The Phony ‘Bad Intel’ Defense on Iraq

Exclusive: Jeb Bush’s stumbling start to his presidential bid has refocused attention on Official Washington’s favorite excuse for the illegal, aggressive and disastrous war in Iraq that it was just a case of “bad intelligence.” But that isn’t what the real history shows, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern recalls.

By Ray McGovern

Presidential aspirant Jeb Bush this week may have damaged his chances by flubbing the answer to an entirely predictable question about his big brother’s decision to attack Iraq.

On Monday, Fox’s Megyn Kelly asked the former Florida governor: “Knowing what we know now, would you have authorized the invasion?” Jeb Bush answered, “I would’ve. And so would’ve Hillary Clinton, just to remind everybody, and so would’ve almost everybody who was confronted with the intelligence they got.”

President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney receive an Oval Office briefing from CIA Director George Tenet. Also present is Chief of Staff Andy Card (on right). (White House photo)

President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney receive an Oval Office briefing from CIA Director George Tenet. Also present is Chief of Staff Andy Card (on right). (White House photo)

Kelly: “You don’t think it was a mistake.”

Bush: “In retrospect, the intelligence that everyone saw — that the world saw, not just the United States — was faulty.”

After some backfilling and additional foundering on Tuesday and Wednesday, Bush apparently memorized the “correct” answer. So on Thursday, he proceeded to ask the question himself: “If we’re all supposed to answer hypothetical questions: Knowing what we now know, what would you have done? I would not have engaged. I would not have gone into Iraq.”

It is a safe bet that, by Thursday, Iraq War champion Paul Wolfowitz, now a senior adviser to Jeb Bush, had taken him to the woodshed, admonishing him along these lines: “Jeb, you remembered to emphasize the mistaken nature of pre-war intelligence; that’s the key point; that’s good. But then you need to say that if you knew how mistaken the intelligence was, you would not have attacked Iraq. Got it?”

It was then-Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz — together with his boss Donald Rumsfeld, Vice President Dick Cheney and a string of neocon advisers — who exploited the tragedy of 9/11 to make war on Iraq, which they had been itching for since the 1990s. They tried mightily (and transparently) to link Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to the Sept. 11 attacks. Following their lead, the fawning corporate media played up this bum rap with such success that, before the attack on Iraq, polls showed that almost 70 percent of Americans believed that Saddam Hussein played some kind of role in 9/11.

Not so, said honest intelligence analysts who, try as they might, could find no persuasive evidence for Hussein’s guilt other than the synthetic kind in Wolfowitz’s purposively twisted imagination. Yet the pressure on the analysts to conform was intense. CIA’s ombudsman commented publicly that never in his 32-year career with the agency had he encountered such “hammering” on CIA analysts to reconsider their judgments and state that there were operational ties between Iraq and al-Qaeda.

The pressure was reflected in pronouncements at the highest levels. A year after 9/11, President Bush was still saying, “You cannot distinguish between al-Qaeda and Saddam when you talk about the war on terror.” Defense Secretary Rumsfeld was more direct, claiming that the evidence tying Iraq to al-Qaeda was “bulletproof.”

But Brent Scowcroft, national security advisor to President George H.W. Bush and Chairman of George W. Bush’s President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, supported honest analysts in CIA and elsewhere, stating publicly that evidence of any such connection was “scant.”

There was the looming danger of a principled leak, or possibly even an insurrection of some kind on the part of those opposed to creating pretexts for war. And so the administration chose to focus first and foremost on “weapons of mass destruction” (WMD).

It would be an easier and scarier sell a claim that Iraq had chemical, biological and perhaps nuclear weapons and that the Iraqis could give them to “terrorists” for another attack on the “homeland” (introducing a term that both the Nazis and the Soviets used to good effect in whipping up nationalistic fervor in wartime).

Brimming with WMD

Unable to get honest intelligence analysts to go along with the carefully nurtured “noble lie” that Iraq played a role in 9/11, or even that operational ties existed between Iraq and al-Qaeda, the administration ordered up a separate but related genre of faux intelligence WMD. This PR offensive was something of a challenge, for in the months before 9/11, Condoleezza Rice and then-Secretary of State Colin Powell had insisted publicly that Saddam Hussein posed no security threat. You don’t remember?

