Vice President Dick Cheney's Energy Task Force releases its energy plan. The plan, titled, Reliable, Affordable and Environmentally Sound Energy for America?s Future, warns that the quantity of oil imported per day will need to rise more than fifty percent to 16.7 million barrels by 2020. “A significant disruption in world oil supplies could adversely affect our economy and our ability to promote key foreign and economic policy objectives, regardless of the level of US dependence on oil imports,” the report explains. One of these objectives is to open markets to US investors and promote free trade through new investment treaties. To meet the United States' rising demand for imported oil, the plan calls for “deep water offshore exploration and production in the Atlantic Basin, stretching from offshore Canada to the Caribbean, Brazil and West Africa.” People and organizations involved: Dick Cheney
May 9, 2001
The Energy Department reports that the 7075-T6 aluminum tubes being sought by Iraq from China (see July 2001) have the same specifications as tubes previously used by Iraq to produce conventional rocket tubes. The findings are published in the department's classified Daily Intelligence Highlight, which is posted on an intranet network accessible by members of the intelligence community and the White House. People and organizations involved: Department of Energy (DOE)
May 15, 2001
Powell says that Saddam Hussein has not been able to “build his military back up or to develop weapons of mass destruction” for “the last 10 years,” adding that the sanctions policy had successfully kept him “in a box.” People and organizations involved: Colin Powell
May 23, 2001
A container shipment of 3,000 7075-T6 aluminum tubes manufactured in China leaves southern China for Hong Kong on a slow barge. From there the shipment will go to Jordan. The tubes' final destination is Iraq.
May 25, 2001
The Chinese government contacts a Chinese aluminum manufacturer that has just filled an order for 3,000 7075-T6 aluminum tubes, which is now on its way to Iraq. The company is told that the US government has a special interest in the order and is determined to prevent the shipment from reaching its destination.
Following leads from the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) (see 2000), a team of CIA agents and Jordanian secret police confiscate a shipment to 3,000 7075-T6 aluminum tubes in Jordan. The tubes had been purchased by a Jordanian front company, AT&C, on behalf of Iraq. It is later learned that Iraq's supply of rocket body casing tubes is depleted at about this time (see January 9, 2003) and that “housands of warheads, motors and fins ... crated at the assembly lines , awaiting the arrival of tubes.” It is also later determined that the shipment of tubes is meant to replenish Iraq's supply of rocket casing tubes; they are not for Iraq's alleged nuclear weapons program.
The UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) obtains a few samples of the 7075-T6 aluminum tubes that were seized by the CIA and Jordanian secret service. They examine the tubes and initially are quite skeptical that the Iraqis intended to use them as rotors in a gas centrifuge. Later this month, CIA agent Joe T. flies to Vienna and presents his case to the IAEA. But experts at the agency disagree with his conclusions and explain to him why the believe his analysis is wrong. “They pointed out errors in his calculations. They noted design discrepancies,” an unnamed senior US official will later tell the New York Times. David Albright, a physicist and former weapons inspector, who heads the Institute for Science and International Security, similarly explains to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation: “The view in Vienna in the summer of 2001 was ‘Maybe this guy has a clever idea, but he really is just grabbing at almost straws to prove his case, and when he's debunked in one model, he then shifts it and tries to make his information fit another centrifuge model.’ And yet whenever you confronted him with the facts or the weaknesses in argument, he always came back with the same answer— ‘It's only for centrifuges.’ ” When Joe T. returns to Washington, he tells his superiors at the CIA that the IAEA agrees with his theory. But according to an unnamed senior US official, scientists at the IAEA send a summary of their views on the tubes to the US government. People and organizations involved: Joe T.
Joe T. maintains his claim that the 7075-T6 aluminum tubes imported by Iraq but intercepted by the US in Jordan (see July 2001) were meant to be used as rotors in centrifuges. Joe T.'s theory becomes one of the most important components of the Bush administration's argument that Saddam Hussein is pursuing the development of nuclear weapons. Despite significant criticisms of his theory from prominent experts in the field, Joe T. (see (Mid-July 2001)-August 17, 2001) (see September 23, 2002) (see December 2002) receives an award for exceptional performance from the CIA for his analysis of the intercepted aluminum tubes. People and organizations involved: Joe T.
(July 2001-March 2003)
In meetings and telephone calls, CIA officials inform administration officials that experts at the Department of Energy do not believe that the aluminum tubes sought by Iraq are intended for use in a gas centrifuge.
(July 2001-March 2003)
During briefings, intelligence analysts at CIA Winpac inform senior National Security Council officials who deal with nuclear proliferation issues that experts at the Department of Energy do not believe that the aluminum tubes sought by Iraq were intended for use in a gas centrifuge.
