice-president is lying." Three days later, Cheney sold the same bogus message to veterans of the Korean War. Days after that, Cheney and Rice went on television to talk about aluminum tubes and mushroom clouds, pointing to Judith Miller's Chalabi-sourced article entitled, "U.S. Says Hussein Intensifies Quest for A-Bomb Parts."

While Bush and Condi were hitting the airwaves with their "mushroom cloud" speeches, Israeli prime minister Sharon and his top aide, Ra'anan Gissin, were issuing similar dire warnings about Iraq's nuclear, biological and chemical capabilities. The Associated Press reported on a briefing Gissin gave during which he said that Saddam gave Iraq's Atomic Energy Commission orders to speed up their work to make their weapons operational. The AP's headline was: "Israel to U.S., Don't Delay Iraq Attack." This was no coincidence. According to the UK Guardian's Julian Borger, the Office of Special Plans had a mirror office in Israel. Douglas Feith was the liaison between OSP U.S. and OSP Israel.



Kristina Borjesson is the author of the newly released FEET TO THE FIRE: The Media After 9/11, Top Journalists Speak Out, a BuzzFlash Premium. This editorial is largely based on her interviews with national security and intelligence journalists in her book, including James Bamford and Knight Ridder's Jonathan Landay and Warren Strobel. Among the other journalists interviewed for the book were Ron Suskind, Walter Pincus, Barton Gellman, Paul Krugman, Peter Arnett, Helen Thomas, Tom Curley and Ted Koppel.

1 comment:

MnMnM said...

Grand Jury testimony of Bob Woodward, longtime Washington Post editor, leaked by Rove-ing reporter (humor).

It is posted at: Bob Woodward Tells Grand Jury Who Leaked First
Bobbing and weaving, a tangled web we do. Book him, Danno.
Please keep my identity a secret. Double super Secret.
Middle-aged, Middle-of-the-road, Mid-Westerner

We can only hope that Fitz doesn't fizzle.
I think Mr. Fitzgerald's motto should be: "If you do a white collar crime then you will serve blue collar time." Look where he lodged Judith Miller. A few months in a blue collar jail and she was ready to sing. Unfortunately, she says she forgot the words

The Times & Post They Should Be A-Changin

Bloggers Request:

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the Times & Post should be a-changin'.

Good Bye Sulzberger, Keller, Miller, and Woodward!

Fitzgerald's response:

Come politician's, journalists
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled

There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For a new jury and more indictments are a-comin'