Three years ago I was one of the few people writing about Doug Feith’s role in cooking the intel used to justify the Iraq war. I wrote about him a lot. And the OSP, which got a lot of attention, and C-TEG, which didn’t but should have. Carl Levin, Chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released a report yesterday that details Feith’s “cherry-picking” (highlighting raw intel that seems to support a particular position and ignoring everything that doesn’t) and “stovepiping” (Sy Hersh’s word for sending the cherry-picked intel straight to the top – in this case, Cheney’s office – without bothering with verification or corroboration) as the Bush Administration, in particular Cheney, forged a case for our first-ever pre-emptive invasion on the basis of what they knew to be bogus information.
Intelligence provided by former undersecretary of defense Douglas J. Feith to buttress the White House case for invading Iraq included “reporting of dubious quality or reliability” that supported the political views of senior administration officials rather than the conclusions of the intelligence community, according to a report by the Pentagon’s inspector general.
Feith’s office “was predisposed to finding a significant relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda,” according to portions of the report, released yesterday by Sen. Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.). The inspector general described Feith’s activities as “an alternative intelligence assessment process.”
At the time I gave George Tenet a deal of credit for trying to tell first Cheney and then Bush that the CIA’s information was running counter to administration assertions of WMD’s and yellowcake and the existence of a nuclear program that was at best unconfirmed and at worst a fantasy. I gave him that credit right up to the moment he surrendered to Bush’s insistence on being told what he wanted to hear, that infamous moment when Tenet threw up his hands and made his slam-dunk remark in exasperation. Continue reading