National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice says, “Saddam does not control the northern part of the country. We are able to keep his arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt.” People and organizations involved: Condoleezza Rice
July 23, 2001-July 25, 2001
The twenty-fourth negotiating session convenes to negotiate a proposal to add an enforcement and verification protocol to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. For three days, representatives from more than 50 member-states speak favorably of ending the negotiations and adopting the protocol. The mechanism would require member-states to annually declare their biodefense facilities and programs as well as any industrial facilities with capabilities to produce microbial cultures in quantity. Additionally, all member-states would be subject to random inspections of any plant where biological weapons could be made. Inspections would also be conducted if a facility is suspected of illegally producing bioweapons; there are allegations of bioweapons use; or in the event of a disease outbreak suspected to be the result of the activities of a bioweapons facility. But on July 25, US Ambassador Donald Mahley announces that the US will block any consensus on the proposed changes to the convention. “The United States has concluded that the current approach to a protocol to the Biological Weapons Convention . . . is not, in our view, capable of . . . strengthening confidence in compliance with the Biological Weapons Convention,” he says. “We will therefore be unable to support the current text, even with changes.” US opposition to the convention is based on fears that inspections of US facilities might harm the profits of US biotech companies and impede the United States' current “biodefense” program. People and organizations involved: Donald Mahley
Early September 2001
At the behest of Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, former CIA director James Woolsey flies to London to look for evidence tying Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and evidence that 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta had worked with Iraqi intelligence to plan the September 11 attacks. Woolsey is advised to meet with Iraqi exiles and others who may have useful intelligence. Secretary of State Colin Powell and CIA director George Tenet are not informed of the visit. People and organizations involved: Paul Wolfowitz, James Woolsey
September 4, 2001
The New York Times reports: “Over the past several years, the United States has embarked on a program of secret research on biological weapons that, some officials say, tests the limits of the global treaty banning such weapons. ... The projects, which have not been previously disclosed, were begun under President Clinton and have been embraced by the Bush administration, which intends to expand them.” The US claims that this research is needed to protect Americans from the threat posed by rogue nations or terrorist groups who may be developing such weapons.
September 11, 2001-March 17, 2003
In the months leading up to the war with Iraq, Bush administration officials manipulate the intelligence provided to them by analysts in order to drum up support for the invasion. Some analysts complain that they are under pressure to write assessments that support the administration's case for invading Iraq. On March 7, 2002, Knight Ridder reports that various military officials, intelligence employees, and diplomats in the Bush administration have charged “that the administration squelches dissenting views and that intelligence analysts are under intense pressure to produce reports supporting the White House's argument that Hussein poses such an immediate threat to the United States that preemptive military action is necessary.” Additional Info Statements
Unnamed Unnamed US/British military officials, intelligence professionals, and diplomats “Analysts at the working level in the intelligence community are feeling very strong pressure from the Pentagon to cook the intelligence books.” — October 2002 John Prados “What is clear from intelligence reporting is that until about 1998 the CIA was fairly comfortable with its assessments on Iraq. But from that time on the agency gradually buckled under the weight of pressure to adopt alarmist views. After mid-2001, the rush to judgment on Iraq became a stampede.” — June 2003 Stansfield Turner “There is no question in my mind (policymakers) distorted the situation, either because they had bad intelligence or because they misinterpreted it.” — mid June 2003 Unnamed US official “They take a fact that you could draw several different conclusions from, and in every case they draw the conclusion that supports the policy, without any particular evidence that would meet the normal bar that analytic tradecraft would require for you to make that conclusion.” — July 2003 Unnamed senior Central Intelligence Agency official Visits to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia by Dick Cheney and his chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby, “sent signals, intended or otherwise, that a certain output was desired from here.” — June 4, 2003 Richard Clarke “I realized with almost a sharp physical pain that (Defense Secretary Donald) Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz were going to try to take advantage of this national tragedy to promote their agenda about Iraq.” — 2004 “The crisis was manufactured, and Bush political adviser Karl Rove was telling Republicans to ‘run on the war.’ ” — 2004 “The White House carefully manipulated public opinion, never quite lied, but gave the very strong impression that Iraq did it. They did know better. We told them. The CIA told them. The FBI told them. They did know better. And the tragedy here is that Americans went to their death in Iraq thinking that they were avenging Sept. 11, when Iraq had nothing to do with Sept. 11. I think for a commander in chief and a vice president to allow that to happen is unconscionable.” — March 2004 Unnamed Senior CIA analyst “Information not consistent with the administration agenda was discarded and information that was was not seriously scrutinized.” — summer 2003 Patrick Lang The Pentagon “started picking out things that supported their thesis and stringing them into arguments that they could use with the President. It's not intelligence. It's political propaganda.” — May 2003 The Cabal had “cherry-picked the intelligence stream” so that its conclusions would support the case for war. The Defense Intelligence Agency had been “exploited and abused and bypassed in the process of making the case for war in Iraq based on the presence of WMD.” — May 2003 “In some cases, they