On Feb. 24, 2001, Powell had said, “Saddam Hussein has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors.”

And just six weeks before 9/11, Condoleezza Rice told CNN: “let’s remember that his [Saddam’s] country is divided, in effect. He does not control the northern part of his country. We are able to keep his arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt.” Obligingly, the compliant U.S. media pressed the delete button on those telling statements.

How many times have we heard that, after 9/11, “everything changed.” Well, we were soon to observe a major attempt to apply this adage to Saddam’s inventory of WMD that Rice and Powell had said did not exist. The world was being asked to believe that, almost immediately, hundreds of stealth WMD had wafted down like manna from the heavens for a soft landing on the sands of Iraq.

Just days after the Sept. 11 attacks, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld began promoting the notion that Iraq might have weapons of mass destruction and that “within a week, or a month, Saddam could give his WMD to al-Qaeda.” This was an early articulation of the bogus “conjunction of terrorism and WMD,” now immortalized in what is the most damning, first-hand, documentary evidence of U.S./U.K. collusion in launching a war of aggression on false pretenses and how it was to be “justified.”

This evidence was contained in the “Downing Street Memorandum,” written on July 23, 2002, though not published until May 1, 2005, by The London Times (discussed in more detail below). The goal was to systematically conflate Iraq’s supposed stockpiles of WMD with al-Qaeda and 9/11, as a kind of subliminal fear/revenge message to the American public.

It was not long before the agile Rice did a demi-pirouette of 180 degrees, claiming that Saddam had suddenly become “a danger in the region where the 9/11 threat emerged.” By the summer of 2002, the basic decision for war having been taken, something persuasive had to be conjured up to get Congress to authorize it. Weapons of mass deception, as one wag called them, together with warnings about “mushroom clouds” were just what the Doctor Rice ordered.

 

Sadly, CIA’s malleable director George Tenet followed orders to conjure up WMD in a deceitful National Intelligence Estimate issued on Oct. 1, 2002. The NIE’s main purpose was to deceive Congress into authorizing war on Iraq, which Congress did just ten days later.

Amid the media din about WMD, and with Rep. Barbara Lee, D-California, the sole exception, no legislator proved willing to risk being seen as “weak on terrorism” as the mid-term elections approached in November, the disinformation operation was well, you might say a “cakewalk.” Tenet and his deputy John McLaughlin satisfied President Bush they could fashion the evidence into a “slam dunk,” and then fed the cooked intelligence to Secretary of State Colin Powell to use at the U.N.

Riding High, Wolfowitz Slips

Basking in the glory of “Mission Accomplished” after Baghdad fell in April 2003, Wolfowitz succumbed to a brief bout of hubris-induced honesty. He openly admitted that the Bush administration had focused on weapons of mass destruction to justify war on Iraq “for bureaucratic reasons.” It was, he explained, “the one reason everyone could agree on” meaning, of course, the one that could successfully sell the war to Congress and the American people.

As for the real reasons, Wolfowitz again let his guard drop at about the same time. When asked in May 2003 why North Korean WMD were being treated differently from those claimed to exist in Iraq, he responded, “Let’s look at it simply. … [Iraq] swims on a sea of oil.”

Other usually circumspect senior officials have had unguarded moments of candor. In another moment of unusual frankness this one before the war Philip Zelikow, a member of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board from 2001 to 2003, spilled the other key reason.  Discounting any real danger to the U.S. from Iraq, Zelikow pointed rather to the threat he said Iraq posed to Israel as “the unstated threat.” It was a threat, he added, that dared not speak its name because it was so politically sensitive.

Are you getting the picture why the Bush administration didn’t want to level with the American people who might have viewed the war very differently if the real motives and the nagging doubts had been expressed frankly and bluntly?

The force with which CIA analysts were pressed to manufacture intelligence to serve the cause of war was unprecedented in CIA history and included personal visits by Vice President Cheney to make sure the intelligence analysts knew what was wanted. That many of my former colleagues in the Analysis Directorate took willing part in this unconscionable charade was hard to believe. But they did.

At about this time, an anonymous White House official believed to be George W. Bush’s political adviser Karl Rove reportedly boasted, “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality, judiciously, as you will, we’ll act again, creating other new realities.”

