Wednesday, November 23, 2005

CIA Provided Bush Accurate Intel on 9/21/01

On September 21, 2001 - ten days after the 9/11 attacks - president Bush received a highly classified report from the CIA regarding possible links between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. I read about this interesting bit of pre-war intelligence in a piece written by Murray Waas for the National Journal.

While the CIA and FBI took a lot of heat for not doing a better job of tracking the 9/11 terrorists before the attack, the CIA did provide what turned out to be very accurate information regarding the absence of a Saddam/Al Qaeda conspiracy leading up to the 9/11 attack.

It is becoming clear that the Bush administration was intent on cherry-picking their intelligence reports to back up their call for war. When the largest intelligence organization in the world didn't give them what they wanted, Cheney and Co. took their sources from wherever they could. Their groping around for threads from foreign spy networks led them to base some important pieces of their pro-war propaganda campaign on forged documents that somehow circumvented CIA inspection and were sent directly to the White House from some shady Italian spy-for-hire. The document was suppose to confirm that Saddam Hussein was trying to purchase yellow-cake uranium from a contact in Niger. This was the basis from Bush's dramatic "mushroom cloud" warning in his state of the union address (and the beginnings of Plamegate).

Another source was an Iraqi citizen who was interviewed and given a lie detector test by the CIA (more on this in a interesting Rolling Stone piece). This individual, code-named Curveball, supposedly had worked in the Iraqi chemical industry and was desperately trying to obtain a German visa. In his efforts to ingratiate himself with American and German authorities, he gave them what turned out to be totally fabricated information about Saddam's mobile chemical labs and plans to stockpile chemical weapons. Some of this guy's tall tale found its way into Colin Powell's speech before the United Nations - a speech he now regretably describes as "a real low point".

Here's another interesting snippet from the National Journal piece:

"One of the more intriguing things that Bush was told during the briefing was that the few credible reports of contacts between Iraq and Al Qaeda involved attempts by Saddam Hussein to monitor the terrorist group. Saddam viewed Al Qaeda as well as other theocratic radical Islamist organizations as a potential threat to his secular regime. At one point, analysts believed, Saddam considered infiltrating the ranks of Al Qaeda with Iraqi nationals or even Iraqi intelligence operatives to learn more about its inner workings, according to records and sources."

According to the CIA, not only was Saddam not working with Al Qaeda, he was trying to figure out ways to keep militant religious fanaticism out of Iraq. The irony is thick when we now see how George Bush and Co. toppled Saddam's secular (albeit unfriendly) regime only to inspire the movement of thousands of Al Qaeda recruits onto Iraqi soil - and for his effort, Iraq is now the terrorist capital of the world.

(For more thoughts on selective intelligence - how the Bush Admin. sliced and diced intelligence leading up to the invasion of Iraq - take a look The Misleaders from Slate.)

5 Comments:

At 11:03 AM, Anonymous Jacke said...

Are you aware that back in 1998, DURING the Clinton Administration, the writ in which the CLINTON Justice Department indicted bin Laden read:

"In addition, al-Qaida reached an understanding with the Government of Iraq that al-Qaida would not work against that government AND THAT ON PARTICULAR PROJECTS, SPECIFICALLY INCLUDING WEAPONS DEVELOPMENT, AL-QAIDA WOULD WORK COOPERATIVELY WITH THE GOVERNMENT OF IRAQ." (Emphasis mine)

????????

So, claiming that there was no evidence of ties between Al-Qaeda and Iraq and that the Bush Administration lied IS a flat out LIE, Goodman, either that or the CLINTON Justice Dept. was lying too, so what's it gonna be?

There is plenty of lying going on, that is definitely a fact, they are lies meant to undermine our Commander in Chief for pure political gain during a time of war. That, I find, is reprehensible.

You certainly have a right to your own opinion, Goodman, but you don't get to make up your own facts.

 
At 11:51 AM, Blogger RSmith said...

Please spare me the exceedingly tedious "Clinton is to blame for everything" argument. It's time to let go, Jacke.

The fact is, George Bush inherited a god-awful situation with 9/11. I don't think anybody or any agency is particularly to blame for that horrible, unpredictable event. It was the Pearl Harbor of our time.

What Bush and his buddies did after 9/11 - that is the big issue with many Americans. Bush essentially squandered worldwide goodwill and cooperation in the fight against terror in order to pursue an ill-conceived and incredibly dangerous "pre-emptive" war against a middle eastern dictator - who had virtually nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks.

The war against the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan made sense. The war in Iraq was a monumental mistake that was marketed for the American public by some very opportunistic folks within the Bush administration - more specifically, Dick Cheney and his little cadre of neo-conservatives. Believe what you will.

Rather than blaming poor old Bill Clinton, maybe you should look to Congress for not doing their job - but wait, it's a Republican Congress isn't it? Nevermind. We mustn't question their loyalty. Not when our troops are fighting against tyranny, right?

 
At 12:13 PM, Anonymous Jacke said...

Goodman,

I didn't give you the argument that Clinton was to blame for anything. What I did is rebut your assertion that Bush "cherry picked" intelligence and that there was no evidence of a link between Saddam and Al Qaeda before the 9/11 attacks. The Bush administration NEVER, NOT ONCE, claimed that the attack of 9/11 was a conspiracy between Al Qaeda and Iraq in the lead up to the war but the FACT is that there WERE ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda. You only take up the "cherry picking" theme because you cannot PROVE Bush lied without making yourself look like an idiot, but you still look uninformed because the bi-partisan Senate Intelligence Report clearly states that there is NO EVIDENCE that Cheney was trying to influence the CIA's information about ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda.

