Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

February 9, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

"I WAS NOT ENDORSING ITS SUBSTANCE"....So, you remember all that, um, stuff created by Doug Feith's private intelligence shop in the Pentagon back in 2002 and 2003? You know, the stuff about how Saddam Hussein had close ties to al-Qaeda and possessed an enormous arsenal of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons? The stuff that helped justify a catastrophic preventive war that's still raging four years later?

Yeah, that stuff. Today, Feith tells us what it actually was:

This was not "alternative intelligence assessment." It was from the start a criticism of the consensus of the intelligence community, and in presenting it I was not endorsing its substance.

Got that? He didn't actually believe any of that stuff. He was just passing it along for giggles.

Please make it stop. Please?

Kevin Drum 2:20 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (156)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

I've heard of 'spin' but this is ridiculous...

Posted by: nepeta on February 9, 2007 at 3:10 AM | PERMALINK

Geeze, a government run by 8 year old boys

We are in some really deep crap folks

"Eventually, the truth will emerge. And when it does, this house of cards, built of deceit, will fall." - Robert C. Byrd

Posted by: daCascadian on February 9, 2007 at 3:15 AM | PERMALINK

It's not the crime, it's the coverup. . . .

Posted by: Marc on February 9, 2007 at 3:18 AM | PERMALINK

Day after day new information comes out that is just so outrageous it makes me feel like a character trapped in the Twilight Zone. It is not a matter of right or left. It is that our government has been taken over by a cabal. They snubbed the left, lied to the fundamentalist Christians and ignored the conservatives. They had their own agenda.

Posted by: JohnK on February 9, 2007 at 3:19 AM | PERMALINK

Worship me and I will make it stop.

Posted by: God on February 9, 2007 at 3:20 AM | PERMALINK

So, somehow he failed upward into this teaching gig at Georgetown.

Would it be fair to say that when he lectures to his class, he's presenting all of his course material without endorsing its substance?

Think of this man being allowed to grade anyone else's work...

Posted by: nandrews3 on February 9, 2007 at 3:22 AM | PERMALINK

Jesus effing Christ!

Paraphrase: "I pushed some propaganda crap, but I knew it wasn't the truth, it was just an alternative view, and the major actors also knew it wasn't the truth."

That's what he says.

So the lies were for the benefit of who! Us?

And the 3100 US dead? And the 24,000 crippled, wounded, etc. And the how many Iraqi lives ended and ruined? And the $750 BILLION wasted.

And why shouldn't Feith be condemned to an eternity of suffering?

Excuse me. I'm going to the bathroom to throw up.

Do these people have exactly no contact with reality?

Posted by: notthere on February 9, 2007 at 3:22 AM | PERMALINK

Blah, blah, blah. The only way to deal with people like this: drag them through the streets on meat hooks, cut out their still-beating hearts with a stone knife, then toss them down the steep steps of the Capitol to a pit of awaiting crocodiles below.

Sorry, I may have been channeling Mel Gibson's Apocalypto. But the point remains the same. You need to make an example of these people that won't soon be forgotten.

You can then take all the Bush Pioneers and crucify them along Constitution Avenue. Make sure their their bodies are (fittingly) only to be removed by a combination of the elements and microbial actions.

In vino veritas: sic semper tyrannus.

Posted by: Augustus on February 9, 2007 at 3:30 AM | PERMALINK

Someone needs to step on his head and crush it like an overripe melon.

I eman that in a totally nonviolent way, of course.

Posted by: SteveAudio on February 9, 2007 at 3:43 AM | PERMALINK

actually, its obvious what he is really saying. he was given a task and he followed his orders. top down people, top down. everyone will be "blaming" feith this morning but really, its all on cheney and bush and their associates. he, like "master-journalist" russert, was just enabling them.

Posted by: carlos on February 9, 2007 at 3:49 AM | PERMALINK

Someone needs to go to jail for this crap. I would say, Unbelievable! but tragically it isn't.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on February 9, 2007 at 3:52 AM | PERMALINK

Anyone still not see the connection between this war and Cheney's meeting with leaders of the energy industry at the very beginning of this administration?

Any bets on how long it will be before the pardons start?

Posted by: joe on February 9, 2007 at 4:16 AM | PERMALINK

Trying to pick a suitable jury? How about all the folks who resigned or quit from the Pentagon and the Intelligence services around the world because of Douglas Feith and his picayune propaganda operations leading up to the American invasion of Iraq? Or, maybe, just maybe, the families of all the killed and wounded that resulted from the long, drawn out "operations" in Iraq? The list of potential jurors continues to grow with each passing day...

Posted by: parrot on February 9, 2007 at 4:20 AM | PERMALINK

Feith is lower than a snake all right. Surely he can get locked up for contempt for something like that?

Posted by: mac on February 9, 2007 at 4:42 AM | PERMALINK

More Orwellian doublespeak from Feith.
Carl Levin had his number back in 2002.
Tommy Franks called Feith "the f-ing stupidest guy on the face of the earth."
Interesting read on Feith who, no less, had a personal library "weighted disproportionately to the history of the British empire" pushing lies to promote imperialistic obsessions of Bushco--in the May, 2002 New Yorker.

Posted by: consider wisely always on February 9, 2007 at 4:53 AM | PERMALINK

From Kevin's link to the WaPo story:

Three versions of the briefing prepared by Feith's office were presented in August and September 2002 -- months before the U.S. invasion of Iraq -- to I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, then Cheney's chief of staff; Rumsfeld; and then-deputy national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley, the summary states.
What was the Bush-Cheney WH saying publicly and on the record during that same timeframe?
"VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY: Well, I want to be very careful about how I say this. I'm not here today to make a specific allegation that Iraq was somehow responsible for 9/11. I can't say that. On the other hand, . . . new information has come to light. And we spent time looking at that relationship between Iraq, on the one hand, and the al-Qaeda organization on the other. And there has been reporting that suggests that there have been a number of contacts over the years. . . . There is -- again, I want to separate out 9/11, from the other relationships between Iraq and the al-Qaeda organization. But there is a pattern of relationships going back many years. And in terms of exchanges and in terms of people, we've had recently since the operations in Afghanistan -- we've seen al-Qaeda members operating physically in Iraq and off the territory of Iraq. . . .
QUESTION: But no direct link?
VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY: I can't -- I'll leave it right where it's at. I don't want to go beyond that. I've tried to be cautious and restrained in my comments." --Dick Cheney on Meet the Press, NBC (9/8/2002).
"It is the nexus between an Al-Qaeda type network and other terrorist network and a terrorist state like Saddam Hussein who has that weapons of mass destruction. As we sit here, there are senior Al-Qaeda in Iraq. They are there." -- Donald Rumsfeld Interview with Jim Lehrer, PBS (9/18/2002).
"[N]o terrorist state poses a greater or more immediate threat to the security of our people than the regime of Saddam Hussein and Iraq." --Testimony of Donald Rumsfeld, Senate Armed Services Committee (9/19/2002).
"Since we began after September 11th, we do have solid evidence of the presence in Iraq of al Qaeda members, including some that have been in Baghdad. --Donald Rumsfeld, Defense Department Regular Briefing, Defense Department (9/26/2002).
"The regime has longstanding and continuing ties to terrorist groups, and there are Al Qaida terrorists inside Iraq." -- George W. Bush Delivers Weekly Radio Address, White House (9/28/2002).
Of course, such statements continued beyond September in 2002:
"Now, transport yourself forward a year, two years, or a week, or a month, and if Saddam Hussein were to take his weapons of mass destruction and transfer them, either use himself, or transfer them to the Al-Qaeda, and somehow the Al-Qaeda were to engage in an attack on the United States, or an attack on U.S. forces overseas, with a weapon of mass destruction you're not talking about 300, or 3,000 people potentially being killed, but 30,000, or 100,000 . . . human beings." -- Donald Rumsfeld Live Interview with Infinity CBS Radio, Infinity-CBS Radio (11/14/2002).
"His regime has had high-level contacts with al Qaeda going back a decade and has provided training to al Qaeda terrorists." -- Dick Cheney at the Air National Guard Senior Leadership Conference, White House (12/2/2002).

More available from Bush on Iraq.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on February 9, 2007 at 4:54 AM | PERMALINK

Dem leaders are rapidly becoming complicit in all these high crimes and misedmeanors by their shocking refusal to properly investigate them.
They must surely risk the peoples wrath now just as much as the corrupt crony capitalists in the Gooper party and the military-entertainment complex who cooked up this supreme crime wave.

We have seen this before from the same Dem leaders who would not follow up on Watergate, Iran Contra and the collapse of the LTCM scam so even rank-and-file Dem followers and apologists are being sucked into the gross criminality.
They are becoming enablers and accomplices...much like Drum who has developed a strange love of torture.
Another strike on the pentagon seems to be in order.

