By Walter C. Uhler
01/21/06 "ICH" -- -- Except in the
cynical, zealous or spiritually clouded minds of
his right wing devotees, it's become a
well-established (if under reported) fact that
President George W. Bush is a serial liar, if
not a congenital liar.1 For example,
after The New York Times very belatedly
leaked Mr. Bush's unconstitutional order
permitting the National Security Agency to
eavesdrop on U.S. citizens without obtaining the
required court-approved warrants, Bush defended
his directive as a "vital tool" in the war
But, as liars commonly do, Bush seems to have
forgotten that in April 2004 he told an audience
in Buffalo, New York: "When we're talking about
chasing down terrorists, we're talking about
getting a court order before we do so." He also
told the audience that precisely because it was
"the United States government talking about
wiretap," Americans could rest assured that
"constitutional guarantees are in place." 2
Obviously, that specific lie pales when
compared with Bush's willful violation of the
Bill of Rights, and thus his oath to defend the
Constitution -- clearly an impeachable offense.
But, even that impeachable offense pales when
compared with the heinous crime of spewing lies
to scare Americans into supporting war against
an enfeebled Iraq. Yet, Americans have failed to
impeach him for that crime, in part, because
more lies are being told to cover it up.
In fact, Bush lied on December 14, 2005, when
discussing what intelligence was available to
Congress, when it voted to support his decision
to invade Iraq. Bush lied when he asserted:
"Some of the most irresponsible comments - about
manipulated intelligence - have come from
politicians who saw the same intelligence I saw
and then voted to authorize the use of force
against Saddam Hussein." 3
Mr. Bush, of course, was referring to the
hastily crafted classified National Intelligence
Estimate (NIE) of October 2002, the classified
briefings to Congress that accompanied the NIE
and the declassified White Paper, issued a few
days after the NIE. All were made available to
Congress. (The extremely alarmist White Paper
lacked the caveats and doubts found in the NIE,
which became understandable, once people learned
that the White Paper had its origins in the
White House's desire to mobilize the public for
war. Fabrication of the White Paper actually
commenced prior to and independent of the NIE.)
Yet, Bush knew his assertion was false. And
so do readers of Bob Woodward's book, Plan of
Attack. For, as Woodward tells us, President
Bush received additional briefings both before
and after the October NIE and Congressional
vote, including the now infamous briefing on
December 21, 2002.
It was after the CIA presented him with "The
Case on WMD as it might be presented to a jury
with Top Secret security clearances," on
December 21st, that Bush said: "Nice try…I don't
think this is quite--it's not something that Joe
Public would understand or would gain a lot of
confidence from." 4 According to
Woodward, "Bush turned to Tenet. 'I've been told
all this intelligence about having WMD and this
is the best we've got?'" 5
Infamously, Tenet assured Bush, "It's a slam
dunk case!" 6
That entire episode raises a host of
questions about both the value of the October
NIE, as well as the formal post-invasion
investigations that focused on the NIE. It also
lends plausibility to the assertion made by
former CIA agent, Ray McGovern, that, when Tenet
requested the White House's permission to
conduct a NIE, he "got the go-ahead - on one
condition: that the estimate's judgments had to
parallel those in Cheney's August speech."
But, for those needing more proof that Bush
lied on December 14, 2005, note that the
Congressional Research Service (CSR) released a
report the next day that concluded: "The
President and a small number of presidentially
designated cabinet-level officials, including
the vice president …have access to a far greater
overall volume of intelligence and to more
sensitive information, including intelligence
sources and methods." 8 In all, the
report identified "nine key U.S. intelligence
'products' not generally shared with Congress."
Presumably, that CSR report did not count the
intelligence "products" -- falsely linking
Saddam Hussein to al Qaeda -- that were
concocted for the Bush administration by Douglas
Feith's "rogue" intelligence cell, the Policy
Counterterrorism Evaluation Group (PCEG).
"Falsely linking?" Yes, on July 22, 2004, the
9/11 Commission published its comprehensive
"Final Report of the National Commission on
Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States."
Although it acknowledged some evidence of
contacts between Saddam Hussein's Iraqi regime
and Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda terrorists, it
emphasized, "To date we have seen no evidence
that these or the earlier contacts ever
developed into a collaborative operational
relationship. Nor have we seen evidence
indicating that Iraq cooperated with al-Qaeda in
developing or carrying out any attacks against
the United States" 10
Thus, the 9/11 Commission punched a gaping
hole in the Bush administration's repeated
prewar assertions that America faced a grave and
growing danger from the looming possibility that
Saddam Hussein, given his significant ties to al
Qaeda, might provide weapons of mass destruction
(WMD) to a terrorist organization committed to
attacking the United States. We now know that
Saddam had no significant ties to al Qaeda.
Nevertheless, on 17 June 2004, in order to
minimize the devastating impact of that
impending 9/11 Commission Report, Bush lied
again. He insisted, "there was a relationship."
11 But, remember, this is the same
inveterate liar and dissembling weasel who was
exposed by ABC's Diane Sawyer on December 2003.
Then, as you probably recall, Sawyer pressed
Bush about justifying a war to the American
public by stating "as a hard fact, that there
were weapons of mass destruction as opposed to
the possibility that he [Saddam] could move to
acquire those weapons." Bush weaseled out by
asking: "So what's the difference?" 12
Two months later, Bush weaseled again, when
he justified his illegal, immoral invasion (to
Tim Russert, of Meet the Press) by
asserting: "Saddam Hussein was dangerous, and so
I'm not going [sic] leave him in power and trust
a madman…He had the ability to make weapons, at
the very minimum." 13 In other words,
America now invades countries simply because
they have the "ability" to make weapons - if you
take the words of our Commander-in-Chief at face
The 9/11 Commission's Report
specifically rebutted Vice President Cheney's
favorite canard: that one of the 9/11 hijackers,
Mohammed Atta, met with an Iraqi diplomat at the
Iraqi Embassy in Prague on April 9, 2001. The
report noted: "The FBI has gathered evidence
indicating that Atta was in Virginia Beach on
April 4 (as evidenced by a bank surveillance
camera photo), and in Coral Springs, Florida on
April 11, where he …leased an apartment. On
April 6, 9, 10 and 11, Atta's cellular telephone
was used numerous times to call various lodging
establishments in Florida from cell sites within
We now know that, as early as May 2002, FBI
and CIA analysts had "scoured thousands of
travel records" before concluding, "There was no
evidence Atta left or returned to the U.S."