managed to push the intel guys back. In other cases, where they couldn't do that, they simply ignored them.” — June 2003 Ray McGovern “y no stretch of the imagination was it an honest mistake. We were able to tell by last fall that there was very little substance to the main charges with respect to weapons of mass destruction. Even the sanitized version of the National Intelligence Estimate that was put on the CIA Web site—if you have any experience in intelligence, you could see what a thin reed they were relying on, and that there was little possibility of substantiating Dick Cheney's claim that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear weapons program. That, of course, is the mushroom cloud that scared Congress into ceding its power to wage war.” — July 2003 “The Agency analysts that we are in touch with are disheartened, dispirited, angry. They are outraged.” — July 2003 Vince Cannistraro “The Iraqi opposition, particularly the group led by Ahmed Chalabi, whose intelligence was underwritten by the Pentagon, played a crucial role in informing the Pentagon ... with information that looks, from this vantage point, like it was fraudulent, in many cases was fabricated, and the most benign interpretation was that it was just flat wrong.” — June 2003 “Basically, cooked information is working its way into high-level pronouncements and there's a lot of unhappiness about it in intelligence, especially among analysts at the CIA.” — late 2002 “All I can tell you is there is a general feeling among CIA analysts that intelligence was politicized and that the CIA and (Defense Intelligence Agency) was not given full consideration because the Pentagon, the policymakers, including the vice-president's office, did not want to hear that message. They wanted to hear a hardline message supporting a policy they already adopted.” — mid 2003 “They are politicizing intelligence, no question about it. And they are undertaking a campaign to get George Tenet fired because they can't get him to say what they want on Iraq.” — October 25, 2002 He told Reuters that “he knew of serving intelligence officers who blame the Pentagon for playing up ‘fraudulent’ intelligence” that had been acquired through the notorious Ahmad Chalabi of the Iraqi National Congress. — May 30, 2003 Unnamed British intelligence officer “You cannot just cherry-pick evidence that suits your case and ignore the rest. It is a cardinal rule of intelligence. Yet that is what the PM is doing. What we have is a few strands of highly circumstantial evidence, and to justify an attack on Iraq it is being presented as a cast-iron case. That really is not good enough” — April 2003 David Albright “The normal processing of establishing accurate intelligence was sidestepped.” — May 2003 “I don't know why there is not more debate. I have heard that a lot of people are expected to remain silent. has certainly scared people. I met one government scientist who said his phone was being monitored.” — September 2003 “I don't know why there is not more debate. I have heard that a lot of people are expected to remain silent. has certainly scared people. I met one government scientist who said his phone was being monitored.” — September 2003 “I saw that the administration was picking evidence quite carefully to support that Iraq had a nuclear weapons program. For example, there were defectors, credible defectors that said, ‘Iraq has no nuclear weapons programs.’ I never heard the administration talk about them.” — June 2003 Melvin A. Goodman “I get into the issue of politicization. They don't say much during the question period, but afterwards people come up to me, DIA and CIA analysts who have had this pressure. I've gotten stories from DIA people being called into a supervisor's office and told they might lose their job if they didn't revise a paper. ‘This is not what the administration is looking for. You've got to find WMD's, which are out there.’ ” — January 2004 Max Cleland “The administration sold the connection (between Iraq and al-Qaeda) to scare the pants off the American people and justify the war. There's no connection, and that's been confirmed by some of bin Laden's terrorist followers ... What you've seen here is the manipulation of intelligence for political ends.” — July 23, 2003 “The reason this report was delayed for so long—deliberately opposed at first, then slow-walked after it was created—is that the administration wanted to get the war in Iraq in and over ... before (it) came out. Had this report come out in January like it should have done, we would have known these things before the war in Iraq, which would not have suited the administration.” — July 23, 2003 Unnamed US Intelligence Officials “Intelligence officials said that several CIA analysts had quietly complained that senior Defense Department officials and other Bush administration officials sought to press them to produce reports that supported the administration's positions on Iraq.” — May 2003 Bob Graham “Several analysts have told colleagues they have become so frustrated that they have considered leaving the agency, according to government officials who have talked with the analysts.” — March 23, 2003 Frank Anderson “Everybody in the community was intensely aware that they didn't have the intelligence. They knew they didn't have it .... The operational side was beating its head against the wall, saying, ‘We don't have it. We have to figure out a way to get it.’ The analytical side was understandably frustrated, and doing its best to provide analysis when there is limited, and bad information.... Because of the lack of humanity, we didn't have enough countervailing intelligence to dismiss what they were selling ... So in the end of the day, there was a strong bias to buy the intelligence that fit what the policy makers wanted. And it looks like that's what happened.” — Early 2004 Andrew Wilkie In London, there was an “over-reliance” on “garbage grade human intelligence” by individuals he said were “desperate to encourage intervention.” — June 19, 2003 “The British and Australian governments were deliberately intent on using WMD to exaggerate the Iraq threat so as to stay in step with the US.... The apparent direct political interference with intelligence agencies in the United States and the more subtle political pressure applied in London and Canberra, meant that the rules were different with Iraq. Intelligence that once would have been discarded was now useable, with qualification. The problem was that the juicy bits of intelligence most in accord with governments position were being latched on to and the qualifications were being dropped.” — June 19, 2003 “In the assessments on the US, it was being made very clear to government all