The left has been issuing this propaganda for YEARS, now but it is still just what it is, PROPAGANDA.

All I did was point out that the CLINTON Justice Department stated:

"In addition, al-Qaida reached an understanding with the Government of Iraq that al-Qaida would not work against that government AND THAT ON PARTICULAR PROJECTS, SPECIFICALLY INCLUDING WEAPONS DEVELOPMENT, AL-QAIDA WOULD WORK COOPERATIVELY WITH THE GOVERNMENT OF IRAQ." (Emphasis mine)

THAT, my dear, is FACT. Spin as you would like, you cannot make it go away. So, is Clinton a liar, was Clinton "cherry picking?"

Do you ever get tired of the propaganda? I mean, look at the name, alone, of one of your favorite sources! " The Misleaders" it would do you some good to take your nose out of ONLY far left websites and do a little research, but we all know you won't, Goodman, because the facts won't support your demonizing of Bush.

You claim I made the argument that Clinton was to blame for everything, WHERE????

Clinton certainly bears his share of the blame but I have not made that argument to you, I merely pointed out a FACT, something the left likes to twist and spin and thwart, put a bow on and present it as a special gift to those who don't have the time or inclination to actually do their own thinking. Do your own thinking, Goodman, that's all I am suggesting. If anyone is trying to blame one administration it certainly is NOT me, and honestly, I have little respect for someone who will do nothing but regurgitate the lies far left websites have injected into his head without researching the facts.

But, I do hope you had a nice Thanksgiving. :)

 
At 10:08 AM, Blogger RSmith said...

Which lies am I regurgitating? And what blogs do you imagine me reading? I'd like to check them out. I can tell you this - I don't listen to the likes of Rush Limbaugh and other politically incestuous radio-types for my talking points.

BTW, I think everybody suspected Saddam of seeking WMD's - and, of course, he didn't want Al Qaeda messing around in his country, hence the "agreement" you mention. Bin Laden was probably glad that Saddam was such a great diversion for the U.S.

Do you recall when all this WMD and mushroom cloud talk was going down, there were UN weapons inspectors combing Iraq - and they found nothing on a scale that would suggest mass destruction. Remember when Bush started spouting off about Saddam's WMD's? Remember weapons inspector Scott Ridder (who voted for both Bushes, staunch Republican)? He went on a speaking tour arguing against the Bushies' assertion . . . he was, of course, discredited and accused of having ulterior motives. Turns out he was absolutely correct.

The Bush administration pushed this war from the very beginning, before 9/11. They may have had a grand design in mind, but they knowingly marketed this awful war with deception, half-truths and outright lies.

 
At 12:03 PM, Anonymous Jacke said...

M. Goodman said...
Which lies am I regurgitating?

You said:

"the Bush administration was intent on cherry-picking their intelligence reports to back up their call for war."

Prove this claim. The Senate Intelligence Report says otherwise.

You said:

"Their groping around for threads from foreign spy networks led them to base some important pieces of their pro-war propaganda campaign on forged documents that somehow circumvented CIA inspection and were sent directly to the White House from some shady Italian spy-for-hire. The document was suppose to confirm that Saddam Hussein was trying to purchase yellow-cake uranium from a contact in Niger."

Here are the facts:

"...bipartisan Senate intelligence committee report concluded that it is Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV who has been telling lies.

he was happy to put pen to paper, to write an op-ed charging the Bush administration with "twisting," "manipulating" and "exaggerating" intelligence about Saddam Hussein's weapons programs "to justify an invasion."

In particular he said that President Bush was lying when, in his 2003 State of the Union address, he pronounced these words: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

We now know for certain that Wilson was wrong and that Bush's statement was entirely accurate.

The British have consistently stood by that conclusion. In September 2003, an independent British parliamentary committee looked into the matter and determined that the claim made by British intelligence was "reasonable" (the media forgot to cover that one too). Indeed, Britain's spies stand by their claim to this day. Interestingly, French intelligence also reported an Iraqi attempt to procure uranium from Niger."

Source: http://www.nationalreview.com/may/may200407121105.asp

You said:

"According to the CIA, not only was Saddam not working with Al Qaeda, he was trying to figure out ways to keep militant religious fanaticism out of Iraq."

This is believable but only part of the story. If you carry it through and consider what the Clinton Justice Dept. reported back in 1998 it makes perfect sense. After all, the Clinton Justice Dept. did claim that the Iraqi government more or less bargained with OBL to keep Al Qaeda from interfering in Iraq. They did so by agreeing "THAT ON PARTICULAR PROJECTS, SPECIFICALLY INCLUDING WEAPONS DEVELOPMENT, AL-QAIDA WOULD WORK COOPERATIVELY WITH THE GOVERNMENT OF IRAQ." (Emphasis mine)

You ask:

"what blogs do you imagine me reading?"

I need not speculate, it is clear from the information you provide, the regurgitations you involve yourself with. Though I do not know which blogs other than the one you, yourself, recommend, I do recognize leftist lies when I see them, and I see them everywhere.

 

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