Iraq Again: Questions Raised About Bush's Intelligence
New record set today: this will the Stillwater Tribune’s fourth piece in a row on Iraq. I can’t help it; the news gets crazier and crazier.
It was revealed yesterday that prior to the invasion--during the public relations run-up to the war--there was a lack of credible intelligence indicating a relationship between Saddam Hussein’s regime and Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda.
(Which reminds me of a funny Bush joke I just heard; not my material, but here it is:
“When Bush heard that Barak Obama was in New Hampshire last week, he got all excited and said: “Did we catch him?”)
It’s 2002. The Bush administration is desperate to sell the American people on the idea of attacking Iraq. To do that, they need to show that there was some kind of partnership between Saddam and al Qaeda. But the CIA and our other intelligence agencies have done the research, issued their reports, and could find no evidence of such a partnership.
So what do you do if you’re Bush and you’ve simply got to sell the country on this BS accusation? You create a BRAND NEW intelligence agency, run by pro-war Bush administration insiders, FOR THE SPECIFIC PURPOSE OF ISSUING INTELLIGENCE THAT SAYS THERE “IS” A PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN SADDAM AND AL QAEDA!
Imagine the conversation inside the Bush administration back then:
-----It’s f---ing brilliant is what it is; it’s a scheme worthy of Sergeant Bilko himself. Our official intelligence agencies won’t come to findings we need to start a war? They say there’s no evidence of any “mature, symbiotic relationship” between Iraq and al Qaeda—So what? We’ll just create a NEW intelligence agency to issue reports that say there IS!
----Where do we do it?
----The Pentagon, of course. Rumsfeld runs the Pentagon, he’s got the Pentagon under his thumb and he's a Bush man to the core. He’s got an unlimited budget, it’s a snap, they got so much money over there that Rummie could create a new intelligence department out of the change they use for coffee and donuts.
----But won’t he get ethical objections from his deputy?
----HA! You schmuck, his deputy at the Pentagon is PAUL WOLFOWITZ! Ethics? He’s even hotter for a war in Iraq than Bush and Rumsfeld!
----But who would be such a sleazeball that he would agree to head some kind of “fake” new intelligence agency created for the sole purpose of presenting war propaganda that has no basis in reality?
----Doug Feith, of course! Rumsfeld’s undersecretary for policy. He’ll produce anything we tell him, he’ll produce intelligence that says Michael Jackson would be a great babysitter, if we tell him to. Now let’s see…we need a bunch of offices in the Pentagon, no problem, they’re still re-building…We’ll call it--the “Definitely A Saddam/Al Qaeda Link Intelligence Producing Agency”—nah, too obvious. How about… “The Defense Department Policy Agency”…that’s plain vanilla, good, good--
----But they won’t be producing real intelligence! These aren’t real intelligence people, these are political appointees of the Bush administration! No one’s going to believe these are “intelligence findings” if the authors are a bunch of pro-war Bush hacks--
----Dummy, it’s not going to have the Bush administration’s name on it—it’s going to have the PENTAGON’S name on it! That’s the beautiful part, don’t you get it? This will be a real, live intelligence report that says there IS evidence of Saddam/al Qaeda partnership, and it will be AN OFFICIAL PENTAGON FINDING!
----But all you’d be doing is laundering the administration’s unsubstantiated pro-war propaganda through the Pentagon to make it look as if it had some kind of official credibility—
----EXACTLY! Now you’re starting to get it. Let’s see—we’ll need a Xerox machine, some “Official Pentagon Intelligence Finding” stationery…some paper clips--
----But it’s not real! It’s not a real intelligence finding at all, you’re just calling it “intelligence,”—In fact, it conflicts with the REAL intelligence we’ve got from the CIA and the other national security agencies—
----You’re not a team player, are you?
----But what if some day the Democrats get control of Congress, and they interview a Pentagon inspector general, and the inspector general reveals that all were doing during the run-up to the war was passing off a bunch of pro-war lies and bullshit as “intelligence findings?”
---That could never happen.
----Oh no? Read THIS.