the things which were driving the US on Iraq. WMD wasn't the most important issue. In fact, it was seen as a secondary issue. .... It was also about the credibility of the US military. The US sees its military and threat of force as one of its most important foreign policy tools. They had threatened to use force and would lose credibility if they didn't.” — June 9, 2003 “ ‘Intelligence’ was how the Americans described the material accumulating on Iraq from their super-sophisticated spy systems. But two analysts at the Office of National Assessments in Canberra, a decent chunk of the growing pile looked like rubbish. In their offices on the top floor of the drab ASIO building, ONA experts found much of the US material worthy only of the delete button or the classified waste chute to the truck-sized shredder in the basement. ... Report after report from the bureaucracy made it abundantly clear that the US impatience to go for Iraq had very little to do with WMDs and an awful lot to do with US strategic and domestic interests.” — June 19, 2003 The Australian government portrayed Iraq as a country where “every factory was up to no good and weaponization was continuing apace.” — August 22, 2003 The Australian government misrepresented intelligence by concealing from the public ambiguities that had been present in intelligence assessments. Words like “probably,” “could” and “uncorroborated evidence suggests” were often left out of reports and “Words like ‘massive’ and ‘mammoth’ were included .” — August 22, 2003 The Australian government “skewed, misrepresented, used selectively and fabricated” intelligence in order to build its case for invading Iraq. — August 22, 2003 The Australian government sometimes exaggerated the Iraqi threat as a result of the “fairytales” coming out of the US. — August 22, 2003 John Howard's government was “prepared to deliberately exaggerate the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and terrorism threat so as to stay in step” with the US. — August 22, 2003 When Andrew Wilkie was asked if he thought Howard's office had sexed up the intelligence, he responded, “Yes, it was sexed up.” — August 22, 2003 “I will go so far as to say the material was going straight from ONA to the prime minister's office and the exaggeration was occurring in there, or the dishonesty was occurring somewhere in there .” — August 22, 2003 “The Government lied every time. ... It skewed, misrepresented, used selectively, and fabricated the Iraq story. ... The Government lied when the Prime Minister's office told the media I was mentally unstable. ... The Government lied when it associated Iraq with the Bali bombing and the Government lied every time that it associated Iraq with the war on terror. ... I think it would be far more valuable, far more useful for this country if instead of attacking those who criticize it, the Government sought to explain in a sensible and honest way why there is such a gap between their justification for the war and what we all now know for sure. speaking at a conference in Sydney today.” — August 23, 2003 “Sometimes the exaggeration was so great it was clear dishonesty.” — August 22, 2003 Greg Thielmann “This administration has had a faith-based intelligence attitude ... ‘We know the answers—give us the intelligence to support those answers.’ ” Iraq “posed no imminent threat to either its neighbors or to the United States” when the invasion was launched in March 2003. — July 2003 Most of the blame “lies with the way senior officials misused the information they were provided.” — July 2003 “... the American public was seriously misled. The administration twisted, distorted, and simplified intelligence in a way that led Americans to seriously misunderstand the nature of the Iraq threat. I'm not sure I can think of a worse act against the people in a democracy than the president distorting critical classified information.” — (Spring 2004) “...The main problem was that the senior administration officials have what I call faith-based intelligence. They knew what they wanted the intelligence to show. They were really blind and deaf to any kind of countervailing information the intelligence community would produce. I would assign some blame to the intelligence community and most of the blame to the senior administration officials.” — October 2003 “I believe the Bush administration did not provide an accurate picture to the American people of the military threat posed by Iraq.” — July 2003 “During the time that I was office director, 2000 to 2002, we never assessed that there was good evidence that Iraq was reconstituting or getting really serious about its nuclear weapons program.” — early June 2003 “Suspicions were presented as fact, contrary arguments ignored. When the administration did talk about specific evidence—it was basically declassified, sensitive information—it did it in a way that was also not entirely honest.” — early June 2003 “Evidence was lacking” for the administration's claims that Iraq was close to developing nuclear weapons and that it had ties with the terrorist organization, al-Qaeda. — early June 2003 There was “a lot of sorrow and anger at the way intelligence was misused.” It seemed as though “the administration didn't think the public would be enthusiastic about the idea of war” if they knew that much of the intelligence on Iraq was uncertain. — summer 2003 “What disturbs me deeply is what I think are the disingenuous statements made from the very top about what the intelligence did say. The area of distortion was greatest in the nuclear field.” — early June 2003 Unnamed US Army intelligence officer “Rumsfeld was deeply, almost pathologically distorting the intelligence.” — May 2003 Unnamed CIA Analysts and Officials “Analysts at the agency said they had felt pressured to make their intelligence reports on Iraq conform to Bush administration policies.” — early 2003 Karen Kwiatkowski “Much has been written about the role of the founding members of the Project for a New American Century, the Center for Security Policy and the American Enterprise Institute and their new positions in the Bush administration. Certainly, appointees sharing particular viewpoints are expected to congregate, and that an overwhelming number of these appointees have such organizational ties is neither conspiratorial nor unusual. What is unusual is the way this network operates solely with its membership across the various agencies—in particular the State Department, the National Security Council and the Office of the Vice President. ... I personally witnessed several cases of staff officers being told not to contact their counterparts at State or the National Security Council because that particular decision would be processed