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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Feith's "Inappropriate" Activities

Douglas Feith, undersecretary of Defense, after 9/11 reanalyzed the raw intel regarding the relationship between Iraq and al Qaida. Recently, the DoD's Inspector General issued a report critical of Feith. Though not violating laws or policies, it considered his office's activities "inappropriate."

The Washington Post confused Democrat Carl Levin's quotes with the report itself and had to heavily correct it.

Best summary: "They Were For Dissent And Alternative Analysis Before They Were Against It."


So tomorrow, the Pentagon's own Inspector General will present a report to the Senate Armed Services Committee on whether--I'm not kidding--it was illegal for the Defense Department to independently analyze the data gathered by the intelligence agencies.

Now the report itself gets a rebuttal. Hugh Hewitt tracks it (caution: long). Via Powerline:

The Under Secretary notes:

It is puzzling...that the Draft Report fails to discuss some of the most authoritative articulations of the [intelligence community's] analysis on Iraq and al Qaeda--the vetted, coordinated correspondence and testimony by the [Director of Central Intelligence] himself to the Congress.

So the Under Secretary retrieves from the memory hole what the CIA said about contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda during 2002 and 2003. On October 7, 2002, the Director of Central Intelligence wrote to Congress:

*Our understanding of the relationship between Iraq and al Qaida is evolving and is based on sources of varying reliability. Some of the information we have received comes from detainees, including some of high rank.

*We have solid reporting of senior level contacts between Iraq and al Qaida going back a decade.

*Credible information indicates that Iraq and al Qaida have discussed safe haven and reciprocal non-aggression.

*Since Operation Enduring Freedom, we have solid evidence of the presence in Iraq of al Qaida members, including some that have been in Baghdad.

*We have credible reporting that al Qaida leaders sought contacts in Iraq who could help them acquire WMD capabilities. The reporting also stated that Iraq has provided training to al Qaida members in the areas of poisons and gases and making conventional bombs.

*Iraq's increasing support to extremist Palestinians, coupled with growing indications of a relationship with al Qaida, suggest that Baghdad's links to terrorists will increase, even absent military action.

In a statement to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on February 11, 2003, the Director of Central Intelligence stated:

Iraq has in the past provided training in document forgery and bomb-making to al Qaida. It also provided training in poisons and gases to two al Qaida associates; one of these associates characterized the relationship he forged with Iraqi officials as successful. Mr. Chairman, this information is based on a sold foundation of intelligence. It comes to us from credible and reliable sources.

At a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on February 12, 2003, the DCI stated:

[W]e also know from very reliable information that there's been some transfer of training in chemical and biologicals [sic] from the Iraqis to al Qaeda.


(Please keep in mind that each commenter's opinions are only his/her own.)

Didn't your lot discuss deals with al-Qaida to? Didn't they finance them?

(happy New year by the way, sorry its been so long)

An alternative view of Feith's involvement can be found at Before the Invasion, There Was Feith. This is a less obfuscated article than the one at Powerline. Feith "reinterpreted" (being charitable and not using "ignored" or "altered") the intel. Feith was not in the intel business - he was in the propaganda business.

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