15 Moreover, on June 21, 2002 the CIA
published Iraq and al-Qaeda: Interpreting a
Murky Relationship, which concluded that the
meeting "likely never occurred." 16
So why, in September 2002, was Vice President
Cheney falsely asserting on Meet the Press
that evidence of Atta in Prague with "a senior
Iraqi intelligence official," was deemed
"credible" by the CIA? 17
The brief answer is: Because Douglas Feith's
PCEG (which would merge into the Office of
Special Plans) was still feeding him the bogus
intelligence that confirmed what he already
"knew." The PCEG did not simply "study the
policy implications of relationships among
terrorist organizations and their sources of
support," as Feith falsely testified to the
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI),
but also "reviewed both raw and finished
intelligence and did undertake their own
intelligence analysis after looking at the IC
[Intelligence Community] products and
discovering that what they needed had not been
produced by the IC." 18
What's worse, without exception, Feith's PCEG
produced intelligence products that consistently
exaggerated the number, type, significance and
danger of the ties it found between Iraq and al
Qaeda. And although it was wrong on every one of
its assessments, not one of its errors resulted
in underestimating the threat. This pattern of
errors in one direction suggests fraud and the
'fixing" of intelligence, not mere incompetence.
But, thanks to the intervention of Feith's
boss, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz,
the politicized intelligence gathered by this
rogue "Iraqi intelligence cell in the OUSD(P)"
19 -- "rogue," because it was
operating outside the established intelligence
agencies funded by Congress and subject to
congressional oversight -- was presented to (and
impressed) Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld,
briefed to Director of Central Intelligence,
George Tenet (but minus the slide disparaging
the CIA), and ultimately presented to
Condoleezza Rice's deputy (Stephen Hadley) and
Cheney's Chief of Staff, "Scooter" Libby. That
last briefing took place without the knowledge
Moreover, as Senator Carl Levin reported in
October 2004, "one slide, omitted from the [PCEG]
version presented to the CIA, but included in
the version presented to the White House [on
September 16, 2002], discussed the alleged
meeting between 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta and
an Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague in April
Consequently, when it came to Iraq's links to
al Qaeda, a chasm separated the Intelligence
Community's evidence from the alarmist rhetoric
expressed by Cheney and other senior officials
in the Bush administration. PCEG reporting was
used to create and fill that chasm. But only
because senior Bush administration officials
demanded evidence -- any evidence -- that could
be used to persuade Americans that Bush's war of
choice was a war of necessity.
We now absolutely "know" that the Bush
administration sought to fix the intelligence to
support war, but only because a British patriot
leaked a document marked, "Secret and Strictly
Personal - UK Eyes Only." This Downing Street
Memo was written in July 2002 and contains
the details of a secret meeting between British
Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and his top
It was at this meeting that the Chief of
British Intelligence "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" 21(my emphasis).
But that's not all. Recently disclosed
evidence now clearly demonstrates that the Bush
administration could not use the reports issued
by the Intelligence Community (IC) to fix the
facts about Saddam's ties to al Qaeda, because
the IC repeatedly and steadfastly expressed
doubts about the existence and significance of
such ties. Those doubts were expressed in at
least five reports, beginning with the
President's Daily Brief on September 21, 2001
and continuing up to and including the report,
Iraqi Support for Terrorism, published in
January 2003, just two months before President
Bush gave the order to invade.
Moreover, the IC held to its doubts,
notwithstanding intense and repeated questioning
by senior officials in the Bush administration,
especially Vice President Cheney. As the CIA's
Deputy Director for Intelligence told the SSCI,
"the Vice President had visited CIA about five
to eight times between September 2001 and
February 2003." Moreover, the instances "of
repeated questioning were related to terrorism
issues, and not about Iraq's WMD capabilities."
More specifically, according to the SCCI:
"The CIA Ombudsman interviewed about two dozen
analysts and managers involved in the
preparation of the CIA's June 2002 document
entitled Iraq and al-Qaeda: Interpreting a
Murky Relationship…The Ombudsman told the
committee that he felt the 'hammering' by the
Bush Administration on Iraq intelligence was
harder than he had witnessed in his 32-year
career with the agency. Several analysts he
spoke with mentioned pressure and gave the sense
that they felt the constant questions and
pressure to reexamine issues were unreasonable."
Although the IC never repudiated its doubts,
those doubts never found their way into alarmist
speeches delivered to the American public by
senior Bush administration policy makers. Why?
Why was the Bush administration's rhetoric
about Iraq's ties to al-Qaeda so consistently
and flagrantly over the top, when compared with
the cautious and sober intelligence it was
receiving from the IC? Now that we know that the
IC got it right and Bush administration got it
wrong, one needs to ask: "Who was supplying the
'fixed' facts?" Again, the brief answer is:
Here's the detailed answer:
On the very afternoon of September 11, 2001,
the day al Qaeda attacked the World Trade Center
and the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld told an aide that he wanted the "best
info fast; judge whether good enough [to] hit S.
H." Then he added: "Go massive. Sweep it all up.
Things related, and not." 24 Thus
commenced the dishonest campaign by high level
officials in the administration of George W.
Bush to go to war with Iraq - and, thus, the
exertion of pressure on agents in America's duly
established intelligence agencies to embrace
fabrications provided by anti-Saddamist Iraqi
émigrés about Saddam Hussein's ties to al-Qaeda.
On the evening of September 12th, President
Bush told counterterrorism expert, Richard
Clarke: "I want you, as soon as you can, to go
back over everything, everything. See if Saddam
did this. See if he's linked in any way…"
25 When Clarke responded: "but Mr.
President, al Qaeda did this," President Bush
replied: "I know, I know, but…see if Saddam was
involved. Just look. I want to know any shred…"
When Clarke replied, "We have looked several
times for state sponsorship of al Qaeda and have
not found any real linkages," Bush testily
retorted, "Look into Iraq, Saddam."27
According to Clarke, Bush never said, "'Make it
up,' but the entire conversation left me in
absolutely no doubt that George Bush wanted me
to come back with a report that said, 'Iraq did
In fact, Clarke's office quickly issued a
memo to National Security Adviser, Condoleezza
Rice, which concluded "the case for links
between Iraq and al Qaeda was weak…bin Laden
resented the secularism of Saddam Hussein's
regime." 29 But, according to Clarke,
"it got bounced by the national-security
advisor, or deputy. It got bounced and sent
back, saying, 'Wrong answer… Do it again.'"