through a different channel.” — July 2003 “...groupthink was, and probably remains, the predominant characteristic of Pentagon Middle East policy development. The result of groupthink is the elevation of opinion into a kind of accepted ‘fact,’ and uncritical acceptance of extremely narrow and isolated points of view. ... Groupthink, in this most recent case leading to invasion and occupation of Iraq, will be found, I believe, to have caused a subversion of constitutional limits on executive power and a co-opting through deceit of a large segment of the Congress. Shortly before my retirement I read a secretary of state cable answering a long list of questions from a Middle Eastern country regarding US planning for the aftermath in Iraq. The answers had been heavily crafted by the Pentagon, and to me, they were remarkably inadequate, given the late stage of the game. I suggested to my boss that if this was as good as it got, some folks in the Pentagon might be sitting beside Saddam in the war crimes tribunals.” — July 2003 “I witnessed neoconservative agenda bearers within OSP usurp measured and carefully considered assessments, and through suppression and distortion of intelligence analysis promulgate what were in fact falsehoods to both Congress and the executive office of the president.” — March 10, 2004 “I witnessed neoconservative agenda bearers within OSP usurp measured and carefully considered assessments, and through suppression and distortion of intelligence analysis promulgate what were in fact falsehoods to both Congress and the executive office of the president.” — March 10, 2004 “War is generally crafted and pursued for political reasons, but the reasons given to the Congress and to the American people for this one were inaccurate and so misleading as to be false. Moreover, they were false by design. Certainly, the neoconservatives never bothered to sell the rest of the country on the real reasons for occupation of Iraq—- more bases from which to flex US muscle with Syria and Iran, and better positioning for the inevitable fall of the regional ruling sheikdoms. Maintaining OPEC on a dollar track and not a euro and fulfilling a half-baked imperial vision also played a role. These more accurate reasons for invading and occupying could have been argued on their merits—- an angry and aggressive US population might indeed have supported the war and occupation for those reasons. But Americans didn't get the chance for an honest debate.” — March 10, 2004 Unnamed US intelligence official “It is impossible to support the bald conclusions being made by the White House and the Pentagon given the poor quantity and quality of the intelligence available. There is uproar within the intelligence community on all of these points, but the Bush White House has quashed dissent.” — Early 2003 “Analysts feel more politicized and more pushed than many of them can ever remember. ... The guys at the Pentagon shriek on issues such as the link between Iraq and al-Qaeda. There has been a lot of pressure to write on this constantly, and to not let it drop.” — October 2002 “It is impossible to support the bald conclusions being made by the White House and the Pentagon given the poor quantity and quality of the intelligence available. There is uproar within the intelligence community on all of these points, but the Bush White House has quashed dissent.” — Early 2003 Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity “While there have been occasions in the past when intelligence has been deliberately warped for political purposes, never before has such warping been used in such a systematic way to mislead our elected representatives into voting to authorize launching a war. You may not realize the extent of the current ferment within the intelligence community and particularly the CIA. In intelligence, there is one unpardonable sin—cooking intelligence to the recipe of high policy. There is ample indication that this has been done in Iraq.” They called the skewing of intelligence “a policy and intelligence fiasco of monumental proportions.” — May 1, 2003 Unnamed US veteran intelligence officer “The policy decisions weren't matching the reports we were reading every day.” — May 2003 Robin Cook “When they looked at intelligence, they weren't looking at intelligence to try to get a balanced judgment, a guide to policy, out of it, they were looking to intelligence to support a conclusion they had already come to—which is that they were going to go to war.” — June 2003 Unnamed high-level UK source “They ignored intelligence assessments which said Iraq was not a threat.” — April 2003 John Brady Kiesling “The intelligence information we had was crap. We didn't know whether Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.” — May 2003 Kenneth Pollack “Throughout the spring and fall of 2002 and well into 2003 I received numerous complaints from friends and colleagues in the intelligence community, and from people in the policy community ... many Administration officials reacted strongly, negatively, and aggressively when presented with information or analysis that contradicted what they already believed about Iraq. Many of these officials believed that Saddam Hussein was the source of virtually all the problems in the Middle East and was an imminent danger to the United States because of his perceived possession of weapons of mass destruction and support of terrorism.... Intelligence officers who presented analyses that were at odds with the pre-existing views of senior Administration officials were subjected to barrages of questions and requests for additional information. They were asked to justify their work sentence by sentence: ‘Why did you rely on this source and not this other piece of information?’ ‘How does this conclusion square with this other point?’ ‘Please explain the history of Iraq's association with the organization you mention in this sentence.’ Reportedly, the worst fights were those over sources. The Administration gave greatest credence to accounts that presented the most lurid picture of Iraqi activities. In many cases intelligence analysts were distrustful of those sources, or knew unequivocally that they were wrong. But when they said so, they were not heeded; instead they were beset with further questions about their own sources.” — January 2004 Demetrius Perricos “What we're getting and what President Bush may be getting is very different, to put it mildly.” — December 5, 2003 Unnamed senior military official “Some people higher up the food chain made the leap from suspicion to conviction. I think they honestly believed that, based on how the Iraqis had always behaved in the past and not just because they wanted to scare the public into supporting the war.” — summer 2003
