Although no charges against Feith and his co-conspirators are forthcoming at this stage at least, the truth behind the ziocon push to illegal war against Iraq is being exposed unequivocally for public view at last.
“A leading figure in the Bush administration’s march to war in Iraq helped justify the 2003 invasion by undercutting the CIA with questionable intelligence about Saddam Hussein’s links to al Qaeda, a Pentagon watchdog agency said in a report on Friday.
Former U.S. defense policy chief Douglas Feith presented the White House with claims of a “mature symbiotic relationship” between Iraq and al Qaeda as if they were facts, while ignoring contradictory views from the intelligence community, the report by the Pentagon inspector general said.
“They did not show the other, dissenting side,” Defense Department acting inspector general Thomas Gimble told the Senate Armed Services Committee at a hearing.
A claim by Feith’s office that September 11 hijacking ringleader Mohamed Atta met with an Iraqi official months before the 2001 attacks could not be verified by intelligence, he said.
Gimble, who produced the classified report after a one-year review, concluded that Feith was authorized by former deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz to pursue alternative intelligence conclusions and that the action was lawful.
But Feith’s actions were sometimes “inappropriate” because they “did not clearly show the variance with the consensus of the intelligence community,” said an unclassified two-page executive summary of the report released by the inspector general’s office.
As a result, Feith’s office “did not provide ‘the most accurate analysis of intelligence’ to senior decision-makers,” it said.”
The New York Times presentation on the Inspector General’s report goes into more depth and quotes Gimble more extensively:
“Mr. Gimble told the committee today that, while the Pentagon’s in-house intelligence-gathering was not illegal or unauthorized, ‘the actions, in our opinion, were inappropriate, given that all the products did not clearly show the variance with the consensus of the intel community, and in some cases were shown as intel products.'”
Feith starts covering himself and dragging in his co-conspirators:
“On Thursday, as details of Mr. Gimble’s report were beginning to come out, Mr. Feith issued a statement saying his office’s activities had been authorized by former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and former Deputy Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz, and that his office properly shared its findings.”
Further questions remain to be answered:
“However, Senator Jack Reed, Democrat of Rhode Island, drew from Mr. Gimble a statement that Mr. Feith had not been entirely consistent in his intelligence briefings, in ways Mr. Gimble said he could not go into for security reasons.’He changed the briefing for his audience?’ Mr. Reed asked.
‘There were adjustments made depending on the audience,’ Mr. Gimble replied.
‘Well, why would he do that?’ the senator asked. ‘Why would he make changes based on the audience?’
‘I don’t think I’m in a position to make a comment on why he would do what he did,’ Mr. Gimble said.”