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Blame the CIA? Top 30 Bush - Iraq Lies Debunked BEFORE The Invasion: A Reference For Seekers of Truth
By Tom Ball
Since the release of a blistering report by a U.S. Senate committee blaming the CIA for miserable intelligence leading to our pre-emptive invasion of Iraq, the White House and its apologists have had a field day pointing their fingers anywhere and everywhere except where it most certainly belongs...at the White House.
After the incomprehensible incompetence and abhorrent, deceptive tactics used by both the Bush and Blair administrations, you would think that they would let sleeping dogs lie.
Well that has never been the case with these people and I don't think it ever will be.
Thus I think it appropriate to take a stroll down memory lane and see just how innocent this administration was of all the supposed CIA foul-ups.
So here we go.
(Number One) As a centerpiece to its argument for invading Iraq, the Administration has boldly pursued the idea that Saddam and al Maida are in cahoots. The Final Report from the 9/11 Commission due out this week unconditionally states that the commission found no "credible evidence" that Iraq helped the militants carry out the 9/11 attacks. Nor did it find any 'working relationship' between Iraq and Osama bin Laden. This runs directly counter to the administration’s assertions 1. of "long-established ties" between Saddam and al Maida.
Even before the invasion began, both the CIA and the FBI said the administration was wrong 2. New York Times: Men / Req.
"Analysts at the Central Intelligence Agency have complained that senior administration officials have exaggerated the significance of some intelligence reports about Iraq, particularly about its possible links to terrorism, in order to strengthen their political argument for war, government officials said."
"At the Federal Bureau of Investigation, some investigators said they were baffled by the Bush administration's insistence on a solid link between Iraq and Osama bin Laden's network. "We've been looking at this hard for more than a year and you know what, we just don't think it's there," a government official said."This is consistent with what they were saying back in October, 3.(Oct 24 2002)
"They are politicizing intelligence, no question about it," said Vincent M. Cannistraro, a former CIA counterterrorism chief. "And they are undertaking a campaign to get George Tenet [the director of central intelligence] fired because they can't get him to say what they want on Iraq."
In addition, in a January 30, 2003, interview, Blix revealed4. that. "He had seen no persuasive indications of Iraqi ties to al Qaeda, which Mr. Bush also mentioned in his speech."
The Downing Street documents represent the impressions of our closest ally about what was going on in the US in the lead up to war. However, several other events have provided us with actual examples of the Bush administration in action, ensuring that their established beliefs and policies would be supported by supposedly objective intelligence and an unwitting public.
Karl Rove, the president’s closest political advisor, has been implicated in the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame. Her husband, Joe Wilson, drew the wrath of the administration for exposing the administration’s now famous bogus claims about uranium from Africa. John Bolton—now our UN Ambassador—has been has been reported to have abused his authority while at the Department of State to threaten, spy on and generally discredit anyone who stood in the way of the Bush administration’s policy of invasion.
Bush's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice alleged that al-Qaeda operatives have had a direct relationship with the Iraqi government:
"There clearly are contacts between al-Qaeda and Iraq that can be documented."
She did not document them and a U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, indicated the evidence for linkage is tenuous,
Remember Condi back when she testified before the 9/11 Commission 7.
Two government sources tell TIME that National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice is arguing over ground rules for her appearance in part because she does not want to testify under oath or, according to one source, in public.
One Republican commissioner says a comment by Rice last year—that no one “could have predicted that they would try to use a…hijacked airplane as a missile”—was "an unfortunate comment . . . that was, of course, a wrong-footed statement on its face," given that there was years of intelligence about Al Qaeda's interest in airplane attacks.
RICE CLAIM 8. "I don't know what a sense of urgency any greater than the one we had would have caused us to do anything differently. I don't know how...we could have done more. I would like very much to know what more could have been done?"
There are many more things that could have been done: first and foremost, the administration could have desisted from de-emphasizing and cutting funding for counterterrorism in the months before 9/11. It could have held more meetings of top principals to get the directors of the CIA and FBI to share information, especially considering the major intelligence spike occurring in the summer of 2001. As 9/11 Commissioner Jamie Gorelick said on ABC this morning, the lack of focus and meetings meant agencies were not talking to each other, and key evidence was overlooked. For instance, with better focus and more urgency, the FBI's discovery of Islamic radicals training at flight schools might have raised red flags. Similarly, the fact that "months before Sept. 11, the CIA knew two of the al-Qaeda hijackers were in the United States" could have spurred a nationwide manhunt. But because there was no focus or urgency, "No nationwide manhunt was undertaken," said Gorelick. "The State Department watch list was not given to the FAA. If you brought people together, perhaps key connections could have been made."
RICE CLAIM: "Iraq was put aside" immediately after 9/11.
According to the Washington Post, "six days after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, President Bush signed a 2-and-a-half-page document" that "directed the Pentagon to begin planning military options for an invasion of Iraq." This is corroborated by a CBS News, which reported on 9/4/02 that five hours after the 9/11 attacks, "Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was telling his aides to come up with plans for striking Iraq." In terms of resources, the Iraq decision had far-reaching effects on the efforts to hunt down al Qaeda in Afghanistan. As the Boston Globe reported, "the Bush administration is continuing to shift highly specialized intelligence officers from the hunt for Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan to the Iraq crisis."