Posted by: professor rat on February 9, 2007 at 5:02 AM | PERMALINK

One's head just spins from misinformation, lies and endless bullcrap. And no one is held accountable. Wrong decisions, wrong facts. And no straight answers. Now there are 50,000 troops sent to Iraq--not 21,000--newly elected John Tester noted in an interview yesterday.

Posted by: consider wisely always on February 9, 2007 at 6:00 AM | PERMALINK

The Pentagon IG report confirms the secret Downing Street Memo dated Jul. 23, 2002, that stated... "Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

Posted by: Apollo 13 on February 9, 2007 at 6:00 AM | PERMALINK

Breaking news--injuries reported in Jerusalem as Muslim worshippers clash with police. Palestinans angered at Israeli construction at holy site, and Israeli forces enter that Muslim site.

Posted by: consider wisely always on February 9, 2007 at 6:08 AM | PERMALINK

I'm just so glad that the "adults" took charge in 2000. Aren't you?

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on February 9, 2007 at 6:17 AM | PERMALINK

Douglas Feith, General Franks was right. Feith is the stupidest man in the world.

At the end of the cold war we had a chance to move the planet to a new level of civilization, interconnected, based on the rule of law, with rising standards of living everywhere. But what did we do. We hired a bunch of Neocon assholes who loved the idea of the British empire. They wanted the US to become the new Rome. They wanted to conquer the world. They were so in love with the glories of empire they failed to even consider why the British and all the other empires fell.

It is just impossible to cow a hostile population these days. Indigenous people have the certain knowledge of terrain and location. Unless they are under fire a pickup truck moves troops and equipment nearly as well as a Humvee. Invaders have a hard time fighting against small arms and improvised explosive devices that are as deadly as anything they deploy. Nobody fights pitched battles anymore so the bulk of the US military is useless in a place like Iraq. Modern media make it nearly impossible to control an occupied country through terror. Video of atrocities are just about certain to make the Internet. Given the relative equality of weapons, communications and transport fighting and winning a war against a determined indigenous force is an invitation to disaster. Don't believe me, as the Russians.

Posted by: Ron Byers on February 9, 2007 at 6:22 AM | PERMALINK

Geeze, a government run by 8 year old boys
-daCascadian


Atrios frequently headlines posts with some variant of We are Governed by Children, but the Lord of the Flies atmosphere of this administration (no one in their right mind could call it a government) is not truly clear until we recall that at its head is ...a being... bearing all the outward semblance of a man, and not of a monster...*

Never forget that this collection of buffoons has installed a leadership that harnesses the savagery and irresponsibility of children to the ruthless criminality of the Mafia as led by the late J. Stalin.

*apologies to Dickens

Posted by: clio on February 9, 2007 at 6:28 AM | PERMALINK

My god...what an asshole.

Can we at least have the pleasure of him being forced to testify before John Murtha's committee? Maybe Henry Waxman? Carl Levin? Charley Rangel?

Pretty please???

Posted by: calugg on February 9, 2007 at 6:39 AM | PERMALINK

One of the problems with being the stupidest person on the face of the Earth is that you think everyone else is even stupider than you are.

Posted by: Bill Camarda on February 9, 2007 at 7:04 AM | PERMALINK

General Tommy Franks, in the book Fiasco,, refers to Douglas Feith as "the dumbest fucking guy on the planet" (page 78).

I echo Apollo 13's sentiment. It is absolutely astounding to me that no one is going to be punished for taking this great nation to war on the basis of these lies. No one. Future generations will look at these facts and wonder how the opposition party could be so cowardly and craven to allow such behavior to go unpunished.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on February 9, 2007 at 7:05 AM | PERMALINK

You know, doctors, lawyers, teachers, etc. have certification requirements, licences, boards to review their conduct, periodic and mandatory re-training requirements. Why do we have a right to expect a high degree of professionalism from people trained to maintain our health, our rights & further our education but we accept the total incompetence of public servants like Doug Feith?

Here he is in a position dealing literally with the life and death of our children and the families and children of Iraq, and Feith doesn't believe what he tells his bosses??

Has the Pentagon become some kind of afternoon academic colloquium with sherry served on silver trays, where our kids' lives are tossed around in abstract discussions about a superpower's role in world affairs?

Why didn't the Pentagon's leaders fight this crap? Where was their vaunted leadership ability when it was needed?? Why did they go along with it??! What was Wolfowitz's role in all this? Rumsfeld -- did he not believe it, too?

Amazing. Simply amazing. The Bush administration is on its way to going down as the most incompetent administration in our Republic's history.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on February 9, 2007 at 7:12 AM | PERMALINK

Actually in Fiasco Ricks calls feith something of a genious. The type of person who can explain the importance of the battle of marathon to the development of western culture but who if left alone couldn't get himself across the street safely. However, he was in synch with his mentor wolfowitz; they both see the world through the prism of the holocaust and he understood that the senile madman at OSD only wanted yes men around him.

Posted by: klyde on February 9, 2007 at 7:16 AM | PERMALINK

I'm reading "State of Denial" right now. Amoung the many things which astound me, Feith jumps out in one of the early chapters. Apparently General Franks had a meeting with Feith (and maybe Rumsfeld too, have to check the book) where Feith said his department was responsible for Phase IV - the post war reconstruction. Franks took that as a sign that he only needed to plan for post-war security, not reconstruction.

Some people say there was no plan. I disagree. Their plan was to turn the country over to Ahmed Chalabi. It was a plan - a bad one, but a plan.

Posted by: VOR on February 9, 2007 at 7:20 AM | PERMALINK

Why didn't the Pentagon's leaders fight this crap? Where was their vaunted leadership ability when it was needed?? Why did they go along with it??!

I have said for years that for all their puffed up pride senior military officers, especially in the Army are as rebellious as lap dogs. Despite all their stated misgivings about the war only one senior officer retired or resigned in protest. And he did it quietly without making any kind of fuss.

Posted by: klyde on February 9, 2007 at 7:24 AM | PERMALINK

Click the link, Kevin. Always click the link:

At the time of Feith's reporting, the CIA had concluded there was an "evolving" association, "based on sources of varying reliability."

If America hadn't intervened, that "association" would have grown into a full-blown alliance.

One of the problems in dealing with terrorists is that their allegiances and methods are constantly shifting. The best strategy is to use whatever intelligence you have, and smash terrorists wherever you find them.

Posted by: Al on February 9, 2007 at 7:34 AM | PERMALINK

So, Al,

You state we need to smash terrorists wherever we find them. Please answer the following questions:

1. How do you tell the terrorists from the non-terrorists in a foreign country? Whom do you propose smashing, the governments of these countries, just the terrorists, or perhaps flatten all the neighborhoods in suspected of harboring terrorists?

2. al Qaeda has "evolving" relationships with Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Kuwait, Qatar, Egypt, Somalia, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan Indonesia, the Phillipines. Smash 'em all under the Bush "Smash 'em all" doctrine, or are there other ways to address the situation?

3. Doug Feith admits he didn't believe the intelligence. Should we commit our nation's most precious resources to a cause founded on what have proven to be flat-out lies?

Posted by: pj in jesusland on February 9, 2007 at 7:56 AM | PERMALINK

Anyone notice how all the headlines on this topic start with something like "Pentagon clais pre-war activities not illegal"? That spin has to be debunked now!! For one thing, I dont believe the Pentagon is the arbiter of legality in this country. The individuals who foisted this debacle upon the American people need to be held accountable and the Dems need to step it up with a little more vigor.

Posted by: jman_nyc on February 9, 2007 at 8:01 AM | PERMALINK

'A country whose national political conversation is dominated by voices that deny their own complicity in national security tragedies; downplay human casualties, and generally make dishonesty mundane, is a nation prevented from reflecting on its bad decisions -- and thus is doomed to repeat such bad decisions in the future.' - David Sirota

Posted by: MsNThrope on February 9, 2007 at 8:07 AM | PERMALINK

I bear no responsibility for the letters I type regardless of whether they form words or even words that appear to follow complex syntactic rules.

Posted by: Amerlcan Hawk on February 9, 2007 at 8:25 AM | PERMALINK

Feith's explanation ranks somewhere up with "I didn't inhale." in terms of credibility.

The real problem is that if he's lying, then he did manipulate intelligence to get us into a war. If he wasn't, then he handed them hypothetical B.S. and was too chickenshit to to correct the mistake, allowing unreliable intelligence to get us into a war. So, he's either a sneaky liar who got us into a war, or a cowardly moron.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty on February 9, 2007 at 8:31 AM | PERMALINK

Manipulating is manipulating is manipulating.

Posted by: Bob M on February 9, 2007 at 8:34 AM | PERMALINK

But if Feith had said at the time, to so the-called "liberal media," that his garbage was "not "alternative intelligence assessment." It was from the start a criticism of the consensus of the intelligence community, and in presenting it I was not endorsing its substance," Bush and the neocons wouldn't have got their war.

