latest spin surrounding the Bush administration's
pre-war intelligence on Iraq comes from outgoing
WMD hunter David Kay. After rummaging around Iraq
for nine months and coming back empty-handed,
Kay says he now believes that no such weapons
exist, and haven't since the mid nineties. But
instead of drawing the logical conclusion that
he's been duped and played for a fool, he chose
instead to launch the latest salvo in the Bush
administration's undeclared war on the rank and
file US intelligence community.
asked on National Public Radio whether President
Bush owes the American people an explanation,
following Kay's findings, he flipped the question
on its head: "I actually think the intelligence
community owes the president, rather than the
president owing the American people."
believes the failure to find WMDs in Iraq is not
the fault of those who actually made the decision
to invade Iraq, who "had absolutely no doubt"
that these weapons existed. He instead implies
that the liability must fall on an intelligence
bureaucracy that, as has been well documented,
was under constant pressure to manipulate their
findings to suit the administration's goal of
a pre-emptive attack. How is that for inverted
apparently finds nothing suspicious about a President
who, according to former US Treasury Secretary
Paul O'Neil, demanded his advisors "find a way"
to invade Iraq just 10 days after he came into
journalist Seymour Hersh has documented how administration
insiders took these orders from their boss seriously,
setting up a secret Pentagon unit called the Office
of Special Plans, headed by Deputy Secretary of
Defense Paul Wolfowitz, Undersecretary of Defense
for Policy Douglas Feith and other Pentagon hawks.
The purpose was to create a case for invading
Iraq and then control the flow of "information"
through a network of favoured think tanks and
usual suspects like the American Enterprise Institute
and Amhed Chalibi's Iraqi National Congress (a
source that the Pentagon, the State Dept. and
yes, the CIA came to distrust during the Clinton
era). Bogus intelligence, including forged documents
were then passed along to a Commander in Chief
who--no matter how disengaged--had already made
up his mind. But lets always remember, it's not
his fault, or their fault. The fault must always
an interview with the New York Times, Kay clearly
shows his stripes by stating that he doesn't believe
the White House put pressure on analysts to come
up with intelligence pointing to a weapons program.
Here's a couple of excerpts from an article
by Jason Leopold which could serve as a little
reminder for David Kay and anyone else who believes
that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Powell were unwittingly
half-dozen former CIA agents investigating prewar
intelligence have found that a secret Pentagon
committee, set up by Secretary of Defense Donald
Rumsfeld in October 2001, manipulated reams
of intelligence information prepared by the
spy agency on the so-called Iraqi threat and
then delivered it to top White House officials
who used it to win support for a war in Iraq...
current and former intelligence officials told
the New York Times (July 20) that they felt
pressure to tailor reports to conform to the
administration's views, "particularly the theories
Feith's group developed."
the agents said the Office of Special Plans
routinely rewrote the CIA's intelligence estimates
on Iraq's weapons programs, removing caveats
such as "likely," "probably" and "may" as a
way of depicting the country as an imminent
threat. The agents would not identify the names
of the individuals at the Office of Special
Plans who were responsible for providing the
White House with the wrong intelligence. But,
the agents said, the intelligence gathered by
the committee sometimes went directly to the
White House, Cheney's office and to Rice without
first being vetted by the CIA.
cases where the CIA's intelligence wasn't rewritten,
the Office of Special Plans provided the White
House with questionable intelligence it gathered
from Iraqi exiles from the Iraqi National Congress,
a group headed by Ahmad Chalabi, whom the CIA
has publicly said is unreliable, the CIA agents
than a dozen CIA agents responsible for writing
intelligence reports for the agency told the
former CIA agents investigating the accuracy
of the intelligence reports said they were pressured
by the Pentagon and the Office of Special Plans
to hype and exaggerate intelligence to show
Iraq as being an imminent threat to the security
of the U.S."