Karen Kwiatkowski “Civil service and active-duty military professionals were noticeably uninvolved in key areas of interest to Under Secretary for Policy Douglas Feith, Deputy Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld. In terms of Israel and Iraq, all primary staff work was conducted by political appointees. These personnel may be exceptionally qualified. But the human resource depth made possible through broad-based teamwork with the professional policy and intelligence corps was never established and apparently never wanted.” — July 2003 “If one is seeking the answers to why peculiar bits of ‘intelligence’ found sanctity in a presidential speech, or why the post-Saddam occupation has been distinguished by confusion and false steps, one need look no further than the process inside the office of the secretary of defense.” — July 2003 Seymour Hersh “It turns out that the intelligence community is really very much dominated by a small group of people in the Pentagon. Donald Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defense, has more or less muscled his way into day-to-day intelligence operations. I wrote about an ad-hoc analytical group that began working in the Pentagon in the aftermath of September 11th, and which became formally known as the Office of Special Plans last August. The office is the responsibility of William Luti, the Under-Secretary of Defense, and its director is Abram Shulsky. They argued that the CIA and other agencies, including the Defense Intelligence Agency and the State Department, weren't able to understand the connections between Iraq and al-Qaeda, and the extent to which Iraq was involved in the pursuit of weapons of mass destruction. They felt that these agencies didn't get it right because they didn't have the right point of view. The Pentagon group's idea was, essentially: Let's just assume that there is a connection between al-Qaeda and Iraq, and let's assume that they have made weapons of mass destruction, and that they're still actively pursuing nuclear weapons and have generated thousands of tons of chemical and biological weapons and not destroyed them. Having made that leap of faith, let's then look at the intelligence the CIA has assembled with fresh eyes and see what we can see. As one person I spoke to told me, they wanted to believe it was there and, by God, they found it.... If it is true that this Administration deliberately, from the very beginning, understood that the best way to mobilize the American people was to present Saddam as a direct national-security threat to us, without having the evidence beforehand that he was, that's, well, frankly, lying. That's the worst kind of deceit a President can practice. We don't elect our President to not tell us the real situation of the world, particularly when he sends kids to kill and be killed.... My view as a journalist is simple: you have to hold public officials to the highest possible standard. What's happened in America is very disturbing. All of us, as parents, don't want our children to lie to us, and, earlier, as children, don't want to be lied to by our parents. We all understand that integrity in a relationship is the core issue. The tragedy in America today is that we don't begin to impose on our national leaders the same standard which we hold so dear in our personal life. In other words, if we were to say, ‘Well, that's always happened,’ we'd almost be officially saying that there is a double standard—that what we can't tolerate in our personal life is O.K. in the most important officials we have, those officials with power not only over us but over our young men and women who go to fight, and over the people they kill. If we start saying that anything less than the highest standard is tolerable, we're really destroying democracy. Democracy exists on the basis of truth.” — May 12, 2003 Edward Kennedy “There was no imminent threat. This was made up in Texas, announced in January to the Republican leadership that war was going to take place and was going to be good politically. This whole thing was a fraud.” — September 15, 2003 Joseph Cirincione “The intelligence officials are responding to the political leadership, not the other way around, which is how it should be. The politics are driving our intelligence assessments at this point.” — October 2002 David MacMichael “The use of deception to frighten Congress and secure its consent for the October resolution reflects the way our government has been functioning in the area of war and peace for more than half a century. Congress has effectively resigned its power in these areas to the executive. This has been done over and over again, mostly notably in the case of Vietnam, and the response of Congress has been nearly always to pass what is, by my definition, a plainly unconstitutional act, the War Powers Act.” — July 2003 Jonathan Dean “There's more and more evidence that public opinion in our three countries was manipulated by the Bush Administration with the fragments of intelligence that they had.” — June 2003 Knight Ridder Newspapers “... the inclusion of the uranium story in Bush's speech appears to support charges that some pro-invasion officials ignored intelligence that could hurt the administration's case that Saddam was pursuing nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs.” — June 13, 2003 Joseph C. Wilson “It really comes down to the administration misrepresenting the facts on an issue that was a fundamental justification for going to war. It begs the question, what else are they lying about?” He added that he did not believe the war was about the alleged threat posed by Saddam Hussein, instead suggesting that the real motive behind the war was to “redraw the map of the Middle East.” — Early July 2003 “I have little choice but to conclude that some of the intelligence related to Iraq's nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat.” — Early July 2003 Richard Durbin “It's troubling to have classified information that contradicts statements made by the administration. There's more they should share with the public.” — October 2002 Patrick Lang “What we have here is advocacy, not intelligence work. I don't think were lying; I just think they did a poor job. It's not the intelligence community. It's these guys in the Office of the Secretary of Defense who were playing the intelligence community.” — June 2003 The CIA did little to resist pressure from above. The agency had “no guts at all.” — May 2003 Ray McGovern “It's the first time that I've seen such a long-term, orchestrated plan of deception by which one branch of our government deliberately misled the other on a matter of war and peace. Here was a very calculated