This wasn't stupidity, it was deliberately deceiving the country into war. I agree -- Feith and others need to go to jail for this.

The other thing, of course, is that it's vital to remember these words -- "in presenting it I was not endorsing its substance" -- and more importantly still, remind the so-called "liberal media" of them -- when evaluating the neocon alarmism regarding Iran.

Too bad, "ex-liberal."

Posted by: Gregory on February 9, 2007 at 8:35 AM | PERMALINK

is it wrong to want to gather up the neocons and drop them in the middle of Baghdad? far outside the Green Zone, of course.

I keep envisioning an Escape From New York scenario. with gasping to Muqtada al Sadr, "You're the Duke! You're A # 1!"

Posted by: Librul on February 9, 2007 at 8:38 AM | PERMALINK

The article is startling. Doug Feith essentially admits that his work product was intended to tell "senior administration" officials (read Don Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney) what they wanted to hear even if it wasn't really the truth. What the senior officials did with his work product was their own business.

Folks that kind of organization is not intended to gather intelligence. Instead it's only function is to develop propaganda.

There are reporters in Washington who have made their careers repeating the leaks from Feith's shop. They continue to characterize it's work as "intelligence gathering." I wonder if to this day any of those reporters is smart enough to realize he has been screwed, bruised and tattooed by a bunch of second rate con men.

Posted by: Ron Byers on February 9, 2007 at 8:41 AM | PERMALINK

Feith should go to Iraq and spend the rest of his foreshortened life elaborating on that explanation.

I understand that our State Department is desperate for civilians to lend a hand over there. If Feith won't volunteer, maybe he could be "reactivated" and shipped over with a planeload of troops?

Posted by: clem on February 9, 2007 at 8:43 AM | PERMALINK

I note that even with the dubious sources used by the US, all the reports of Nigerian yellowcake were cited from "British intelligence." Conclusion: everyone knew they were bogus.

Posted by: jhm on February 9, 2007 at 8:49 AM | PERMALINK

"in presenting it I was not endorsing its substance."

Yeah, and was that what all the OVP stooges said when they went over to Langley and rammed this stuff down the CIA's throat?

Posted by: JJ on February 9, 2007 at 8:49 AM | PERMALINK

Great Sirota quote MsNThrope.

Mundane is the word. They were running a mundane PR shop. Feith gives you the impression that the ideology, like moral conscience, was only ankle deep.

How is it that such a transparently self-serving cabal took over the American government and ran a little project-war with no accountability than and little accountability now?

There is something deeply wrong with a political system that can countenance Richard Nixon and a generation later find cronies that best him.


Are we to believe that any brigand who can get into the White House can run private wars, tie up and censure the bureaucracy, snoop on the American people and arrest them without warrant or trial?

Posted by: bellumregio on February 9, 2007 at 8:53 AM | PERMALINK

According to James Bamford, Israeli spooks were involved as well. They set up their own intelligence shop to mop up Israeli junk intelligence and pass it to Feith. That's probably why Larry Franklin got nabbed for passing US secrets to Israel. Boundaries, Mr. Feith, Israel, U. S.--two different countries!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIPAC_espionage_scandal

Posted by: JJ on February 9, 2007 at 8:55 AM | PERMALINK

JJ, dynamite stuff that.

Posted by: Oh ye of little Feith on February 9, 2007 at 9:00 AM | PERMALINK

Juan Cole:

****So in the run up to the 2003 war, I'm told, Douglas Feith was challenged by a State Department official who knows the Middle East about what in the world the US would do in Iraq once it won the war.

State Dept. Official: "Doug, after the smoke clears, what is the plan?"

Feith: "Think of Iraq as being like a computer. And think of Saddam as like a processor. We just take out the old processor, and put in a new one--Chalabi."

State Dept. Official: "Put in a new processor?"

Feith: "Yes! It will all be over in 6 weeks."

State Dept. Official: "You mean six months."

Feith: "No, six weeks. You'll see."

State Dept. Official: "Doug."

Feith: "Yes?"

State Dept. Official: "You're smoking crack, Doug."

Feith: "Oh, so you're disloyal to the President, are you?"****

http://www.juancole.com/2007/02/3-month-record-for-us-troops-killed.html

Posted by: JJ on February 9, 2007 at 9:01 AM | PERMALINK

And now it appears Robert Gates was brought into the Bush Administration as Secretary of Defense not so much to prosecute the Iraq War as to extend that war to Iran.

Posted by: bert on February 9, 2007 at 9:17 AM | PERMALINK

"Please make it stop. Please?" - Kevin


I am as amazed as you are Kevin. Why I thought for sure once Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid took over, The Islamic Al Qaeda radicals would throw their weapons down and run to the nearest "peace accord" table. Doesn't Al Qaeda realize the opportunity they have to negotiate with some of the "world communities" most enlightened individuals in Pelosi and Reid?

Hey and where is my full coverage health care?

Posted by: Jay on February 9, 2007 at 9:18 AM | PERMALINK

Ah, I see it's red herring season, again.

Posted by: snicker-snack on February 9, 2007 at 9:25 AM | PERMALINK

So, Ken, I guess you've come around, and agree with those of us who feel that Cheney, Poindexter, Rumsfeld, GHWBush and the rest of the Reagan and Bush administration Cabinet members who were involved in providing billions of dollars of funds and weapons to Bin Laden and his friends in Afghanistan, belong on Death Row, for providing material support and assistance to the enemy.

There's no argument about their actions whatsoever.
It took you long enough!

Posted by: kenga on February 9, 2007 at 9:30 AM | PERMALINK

Turn the country over to Texas oil millionaires and this is what to expect.

If you've never dealt with these folks, you just won't understand.

In one of my first dealings with them (and "them" is accurate; they are a tight bunch), the fellow with whom I was having a luncheon meeting brought a revolver along and placed it on the seat of an empty chair at our table.

Dick Cheney is part of this breed.

Posted by: buford on February 9, 2007 at 9:31 AM | PERMALINK

Two more interesting quotes from the article:

Feith insisted that his activities did not constitute intelligence and that "even if they were, [they] would be appropriate given that they were responding to direction from the Deputy Secretary of Defense."
[Huh?]

and

The summary document confirmed a range of accusations that Levin had leveled against Feith's office... Feith's office, it said, drew on "both reliable and unreliable" intelligence reports in 2002 to produce a link between al-Qaeda and Iraq "that was much stronger than that assessed by the IC [Intelligence Community] and more in accord with the policy views of senior officials in the Administration."

We finally have the Washington version of "facts were fixed around the policy". What Feith did may not have been "unauthorized" or "illegal" because Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz had asked for it -- but that does not get Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz off the hook.

Posted by: JS on February 9, 2007 at 9:36 AM | PERMALINK

I don't understand how our brave Pentagon leaders -- the ones who can stand firm in the midst of insurgent firefights -- can't stand firm and confront a pasty-faced, lying-through-his-hat bureaucrat who is dragging them into a corrupted world view, possibly on orders from Bush and Cheney.

Perhaps we have encouraged the military to take orders too well. Or perhaps the potential dissenters inside the Pentagon are worried if they voice any criticism they will get bumped off the priority list for base housing at Fort Belvoir, or lose their tee times at the Army Navy Country Club.

In any case, there's a clear breakdown of leadership at the Pentagon. Our camo-dressed men and women who walk smartly around Washington leave it to the peace activists to shake fists at these liars and then scurry back to smirk about long-haired radicals over drinks at the officer's club. Who are the real brave ones on the home front?

Come on, guys, democracy is messy business but someone's got to do it.

Georgetown students and faculty: boycott Feith's classes and seminars. Protest GU's Affirmative Action Policy for Former Government Liars.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on February 9, 2007 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

kevin, can you delete the enormous cut-n-paste above? --- i thought the comment window was for wcomments. never mind it's from bill "i'm worng about everything" kristol's rag

Posted by: benjoya on February 9, 2007 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

[Ken's cut and paste deleted]
Posted by: Ken on February 9, 2007 at 9:24 AM

How about posting a brief summary and then some URLs next time??

Posted by: trbtx on February 9, 2007 at 9:41 AM | PERMALINK

And in the Days of Yore, Charlie begat Alice who begat Don P who begat Cheney who begat Norman who begat Ken.

Care to cut and paste the Congressional Record again Chuckles? How about Chapters 8 through 21 of War and Peace as well?

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 9, 2007 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

"and in presenting it I was not endorsing its substance."

Someone tell Stephen Hayes

Posted by: rkf on February 9, 2007 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

Can we blogpile on this guy and get him fired from Georgetown?

Man, I'd feel like a total chump if I was a parent paying tuition to that august institution.