As exemplified by Jeb Bush’ memorized lines this past week, there continues to be a huge premium among disciples of Rovian historiography, to “create new reality,” blaming “mistaken intelligence” for the debacle in Iraq and the ensuing chaos throughout the region. The intelligence was wrong; but it was not mistaken; it was out-and-out fraud.

This had become so clear, yet so little known, that ten years ago this month I was finishing a draft for a chapter I called “Sham Dunk: Cooking Intelligence for the President” to appear in Neo-CONNED Again! Hypocrisy, Lawlessness, and the Rape of Iraq.

I was just finishing the draft when a deus ex machina arrived in the form of a major leak to the London Times of official minutes of a briefing of then British Prime Minister Tony Blair at 10 Downing Street on July 23, 2002, eight months before the war on Iraq, and three days after visiting CIA Director George Tenet to confirm for Blair exactly what Bush and Cheney were planning. The Downing Street document destroyed the argument, already being promoted in 2005 by those responsible for the fraud, that intelligence mistakes were to blame for the war in Iraq.

The Downing Street Memorandum

I would like to draw from the first couple of paragraphs of the chapter, since, sadly, they seem relevant today as the historical rewrite about “intelligence errors” is recurring now at the start of Campaign 2016. But first, here is the text of the most damaging part of the Downing Street Memo as “C” — Richard Dearlove, the head of British intelligence reported on 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. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime’s record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.” (emphasis added)

Following is the introduction to my chapter:

“Let’s review. It was bad intelligence that forced an unwitting president to invade Iraq, right? The sad fact that so many Americans believe this myth is eloquent testimony to the effectiveness of the White House spin machine. The intelligence was indeed bad — shaped that way by an administration determined to find a pretext to effect ‘regime change’ in Iraq.

“Senior administration officials — first and foremost Vice President Dick Cheney — played a strong role in ensuring that the intelligence analysis was corrupt enough to justify, ex post facto, the decision to make war on Iraq. It is not altogether clear how witting President George W. Bush was of all this, but there is strong evidence that he knew chapter and verse. Had he been mousetrapped into this ‘preemptive’ war, one would expect some heads to roll. None have. And where is it, after all, that the buck is supposed to stop?

“The intelligence-made-me-do-it myth has helped the Bush administration attenuate the acute embarrassment it experienced early last year [2004] when the casus belli became a casus belly laugh. When U.S. inspector David Kay, after a painstaking search to which almost a billion dollars and many lives were given, reported that there had been no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq since 1991, someone had to take the fall.

“Elected was CIA director George Tenet, the backslapping fellow from Queens always eager to do whatever might be necessary to play with the bigger kids. For those of you just in from Mars, the grave danger posed by Iraqi weapons of mass destruction was what President Bush cited as the casus belli for invading Iraq. It was only after Kay had the courage to tell the truth publicly that Bush fell back on the default rationale for the war; namely, the need to export democracy, about which we are hearing so much lately.

“Not surprisingly, the usual suspects in the mainstream media that played cheerleader for the war are now helping the president (and the media) escape blame. Flawed intelligence that led the United States to invade Iraq was the fault of the US intelligence community, explained the Washington Times last July 10 [2004], after regime loyalist Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, released his committee’s findings.

 

“Nine months later, after publication of similar findings by a commission handpicked by the president, the Washington Post’s lead headline was ‘Data on Iraqi Arms Flawed, Panel Says.’ The date was, appropriately, April Fools Day, 2005. In a word, they are playing us for fools. The remarkable thing is that most folks don’t seem able, or willing, to recognize that or even to mind.

“On May 1, 2005, a highly sensitive document published by The Sunday Times of London provided the smoking gun showing that President Bush had decided to make war on Iraq long before the National Intelligence Estimate was produced to conjure up ‘weapons of mass destruction’ there and mislead Congress into granting authorization for war.

“The British document is classified ‘SECRET AND STRICTLY PERSONAL U.K. EYES ONLY.’ And small wonder. It contains an official account of Prime Minister Tony Blair’s meeting with top advisers on July 23, 2002, at which Sir Richard Dearlove, head of MI6 (the U.K. equivalent to the CIA), simply ‘C’ in the written document, reported on talks he had just held in Washington with top U.S. officials. Blair has now acknowledged the authenticity of the document.