plan, proceeding from a ‘Mein Kampf’ type of document. All one need do is consult the Project for the New American Century on the Web to see the ideological and strategic underpinnings of this campaign. The first objective was to deceive Congress into approving the plans. They succeeded masterfully. They had their war, and they thought that in the wake of the war, with Iraqis opening their arms to us, no one would really care whether there were, in fact, weapons of mass destruction. They were absolutely wrong on that.” — July 2003 “The Gulf of Tonkin was a spur-of-the-moment thing, and Lyndon Johnson seized on that. That's very different from the very calculated, 18-month, orchestrated, incredibly cynical campaign of lies that we've seen to justify a war. This is an order of magnitude different. It's so blatant.” — Late 2003 “Now we know that no other President of the United States has ever lied so baldly and so often and so demonstrably ... The presumption now has to be that he's lying any time that he's saying anything.” — Late 2003 The neoconservatives who had led the drive for invading Iraq were referred in top policy and intelligence circles as “the crazies” and that their case for war had been “95 per cent charade.” — September 2003 The neoconservatives who had led the drive for invading Iraq were referred in top policy and intelligence circles as “the crazies” and that their case for war had been “95 per cent charade.” — September 2003 “Never before in my 40 years of experience in this town has intelligence been used in so cynical and so orchestrated a way.” — July 2003 Politicization of intelligence is “a problem whenever a US administration sets its heart on a policy that cannot be supported by intelligence.” — April 2003 Larry Johnson “We've entered the world of George Orwell. I'm disgusted. The truth has to be told. We can't allow our leaders to use bogus information to justify war.” — early June 2003 Vince Cannistraro “The intelligence isn't reliable at all. Much of it is propaganda. Much of it is telling the Defense Department what they want to hear. And much of it is used to support Chalabi's own presidential ambitions. They make no distinction between intelligence and propaganda, using alleged informants and defectors who say what Chalabi wants them to say, cooked information that goes right into presidential and vice-presidential speeches.” — Before March 19, 2003 David Albright “I became dismayed when a knowledgeable government scientist told me that the administration could say anything it wanted about the tubes while government scientists who disagreed were expected to remain quiet.” — June 2003 Ivan Eland “I think that they're not getting the intelligence outcome that they want from the CIA, that is, that the CIA is skeptical of ties between Al-Qaeda and Iraq—justifiably so. The CIA run around trying to corroborate this stuff, and it hasn't had too much luck. And the ties that they have claimed seem very thin and on closer inspection don't seem to go anywhere.” — October 2002 Bob Kerrey “ understood that to get the American people on their side they needed to come up with something more to say than ‘We've liberated Iraq and got rid of a tyrant.’ So they had to find some ties to weapons of mass destruction and were willing to allow a majority of Americans to incorrectly conclude that the invasion of Iraq had something to do with the World Trade Center. Overemphasizing the national-security threat made it more difficult to get the rest of the world on our side. It was the weakest and most misleading argument we could use. ... It appears that they have the intelligence. The problem is, they didn't like the conclusions.” — spring 2003 Mel Goodman “To deny that there was any pressure on the intelligence community is just absurd.” — June 2003 US government official “I'm suggesting that either the intelligence was so bad and flawed—and if that's the case, then somebody's head ought to roll for that—or the intelligence was exaggerated or twisted in a way to make a more convenient case to the American people. ... If there's a strategic decision for taking down Iraq, if it's the so-called neoconservative idea that taking apart Iraq and creating a democracy, or whatever it is, will change the equation in the Middle East, then make the case based on this.” — September 23, 2003 Kenneth Pollack The Bush administration dismantled “the existing filtering process that for fifty years had been preventing the policymakers from getting bad information. They created stovepipes to get the information they wanted directly to the top leadership. Their position is that the professional bureaucracy is deliberately and maliciously keeping information from them. ... They always had information to back up their public claims, but it was often very bad information. They were forcing the intelligence community to defend its good information and good analysis so aggressively that the intelligence analysts didn't have the time or the energy to go after the bad information.” — October 2003 “It's looking like in truth the Iraqi (weapons) program was gray. The Bush administration was trying to say it was black.” — June 2003 Bob Filippone “Senator Graham felt that they declassified only things that supported their position and left classified what did not support that policy.” — June 2003 Scott Ritter “The entire case the Bush administration made against Iraq is a lie. ... What was the basis of the affirmation by (US Defense Secretary Donald) Rumsfeld? He said there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq—nobody asked him to prove it. The press just printed it. We have now to demand the proof.” — mid-July 2003 Menzies Campbell “There's no doubt that the intelligence services have been concerned about what they see as the misuse of information ? in the sense that they believe the Government is inclined to use what supports the Government's political case without taking full account of the qualifications attached to such information. ... The security services are unhappy at the way some of their products are being used. It's certainly the case that they feel there has been selective use of material.” — early 2003 Patrick G. Eddington “We've heard from multiple sources inside the agency about the pressure to conform. They say they feel pressure to shape estimates to support the administration's positions—or at least not contradict the administration's positions.” — April 2003
Shortly after September 11, 2001