Posted by: Bill on February 9, 2007 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK

"Interesting read on Feith who, no less, had a personal library "weighted disproportionately to the history of the British empire"

Including no volumes written by George Orwell.
Nothing either about the First Afghan War(1838-1842), but he's re-writing that history himself.

Posted by: Steve Paradis on February 9, 2007 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK

"This was not "alternative intelligence assessment." It was from the start a criticism of the consensus of the intelligence community, and in presenting it I was not endorsing its substance"

Maybe he should have ended it with the words "Your mileage may vary".

Posted by: Steve Paradis on February 9, 2007 at 9:55 AM | PERMALINK

Douglas Feith is not so very stupid that he could not rise to a very senior post in the DoD.

The question is for whom did he actually work: there was a lot of talk as he was building up to leave about his possibly having been a source for the two AIPAC spies.

It is pretty obvious to whom/what he owed his primary loyalty. Look at this: http://www.iasps.org/strat1.htm ..... then think of the other guys who were involved but do not actually have their names at the masthead with Feith, names like Wolfowitz, Hannah, Ledeen, A. Finkelstein........ Libby..... This was 1996: it was all planned, first Iraq and then Iran. The US is a real Patsy for being taken in, all of us, but especially those two greedy goons, Cheney and Bush. The PNAC/AIPAC Neocons are`still keeping a close control over the Administration, with lots of them still working in it, and now we have a new Best Congress Money Can Buy, funded by The Lobby, so do any of you really think anything will change. When this fool bombs and rockets Iran many of the installations on the western side of the Gulf will be taken out, and all we shall get is "Oh Dear! We did not expect that response! But never mind, Exxon Mobil says we can handle $5-6 a gallon of severely rationed gasoline."

Posted by: maunga on February 9, 2007 at 9:59 AM | PERMALINK

"When challenged in Congressional testimony, Under Secretary of Defense Doug Feith promised to produce the intelligence that demonstrated the link (between al Qeda & Iraq). Not only did he send a memo to the congressional committee with a precis of dozens of such (bogus) reports, SOMEONE, leaked the highly classified memo to a neoconservative magazine, which promptly printed the secret information. Neo-con commentators then pointed to the illegally leaked document as conclusive proof of the al Qeda-Iraq nexus." Richard A. Clarke Against All Enemies

Feith deliberately distorted intel, endorsed reports he knew were highly suspect or just plain lies, deliberately misled Congress & (probably) illegally leaked highly classified, albeit bogus, information to pet media.

If there's a jail cell somewhere for the intelligent, obedient, implausible Scooter, surely there's a much smaller, far more unpleasant cell for the stupid, enabling, despicable Feith.

Posted by: DanJoaquinOz on February 9, 2007 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

ah, I see, neocon satire of the intelligence community. edgy, dude, edgy.

Posted by: j swift on February 9, 2007 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

According to former Bush officials, all defence and intelligence sources, senior administration figures created a shadow agency of Pentagon analysts staffed mainly by ideological amateurs to compete with the CIA and its military counterpart, the Defence Intelligence Agency.

The agency, called the Office of Special Plans (OSP), was set up by the defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, to second-guess CIA information and operated under the patronage of hardline conservatives in the top rungs of the administration, the Pentagon and at the White House, including Vice-President Dick Cheney.

The ideologically driven network functioned like a shadow government, much of it off the official payroll and beyond congressional oversight. But it proved powerful enough to prevail in a struggle with the State Department and the CIA by establishing a justification for war.

....

The president's most trusted adviser, Mr Cheney, was at the shadow network's sharp end. He made several trips to the CIA in Langley, Virginia, to demand a more "forward-leaning" interpretation of the threat posed by Saddam. When he was not there to make his influence felt, his chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, was. Such hands-on involvement in the processing of intelligence data was unprecedented for a vice-president in recent times, and it put pressure on CIA officials to come up with the appropriate results.

....

The OSP had access to a huge amount of raw intelligence. It came in part from "report officers" in the CIA's directorate of operations whose job is to sift through reports from agents around the world, filtering out the unsubstantiated and the incredible. Under pressure from the hawks such as Mr Cheney and Mr Gingrich, those officers became reluctant to discard anything, no matter how far-fetched. The OSP also sucked in countless tips from the Iraqi National Congress and other opposition groups, which were viewed with far more scepticism by the CIA and the state department.

....

the OSP's activities were a com plete mystery to the DIA and the Pentagon.

"The iceberg analogy is a good one," said a senior officer who left the Pentagon during the planning of the Iraq war. "No one from the military staff heard, saw or discussed anything with them."

....

The Israeli influence was revealed most clearly by a story floated by unnamed senior US officials in the American press, suggesting the reason that no banned weapons had been found in Iraq was that they had been smuggled into Syria. Intelligence sources say that the story came from the office of the Israeli prime minister.

The OSP absorbed this heady brew of raw intelligence, rumour and plain disinformation and made it a "product", a prodigious stream of reports with a guaranteed readership in the White House. The primary customers were Mr Cheney, Mr Libby and their closest ideological ally on the national security council, Stephen Hadley, Condoleezza Rice's deputy.

In turn, they leaked some of the claims to the press, and used others as a stick with which to beat the CIA and the state department analysts, demanding they investigate the OSP leads.
.....

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,999737,00.html

Posted by: JJ on February 9, 2007 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

When the White House formed its Office of Faith-Based Initiatives the Pentaton created the Office of Feith-Based Initiatives.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on February 9, 2007 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

"In turn, they leaked some of the claims to the press, and used others as a stick with which to beat the CIA and the state department analysts, demanding they investigate the OSP leads."

My theory is that *that's* the backstory for the Plame case.

Posted by: JJ on February 9, 2007 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

When I read about this stuff, I keep scratching my head. Nearly everybody outside the US seemed to have seen throug this veil of lies right from the beginning, or at least since Colin Powll's infamus presentation (even if some European governemnts pretended not to). Why did so few people in the US notice?

Posted by: Jörgen in Germany on February 9, 2007 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

Jorgen ----- Who owns the media in the US? Who owns the Congress?

That's why.

Posted by: maunga on February 9, 2007 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

More from the Guardian:

***The OSP was an open and largely unfiltered conduit to the White House not only for the Iraqi opposition. It also forged close ties to a parallel, ad hoc intelligence operation inside Ariel Sharon's office in Israel specifically to bypass Mossad and provide the Bush administration with more alarmist reports on Saddam's Iraq than Mossad was prepared to authorise.

"None of the Israelis who came were cleared into the Pentagon through normal channels," said one source familiar with the visits. Instead, they were waved in on Mr Feith's authority without having to fill in the usual forms.***

Posted by: JJ on February 9, 2007 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

Makes one wonder whether it is really worth it - From the "Best and the Brightest" in the 60s leading us into the debacle of Nam to the "Dumb and the Dullest" leading us into Iraq.

Please FAUXLib, give us a, not less than 20,000 word, tome as to whether there is an iota of difference between the two groups. Hubris uber alles.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 9, 2007 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

"Nearly everybody outside the US seemed to have seen throug this veil of lies right from the beginning"

Some of us here did too. But our voices were pretty much railroaded by cable news and the Republican Noise Machine.

Posted by: JJ on February 9, 2007 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

is it wrong to want to gather up the neocons and drop them in the middle of Baghdad? far outside the Green Zone, of course.

Put 'em all in jock straps (even Condi) and parachute 'em into Sadr City.

Posted by: tomeck on February 9, 2007 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

3100 US dead? And the 24,000 crippled, wounded, etc. And the how many Iraqi lives ended and ruined? And the $750 BILLION wasted.

All because of a typographical error?

Posted by: Ray Waldren on February 9, 2007 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

I harbor deep animosity for the scum fucking war pig Douglas Feith.

Posted by: Brojo on February 9, 2007 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

Go Brojo, but add the whole Cheney-Bush Administration US-employed rest of them. These bastards are screwing your Social Security and wrecking your children's futures......... for an ephemeral future Greater You Know Where.

Posted by: maunga on February 9, 2007 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

Office of Feith-Based Initiatives...that's a good one. I'll have to remember that at the Correspondent's Dinner in April.

Posted by: Rich Little on February 9, 2007 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

I have just seen who has written the rebuttal of the Report, Feith's successor, Eric Edelman. 'Nuff said! This man has "close ties" to Wolfowitz and Perle....... He '....was the least-trusted Ambassdaor' we have sent to Turkey!'

Who is going to stop this endless circle?

Posted by: maunga on February 9, 2007 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

"The President of the United States has committed a serious transgression," said Representative Dick Armey [Republican] of Texas, [sic] "Among other things, he took an oath to God to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, and then he failed to do so, not once, but several times." To ignore this, he said, is to "undermine the rule of law."