are two possibilities: either David Kay lives
in a bubble and is not widely read (for instance
Hersh's New Yorker piece appeared, May 12 with
a related piece on October 27), or a penchant
for distorting the truth is the number one prerequisite
for all Bush appointees, followed by blind allegiance
to "Dear Leader," no matter what one discovers,
thinks, or even, apparently what one publishes
(it is obvious that Paul O'Neil suffers from this
malady, seeing as how he stated that he will "probably"
vote for Bush again, despite revealing what an
incompetent and detached fool he is.
claims that, based on the intelligence that existed,
"it was reasonable to reach the conclusion that
Iraq posed an imminent threat." That's funny,
we Internet types must be living in a mirror universe
because that's not quite what it looked like on
this side of the looking glass. In fact as the
records show, between the time when UN inspectors
left in 1998 and early 2002, the CIA’s reports
on the so- called terror threat offered no details
on what types of chemical and biological weapons
that Iraq may possess. Then, as war fever gripped
the Bush administration, there was a dramatic
shift in the assessment of Iraq's capabilities
in the CIA Report of Oct. 2002.
we are not supposed to believe this had anything
to do with any kind of pressure from the administration.
In fact for months now, through an assortment
of bafflegab, the fallback position for the War
Party has been to blame "faulty intelligence."
history is being constantly scrubbed, truth is
continually turned into fiction or vice versa--whatever
expediency commands--and we are not supposed to
recognize what transpires before our very eyes.
Instead, we are to become beleaguered, bewildered,
and ultimately, stifled. Now, it seems apologists
of the Iraq invasion have taken their cue, and
are refusing to examine how this "faulty" intelligence
(disinformation) was gathered, or where it came
such example is a Globe and Mail editorial of
January 23 entitled "Come clean, President Bush."
The headline is misleading because they actually
let Bush (and by inference his top aids), off
the hook. Editors of Canada's national newspaper
appear mystified as to how such an intelligence
failure could have happened so they posit that
the failure to locate WMDs in Iraq is best explained
as "an honest mistake, and the result of an "intelligence
failure. Honest mistake? How about dishonest,
will be no such talk because willful blindness
entails ignoring contrary data. And in this case,
there are balefuls of what must be considered
unprintables in many a pro-war media boardroom.
One of the best summaries is a piece by Robert
Dreyfuss and Jason Vest in the latest issue of
Mother Jones, entitled "The
Lie Factory" now on the newsstand.
mind the leftish tripe. Globe and Mail editors
assign any ulterior motives for the invasion of
Iraq to "Bush's harshest critics." Here, they
surely refer to anyone who has been paying attention
of late, like for instance, everyone I randomly
encounter down at the pub, whose words of disdain
for Bush and company are, shall I say, unsuitable
for family viewing (of course I'm always on the
look-out for "Bush's least harsh critics" but
such creatures appear to be a rare breed, since
this guy elicits such visceral reactions amongst
his non- fans-can't imagine why).
has become glaringly obvious to any sentient being
is that the Bush White House consciously deceived
a jittery post 9-11 public, thereby leading a
nation to war, and plunging a region into chaos
under false pretenses. And for those not glued
to FOX or CNN, it was truly nightmarish watching
it all unfold. They berated, bribed and threatened
friends and allies. They undermined and ignored
the findings of UN agencies involved in Iraqi
arms inspections. They launched a smear campaign
against Hans Blix. They spied on UN delegates.
They outed Valerie Plame. They regarded millions
of global anti-war demonstrators as a "focus group."
And yes, they disregarded cautionary assessments
from many within their own intelligence apparatus
and military, as well as retired and respected
implications of these and other skullduggeries
too numerous to list have profound consequences,
not just for America but also for world order.
It is too much to expect a Bush errand boy-turned
coy-such as Kay, to re-assess his paymaster's
pre-war claims and motives, much less his own
for their ideological custodians who remain ensconced
throughout the media, these very same ramifications
remain off limits. At least for now, it is apparently
too astounding to contemplate. In the meantime,
it is most depressing to witness the utter frailty
in their debate.
Saunders is a freelance writer from Canada. His
writings can be found at www.punditman.com
and he can be reached at email@example.com.
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Posted: January 31, 2004