According to White House counterterrorism advisor, Richard Clarke, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, asks during a meeting, “Why we are beginning by talking about this one man, bin Laden?” Clarke responds with an explaination that only al-Qaeda “poses an immediate and serious threat to the United States.” Wolfowitz then claims that Iraqi terrorism poses “at least as much” a danger. According to Clarke, FBI and CIA representatives who are present at the meeting agree that there is no evidence to support Wolfowitz's assertion. People and organizations involved: Richard Clarke, Paul Wolfowitz
September 11, 2001
Seven members of Donald Rumsfeld's so-called neocon “brain trust,” including Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith and William Luti, head of the Pentagon's Near Eastern and South Asian desk, are “busy on unrelated missions in Europe and the Middle East.” They return to Washington the next day (see September 12, 2001). People and organizations involved: Douglas Feith, William Luti
Soon after September 11, 2001
Soon after September 11, a concerted effort begins to pin the blame for the attacks on Saddam Hussein. Retired General Wesley Clark will later say on NBC's “Meet the Press” in June 2003 and in a letter published by the New York Times that “immediately after 9/11” there was a “concerted effort ... to pin 9/11 and the terrorism problem on Saddam Hussein” and use the attacks as an excuse to go after the Iraqi dictator. When asked by NBC's Tim Russert, who was behind the concerted effort, Clark will respond: “Well, it came from the White House, it came from people around the White House. It came from all over.” Clark also says, “I got a call on 9/11. I was on CNN, and I got a call at my home saying, ‘You got to say this is connected. This is state-sponsored terrorism. This has to be connected to Saddam Hussein.’ I said, ‘But—I'm willing to say it, but what's your evidence?’ And I never got any evidence.” He says the phone call came from a Middle Eastern think tank outside of the country. People and organizations involved: Wesley Clark
Shortly after September 11, 2001
Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith and Middle East specialist Harold Rhode recruit David Wurmser, the director of Middle East studies for the American Enterprise Institute, to serve as a Pentagon consultant. Wurmser is a known advocate of regime change in Iraq, having expressed his views in a 1997 op-ed piece published in the Wall Street Journal (see November 12, 1997) and having participated in the drafting of a 1996 policy paper for Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu called “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm” (see July 8, 1996). Wurmser works at Feith's office, where he and another neocon, F. Michael Maloof, a former aide to Richard Perle, head a secret intelligence unit, named the Counter Terrorism Evaluation Group, or the “Wurmser-Maloof” project. The four- to five-person unit, a “B Team” commissioned by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, uses powerful computers and software to scan and sort already-analyzed documents and reports from the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and other agencies in an effort to consider possible interpretations and angles of analysis that these agencies may have missed due to deeply ingrained biases and out-of-date worldviews. The Pentagon unit's activities cause tension within the traditional intelligence community. Critics claim that its members manipulate and distort intelligence, “cherry-picking” bits of information that fit their preconceived conclusions. “There is a complete breakdown in the relationship between the Defense Department and the intelligence community, to include its own Defense Intelligence Agency,” a defense official will tell the New York Times. “Wolfowitz and company disbelieve any analysis that doesn't support their own preconceived conclusions. The CIA is enemy territory, as far are they're concerned.” Defending the project, Paul Wolfowitz will tell the New York Times that the team's purpose is to circumvent the problem “in intelligence work, that people who are pursuing a certain hypothesis will see certain facts that others won't, and not see other facts that others will.” He insists that the special Pentagon unit is “not making independent intelligence assessments.” One of the cell's projects includes sorting through existing intelligence to create a map of relationships demonstrating links between terrorist groups and state powers. This chart of links, which they name the “matrix,” leads the intelligence unit to conclude that Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and other groups with conflicting ideologies and objectives are allowing these differences to fall to the wayside as they discover their shared hatred of the US. The group's research also leads them to believe that al-Qaeda has a presence in such places as Latin American. For weeks, the unit will attempt to uncover evidence tying Saddam Hussein to the 9/11 attacks, a theory advocated by both Feith and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz. David Wurmser will later be relocated to the State Department where he will be the senior advisor to Undersecretary Of State for Arms Control John Bolton.(see September 2002). People and organizations involved: Douglas Feith, David Wurmser, F. Michael Maloof, Harold Rhode, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle
2:40PM (EST), September 11, 2001
About five hours after American Airlines Flight 77 crashes into the Pentagon, Donald Rumsfeld learns that three of the names on the airplane passenger manifests are suspected al-Qaeda operatives. Notes taken by one of the aides, read: “ best info fast. Judge whether good enough hit S.H. at same time. Not only UBL . ... Go massive. Sweep it all up. Things related and not.” However, at this time, there is no intelligence indicating that Saddam Hussein was behind the attacks. People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld Additional Info Commentaries
CBS News “arely five hours after American Airlines Flight 77 plowed into the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld was telling his aides to come up with plans for striking Iraq—even though there was no evidence linking Saddam Hussein to the attacks... . With the intelligence all pointing toward bin Laden, Rumsfeld ordered the military to begin working on strike plans..... Now, nearly one year later, there is still very little evidence Iraq was involved in the Sept. 11 attacks. But if these notes are accurate, that didn't matter to Rumsfeld.” — September 4, 2002
September 12, 2001
Seven members of Donald Rumsfeld's so-called neocon “brain trust,” meet at an airport in Frankf
"Slaves got options...cowards aint got shit." --PS "Once upon a time, little need existed for making the distinction between a nigga and a black—at least not in this country, the place where niggas were invented" -- Donnell A