"It was about honor and decency and integrity and the truth," Mr. DeLay said, his voice breaking, "everything that we honor in this country. It was also a debate about relativism versus absolute truth." He charged that the President's Democratic defenders would lower the standards of society.

A second article of impeachment, charging Mr. Clinton with obstruction of justice, passed on a narrower vote of 221 to 212. It accused him of inducing others to lie in order to conceal..."

The above was taken from The New York Times article Clinton Impeached, December 20, 1998, p. A1, col. 6, parenthesis mine.

Are the rules different because they are Republicans?

Posted by: Double Standard on February 9, 2007 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

Feith and those who empowered him should be stripped of all assets and sent, penniless, to man IED-removal squads in Baghdad, with only the clothing they are able to beg from the families of dead American soldiers. Should they live for three months, they should then be staked to the ground in the Iraqi desert, their bodies coated with whatever substance is most attractive to camel spiders.

In presenting this criticism, I am not endorsing its substance.

Much.

Now, I'm off to work on my 'alternate intelligence assessment' based on the a priori assumption that up is down, and gravity is an illusion.

Posted by: biggerbox on February 9, 2007 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin wrote: "The stuff that helped justify a catastrophic preventive war that's still raging four years later? ... Please make it stop. Please?

Please stop repeating the Bush adminstration's lie that the invasion of Iraq was a "preventive war".

It was a war of unprovoked aggression, period. There was nothing to "prevent".

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 9, 2007 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

Secular Animist.... Kevin works, au fond, for a "mainstream medium", and we should be lucky his owners have not yet asked him to close down this thread since it is getting so close to the bone. we are all brain-washed, and slips of the pen are hard to defend against.

Can we hope that there are members of Congress whose staff monitor all this?

Posted by: maunga on February 9, 2007 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

Secular Animist's point is correct.

Even sane and rational pundits like Kevin have not yet come to terms with their complicity in this immoral war.

Posted by: gregor on February 9, 2007 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

Feith is apparently just a rat leaving a sinking ship.

At least he's smart enough to do that.

Posted by: MarkH on February 9, 2007 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

I am interested in Jorgen's question about why so few in the US were skeptical about the evidence against Iraq, when so many outside the US were.

I think one has to consider that even intelligent people begin to doubt their own judgment when they are standing in a crowd of fools.

Posted by: mattsteinglass on February 9, 2007 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that Rumsfeld STILL has a desk at the Pentagon.

Posted by: R.L. on February 9, 2007 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

Paolo Machiavelli

PNAC

Wolfowicz, Feith, Pearle ...

AEI

Hello Apollo 13. I have missed our late-night discussions of a few years ago. Have people truly begun to realize the truth at last?

Shalom,

Alli Gator

Posted by: Alli Gator on February 9, 2007 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

My God, it's the InstaCracker Defense.

Heh, indeed.

Posted by: Jadegold on February 9, 2007 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

Apologies ...

That should of course read "Nicolò Machiavelli" ...

I was re-reading some work on Boscoli and got myself confused.

I should learn to preview and re-read before I post.

Senior Moment.

Alli Gator

Posted by: Alli Gator on February 9, 2007 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

9/11 support the troops 9/11 support the troops
9/11 support the troops 9/11 support the troops
9/11 support the troops 9/11 support the troops
9/11 support the troops 9/11 support the troops
9/11 support the troops 9/11 support the troops
9/11 support the troops 9/11 support the troops
9/11 support the troops 9/11 support the troops
9/11 support the troops 9/11 support the troops
9/11 support the troops 9/11 support the troops

there, there, don't you feel better now?

Posted by: thersites on February 9, 2007 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

You'll have to remind what this "stuff" is. I certainly don't remember-- and I have a great memory and pay a lot of attention to the news.

Posted by: aaron on February 9, 2007 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

Please stop repeating the Bush adminstration's lie that the invasion of Iraq was a "preventive war".

Its not a lie, but the truth.

It was a war of unprovoked aggression, period.

"Preventive war" is, by definition, war of unprovoked aggression; if there was actual provocation that would render it otherwise, it would be a defensive war (which includes preemptive war.)

Posted by: cmdicely on February 9, 2007 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

Hehe. A report by Carl Levin? Are you fucking kiddin' me? How can you expect to be taken seriously?

Posted by: aaron on February 9, 2007 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK
When did Bush take an oath to tell the truth

Bush took an oath to faithfully execute the laws (including, among other relevant laws, the AUMF which called for determinations relating to the situation in Iraq before force was used) when he became President.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 9, 2007 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK
I think Bush has faithfully executed every law

You are entitled to your opinion on that; you asked where Bush took an oath to tell the truth—on oath to faithfully execute the law includes (its part of what "faithfully" means) an obligation to truth in determinations required under the law.

you have the burden to prove otherwise.

Where I have argued that he has not, I have presented the support for that argument; here, I was merely answering your question, and have no burden beyond what was met in that response.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 9, 2007 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

What an unconscionable act.

Feith is an immoral and unethical individual who gives not a darn about the lives of his fellow citizens nor the freedoms and liberties of all Americans in terms of our national security.

He may not have have endorsed nor beleive the veracity of his statements, but what he did know is that he was providing 'evidentiary justification' for those in policy making roles to take this country to war.

That is treason. He should be charged with such. He is no different from the Nazi war criminals who claimed they were simply following orders when they engaged in heinous acts against humanity.

What Feith did is just as unconscionable and has resulted in almost as many deaths and over 20K maimed and injured for life, not to mention the Americans who are widows/widowers and orphans.

Absolutely unconscionable.

All he cared about was pleasing his masters.

Posted by: glaissade on February 9, 2007 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely

Surely GWB has executed every law he has come across, --- hanged, drawn, and quartered it!

Posted by: maunga on February 9, 2007 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK
think it's a fair analogy to those two anti-Catholic bloggers Edwards says were not endorsing the substance of their own claims

Er, neither they nor Edwards said they weren't endorsing the substance of their own claims; what they claimed was that they were (in a tone and manner unacceptable in their current role, which they did not have at the time, and "personally offensive" to Edwards) criticizing public policy positions, not anyone's personal faith.

And not one example not aimed at the public policy positions of the various religious activists targetted has yet been presented on this blog or anywhere else I've seen.

Its not a remotely valid "analogy", its just a stupid attempt at deflection. I don't think it should have been deleted, though, I think your desperation and stupidity should have been left for everyone to see.

Though you've been kind enough to repeat it, for anyone who missed it, so I guess that's okay.


Posted by: cmdicely on February 9, 2007 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

Not an assessment, an assessment of the assessment.

It's like post-modernism, it's all in how you look at it. And who can argue with that?

Posted by: cld on February 9, 2007 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

Can some one please tell me what Feith supposedly did that was wrong? I don't see it in the post article.

Posted by: aaron on February 9, 2007 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

Al: "The best strategy is to use whatever intelligence you have, and smash terrorists wherever you find them."

Or totally make up bullshit as n excuse to smash someone else who had nothing to do with them, as in the case of Saddam's Iraq.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on February 9, 2007 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

aaron Perhaps you should read the news and some other blog sites. Briefly, Douglas Feith made up stories out of whole cloth and delivered them as 'intelligence'.

Posted by: maunga on February 9, 2007 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

I don't see a thing that suggest anything of the such.

Posted by: aaron on February 9, 2007 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

R.L.: "Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that Rumsfeld STILL has a desk at the Pentagon."

She didn't mention that he also has been given a staff of six, because it's a lot of work to gin up a faux controversy, like the rumor that the Speaker demanded a luxury jet to fly her and her entire 43-person entourage to San Francisco at her whim.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on February 9, 2007 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

Uhm... Kevin? That would be "for shits and giggles" please...

Posted by: buck turgidson on February 9, 2007 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

I don't see a thing that suggest anything of the such.
Posted by: aaron

Uh, OK. So what does it mean to present intelligence reports when you don't "endorse the substance"?

And as a follow on question, what does it mean to not tell anyone that you don't endorse the substance of the reports that you've generated till a number of years after those reports have been acted upon?

Posted by: cyntax on February 9, 2007 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

Great website where you can make your own editorial cartoon.

And here's my contribution to world genius.

Posted by: cld on February 9, 2007 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK
I don't see a thing that suggest anything of the such.

Well, then, perhaps you should read a bit more, starting with the Summary of the Inspector General's report at the center of the issue, and its description of the inappropriate and misleading presentation of intelligence products by Feith's office.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 9, 2007 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

"Please make it stop."
And don't forget that Feith, the neocons and Bush were lured into an Iraq incursion by Habib and Chalabi who were more likely than not representing Iranian interests.
Under what I call "Rules of the Playground" it would serve Iran right, if, having duped the dimwitted bully into attacking its enemy Iraq, the bully turns on Iran.
____________

"Iran used Chalabi to dupe U.S."
By Knut Royce, 5.22.04, Newsday

WASHINGTON — The Defense Intelligence Agency has concluded that for years Iran has used a U.S.-funded arm of Ahmad Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress to funnel disinformation to the United States and to collect highly sensitive American secrets, according to intelligence sources.