Just three days later, during a September 15,
2001, meeting of Bush's 'war cabinet" at Camp
David, a few members discussed the possibility
of the war on terrorism getting bogged down in
Afghanistan. Ms. Rice suggested "that they think
about launching military action elsewhere as an
insurance policy in case things in Afghanistan
went bad...They would need successes early in
any war to maintain domestic and international
That suggestion "perked up" Wolfowitz. It was
Wolfowitz (along with coauthor Zelmay Khalizad)
who, in late 1997, wrote a piece for the
neoconservative magazine, The Weekly
Standard, titled Overthrow Him -
"Him," of course, meaning Saddam Hussein. As
George Packer has observed, Saddam was
Wolfowitz's "white whale." 32
So, jumping on Rice's suggestion, Wolfowitz
told the gathering: "Iraq was a brittle,
oppressive regime that might break easily. It
was doable. He estimated that there was a 10 to
50 percent chance Saddam was involved in the
September 11 terrorist attacks. The U.S. would
have to go after Saddam at some time if the war
on terrorism was to be taken seriously." 33
On September 17, 2001, Bush told the National
Security Council that he believed "Iraq was
involved, " but he would not "strike them now. I
don't have the evidence at this point." 34
He never would get real evidence. Nevertheless,
on that same day Bush signed a Top Secret
directive that not only 'spelled out the plan to
go to war against Afghanistan," but also
"ordered the Pentagon to begin preparing
military options for an invasion of Iraq."
On September 19, 2001, Richard Perle convened
a meeting of the Defense Policy Board (DPB).
Perle is the notorious neoconservative zealot
and "Likud Zionist" 36 who, acting as
an unregistered foreign agent, signed a 1996
report, titled "A Clean Break: A New Strategy
for Securing the Realm -- for Israel's prime
minister! It advised him to topple Saddam and
launch preemptive strikes on other Arab states.
37 (Note well this endnote.)
Perle's contempt for the CIA was well known.
In 2002 he told Knight Ridder, "The CIA's
analysis isn't worth the paper it's written on."
38 On another occasion, Perle
asserted: "I think the people working on the
Persian Gulf at the CIA are pathetic…They have a
record over 30 years of being wrong." 39
Perle placed greater value on the
intelligence provided by the anti-Saddamist
émigrés of the Iraqi National Congress (INC),
headed by his friend, Ahmad Chalabi. In January
2001, the INC began receiving funds from the
U.S. State Department "for an effort called the
'Information Collection Program.'" Under the
program, "defectors from Saddam's military and
secret police…[were made] available to American
But, according to former Defense Intelligence
Agency analyst, Patrick Lang, "What the program
really did was to provide a steady stream of raw
information useful in challenging the collective
wisdom of the intelligence community." 41
Lang's claim was supported by Perle who, in
January 2003, told Judith Miller that "until
recently, CIA officials were so hostile to
defectors brought out of Iraq by the Iraqi
National Congress …that they refused to
interview them and even tried to discredit their
information. 'But ultimately, the flow of
information was so vital and so overwhelming
that they could no longer ignore it'" 42
Moreover, "one internal Pentagon memorandum
from December 2001, went so far as to suggest
terrorism experts in the government and outside
it had 'deliberately downplayed or sought to
disprove' the link between al Qaeda and Iraq."
(The information flow was, indeed,
"overwhelming," - coming, as it did, from the
top of the Bush administration down to the IC --
but it caused no significant changes in the IC's
reporting on Iraq's ties to al-Qaeda.)
Attending Perle's DPB meeting were Rumsfeld
and Wolfowitz. Feith and William Luti "drifted
in and out." 44 "The speakers at the
event, who aggressively advocated U.S. military
action to overthrow Saddam Hussein, were Ahmad
Chalabi and Princeton professor Bernard Lewis."
According to Lang, "One consequence of the
DPB meeting was that former CIA Director [James
R.] Woolsey was secretly dispatched to London to
seek out evidence that Saddam Hussein was behind
the 9/11 attacks…Part of Woolsey's mission
involved making contact with INC officials to
get their help in further substantiating the
link between hijacker Mohammed Atta and Iraqi
intelligence. " 46
On September 20, 2001, Rumsfeld "raised the
possibility that weapons of mass destruction
could be used against the United States." But
not in the context one normally would imagine.
Instead, he saw it as "an energizer for the
American people." 47 Psy-ops to be
waged against the American public!
However, "Shortly after the September 11,
2001 terrorist attacks, the Director of Central
Intelligence's (DCI) Counterterrorism Center (CTC)
and the CIA Near East and South Asia office (NESA)
collaborated on a paper on Iraqi links to the
September 11th attacks." 48 And, as
the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
noted (in its July 9, 2004 Report on the U.S.
Intelligence Community's Prewar Intelligence
Assessments on Iraq), "The paper was
disseminated to President's Daily Brief (PDB)
principals on September 21, 2001. The Committee
was not informed about the existence of this
paper until June 2004," 49 and was
denied permission to examine it, even in
But, thanks to very recent reporting by
Murray Waas of National Journal, we now know
that the September 21, 2001 President's Daily
Brief advised Bush and his principals that
the "U.S. intelligence community had no evidence
linking the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein to
the attacks [on 9/11] and that there was scant
credible evidence that Iraq had any significant
collaborative ties to al Qaeda." 50
According to Waas, "The highly classified
document was distributed to President Bush, Vice
President Cheney, the president's national
security adviser and deputy national security
adviser, the secretaries and undersecretaries of
State and Defense, and various other senior Bush
administration policy makers." 51
Thus, virtually every senior official in the
Bush information received information from the
CIA in September 2001, which ultimately would
prove to be definitive.
"Definitive?" Yes. For, as the post-invasion
investigation conducted by the Senate Select
Committee on Intelligence concluded: "The
Central Intelligence Agency reasonably assessed
that there were likely several instances of
contacts between Iraq and al-Qaeda throughout
the 1990s, but that these contacts did not add
up to an established formal relationship."
Nevertheless, within days of receiving this
unwelcome CIA intelligence, the Defense
Department's third ranking official, the Under
Secretary of Defense for Policy (OUSDP), Douglas
Feith, established the Policy
Counterterrorism Evaluation Group (PCEG).
Why? First, because Wolfowitz suggested it.
53 Wolfowitz had long been skeptical
of the CIA and had, in fact, participated in two
"Team B" exercises - one to determine whether
the CIA was underestimating the Soviet
threat(see my article,"Misreading the Soviet
and another, under the leadership of Donald
Rumsfeld, to determine whether the CIA was
underestimating the threat posed by rogue states
developing ballistic missiles (see my article
"National Missile Defense and Russian American
In each instance, the Team B egregiously
exaggerated the threat. The first exaggeration
caused America to engage in an arms race with
itself, which, if it had any effect at all on
the Soviet Union, probably prolonged the Cold
War. The second exaggeration resulted in the
rushed deployment (at exorbitant expense) of a
largely untested missile defense system that
probably doesn't work and, perhaps, is
technologically incapable of defending America.
Such egregious errors, in a just world, would
have disqualified both Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld
from further public service - for life! Yet,
unfortunately, in September 2001, Wolfowitz was
urging Feith to form still another "Team B,"
with Rumsfeld's enthusiastic support.