“As related in the document, Dearlove told Blair and the others that President Bush wanted to remove Saddam Hussein through military action, that this ‘was seen as inevitable,’ and that the attack would be ‘justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD.’ He continued: ‘… but the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.’

“Dearlove tacked on yet another telling comment: ‘There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.’ British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw concurred that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, but noted that finding justification would be challenging, for ‘the case was thin.’ Straw pointed out that Saddam was not threatening his neighbors, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea, or Iran.

“As head of MI6, Dearlove was CIA Director George Tenet’s British counterpart. We Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) have been saying since January 2003 that the two intelligence chiefs’ marching orders were to ‘fix’ the intelligence around the policy. It was a no-brainer.

“Seldom, however, does one acquire documentary evidence that this the unforgivable sin in intelligence analysis was used by the most senior U.S. government leaders as a way to ‘justify’ a prior decision for war. There is no word to describe our reaction to the fact that the two intelligence chiefs quietly acquiesced in the corruption of our profession on a matter of such consequence. ‘Outrage’ doesn’t even come close.”

Challenging Rumsfeld

A year later in Atlanta, I had an unusual chance to publicly challenge then Defense Secretary Rumsfeld no stranger to the dissembling about WMD about his earlier claims saying he knew were the WMD were in Iraq, and knew of ties between Iraq and al-Qaeda. My question grew into a mini-debate of four minutes, during which he lied, demonstrably, on both issues. As luck would have it, May 4, 2006 was a very slow news day, and our mini-debate took place in early afternoon, enabling serious journalists like Keith Olbermann to perform a “fact-check.”

Finally, on June 5, 2008, then-chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Jay Rockefeller made some remarkable comments that got sparse attention in U.S. media. Announcing the findings of a bipartisan report of a five-year study on misstatements on prewar intelligence on Iraq, Rockefeller said:

“In making the case for war, the Administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when in reality it was unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent. As a result, the American people were led to believe that the threat from Iraq was much greater than actually existed.”

 

Anyone know what “non-existent” intelligence looks like?

What has become painfully clear since the trauma of 9/11 is that most of our fellow citizens have felt an overriding need to believe that administration leaders are telling them the truth and to ignore all evidence to the contrary. Many Americans seem impervious to data showing that it was the administration that misled the country into this unprovoked war and that the “intelligence” was conjured up well after the White House decided to effect “regime change” in Iraq (or introduce democracy, if you favor the default rationale) by force of arms.

I have been asking myself why so many Americans find it so painful to delve deeper. Why do they resist letting their judgment be influenced by the abundance of evidence, much of it documentary, exposing how little or no evidence there was to support what was a most consequential fraud? Perhaps it is because they know that responsible citizenship means asking what might seem to be “impertinent” questions, ferreting out plausible answers, and then, when necessary, holding people accountable, rectifying the situation, and ensuring it does not happen again.

Resistance, however, remains strong. At work in all of us to some degree is the same convenient denial mechanism that immobilized so many otherwise conscientious German citizens during the 1930s, enabling Germany to launch its own unprovoked wars and curtail civil liberties at home. Taking action, or just finding one’s voice, entails risk; denial is the more instinctive, easier course.

But it is too late for denial. We might take to heart Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s warning: “… there is such a thing as being too late. … Life often leaves us standing bare, naked and dejected with a lost opportunity. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residue of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words: ‘Too late.’”

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He served for 27 years in CIA’s Analysis Directorate, coming “out of retirement” when he saw his former profession being corrupted to “justify” a war of aggression.  At that point he joined with others to create Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) in an attempt to hold former colleagues accountable.