"Iranian intelligence has been manipulating the United States through Chalabi ...(and Habib who furnished false info to the US including "Curveball" and top secret plus info to Iran ) ....by furnishing through his Information Collection Program (ICP) information to provoke the United Sates into getting rid of Saddam Hussein," said an intelligence source who was briefed on the conclusions of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).

Posted by: Craig Johnson on February 9, 2007 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

What on Earth are you smoking, Craig.....? The Iraq exercise was dreamt up on the other side of the Arabian Peninsula.

Posted by: maunga on February 9, 2007 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

Per cmd's point above here's the quote:

    The policy office, the summary stated, "was inappropriately performing Intelligence Activities . . . that should be performed by the Intelligence Community."

But hey, it's that notoriously partisan office known as the Inspector General, so no reason to believe what they say, right aaron?

Partisan hack-bashing aside, this isn't just finger pointing. These people lied us into a war, they have no remorse about it, and there's no reason to think they aren't going to try it again with Iran.

They can't be given a pass on this.

Posted by: cyntax on February 9, 2007 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

And don't forget that Feith, the neocons and Bush were lured into an Iraq incursion by Habib and Chalabi who were more likely than not representing Iranian interests.
Under what I call "Rules of the Playground" it would serve Iran right, if, having duped the dimwitted bully into attacking its enemy Iraq, the bully turns on Iran.
Posted by: Craig Johnson

Uh no, no it wouldn't. But glad to see you subscribe to a view of foreign policy that simplifies everything down to conflicts in a sandbox.

We've had enough of simplicity and the simpletons who practice it. Anyone who could be duped into a war by Chalabi needs to be removed from office by reaon of incompetence.

Posted by: cyntax on February 9, 2007 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK
And don't forget that Feith, the neocons and Bush were lured into an Iraq incursion by Habib and Chalabi who were more likely than not representing Iranian interests.

Chalabi was representing Chalabi. Whether working with Iranian intelligence, US intelligence, or someone other organization, or some combination of the above, at any given moment, that's all Chalabi has ever done.

(Of course, this was well known even before Bush came into office, so being gullible enough to be so easily used by Chalabi is inexcusable.)

Posted by: cmdicely on February 9, 2007 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

"Makes one wonder whether it is really worth it - From the "Best and the Brightest" in the 60s leading us into the debacle of Nam to the "Dumb and the Dullest" leading us into Iraq..."
Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 9, 2007 at 10:43 AM

Very interesting point. There is a generation shift commonality between these two groups: The folks that led us into Vietnam experienced the heady victory of WWII as younger people and greatly overestimated our power as older folks when they were running things in the prime-sunset of their careers. The latest crowd experienced the heady victory of the Cold War and also greatly overestimated our power as older folks running things in the prime-sunset of their careers....

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on February 9, 2007 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

What the fuck are you all smoking?

What lies?

Feith would have been negligent not to do this type of reporting.

What was presented as fact that wasn't fact?

I'm still baffled as to what you think he did wrong.

It was "inappropriate" to speculate on intelligence? Yeah. OK

Posted by: aaron on February 9, 2007 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

New entry for the Conservative Dictionary of Conveniently Misappropriate Redefinitions of Common Words, Terms, and Phrases:

'wrong': prudent and useful

Posted by: Google_This on February 9, 2007 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

aaron, you are plainly Al's little boy. Crawl back under your stone, please, and learn to read. I know this is 2007, and we have lots of you who grew up not getting taught that words have actual meanings, but do try.

D Feith made up stories and peddled them as fact and peddled 'intelligence' made up by others: it is called 'lying'. He did it at the behest of his masters and gave it to Cheney.

No amount of "Not over here!" by you can change that.

Posted by: maunga on February 9, 2007 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

aaron: I'm still baffled as to what you think he did wrong.

He lied by omission, for one thing.

He deliberately exaggerated alleged ties between al Queda and the Iraqi Baathists.

He was at the very least grossly wrong about the alleged 2001 meeting in Prague between Mohamed Atta, the leader of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, and an Iraqi intelligence officer, if not expressly dishonest.

His office produced intelligence assessments, not simply critiques of intelligence methods, sources, or institutional structure. Any critique of the conclusions of an intelligence assessment necessarily involves an assessment of intelligence. Furthermore, the only source for the administrations claim that intelligence assessments demonstrated a close tie between al Queda and Iraq would have been Feith's, since all other intelligence assessments, such as from the CIA, had utterly dismissed such a conclusion. Thus, the White House itself not only treated Feith's work product as an intelligence assessment, but expressly cited it as such when presenting its case to Congress.

He presented different versions of the document for different audiences, not based on their security level, but in order to ensure that the CIA and other audiences didn't know how his office had manipulated and massaged the information.

-----------

But it's easy to see why you are baffled.

It often happens do wingnuts when confronted with reality and fact.

Posted by: Google_This on February 9, 2007 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

Try the WaPo, aaraon

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/08/AR2007020802387_pf.html

Posted by: maunga on February 9, 2007 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

I'm still baffled as to what you think he did wrong.
It was "inappropriate" to speculate on intelligence? Yeah. OK
Posted by: aaron

No, it's inappropritate to present speculative intelligence as anything more conclusive than it is. Explain how creating misleading intelligence that supports a preconcieved conclusion isn't problematic. But here's more from the report, pplease try to respond to the specifics if you can:

    It stated that the office produced intelligence assessments "inconsistent" with the U.S. intelligence community consensus, calling those actions "inappropriate" because the assessments purported to be "intelligence products" but were far more conclusive than the consensus view.

That's cooking the intelligence books. And there are a lot of dead people as a result.

Posted by: cyntax on February 9, 2007 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

BTW, aaron, even if your fantasy-world version of events were true, it doesn't matter, because here's the headline (from CNN, although others will follow) that America will see and remember:

Inspector general: Pentagon manipulated prewar intel

If would almost be better if you were in fact right, since it would be perfect irony and a satisfying revenge to see conservatives damned by false headlines in the same way they've been creating damning false headlines about liberals, such as with Pelosi's alleged, but false, demand for a huge personal play jet.

But you are not right and we'll just have to revel in the fact that truthful headlines are busting out all over America, headlines which reveal that Bush and his cronies manipulated pre-war intelligence and lied us into war.

Posted by: Google_This on February 9, 2007 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

The saddest thing is that this will get nowhere near the MSM coverage as the Pelosi airplane fake-scandal.

Posted by: Disputo on February 9, 2007 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

aaron,

Still having problems deciphering those Ten Tablets your brother brought down the mountain?

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 9, 2007 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

The USSR began to 'fold' as a result of its adventure in Afghanistan when soldiers came home and told their people the truth: the word spread.

As we keep on hammering away with the truth about Bush's Iraq adventure, little by little the word gets out, but it is hard when we have to counteract the AEI tv ads with their Goebbels-esque lies about Iran, and those tv infommercials all over the South aimed at the "Christians" promulgated, purportedly, by some local 'Judaeo-Christian Society'.

Posted by: maunga on February 9, 2007 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

Disputo wrote: "The saddest thing is that this will get nowhere near the MSM coverage as the Pelosi airplane fake-scandal."

This won't even get anywhere near the MSM coverage that Anna Nicole Smith's death or the astronaut love-triangle thing will get.

The entire purpose of the corporate-owned mass media is to keep the American public ignorant and stupid. And they are very good at it.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 9, 2007 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK
Feith would have been negligent not to do this type of reporting.

He would have been negligent not to inappropriately and misleadingly present intelligence findings in a way which, as noted by the Inspector General, denied senior decision-makers "the most accurate analysis of intelligence"?

That's an...interesting...perspective.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 9, 2007 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK
It was "inappropriate" to speculate on intelligence?

No, it was inappropriate to speculate on matters investigated by the intelligence community, and present those speculations to "senior decision-makers", both in the executive branch and Congress, as if they were supported by intelligence and analysis of the intelligence community, when in fact they were contradicted by the intelligence or unsupported by it, and inconsistent with the analysis of the intelligence community.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 9, 2007 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

Following up on my last comment, recommended reading:

Real News Loses to Fluff Again
by Antonia Zerbisias
February 9, 2007
The Toronto Star

Excerpt:

Anybody want to bet against me that, over the next few days, the U.S. media will be more consumed with the sudden death of DDD-list blond bombshell Anna Nicole Smith than with Tuesday's report by a U.S. congressional committee that an estimated $12 billion (U.S.) – 360 tons of shrink-wrapped C-notes – were flown to Iraq between May 2003 and June 2004?