According to James Risen, writing in his
recent book, State of War: "Israeli
intelligence played a hidden role in convincing
Wolfowitz that he couldn't trust the CIA."54
Mossad's "intelligence officials frequently
traveled to Washington to brief top American
officials, but CIA analysts were often skeptical
of Israeli intelligence reports, knowing that
Mossad had very strong -- even transparent --
biases about the Arab world." 55
One might ask why Wolfowitz failed to detect
these same obvious biases. Presumably, he was
neither a Likud Zionist or an "Israel-firster."
Yet, according to Risen, "After each Israeli
briefing, the CIA would issue reports that were
circulated throughout the government, but they
often discounted much of what the Israelis had
provided. Wolfowitz and other conservatives at
the Pentagon became enraged by this practice;
they had begun meeting personally with top
Israeli intelligence officials and knew which
elements of the Mossad briefings the CIA was
Risen adds that "Wolfowitz personally
complained to Tenet about the CIA's analytical
work on Iraq and al Qaeda."57 Tenet
dismissed his complaint. But Wolfowitz was not
to be denied. After all, according to Francis
Brooke (Chalabi's lobbyist in Washington), in
February 2001, Wolfowitz called Brooke to say
that he was so committed to removing Saddam
Hussein, "he would resign if he couldn't
accomplish it." 58 "So Paul set up
his own unit" 59 to find Iraq's links
to al Qaeda. "And then that really pissed off
people at the CIA." 60
For his part, Likud Zionist and "Israel-firster"
Feith needed to prove his assumption "that
Saddam had ties to al-Qaeda and was likely to
hand off WMD to terrorists" 61 Feith,
you'll recall, was one of the unregistered
foreign agents, who co-authored the 1996 report
advising Israel's prime minister to topple
Saddam and launch preemptive strikes against
specific Arab states. He "got his current
position…only after Perle personally intervened
with Rumsfeld, who was skeptical about him."
62 It must have been his pro-Israel
and anti-Saddam zealotry that moved Perle, for
if we are to believe General Tommy Franks, Feith
was "the fucking stupidest guy on the face of
Feith staffed the PCEG with his co-author of
the 1996 report (and fellow unregistered agent
for Israel) David Wurmser, as well as Michael
Maloof. Wurmser and Maloof would be "working
deductively, not inductively: The premise was
true; facts would be found to confirm it."
64 As the authors of Vanity Faire
write in their exceptional expose, The Path
to War, "the advocates of regime change in
Iraq realized that, for any American invasion to
enlist support, both domestically and
internationally, links between Saddam Hussein
and al Qaeda needed to be proved." 65
Thus, in light of the CIA's September 21, 2001
President's Daily Brief, somebody needed
to fix the facts!
At this point, one might ask, as George
Packer does in his highly acclaimed book, The
Assassin's Gate: "Does this mean that a pro-Likud
cabal insinuated its way into the high councils
of the U.S. government and took hold of the
apparatus of American foreign policy to serve
Israeli interests?" In general, Packer's answer
is no. But "For Feith and Wurmser," Packer
answers yes: "the security of Israel was
probably the prime mover." 66
However, as my good friend, noted Russia
scholar and proud Zionist, George Enteen,
recently warned: "These people had influence but
not power; that belonged and belongs to Cheney
and Rummy." 67 Officially, the PCEG
was responsible for studying "…the policy
implications of relationships among terrorist
groups and their sources of support." 68
But according to Lang, "a dedicated apparatus
centered in the Office of the Vice President
created its own intelligence office, buried in
the recesses of the Pentagon, to 'stovepipe' raw
data to the White House." 69
Thus, although an INC letter, written to the
Senate Appropriations Committee in June 2001
claimed, "information gathered by the group went
directly to the Defense Department and Vice
President Dick Cheney's office," 70
George Enteen is correct. Until the Cheney/Rumsfeld
"cabal" (as Colin Powell's former chief of
staff, Lawrence B. Wilkerson has called it)
decided to adopt the radical policies urged by
fanatics like Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith and
Wurmser, the latter were fighting a drawn out,
if not losing, bureaucratic battle.
Consequently, Mark Hosenball, Michael Isikoff
and Evan Thomas -- writing in the November 17,
2003 issue of Newsweek -- were correct
when they concluded: "It is important to note
that at this early stage [summer of 2001], the
neocons did not have the enthusiastic backing of
Vice President Cheney." Instead, "What changed
Cheney was not Chalabi or his friends from AEI
[American Enterprise Institute], but the 9/11
Yet, the Newsweek authors failed to
capture fully the environment in which Cheney
made his leap into the neocon camp. First, it
wasn't a long jump. They should have noted that
Cheney had been scripting the National Security
Council's principals meetings from the very
beginning of Bush's presidency and that the
focus of those meetings was on "regime change"
in Iraq, but not necessarily by an American
military invasion. 72
It wasn't until January 3, 2002, that
"Director Tenet and other CIA officials brief[ed]
the Vice President and his staff on the
limitations of covert operations in bringing
down Saddam Hussein and explained that only a
military operation and invasion would succeed."
The Newsweek reporters also should
have recalled that, in May 2001, "President Bush
announced that Vice President Cheney would
himself lead an effort looking a preparations
for managing a possible attack by weapons of
mass destruction and at more general problems of
national preparedness." 74 Thus, when
the 9/11 Commission Report noted, "The
Vice President's task force was just getting
under way when the 9/11 attacked occurred,"
75 it certainly understated Cheney's
monumental failure and the well-deserved
humiliation he must have felt.
Moreover, when one recalls that both Cheney's
immersion in the crafting of his
anti-environment energy policy and his scripting
of NSC principals meetings for regime change in
Iraq took him away from his task force, it
brings to mind his five draft deferments and
failure to serve during the Vietnam War. In both
instances, he "had other priorities."
But Risen excoriates Rumsfeld, even more than
Cheney. "'There were many times the Pentagon
just did what it wanted'...An effective network
of officials with long-standing ties to Cheney,
some neoconservative, others simply
conservative, scattered throughout key jobs in
the administration, provided crucial support to
Rumsfeld. It was Rumsfeld's force of
personality, his willingness to act as an
enabler for the neoconservatives within the
Department of Defense and elsewhere in the
administration, combined with the enthusiastic
support he received from Cheney, that did so
much to break down the normal checks and
balances in the national security apparatus."
Risen concludes: "To others in the
administration, mystified by the process -- or
lack of process --it eventually became evident
that Cheney and Rumsfeld had a back channel
where real decision making was taking place, and
that larger meetings were often irrelevant. The
result was that the Bush administration was the
first presidency in modern history in which the
Pentagon served as the overwhelming center of
gravity for U.S foreign policy." 77
One of Rumsfeld's goals was to gain control
over intelligence. Thus, it was with the backing
of Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld and Cheney that Maloof
and Wurmser began their PCEG work in October
2001. They would commence briefing Feith's
deputy, Stephen A. Cambone, on a weekly basis.