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36 comments for “The Phony ‘Bad Intel’ Defense on Iraq

  1. Kevin Cahill
    May 15, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    I’m glad someone in the USA is trying to recall the US back to its roots and its ideals, and able to use UK Secret documents to do it. Ray is focused on the war in Iraq, a report into which we have been waiting for years for. But the evil that empires do – Rove is the man here- is never buried with their rotten bones. It lives on in the hatred felt for Imperial warmongering that descends through generations and appears as IS and other death cults. Would Ray class Cheyney, Rumsfelt and Wolfowitz as war criminals ? I do. But then our own Government followed these criminals into war, and appear to have had far better information that the intel was phony.. I wonder what Chilcott will say

  2. Dick Chicanery
    May 15, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    It is more accurate, is it not, to say that persons and institutions within the U.S. had more to do with the 19 men who high-jacked the airplanes on 11 September 2001. Iraq had nothing to do with the terrorists of that day; but institutions, agents, men, within the United States did. Read up on the nineteen high-jackers and where they were and what they were doing in the months and years before September 2001. If any country should have been attacked, punished, and “regime changed” it is the fascist, corporate U.S.

    • Anonymous
      May 15, 2015 at 3:19 pm

      Absolutely true. The festering, putrid corrupt government of this country are actively or passively co-conspirators. My sons and nephews have been told that to serve in the US military will lead to their immediate disinheritance.

      • W. R. Knight
        May 15, 2015 at 4:21 pm

        Please, let’s not whip the privates for the mistakes of the generals.

  3. Randy Bloke
    May 15, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    Men, it is all men, isn’t it? When we speak of war, killing, terrorism, fascist plots and money-making schemes that ruin we speak of men and their stupid, stinky idea’s. There are no female imam’s are there? Phyllis Schlafly and Con Rice not withstanding, there are no fascist women scheming, scamming, plotting and contriving to conduct all of these genocidal adventures. We ought to pay better attention to, and give greater autonomy to the chicks…sorry, WOMEN, of the world. Who is it that is in control of everything, and seeks always more control? “Only 98% of everything caters to men.” (Charlie Brooker).

    • Anonymous
      May 16, 2015 at 4:46 pm

      How would Hillary Clinton figure into your tale? ” We came, we saw, he died.” Haw haw haw. Some peace activist

      • Jay
        May 16, 2015 at 6:54 pm

        While Libya is a giant mess, the US didn’t invade.

        And France and England did a lot of cheerleading for that war.

        H. Rodham (Clinton) was a Goldwater girl in high school, that’s pretty far from a peace activist.

        Whatever her many problems and failings, Hillary Clinton is smarter than Rice, and certainly wouldn’t have committed the US to a foolish war in 2003 if Clinton were president. Clinton’s vote is pretty far from the crime Rice is guilty of.

        • dahoit
          May 17, 2015 at 12:19 pm

          The Libyan disaster was all on US,as it wouldn’t have been enacted wo our support.And what our intrepid media might tell or not tell you doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.(or not)

          • Jay
            May 19, 2015 at 4:05 pm

            dah,

            And the Libya disaster wouldn’t have happened without France and England.

    • Thomas Howard
      May 17, 2015 at 11:09 am

      Men looking to follow women aren’t leaders nor men.

      • Intellectually conservative
        May 19, 2015 at 12:00 pm

        I know! It is such an awful an threatening prospect! Yuck!

    • Bob Loblaw
      May 19, 2015 at 3:13 pm

      Vicki Nuland would fit nicely in your niche.

      Hillary too, a neocon sweetheart she will make Duhbya look like a piker when it comes to brown people dying and suffering for war hardware maker’s profit margins.

  4. Marshall McComb
    May 15, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    For the record, I’m offering my memories about the Iraq tragedy and the testimony of Paul O’Neill in particular – and offering a plea to journalists, politicians, and my fellow readers.

    During 2001-2003, we lived way out in the country, with a poor Internet connection. Yet, even there we could find out why Bush/Cheney were pressing to attack Iraq after 9/11 – but with no real evidence of Iraq’s involvement. We learned of the Project For The New American Century (PNAC), founded by Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and others (newamericancentury.org). We read of their neoconservative ideology and their goal of world military domination. We could see that Bush/Cheney were using 9/11 merely as an excuse to attack Iraq. We were grateful when five members of our Oregon Congressional delegation voted against it. Were other politicians afraid of being labeled “unpatriotic?” We wrote letters to politicians, newspapers, and friends. We joined peace marches.