No, I didn't think so, even though the cash can't be accounted for, even though there are suspicions that much of it ended up with the insurgency, even though U.S. troops are getting killed for lack of proper armour and equipment.

Turn on the news and it's been all about "astro-nut" Lisa Nowak, she who should land a Depends endorsement deal, and her wild cross-country pursuit of love lost in space. Or something like that. Fill in your own space oddity pun. Every news organization has, as Jon Stewart pointed out the other night.

So here we are, on the eve of the fifth year of the Iraq invasion, and the "shock and awe" continues to be that the mainstream media watchdogs rolled over for the Bush-Cheney war and have yet to report on where they went wrong, what they missed, what they ignored, what they buried.

With regard to Feith's fake, phony pro-war "intelligence", where are the mainstream media analyses of ... how the mainstream media helped to disseminate Feith's lies to the American people?

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 9, 2007 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

A set of examples for the hard-of-thinking, so that they might understand the differences here:

Fact on the ground: up is up, and down is down.

Intelligence community assessment: It is most likely, based on our information and analysis, that up is up and down is down.

Valid criticism of Intelligence Community Assessment: The CIA has may have failed to give sufficient weight to situations like the International Space Station, where up is wherever you want it to be. Assuming a gravity field may provide invalid analysis, though that is not, in fact, relevant to understanding where 'up' is in Mesopotamia.

Feith's "criticism": Up is down and down is up. (Or anyplace Mr. Cheney would like it to be.) We have conclusive reports that say that say 'up can be where ever you want it to be.'

Feith's defense: That was a criticism, and I was not endorsing its substance.

Posted by: biggerbox on February 9, 2007 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

Conservatives are deliberately indifferent to the truth.

Feith is no exception.

Posted by: Google_This on February 9, 2007 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

Google_This ---- Perhaps we could all try to lessen the pejorative uses of 'liberal' and 'conservative'.

Posted by: maunga on February 9, 2007 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

I'm even more depressed thinking about the kids at Georgetown who want to take courses with Feith.

Posted by: sara on February 9, 2007 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

Sec Animist

Including the WaPo, of course. I do hope they read Kevin's site!

Posted by: maunga on February 9, 2007 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

"why so few in the US were skeptical about the evidence against Iraq, when so many outside the US were."

9/11 fear, that's what it was. They kept churning and churning that fear. It started to wear off some time in the summer of 2006. Until then, it worked very, very well for the ReThuglicans.

I wonder if Feith had a hand in forging the Niger documents?

Posted by: Cal Gal on February 9, 2007 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

Think Progress:

*****While Feiths intelligence analysis was presented to the White House, Gimble explained that he was unable to determine to what extent the White House used Feiths false reports. Under questioning from Sen. John Warner (R-VA), Gimble revealed that White House attorneys refused to allow National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley to be interviewed:

GIMBLE: Senator, we requested an interview with Mr. Hadley. The lawyers at the National Security Council did not let us interview him. So we requested and were unable to. Frankly, he is not a member of our department, so we dont have any authority to interview

WARNER: I understand that. But the simple fact is you made a request, for whatever reason. On counsels advice, he declined.

GIMBLE: Right.

At the conclusion of the hearing, Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) pledged that his committee would pursue both Hadley and Scooter Libby. We will be talking to witnesses who presented [the Feith analysis] to the Vice Presidents Office and to the National Security Council. Addressing Gimble, Levin said, So if you would supply us with the names of the people from the Feith office that did make this presentation, we will be interviewing those folks. Stay tuned.*****

http://thinkprogress.org/2007/02/09/wh-pentagon-ig/

Posted by: JJ on February 9, 2007 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

Alli Gator: Hello Apollo 13. I have missed our late-night discussions of a few years ago. Have people truly begun to realize the truth at last?

Shalom, Alli Gator. Good to see you after so long!

Your question is predicated on how many members of the Fourth Estate have the courage and integrity to value truth more than their pocketbooks and vanity, don't you think? And those who value truth more, (and I think this number is small in comparison to the ambitiously career-minded), can their voices break through the hiss of the Repub Noise Machine?

Secondly, how effective will some Democrats be in exposing the duplicity of the Bush-Cheney cabal and meting justice? The Senate is hamstrung with its slim majority. The House can do more. Yet what is feasible? That question remains to be seen and may try our patience.

A lot of us, you included, realized the fix was on with this administration's march to war. How many Americans will awaken to the enormity of the high crimes and misdemeanors of this WH and the false bravado of Empire? I dunno. I hope for the best but I fear that denial is the most-often state of mind of our fellow travelers.

When more and more troops eventually come home, I think denial will clash with the stories that will be told, the horrors realized, and the consequences of the biggest foreign affair blunder in U.S. history. The long-term impact if oil/gasoline prices will shake others awake. Overall, I think it will take a long time, perhaps a decade, for the full story to unwind if ever it does completely in the public arena, and by then, climate change may eclipse the news. I'm sure some rat bastards are already planning how to manipulate the emotions of a possible backlash to the knowledge that this WH lied us into a disastrous quagmire and they will propagandize a stream of countermeasures to blunt the damage. If you pound fear and confusion at people 24/7, eventually the adrenal glands burn out by stress, which makes people more compliant, depressive, and more easily herded. Authoritarians understand this dynamic -- the impact of what I call, glandular politics.

What we can do is speak out, clearly and frequently, amongst our friends, family, and community. We can hound the press. And we can live our lives as best we can, do what we can, and join together to use our collective clout. While I am cautiously optimistic and at worst cynical about the immediate future, I applaud positive steps such as this Pentagon IG report. I would be remiss in not acknowledging that a small group can make a huge difference. Case and point: the Bush-Cheney cabal and its enablers in the media. However, let me end on a positive note in remembering the bravery of the Boston Tea Party that helped ignite a mass movement to form a new nation.

To quote the late, great Molly Ivins, "...so it's up to us. You and me, Bubba."

Posted by: Apollo 13 on February 9, 2007 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

I second Gregory on this: The other thing, of course, is that it's vital to remember these words -- "in presenting it I was not endorsing its substance" -- and more importantly still, remind the so-called "liberal media" of them -- when evaluating the neocon alarmism regarding Iran.

aaron: Feith would have been negligent not to do this type of reporting.

google_this: He presented different versions of the document for different audiences, not based on their security level, but in order to ensure that the CIA and other audiences didn't know how his office had manipulated and massaged the information.

Aaron, I think, missed the point.

I am glad that the Democrats are pursuing all these details. With this coming at the same time as the Libby trial, I think that they probably could make a case for impeachment of Cheney and Bush, but I would be happier if they would quickly move to pass a resolution prohibiting attacking Iran. I think that the Republicans in the Senate make it impossible to remove Bush or Cheney from office, and a thorough investigation of accusations of malfeasance (or even of excessive secrecy) will do more actual good.

Posted by: spider on February 9, 2007 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

SOB! Feith is on CNN lying his ass off.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on February 9, 2007 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

"When I read about this stuff, I keep scratching my head. Nearly everybody outside the US seemed to have seen throug this veil of lies right from the beginning, or at least since Colin Powll's infamus presentation (even if some European governemnts pretended not to). Why did so few people in the US notice?"

Hmmm, let me see.

What is more interesting to watch? Watching news of carnage in Iraq or watching that funny guy make a fool of himself on American Idol?

What is easier to chase? Facts about the biggest fuckups by the US or that 5% off deal on diapers in a store 20 miles across town?

What makes you feel good? Listening to Fox News tell you about the number of schools painted in Iraq or watching some crazy, anti war hippies telling you how screwed up this war is?

Who do you trust? A guy who talks to god, but who you can drink beer with or that serious thinking guy who makes you uncomfortable with tough questions?

What is easy to watch? Coffins of dead soldiers coming home or those reruns of M*A*S*H?

What is easy to get excited about? Monday night football or that interview with a war critic?

What is the chivalrous thing to do? Sending other people to war ("Support our troops." Leave them in that hellhole.) or questioning war ("Really support our troops". Bring them back to safety.)?

IMHO, all those folks who run around with banners like "Support our troops" know exactly what they are doing. They have an agenda and are perfectly happy to send other people to fight for their personal agenda.

Posted by: rational on February 9, 2007 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

slightly less depressing appraisal here, something that Aaron might like:

http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/archives/009126.php

Also included longer quotes from IG report, defenders of Feith et al.

da Cascadian: "Eventually, the truth will emerge. And when it does, this house of cards, built of deceit, will fall." - Robert C. Byrd

Posted by: spider on February 9, 2007 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

Apollo 13 Boston Tea Party? They were smugglers adding to their crimes in fury at losing their lucrative trade when the tax was removed/lowered. I am not sure I fo0llow the analogy.

Of course Feith is CNN lying: who owns CNN? Remember the pretended antagonistic joke interview Blitzer/Cheney of last week?