78 As Risen reported in The New
York Times, "the team's conclusions were
alarming: old barriers that divided the major
Islamic terrorist groups, including al Qaeda,
Hamas and Hezbollah, were coming down, and these
groups were forging ties with one another and
with secular Arab governments in an emerging
terrorist war against the West." 79
In late 2001, at Maloof's request, Perle
asked Chalabi to supply Maloof with information
provided by Iraqi defectors.80 That
very request demonstrates that the PCEG was
operating as a rogue intelligence gathering
Thus, Wolfowitz probably lied when he
claimed: "They are not making independent
intelligence assessments." 81 Yet, he
admitted: "The lens through which you're looking
for facts affects what you look for." 82
In addition, Rumsfeld probably lied when he
asserted: "Any suggestion that it is an
intelligence-gathering activity or an
intelligence unit of some sort, I think, would
be a misunderstanding of it." 83
According to Risen, "The CIA and the DIA
believed that Feith's team had greatly
exaggerated the significance of reported
contacts among extremist groups and Arab
states." Moreover, "there was little proof that
Mr. Hussein was working on terror plots with Mr.
Bin Laden, a religious extremist who viewed the
Baghdad regime as a corrupt, secular enemy."
In fact, building upon its input into the
September 21, 2001 PDB, the CIA's NESA "drafted
a paper [in October 2001] that broadened the
scope of the issue by looking at Iraq's overall
ties to terrorism." 85 Thus, it would
dovetail, if not necessarily agree, with the
scope of investigation being pursued by the PCEG.
But, because the report was requested by a
recipient of the September 21, 2001 PDB, the
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence was
denied access to it.
One can guess, however, that it too contained
no significant Saddam-al Qaeda links, if only
because, when the PCEG gave its far more
alarmist briefing to Wolfowitz in November, the
Deputy Secretary asked: "How come I'm not
hearing this from anybody else?" 86
If, indeed the CIA's NESA paper found no
significant ties, perhaps that explains why
"several senior policy makers" expressed
interest in having the CIA's CTC draft another
paper that was "purposefully aggressive in
seeking to draw connections, on the assumption
that any indication of a relationship between
these two hostile elements could carry great
dangers to the United States." 87
(The Deputy Director for Intelligence directed
that the analysis, titled Iraq and al-Qaeda:
Interpreting a Murky Relationship, be
published on June, 21, 2002.88 )
Moreover, when the Senate Select Committee
staff asked the Deputy Director for Intelligence
why the CTC "analysts' approach was purposively
aggressive…She explained that: "What happened
with the 'murky paper' was that I was asking the
people who were writing it to lean far forward
and do a speculative piece. If you were going to
stretch to the maximum the evidence you had,
what would you come up with?" 89
In January 2002, the PCEG completed a
150-page briefing and slide presentation for
Feith. 90 By then, Maloof had lost
his security clearance. And soon after the
report's completion, Wurmser was transferred to
the State Department (he subsequently would move
to Cheney's staff). Nevertheless, during their
short tenure they briefed Rumsfeld twice, Feith
numerous times and Samantha Ravich at least
three times. Ms. Ravich was Cheney's national
security adviser for terrorism. 91
Two Naval Reserve officers replaced Maloof
and Wurmser. In addition, Ms. Christina Shelton
was detailed into Feith's Policy Support Staff.
. Ms. Shelton had been working for the DIA
(which, subsequently, rejected her research on
Saddam ties to al-Qaeda 92) until
Feith specifically requested that she be
detailed to his staff. Moreover, Shelton had no
sooner arrived at the OUSD(P) before she tore
into the CTC's aggressive report: Iraq and
al-Qaeda: Interpreting a Murky Relationship.
Shelton would conclude that the CTC's
"aggressive" reporting wasn't aggressive enough.
According to the Senate Select Committee on
Intelligence, Shelton's analysis stated: "The
report provides evidence from numerous
intelligence sources over a decade on the
interaction between Iraq and al-Qaeda. In this
regard, the report is excellent. Then in its
interpretation of this information, CIA attempts
to discredit, dismiss, or downgrade much of the
reporting, resulting in inconsistent conclusions
in many instances. Therefore, the CIA report
should be read for content only - and CIA's
interpretation ought to be ignored." 93
Feith sent Shelton's critique to Wolfowitz
and Rumsfeld, 94 which might explain
the CIA's subsequent "'hammering' by the Bush
Administration," that the CIA's Ombudsman viewed
to be "harder than he had witnessed in his
32-year career with the agency." 95
Nevertheless, while Shelton was
deconstructing the CTC's report and making a
strong pitch for significant interaction between
Saddam and al-Qaeda, the DIA had issued a
February 2002 report that specifically cast
doubt on reports suggesting "that Iraq trained
al-Qaeda to use biological and chemical
weapons." 96 The report, DITSUM
No. 044-02, stated, "it was probable that
the [al-Qaeda] prisoner, Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi
'was intentionally misleading debriefers in
making claims about Iraqi support for al-Qaeda's
work with illicit weapons." 97
The report noted, "Mr. Libi's claims lacked
specific details about the Iraqis involved, the
illicit weapons used and the location where the
training was to have taken place." 98
And it added: "It is possible he does not know
any further details; it is more likely this
individual is intentionally misleading the
debriefers." 99 In fact, Mr. Libi
recanted his claims after America's invasion of
Iraq. And the CIA withdrew them in March 2004.
Subsequent reporting for The New York
Times by Douglas Jehl revealed that the
DIA's doubts about Mr. Libi were based, in part,
on its knowledge that he commenced providing
"his most specific and elaborate accounts about
ties between Iraq and al-Qaeda only after he was
secretly handed over to Egypt by the United
States in January 2002." 100 In fact,
Mr. Libi subsequently claimed that he fabricated
claims about Saddam's ties to al-Qaeda "to
escape harsh treatment" 101 at the
hands of the Egyptians. So much then for the
U.S. policy of rendition/torture.
Equally significant, however, was the DIA's
general skepticism about close cooperation
between Saddam and al-Qaeda. Two of the report's
declassified sentences read as follows: (1)
"Saddam's regime is intensely secular and is
wary of Islamic revolutionary movements," and
(2) "Moreover, Baghdad is unlikely to provide
assistance to a group it cannot control."
Unfortunately, the evidence indicates that
the DIA's February 2002 report -- like the
September 21, 2001 President's Daily Brief
and October's CIA (NESA) elaboration on it --
was ignored. For example, during Bush's major
speech in Cincinnati on October 7, 2002, he
still falsely asserted: "We've learned that Iraq
has trained al-Qaeda members in bomb-making and
poisons and deadly gases."
His claim was based upon information provided
by Mr. Libi. Yet, the DIA had discounted Mr.
