July 17, 2004

Sidney Blumenthal: The Senate's report is very revealing about Bush and his apostles - but the clues are buried deep

In recent campaign speech, the increasingly unhinged
and incredibly shrinking _resident said he was proud
to have led the "army of liberation" into Iraq.
Well, the video tape of Iraqi boys being sodomized in
the custody of the US military has begun to float
upwards from the pit of Hell (i.e. "liberated Iraq)
and will soon break through even the brackish,
polluted surface of the the "US mainstream news
media." But Abu Ghraib is not the only evidence of the
the increasingly unhinged and incredibly shrinking
_resident's Orwellian newspeak (i.e. war is peace,
hate islove), Agence France Press reports that "a
senior Sunni cleric called on his followers to launch
a holy war against the US forces in Iraq and
threatened to turn the hotspot city of Ramadi into a
'graveyard' for American troops," and the Sidney
Morning Herald reports that "Iyad Allawi, the new
Prime Minister of Iraq, pulled a pistol and executed
as many as six [blindfolded, handcuffed] suspected
insurgents at a Baghdad police station, just days
before Washington handed control of the country to his
interim government, according to two people who allege
they witnessed the killings." MEANWHILE, just as the
"US mainstream news media" and the US Senate
(yes, another disgraceful performance by timid Sen. Tom DuckIt's "Democrats")
participated in the LIES that led to this catastrophe
(both for Iraq and the US), the "US mainstream news
media" and the US Senate are now participating in the
cover-up, i.e. the scape-goating of the Intelligence
community...Here Sidney Blumenthal's break it down for
you in America's best newspaper....

Sidney Blumenthal, Guardian (UK): The day before
Powell's speech, one CIA official wanted to warn him.
Another replied, "As I said last night, let's keep in
mind the fact that this war's going to happen
regardless of what [the source] said or didn't say,
and the Powers That Be probably aren't terribly
interested in whether [the source] knows what he's
talking about." Powell was sent before the world to
speak the falsehoods with CIA director George Tenet
sitting behind him. Never before has a secretary of
state, the highest ranking cabinet officer, been
treated with such contemptuous manipulation by his own
administration.

Repudiate the 9/11 Cover-Up and the Iraq War Lies,
Show Up for Democracy in 2004: Defeat Bush (again!)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1261721,00.html

Learn the code

The Senate's report is very revealing about Bush and his apostles - but the clues are buried deep

Sidney Blumenthal
Thursday July 15, 2004
The Guardian

The Senate intelligence committee report is the Da
Vinci code of the Iraq war. Some of the clues are in
plain sight but unless one knows how to read them they
remain cryptic. Deletions, covering one-fifth of the
report, and omissions, stretching endlessly, are as
significant as what's included. The storyline is
jumbled into incoherence, the main characters are
often spectral and it's all extremely dangerous.
By virtue of a deal struck before the committee
investigated, the belligerent Republican majority got
timorous Democrats to separate the inquiry into
halves, leaving the question of the Bush
administration's culpability for a second report,
almost certainly to be filed after the election, if at
all. This unholy arrangement enabled the report to put
the burden of blame on the CIA. For months, Bush and
his national security team escalated its rhetoric
about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. But there was
no national intelligence estimate (NIE) until demands
by Democratic senators on the intelligence committee
forced its writing.

Most take months to assemble, but this one was slapped
together in about three weeks. "Most of the major key
judgments in the intelligence community's October 2002
NIE, Iraq's Continuing Programmes for Weapons of Mass
Destruction, were either overstated, or were not
supported by the underlying intelligence reporting,"
the report states.

The freakish cognitive dissonance at the NIE's core
should have been detected at the start. It broke down
its judgments into levels of confidence from high to
moder ate to low. Utter absence of proof, however, did
not deter the conclusion from being stamped "high
confidence".
What the report does not note is the name or
background of the NIE's director: Robert Walpole, a
former national intelligence officer on nuclear
weapons, a factotum of the secretary of defence,
Donald Rumsfeld. Walpole had demonstrated his bona
fides in an incident that prefigures the WMD debacle,
the writing of the alarmist report of the Rumsfeld
commission in 1998, which asserted the ballistic
missile threat from "rogue states" was imminent. That
claim, used to bolster the case for a Star Wars
programme, had been rejected by a similar commission
two years earlier.

The report also does not deal with the creation of an
alternative intelligence operation inside the
Pentagon, the Office of Special Plans, which bypassed
regular channels to send fabricated material
originating mostly in Ahmed Chalabi's disinformation
factory.

But buried in the appendix, Senator John D
Rockefeller, Democrat of West Virginia, included an
account of an internal operation against the CIA
conducted by the under-secretary of defence, Douglas
Feith, an entrenched neo-conservative.

While the CIA composed a report on the Iraq-al-Qaida
connection, which the administration still trumpets,
and for which the intelligence community could never
find proof, Feith held briefings trashing the CIA on
its impending report. Then, without informing the CIA,
Feith's version was presented to the deputy national
security adviser and vice-president.

Colin Powell put himself in the hands of people he
hoped would protect him. Predictably, he was betrayed.
Before his February 5 2002 speech to the United
Nations, making the case for WMD, Powell spent days at
the CIA. He was given disinformation about mobile
biological weapons laboratories, which came from Iraqi
exile sources that the CIA didn't trust. The day
before Powell's speech, one CIA official wanted to
warn him. Another replied, "As I said last night,
let's keep in mind the fact that this war's going to
happen regardless of what [the source] said or didn't
say, and the Powers That Be probably aren't terribly
interested in whether [the source] knows what he's
talking about." Powell was sent before the world to
speak the falsehoods with CIA director George Tenet
sitting behind him. Never before has a secretary of
state, the highest ranking cabinet officer, been
treated with such contemptuous manipulation by his own
administration.

The NIE was condensed to a one-page document and sent
to the White House, which still refuses to release it
to the committee. The full classified version contains
dissenting caveats in its footnotes. But were those
included in the one-page summary? And did Bush read
the NIE in any form? On July 18 2003, in an overlooked
briefing to the White House press corps, "a senior
administration official" explained: "I don't think he
sat down over a long weekend and read every word of
it. But he's familiar, intimately familiar with the
case."

In the bestselling thriller The Da Vinci Code,
paintings and signs contain the keys to the code. The
Senate report, despite missing crucial information,
still helps crack the code about Bush and his
apostles. Bush is revealed as having a blithe
disregard for anything that might interfere with his
articles of absolute belief - a man of faith.

Sidney Blumenthal is former senior adviser to
President Clinton and Washington bureau chief of
salon.com

sidney_blumenthal@yahoo.com

Posted by richard at July 17, 2004 11:11 AM