    The Associated Press made a rare challenge to the Bush/Cheney deceptions while reporting Colin Powell’s speech to the United Nations in February, 2003. AP reported that many of the industrial plants pictured in Powell’s satellite photos had already been visited and cleared by U.N. weapons inspectors, after Saddam unexpectedly re-admitted them in late 2002. President Bush could have declared victory and come home, but he attacked anyway, with no justification, and in violation of international law.

    In early 2004, Ron Suskind’s book, “The Price of Loyalty,” was published. It contained former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill’s first-hand, detailed account of Bush/Cheney planning to attack Iraq during their very first days in office, as a “demonstration project” of our military might. Disclosure of the Downing Street Minutes in 2005 confirmed that during 2002 Bush/Cheney were fabricating the reasons for the attack.

    But through it all, most of our mainstream media and a majority of Congress remained silent.

    4,230 U.S. soldiers are dead. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died, and millions were displaced. We ruined their country and surrendered our moral leadership in the name of neoconservative ideology.

    Here is my plea: We must never let this happen again.

    • Bill Bodden
      May 16, 2015 at 11:50 am

      Very well said, but – We ruined their country and surrendered our moral leadership in the name of neoconservative ideology .- our moral leadership was only a temporary phase in American history and didn’t last long after the end of WW2.

      • dahoit
        May 17, 2015 at 12:24 pm

        Do you think our war efforts in Europe and Asia were morally correct,with bombing of civilians in Europe and absolute barbarism against Japanese troops and Japanese civilians?We nuked them.

  5. Jay
    May 15, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    It’s not just a lie that Jeb Bush has been repeating in the last week.

    Various articles in the New York Times have repeated the faulty intelligence lie, as a verified fact. And I mean as late as the year 2013.

    Not seen it recently, but I may just have missed it.

    This lie in the Times was a huge failure of the Jill Abramson editorship.

    • dahoit
      May 17, 2015 at 12:26 pm

      No,its a failure of ownership,as the Sulzsbergers? are all Zioniists,and she is an appointee.The Times coverage of the ME has been abysmal since 1948.

      • Jay
        May 19, 2015 at 4:06 pm

        dah,

        That’s simplistic at best. And the Times is plenty flawed.

    • Bob Loblaw
      May 19, 2015 at 3:24 pm

      Thus you nail the version that will be written into history books. Thanks

      Personally, I hate to give folks a harsh dose of the facts, BUT I cannot stop myself whenever I hear someone going on about ‘faulty’ intelligence.
      Americans’ collective disgrace is ignorance to facts while repeating the lie, then attacking anyone who dares tell the truth. We have become the monkey experiment;
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0344qRfAOtA

  6. Zachary Smith
    May 15, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    I’m partial to this summary version I read earlier today at the Naked Capitalism site:

    Repeat after me: The Iraq intel was not poor. It was falsified. And nobody Serious in the political class will admit that, to this very day, including Jebbie or Hillary.

    A few moments ago I looked up the votes of my Indiana Senators for the Iraq War Resolution.

    Indiana Evan Bayh (D): Yes Richard Lugar (R): Yes

    Bayh was a generic hack who always did what he was told, but Richard Lugar knew better. As did many of the others. If somebody like myself – out in the middle of Indiana on dial-up internet – could figure out the whole thing was a fraud, all of the “yes” senators could come to the same conclusion. And most likely they all did, but Israel damned well wanted Iraq “whacked”, and so the deed was done.

    Israel has owned the US congress for a very long time.

    • JWalters
      May 15, 2015 at 7:36 pm
    • Cal
      May 16, 2015 at 1:22 pm

      Yea, it was falsified and fed to everyone. But lets not pretend that no one knew it was hokey….. plenty of it was exposed and questioned in the foreign press as it was happening for gawds sake.
      Powell knew it was shit but his ‘generalship’ and future invitations to WH dinners overrode his patriotism—Tenet also knew the info was shit but there again he wanted to keep his job.
      And ‘if’ you did follow the bread crumb trail in detail in the foreign press and some net investigative articles you knew damn well who was stovepiping this intel crap–the I-First Jews in the Bush adm and and those he had appointed to the pentagon.
      The only way you’ re ever going to get justice for this horror and prevent future ones is not by ‘signing petitions’ and begging for moral principles from politicans who dont any—-you’re going to have buy yourself some good professional assassins ,give them a list and send them out to administer the proper punishment and preventative.

      ”Patrick Tyler’s forthcoming book, A World of Trouble, about America’s tortured relations with the Middle East, and the prologue contains this whopper of a scene, one that is quite devastating, if true: An enraged George Tenet, drunk on scotch, flailing about Prince Bandar’s Riyadh pool, screaming about the Bush Administration officials who were just then trying to pin the Iraq WMD fiasco on him:

      A servant appeared with a bottle. Tenet knocked back some of the scotch. Then some more. They watched with concern. He drained half the bottle in a few minutes.
      “They’re setting me up. The bastards are setting me up,” Tenet said, but “I am not going to take the hit.”

      And then this:

      “According to one witness, he mocked the neoconservatives in the Bush administration and their alignment with the rlght wing of Israel’s political establishment, referring to them with exaxperation as, “the Jews.”

      http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2008/12/george-tenet-drunk-in-bandar-apos-s-pool-screaming-about-jews/9213/

  7. Piotr Berman
    May 15, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    There is some aspect that should be stressed. Intelligence agencies, a.k.a. “special services” have many functions. One is to obtain information that could facilitate decision making and more detailed planning. A much larger component is breaking an assortment of laws for assortment of purposes, and as a part of it, fostering corruption in the media and disseminating lies that are convenient for U.S.A. government. So called information warfare.

    Collecting bits useful for such propaganda has a superficial similarity to collecting intelligence. For example, sources are recruited and debriefed. I am sure that agents know the difference between interrogation to obtain propaganda pieces and interrogation to obtain truthful information. And the files prepared for information warfare are not tagged with warnings: “lies for consumption outside the government”. Any professional should be able to tell the difference. When Tenet referred to “slam dunk case” he presumably spoke with the knowledge that crap on Iraq was being prepared for decades. And when he was ordered to “prepare the case” he knew that he cannot touch any actual verified intelligence.

    • Bob Loblaw
      May 19, 2015 at 3:37 pm

      Right, “faulty” as in fabricated and censored for propaganda purposes. And when a rat exposes the lie(Yellowcake) his wife’s career is eviscerated no less.

  8. Bill Bodden
    May 15, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    As I recall, Dick Durbin (D-IL) said several years after the invasion of Iraq that the senate intelligence (sic) committee was briefed on matters related to Iraq by intelligence officials whose reports contradicted the version propagated by the White House and the fawning corporate media. Durbin claimed his oath to secrecy prevented him from going public (and being a profile in courage). Durbin voted against going to war; Rockefeller voted aye. So the pre-war intelligence (sic) in effect was whose version people wanted to believe.

  9. JWalters
    May 15, 2015 at 7:33 pm

    I recall news reports that the Iraqis were granting total access to the U.N. weapons inspectors, anywhere and anytime without advance warning. Shortly after that Bush ordered all the inspectors out. It was obvious simply from following the regular news the only conceivable motive for this was to avoid finding out the truth, and the only conceivable motive for that was to attack Iraq regardless of the truth.

    Thanks to Ray McGovern for this clear and succinct recounting of the story. Gradually these facts are making their way into the public awareness. A tipping point is coming.

  10. Bill Bodden
    May 15, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    To paraphrase the Scottish bard, “O, wad some Power the giftie gie us ..to have a Nuremberg-type trial of the Iraq war’s perpetrators.

  11. Anonymous
    May 15, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    It is beyond apparent, confirmed by many proffesionals, that we were engaged in this war by devious scheming government officials. While America was bogged down in their evil, vile machinations, China,.Russia, the other BRICS moved on. As the former head of Israeli Shin Bet, Avrel Shalom, said ( not in this context ) ” all tactics, no strategy.”

  12. May 16, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    I am still under the assumption that the original kernel for the Iraq invasion, was the fact that Cheney and his cabal got the nod from the bankers…that Iraq had started an early attack on the all-mighty petro-dollar by deciding to sell oil for euros and rubles and refusing payment in dollars…please correct me if this assumption is wrong….regards

    • Jay
      May 16, 2015 at 6:49 pm

      dj,

      The attack on the petro dollar, though real, is a distraction.