Libi's assertions eight months earlier. Where
was Rumsfeld? Wolfowitz? Feith? The incompetent
national security adviser? Moreover, one full
year after the DIA issued its report, Bush
falsely claimed: "Iraq has provided al-Qaeda
with chemical and biological weapons training."
What cannot be overemphasized is the fact
that evidence to support Bush's specific claims,
as well as his administration's numerous,
generally alarmist assertions about Saddam's
ties to al Qaeda, WAS NOT coming from the
Intelligence Community. Neither the September
18, 2002 CIA report, Iraqi Support for
Terrorism (which was distributed to but
twelve senior Bush administration officials),
nor the more widely distributed updated version,
dated January 2003, provided any evidence to
support such claims.
Instead, note what the Senate Select
Committee on Intelligence found in these
1 "The Intelligence Community has no credible
information that Baghdad had foreknowledge of
the 11 September attacks or any other al-Qaeda
2 "This paper's conclusions - especially
regarding the difficult and elusive question of
the exact nature of Iraq's relations with
al-Qaeda - are based on currently available
information that is at times contradictory and
derived from sources with varying degrees of
3 "The CIA did not assert in any of its
assessments that Iraq had committed to a formal
arrangement permitting al-Qaeda members to
transit and live within Iraq."
4 "The CIA refrained from asserting that the
Iraqi regime and al-Qaeda were cooperating on
terrorist operations. DCI Tenet, in his
testimony before the Committee, summarized the
intelligence reporting on Iraqi-al Qaeda
operational cooperation stating: "these sources
do not describe Iraqi complicity in, control
over, or authorization of specific terrorist
attacks carried out by al Qaeda."
5 Concerning Mohammed Atta's April 2001 trip to
Prague, "the CIA judged that other evidence
indicated that these meetings likely never
occurred." The FBI agreed.
6 "Despite four decades of intelligence
reporting on Iraq, there was little useful
intelligence collected that help analysts
determine the Iraqi regime's possible links to
al Qaeda." 104
Bogus intelligence, however, was percolating
up to Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld and Cheney from what
Secretary of State, Colin Powell, called "Feith's
'Gestapo office.'" 105
On July 22, 2002, Ms. Shelton sent an email
to Mr. Cambone that recounted the events of a
meeting held with Feith that day. Feith, it
appears, asked an assistant "to prepare an intel
briefing on Iraq and links to al-Qaeda for the
SecDef and that he was not to tell anyone about
During the summer of 2002, a special
assistant to Wolfowitz created a set of briefing
slides that incorporated Ms. Shelton's work, as
well as the work of the PCEG's two naval
reservists. The intent of the slides was to
outline Rumsfeld's "views of the relationship
between Iraq and al-Qaeda." 107 The
slides also "criticized the Intelligence
Community…for its approach to the issue."
According to the Senate Select Committee on
Intelligence Report, these briefing
slides continued to claim that Mohammed Atta met
with an Iraqi agent in Prague in April 2001. A
"findings" slide summed up the briefing by
claiming: (1) "More than a decade of numerous
contacts," (2) "Multiple areas of cooperation,"
(3) "Shared interest and pursuit of WMD," and
(4) "One indication of Iraq coordination with
al-Qaeda specifically related to 9/11." 109
Very telling was the slide that criticized
the IC's handling of its Iraq-al Qaeda
intelligence. It blamed the IC for "consistent
underestimation" of efforts by Iraq and al Qeada
to hide their relationship and faulted the IC
for its "assumption that secularists and
Islamists will not cooperate." 110
Most telling, however, was the criticism that
the IC required "juridical evidence" for its
Juridical indeed! Who, except for the
dishonest and reckless, would refuse to
acknowledge the immense moral obligation to get
the intelligence right, when contemplating
preemptive war (see my article on preemption,
Consequently, on the matter of ties between
Iraq and al Qaeda, who best understood the moral
obligation to get it right? The agents of the IC
or the scattershot Rumsfeld gang operating under
his instructions to "Go massive. Sweep it all
up. Things related, and not?" Then, ask
yourself, who actually got it right?
Nevertheless, as we now know, the slides were
presented to Rumsfeld in early August 2002.
According to Wolfowitz, it "was an excellent
briefing. The Secretary was very impressed."
112 Wolfowitz also recommended that
the briefing be presented to the CIA, where,
perhaps, "each side might make an assessment"
113 of the evidence.
On August 15, 2002 Feith and staff took their
briefing to the CIA, except for the slide
critical of the agency. Following the briefing,
Mr. Tenet " requested that the two OUSD(P)
briefers speak with the CTC and the NESA experts
on Iraq and terrorism."114 According
to one member of the PCEG, "Tenet agreed to
postpone the release" of what would become
September's report (Iraqi Support for
Terrorism) "until analysts from the CTC,
NESA, NSA, and the DIA could meet with the
OUSD(P) briefers to discuss the issue." 115
That meeting took place on August 20, 2002.
According to the IC's analysts, members of
Feith's staff "were concerned about 'too many
caveats in the reporting' and the 'tone' of the
draft IC report. Feith's staff also pressed
dubious information, including criticizing the
draft IC report for omitting reference to the
'key issue of Atta.'" 116
Moreover, Senator Carl Levin has obtained
documents demonstrating "that Feith's staff
requested, both verbally and in written form, at
least 32 changes to the IC draft, including
inserting raw intelligence reports that had
previously been omitted, deleting others, and
altering the characterization of certain issues
and raw reporting." 117 In all, "16
changes were made, 14 were not, and for 2 the
outcome is indeterminate." 118
Thus, Levin concludes, "even though the IC
analysts refused to incorporate information
which they believed was dubious into their
judgments about the Iraq-al Qeada relationship,
and the IC analysts remained skeptical of that
relationship, nonetheless raw, questionable
intelligence reports were incorporated in the IC
document because of advocacy of Under Secretary
Feith and his staff." 119
Unbeknownst to the CIA at the time, Feith
took his act to the White House on September 16,
2002, where his staffers briefed Condoleezza
Rice's deputy, Stephen Hadley, and Cheney's
chief of staff, the now indicted "Scooter"
Libby. The briefing contained the slides
presented to Rumsfeld, including the slide
criticizing the IC, but with "additional
information" about Atta's alleged meeting in
Prague, "potential common procurement
intermediaries shared by Iraq and al Qaeda, and
other possible connections." 120
"'The briefing went very well and generated
further interest from Mr. Hadley and Mr. Libby,'
who requested a number of items, including a
'chronology of Atta's travels.'" 121
Cheney had long been wired (through Ravich,
Libby and Rumsfeld) to Feith's group. Moreover,
as Murray Waas has reported, Cheney wrote in the
margins of one of Feith's reports about ties
between Saddam and al Qaeda: "this is very good
… Encouraging … Not like the crap we are all so
used to getting out of the CIA." 122
Speaking on "Meet the Press" on September 9,
2002, Cheney claimed "We've seen in connection
with the hijackers of course, Mohammed Atta, who
was the lead hijacker, did apparently travel to
Prague on a number of occasions. And on at least
one occasion, we have reporting that places him
in Prague with a senior Iraqi intelligence
official a few months before the attack on the
World Trade Center." 123
But, if Cheney was not basing his assertions
about Saddam's ties to al Qaeda on the "crap"
from the Intelligence Community, but from
Feith's rogue intelligence cell, then Cheney
lied when he claimed that evidence of Atta in
Prague with "a senior Iraqi intelligence
official," was deemed "credible" by the CIA.
Continuing the drumbeat for war on the eve of
an October Congressional vote in support of the
war, Bush warned on September 25th about the
danger "that al Qaeda becomes an extension of
Saddam's madness." 125 That same day,
National Security Adviser Rice told PBS's
News Hour with Jim Lehrer: "Yes, there
clearly are contacts between al Qaeda and Iraq
that can be documented. There clearly is
testimony that some of these contacts have been
important contacts and there's a relationship
Finally, who can forget Donald Rumsfeld's
claim, made two days later, "that American
intelligence had 'bulletproof' evidence of links
between al Qaeda and the government of President
Saddam Hussein of Iraq." 127 And
speaking as though the February 2002 DIA report
didn't exist, Rumsfeld asserted: "We have what
we consider to be very reliable reporting of
senior-level contacts going back a decade, and
of possible chemical- and biological-agent
"American intelligence" did not have
"bulletproof" evidence. In fact, "American
intelligence," construed to mean the established
Intelligence Community funded by and responsible
to the U.S. Congress, found no "bulletproof"
evidence linking Saddam Hussein to al Qaeda.
Instead it was "un-American intelligence,"
that supported the "bulletproof" evidence
claimed by Rumsfeld. And it was "un-American
intelligence" about Iraq's links to al Qaeda
that was used by Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rice
to beat the drums for war on the eve of the
The "un-American intelligence" came from a
rogue intelligence cell set up by a leading
member of the Bush administration's war party,
Saddam-obsessed Paul Wolfowitz, who believed
Mossad's biased intelligence and not American
intelligence. And it was headed by Feith, who
General Tommy Franks called "the fucking
stupidest guy on the face of the earth," and
whose primary loyalty was to Israel (see Notes
number 37 and 66.)
Inspired by Mossad, Feith's rogue
intelligence cell appears to have solicited,
reexamined, digested and regurgitated evidence
from the programmed liars put forward by
Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress - evidence
that the Intelligence Community already had
considered, before dismissing as unreliable.
Then, as Seymour Hersh has noted: "A routine
settled in: the Pentagon's defector reports,
classified 'secret,' would be funneled to
newspapers, but subsequent analyses of the
reports by intelligence agencies - scathing but
also classified - would remain secret."129
Perhaps, that explains why even Secretary of
State Colin Powell privately referred to Feith's
intelligence cell as "Feith's Gestapo office."
How ironic! Neocon Jews running a "Gestapo
office." Finally, and most significantly, let's
not forget that this "un-American intelligence"
got it wrong!
Can the United States still be called a
"democracy," if a majority of its citizens fails
to recognize and redress such "un-American"
behavior? ("Un-American," at least according to
our ideals, if not our actual history.)
Unfortunately, some Americans seek to dismiss
this shameful episode. Others simply want to
"move on." Still others want to cover it up.
Thus, the question: "Do we bring the
perpetrators to justice or do we simply let
history record their dishonest march to war?"
I, for one, agree with the renowned
conservative Israeli military historian, Martin
van Creveld: "For misleading the American
people, and launching the most foolish war since
Emperor Augustus in 9 B.C. sent his legions into
Germany and lost them, Bush deserves to be
impeached and, once removed from office, put on
trial along with the rest of the president's
men. If convicted, they'll have plenty of time
to mull over their sins." 130
1. Mr. Yoshi Tsurumi, who attempted to teach
Bush macroeconomic policies and international
business during the 1973-74 academic year at the
Harvard Business School, has observed that our
worst president in American history "showed
pathological lying habits and was in denial when
challenged on his prejudices and biases." Mary
Jacoby, "The Dunce," Salon.com, 16 September
2.President Bush, "Information Sharing, Patriot
Act Vital to Homeland Security," April 20, 2004
3.Jonathan S. Landay, "Bush gets intelligence
data lawmakers do not," The Philadelphia
Inquirer, December 16, 2005.
4.Bob Woodward, Plan of Attack, pp. 247-49.
5.Ibid. p. 249.
7.Ray McGovern, "Sham Dunk: Cooking Intelligence
for the President," NEOCONNED AGAIN, p. 294.
8.Landay, Inquirer, Dec. 16, 2005
10.The 9/11 Commission Report, p. 66.
11.CNN.com, "Bush insists Iraq, al Qaeda had
'relationship,'" June 17, 2004
12.ABC News, "Excerpts From Interview With
President Bush," Dec. 16, 2003.
13.Washingtonpost.com, "Text: President Bush on
NBC's 'Meet the Press,'" February 8, 2004
14.The 9/11 Commission Report, p. 228.
15.Dana Priest and Glenn Kessler, "Iraq, 9/11
Still Linked By Cheney," Washington Post, 29
16.Part XII. "Iraq's Links to Terrorism," Senate
Select Committee on Intelligence Report on the
U.S. Intelligence Community's Prewar
Intelligence Assessments on Iraq," July 9, 2004,
p. 340. One reaches this conclusion by
inference, given the SSCI's statement that it
used the January 203 version of "Iraqi Support
for Terrorism," and noting only when earlier
versions differed with it. (See p. 314)
17.Senator Carl Levin, "Report of an Inquiry
into Alternative Analysis of the Issue of an
Iraq-al Qaeda Relationship," October 21, 2004,
18.Part XII. "Iraq's Links to Terrorism," Senate
Select Committee on Intelligence Report on the
U.S. Intelligence Community's Prewar
Intelligence Assessments on Iraq, July 9, 2004,
19.Ibid. p. 309. Feith was Under Secretary of
Defense for Policy, thus his office was the
20.Senator Carl Levin, "Report of an Inquiry…"
21."The Secret Downing Street Memo," The Sunday
Times UK, 01 May 2005
22.Part IX. "Pressure On Intelligence Community
Analysts Regarding Iraq's Weapons of Mass
Destruction (WMD) Capabilities," Senate Select
Committee on Intelligence Report, July 9, 2004,
respectively p. 276 and p. 275.
23."Additional Views of Vice Chairman John D.
Rockefeller IV, Senator Carl Levin and Senator
Richard Durbin, Senate Select Committee on
Intelligence Report, July 9, 2004, p. 456.
24.James Bamford, A Pretext for War, p.285.
25.Richard A. Clarke, Against All Enemies, p. 32
28.Bryan Burrough, Evgenia Peretz, David Rose,
and David Wise, "The Path to War: Special
Report: The Rush to Invade Iraq; The Ultimate
Inside Account," Vanity Faire, May 2004, p. 236.
29.Senator Carl Levin, "Report of an Inquiry…, p
30.Vanity Faire, "The Path to War," p. 238.
31.Bob Woodward, Bush at War, p. 83.
32.George Packer, The Assassins' Gate, p. 115.
33.Woodward, Bush at War, p. 83.
34.Ibid., p 99.
35.Col. W. Patrick Lang, USA (Ret.), "Drinking
the Kool-Aid: Making the Case for War with
Compromised Integrity and Intelligence,
neo-CONNED! Again, p. 258
36.Dilip Hiro, Secrets and Lies, p. 40.
37.As James Bamford has written; "It was rather
extraordinary for a trio [Perle, Douglas Feith
and James Wurmser] of former, and potentially
future high-ranking American government
officials to become advisors to a foreign
government. More unsettling still was the fact
that they were recommending acts of war in which
Americans could be killed, and also ways to
masquerade the true purpose of the attacks from
the American public." Bamford, p. 263
38.Jonathan S. Landay, John Wolcott and Warren
P. Strobel, "Faulty intelligence continues to
plague U.S. efforts in Iraq," Knight Ridder
Newspapers, March 19, 2004.
39.James Risen, "How Pair's Finding on Terror
Led to Clash on Shaping Intelligence," New York
Times, April 28, 2004.
40.Col. W. Patrick Lang, USA (Ret), p. 253.
42.Judith Miller, "Threats and Responses:
Intelligence; Defectors Bolster U.S. Case
Against Iraq, Officials Say," New York Times,
January 24, 2003
43.Seymour M. Hersh, Chain of Command: The Road
from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib, p. 211.
44.Vanity Faire, "The Path to War," p. 236.
45.Lang, p. 258
46.Ibid., pp 258-59.
47.Woodward, Bush at War, p. 106.
48.Part XII. "Iraq's Links to Terrorism," Senate
Select Committee on Intelligence Report on the
U.S. Intelligence Community's Prewar
Intelligence Assessments on Iraq, July 9, 2004.
50.Murray Waas, Key Bush Intelligence Briefing
Kept From Hill Panel, National Journal.com, Nov.
52.Part XII. Senate Select Committee on
Intelligence, p. 346.
53.Packer, p. 106.
54.James Risen, State of War:The Secret History
of the CIA and the Bush Administration, p. 72.
56.Ibid., pp. 72-73.
57.Ibid., p. 73.
58.Jane Mayer, "The Manipulator," The New
Yorker, June 7, 2004.
59.Risen, State of War, p. 73.
61.Packer, p. 107
62.Seymour M. Hersh, Chain of Command: The Road
from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib, p. 193.
63.Woodward, Plan of Attack, p. 281. Rumsfeld
64.Packer, p. 107
65.Vanity Faire, "The Path to War," p. 238.
66.Packer, p. 32.
67.Email dated December 5, 2005.
68.Part XII. Senate Select Committee on
Intelligence Report, p. 307.
69.Lang, p. 253.
70.Landay, Walcott and Strobel, "Faulty
71.Mark Hosenball, Michael Isikoff and Evan
Thomas, "Cheney's Long Path to War," Newsweek,
November 17, 2003.
72.See Ron Suskind's book, The Price of Loyalty,
and Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill's assertions
about Cheney's scripted NSC meetings and their
obsessive focus on regime change in Iraq. Pp.
70-76, 85-86, 96-97, and 127.
73.Additional Views, Rockefeller, Levin &
Durbin, SSCI Report, p. 452 (quoting Bob
Woodward, Plan of Attack).
74.The 9/11 Commission Report, p. 204.
76.Risen, State of War, p. 66.
77.Ibid., p. 64.
78.James Risen, "How Pair's Finding on Terror…"
New York Times, April 28, 2004
81.Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker, "Threats and
Responses: A C.I.A. Rival; Pentagon Sets Up
Intelligence Unit," New York Times, October 24,
83.Warren Strobel, Jonathan S. Landay and John
Walcott, "Some in Bush administration have
misgivings about Iraq policy," Knight Ridder
Newspapers, October 27, 2002.
84.Risen, "How Pair's Finding on Terror…"
85.Part XII. Senate Select Committee on
Intelligence Report, p. 304.
86.James Risen, "How Pair's Finding on Terror….
87.Part XII. P. 305
89.Ibid. pp. 306-307.
92.Part XII. P. 308.
95.See note 11.
96.Douglas Jehl, "Report Warned Bush Team About
Intelligence Doubts," New York Times, November
100.Douglas Jehl, "Qaeda-Iraq Link U.S. Cited Is
Tied To Coercion Claim," New York Times,
December 9, 2005.
102.Jehl, "Report Warned Bush Team… Nov. 6, 2005
103.Carl Levin, "Levin Says Newly Declassified
Information Indicates Bush Administration's Use
of Pre-War Intelligence Was Misleading,"
November 6, 2005.
104.For each specific quotation, see Senate
Select Committee on Intelligence Report,
respectively p. 322, p. 322, p. 334, p. 338, p.
340 and p. 355.
105.Woodward, Plan of Attack, p. 292.
106.Part XII. "Iraq's Links To Terrorism," SSCI
Report, July 9, 2004 p. 309.
113.Ibid, p. 310
116.Carl Levin, Report of an Inquiry into…, Oct.
21, 2004, p. 15.
118.Ibid. p. 16.
120.Part XII. SSCI Report, July 9, 2004. p. 311.
122.Murray Waas, National Journal, Nov. 22, 2005
123.Carl Levin, Report of an Inquiry…, Oct. 21,
2004, p. 38
124.See Note 17 above.
125.Eric Schmitt, "Threats and Responses:
Intelligence; Rumsfeld Says U.S. Has
'Bulletproof' Evidence of Iraq's Links to Al
Qaeda," New York Times, September 28, 2002.
126.Carl Levin, Report of an Inquiry, p. 34.
127.Eric Schmitt, New York Times, September 28,
129.Hersh, p. 218.
130.Martin Van Creveld, "Costly Withdrawal Is
the Price To Be Paid for a Foolish War,"
Forward, November 25, 2005.
Walter C. Uhler is an independent scholar
and freelance writer whose work has been
published in numerous publications, including
The Nation, the Bulletin of the Atomic
Scientists, the Journal of Military History, the
Moscow Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. He
also is President of the Russian-American
International Studies Association (RAISA).