The New Best Congress Money Can Buy will almost certainly fold! I pray not, but am not holding the breath.

Posted by: maunga on February 9, 2007 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

I saw the interview with Wolf Blitzer. Part of my training in cognitive behavioral therapy has been to directly observe behavior. Feith was a nervous, frazzled and defensive man. I tried to take notes, but Feith blurted out things so quickly I gave up. He blamed the current trouble in Iraq on errors the CIA made. Wolf challenged him pretty effectively, yet Feith remained strongly in denial, saying the records will someday show that what Wolf was saying was a false narrative about him. He clung to believing what Goerge Tenet said as being true and claimed we found facilities for stockpiles of WMDs and WMD programs. He seemed desperate and dateless.

Posted by: consider wisely always on February 9, 2007 at 6:48 PM | PERMALINK

Newspaper coverage of Levin's Armed Services Committee hearing is coming out now. I'm outraged! Levin was about the only Dem in attendance. Webb and McCaskill (sp?) showed up for a short time. Hillary was in NY. I forget now who else 'should' have been there. I just don't understand the Dems. Lots of Americans have died because of Feith's Office of Special Plans crap. And the Dems on the committee are just too busy or otherwise involved to attend the hearing. D*mn!

Posted by: nepeta on February 9, 2007 at 6:57 PM | PERMALINK

Great report on what happened in the Levin hearing:

Levin Hearing on OSP

Posted by: nepeta on February 9, 2007 at 7:02 PM | PERMALINK

maunga: ...Boston Tea Party? They were smugglers adding to their crimes in fury at losing their lucrative trade when the tax was removed/lowered. I am not sure I fo0llow the analogy.

Yeah, you're right. Bravery was the wrong word. The point that I muffed was that the actions of a few (even when motivated by self-interest) helped ignite a chain reaction within the colonies to eventually change in a positive direction, i.e., independence via the American Revolution.

consider wisely always: ...Feith was a nervous, frazzled and defensive man....He blamed the current trouble in Iraq on errors the CIA made.... Feith remained strongly in denial.... He seemed desperate and dateless.

I noticed that, too. BTW, the transcript for the Feith interview ought to come online in the next 1-2 hours here under the "Situation Room," probably the second bullet point. I couldn't take notes fast enough either.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on February 9, 2007 at 7:32 PM | PERMALINK

LATimes, Feb. 10 excerpt (emphasis added):

Feith's work had the blessing of his boss, former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. The operation was set up at the behest of then-Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz with approval from Rumsfeld, Gimble noted. By most accounts, those three officials had distrust, if not disdain, for the work of the CIA and other intelligence agencies.
But Robert M. Gates, the new secretary of Defense and former CIA director, said that groups outside the CIA and other chartered intelligence agencies should not be involved in freelance analysis.
"Based on my whole career, I believe all intelligence activities need to be carried on by the established institutions, where there is appropriate oversight," he told reporters traveling with him in Europe for meetings on security.
Gimble provided new details on the chain of events leading from the creation of the Feith team, through a series of briefings it made for senior officials and culminating in a presentation before deputies in the National Security Council at the White House.
The initial instruction to search for links between Iraq and Al Qaeda came from Wolfowitz in January 2002, Gimble said.
By that July, Feith had assembled a group of analysts detailed from other agencies to draft a document outlining evidence that the officials thought other agencies had ignored.
The team presented its findings to Rumsfeld on Aug. 8. Rumsfeld found it so compelling that he urged Feith to arrange a briefing for then-CIA Director George J. Tenet at the CIA. In the meantime, the team's paper began to circulate among analysts at other agencies who took issue with more than half of its contents.
"There were like 26 points," in the Feith team's paper, Gimble said. "And essentially [experts at other agencies] disagreed with more than 50% of it, and either agreed or partially agreed with the remainder."
When the team briefed Tenet and other senior CIA officials on Aug. 15, the audience was polite but unimpressed. Tenet described the meeting as "useful," Gimble said, but "in our interviews with him he later said that he only said that it was 'useful' because he didn't agree with it and he was just trying to, you know, nicely end the meeting."
That encounter led to the "roundtable" meeting at the agency five days later where CIA experts urged the Pentagon unit to at least include footnotes acknowledging the long list of disagreements.
Nevertheless, the Pentagon team pressed on....

thethirdpaul to aaron: Still having problems deciphering those Ten Tablets your brother brought down the mountain?

Thanks for the laugh, 3rd Paul.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on February 10, 2007 at 6:19 AM | PERMALINK

An additional caveat from the Baltimore Sun by Greg Miller who co-wrote the LATimes article previously posted:

The dueling groups sat down at CIA headquarters in late August 2002 to try to work out their differences. But while the CIA agreed to minor modifications in some of its reports, the Pentagon unit was utterly unbowed, Gimble said in his appearance before the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday.
"They didn't make the changes that were talked about in that August 20th meeting," Gimble said, and instead went on to present their deeply flawed findings to senior officials at the White House....
...Levin pointed out yesterday that Cheney referred to Feith's work as an "assessment."
"It seems to me it was understood as an assessment by as high a person as the vice president of the United States; not just simply a critique of something else, but an assessment," Levin said.
MSNBC also posted a correction to the WaPo article of quotes that were attributed to Gimble, the Pentagon IG. They were instead "from a report issued by Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) in Oct. 2004." Feith had made reference to errors in the WaPo article during his CNN interview yesterday. However:
The two reports employ similar language to characterize the activities of Feith's office: Levin's report refers to an "alternative intelligence assessment process" developed in that office, while the inspector general's report states that the office "developed, produced, and then disseminated alternative intelligence assessments on the Iraq and al Qaida relationship, which included some conclusions that were inconsistent with the consensus of the Intelligence Community, to senior decision-makers." The inspector general's report further states that Feith's briefing to the White House in 2002 "undercuts the Intelligence Community" and "did draw conclusions that were not fully supported by the available intelligence."
(Emphasis added.)

Posted by: Apollo 13 on February 10, 2007 at 6:49 AM | PERMALINK


its not really news....to anyone paying attention..


The Bush administration "used intelligence not to inform decision-making, but to justify a decision already made." Former CIA middle east agent Paul Pillar - Foreign Affairs magazine 2/10/06

Posted by: mr. irony on February 10, 2007 at 9:27 AM | PERMALINK

You're crazy. I like you, but you're crazy.

One, you don't realize how insignificant these analysis were decision making.

Two, you are completely ignorant of the context. They weren't sold as facts.

And, the Inspector General didn't have issue with Feith, that was just Levin (who is a vile crackpot, he's my senator).

Posted by: aaron on February 10, 2007 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

Great posts, Apollo 13

Posted by: consider wisely always on February 10, 2007 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK

At some point the US military will withdraw from Iraq. Whether Iraq has calmed down by that time or not, do you oppose any subseequent military intervention in Iraq?

Posted by: Stanford Matthews on February 10, 2007 at 10:48 PM | PERMALINK

I have this vague hope that white americans will be so outbred by minority americans that in 20 years or so, bullshit questions like the above will no longer be asked.

Posted by: Nads on February 11, 2007 at 12:30 AM | PERMALINK

Again, this is rhetoric that misrepresents reality. Of course the reports were inconsistent with the consensus, the whole fucking point was to look at alternate possibilities. Fucking morons.

Posted by: aaron on February 11, 2007 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

Aaron, your argument fails, among other reasons, because it requires the conclusion that Feith and the others were considering "alternate possibilities" in an intellectually honest way. Put another way, if the administration's bias had been NOT to go to war, do you really think the process would have produced the reports and conclusions we saw from Feith?

Posted by: Marc on February 11, 2007 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

Huh? How were they not "intellectually honest"?

The thing is they were honest.

And to answer your question. Yes, of course they would. Unless, of course, there was a good enough case for not going to war in the actually original intelligence reports. That, however, supported the case for war. And was very uncertain, hence the further analysis.

Posted by: aaron on February 11, 2007 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

Aaron, you really need to review the ways in which intelligence was received, processed and manipulated by this administration. Where did the "original intelligence reports [supporting] the case for war" come from? From folks looking to assess intelligence with fierce objectivity in order to help them make momentous decisions affecting, inter alia, the lives of our men and women in uniform? Or from folks looking for excuses to do what they had already decided to do?

An intellectually honest adminstratin would have assessed the intelligence differently, and would have drawn different conclusions. If by asking "how were they not 'intellectually honest'" you are revealing the need for a precis of Ron Suskind, Thomas Ricks,Isikoff and Corn, I suggest you revisit these resources, and others, when you get a chance. If their reporting isn't persuasive to you, you have your view.

The raw intelligence, from the perspective of one seeking an excuse for war, was worse than "uncertain," by the way. Much worse. It was unhelpful.

Posted by: Marc on February 11, 2007 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly