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Bogus Intelligence, Foreign Policy and Crying Wolf-owitz

By: Fareed Marjaee
"The first draft of Powell's [UN] speech was written by Cheney's staff... At one point during the rehearsal, Powell tossed several pages in the air. "I'm not reading this," he declared. "This is bulls- - -."  (1)  "Powell reportedly told Straw he hoped that when the facts came out they wouldn't 'explode in their faces'." (2)

When the question of the Bushehr nuclear facilities came up in media discussions about 10 months ago, I suggested bearing in mind the possibility of politicized "evidence" and "intelligence" at the service of agenda-ridden policy advisors. Some specialists elaborated on the damaging influence "policy" might have on "the process of intelligence" for other ends. Now, ten months later into the Neo-conservative rule and vision, those concerns appear to have had some merit.

One issue which made many of the media (print and electronic) headlines this past week was the role of manufactured intelligence, WMD, as justification for war in Iraq. A growing number of intelligence officials are stepping forward to express concerns that the Bush Administration may have deliberately manipulated data to build support for the War. Below, are some excerpts from various media publications regarding the intelligence debacle:

Larry Johnson, a former CIA analyst, was interviewed by National Public Radio -- All Things Considered -- on Friday, May 30th. In that interview, it was mentioned that a group calling itself "Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity" was being formed. Larry Johnson believes that intelligence was misused. He indicated that there are analysts currently on active duty who are distraught at the "cooking of the books." He believed because the evidence did not exist, that this is outrageous. Moreover, he thought that the "Office of Special Plans" in the Department of Defense presents a clear and present danger, and that the Congress should investigate this. To illustrate his non-partisan position, he made certain to say that he votes Republican.! l?prgId=2&prgDate=May/30/2003

Ms. Judith Yaphe - an Iraq specialist and veteran CIA analyst -- when asked about this controversy on the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, [May 31st posting], said, "I don't believe in betraying confidences or talking out of the schoolhouse..."

"[The Office of the Secretary of Defense] has no interest in what I do," Ms. Yaphe had been quoted by Robert Dreyfuss earlier. "They've brought in their own stable of people from American Enterprise Institute, ..." [Robert Dreyfuss, "Humpty Dumpty in Baghdad," AMERICAN PROSPECT, May 2003, p. 16]

Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times (May, 30, 2003, p. 27) wrote of intelligence analysts who assert that "administration officials leaned on them to exaggerate the Iraqi threat and deceive the public." Jim Wolf of Reuters wrote also on Friday that a growing number of U.S. national security professionals are accusing the Bush administration of hijacking the $30 billion intelligence apparatus to justify its rush to war in Iraq. Patrick Lang, a former head of worldwide human intelligence gathering for the Defense Intelligence Agency, which coordinates military intelligence, said in an interview "The DIA was exploited and abused and bypassed in the process of making the case for war in Iraq based on the presence of WMD...." Vince Cannistraro, a former chief of Central Intelligence Agency counterterrorist operations, said he knew of serving intelligence officers who blame the Pentagon! for playing up "fraudulent" intelligence... " "U.S. Insiders Say Iraq Intel Deliberately Skewed"

On the issue of alleged "doctored intelligence material," the British newspaper Guardian, poses 10 questions that should be asked of the Prime Minister Blair, while House Leader John Reid blamed "rogue elements" in the security services as responsible for spreading falsehoods. A senior British official told the BBC this was one of several claims added against the wishes of intelligence agencies. Adam Ingram, the Armed Forces Minister, admitted the claim was made by an uncorroborated, single, source.",3604,969842,00.html

Neil Mackay and David Pratt of the Sunday Herald wrote:  "With a growing rift within US intelligence over the issue, and evidence that neo-conservatives and hawks within the Pentagon and OSP are now concentrating their efforts to help bring about regime change in Iran, CIA director George Tenet released a rare statement which many see as an attempt to distance the agency from OSP and the increasing 'politicisation' of intelligence."

Of course, a more comprehensive background is provided in articles by senior investigative journalist, Seymour Hersh, in The New Yorker magazine:  SELECTIVE INTELLIGENCE by SEYMOUR M. HERSH, The New Yorker 2003-05-12

"By last fall, the operation rivaled both the C.I.A. and the Pentagon's own Defense Intelligence Agency, the D.I.A., as President Bush's main source of intelligence   The director of the "Special Plans" operation is Abram Shulsky, a scholarly expert of the works of the political philosopher Leo Strauss. Shulsky has been quietly working on intelligence and foreign-policy issues for three decades;

They call themselves, self-mockingly, the Cabal -- a small cluster of policy advisers and analysts now based in the Pentagon's "Office of Special Plans." In the past year, according to former and present Bush Administration officials, their operation, which was conceived by Paul Wolfowitz, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, has brought about a crucial change of direction in the American intelligence community.

According to the Pentagon adviser, "Special Plans" was created in order to find evidence of what Wolfowitz and his boss, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, believed to be true"


WHO LIED TO WHOM?  by SEYMOUR M. HERSH :Why did the Administration endorse a forgery about Iraq's nuclear program?   Issue of 2003-03-31

"There was a series of clandestine meetings with MI6, at which documents were provided, as well as quiet meetings, usually at safe houses in the Washington area. The British propaganda scheme eventually became known to some members of the U.N. inspection team. The fake Niger documents were created or instigated by the same propaganda office in MI6.

Then the story fell apart. On March 7th, Mohamed ElBaradei, the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, told the U.N. Security Council that the documents involving the Niger-Iraq uranium sale were fakes. "The I.A.E.A. has concluded, with the concurrence of outside experts, that these documents . . . are in fact not authentic," ElBaradei said.

This official told me that the I.A.E.A. has not been able to determine who actually prepared the documents. "It could be someone who intercepted faxes in Israel, or someone at the headquarters of the Niger Foreign Ministry in Niamey. We just don't know," the official said. "Somebody got old letterheads and signatures, and cut and pasted."   Baute, according to the I.A.E.A. official, "confronted the United States with the forgery: 'What do you have to say?' They had nothing to say."   It took Baute's team only a few hours to determine that the documents were fake. The agency had been given about a half-dozen letters and other communications between officials in Niger and Iraq, many of them written on letterheads of the Niger government. The problems were glaring.

The Straussian philosophy, a crude Machiavellian system, gives those in power license to deceive the governed for "their own good !" The theory of "war, occupation, beacon of democracy and domino effect element" seems to have been based on erroneous (manufactured?) information as much as fantastic scenarios.

1- Bruce B. Auster, Mark Mazzetti and Edward T. Pound, "Truth and Consequences," U.S.News,

2- Neil Mackay, "No weapons in Iraq? We'll find them in Iran" Sunday Herald,



... Payvand News - 6/10/03 ... --

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