      Iraq had almost zero power to do anything so radical as undermine the US dollar in 2002, and there are a number of other reasons they (Cheney) wanted to invade.

      In fact the US dollar lost a lot of value as soon as the invasion started. And this was a well predicted result.

  13. Hillary
    May 17, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Is the US guilty ?
    Since when did the US ever have an independent middle-east policy??.

    Was the Iraq war orchestrated by “Zionists” imbedded in the Governments of the major western powers ?

    The primary source of all this evil and mayhem in the world is the “Zionist project” in Palestine.

    They co-opted western governments from Australia, Britain, the US Canada, Germany, France; every nation that could possibly stop them.

    In these captive countries, support for the Palestine cause could cost you your career; even your life if you pose a big enough threat.
    http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2014/06/iraq-nightmare/

  14. Eddie
    May 17, 2015 at 11:07 am

    “The intelligence was wrong; but it was not mistaken; it was out-and-out fraud.” — exactly right Mr. McGovern! In this day and age, with the abundant credible information available on-line and in print, it’s unconscionable that anyone would still try to portray the position that they believe that that there was accidentally bad intelligence that lead to the Iraq invasion. As you ably discussed above, this was not something that was hard to find DURING the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, and that’s where I hold the US voting public at least 50% at fault in this whole illegal, immoral episode. Much like the Three-Card Monty scam on the street of NYC, there’s a huckster (and often his shills) on one side, but just as importantly there’s a gullible ‘mark’ who — while in his head he knows it’s a scam — wants to believe that it’s true and suspends his normal, reasonable skepticism. Thus was it so with too many of the US public who wanted to believe the ‘man behind the curtain’ during the post-9/11 period. Additionally, I believe that in the darker recesses of the minds of a large number of US citizens there was an unspeakable, casual belief that taking over Iraq would lower their gas prices. So — even in spite of the fact that many Iraqis would die — they were OK with whatever contrived, implausible excuse the politicians came up with, as long as they paid appreciably less at the pump.

  15. Ibrahim Soudy
    May 18, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    Anybody seen any evidence that Al-Qaeda did 9/11? Any responses to Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth…..Pilots for 9/11 Truth?

    • Dalton Quirk
      May 18, 2015 at 5:14 pm

      Waleed bin Ibrahim Al Ibrahim
      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
      Waleed Al Ibrahim
      Born Waleed bin Ibrahim Al Ibrahim
      Residence Riyadh
      Nationality Saudi Arabian
      Occupation Chairman of Middle East Broadcasting Company (MBC)
      Years active 1991 – present
      Net worth US$ 2.9 billion (2009)[1]
      Religion Islam

      Waleed Al Ibrahim is a Saudi Arabian businessman and chairman of Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC). He is the first commercially successful TV channel owner in the Middle East.[2]

  16. Dalton Quirk
    May 18, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    Weapons of MASS DESTRUCTION were there and are there. End of story. There was no fabrications, but spin by the COMMUNISTS THAT HAVE TAKEN OVER AMERICAN GOVERNMENTS.

  17. Dalton Quirk
    May 18, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    Why not?
    Soudy v Česku – Wikipedie
    cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soudy_v_ÄŒesku
    Translate this pageCzech Wikipedia
    Soudy v ÄŒesku jsou nezávislé státní orgány vykonávající podle hlavy čtvrté Ústavy soudní moc. Tedy zákonem stanoveným způsobem zajiÅ¡Å¥ují v …
    ‎Soustava soudů – ‎Právní úprava – ‎Organizace a činnost českých soudů – ‎Historie
    Soud – Wikipedie
    cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soud
    Translate this pageCzech Wikipedia
    Obsah. 1 Soudní moc; 2 Druhy soudů. 2.1 Obecné soudy; 2.2 Zvláštní soudy. 3 Odkazy. 3.1 Reference; 3.2 Související články; 3.3 Externí odkazy …
    Soudy – Justice.cz
    portal.justice.cz/Justice2/…/Soudy.as…
    Translate this pageMinistry of Justice
    Ministerstvo spravedlnosti · Soudy · Státní zastupitelství · Rejstřík trestů · Justiční akademie · Institut pro … Nejvyšší a vrchní soudy … Okresní a krajské soudy …

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