Saturday, May 31, 2003

The fox is in the rabbit hole.  

The memo sent to Bush on February 8th, 2003, by the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPs), concerning the lack of intelligence, in the intelligence on Iraq, was published in Counterpunch on that date. Here is an excerpt:

"The key question is whether Iraq's flouting of a UN resolution justifies war. This is the question the world is asking. Secretary Powell's presentation does not come close to answering it.

One might well come away from his briefing thinking that the Iraqis are the only ones in flagrant violation of UN resolutions. Or one might argue that there is more urgency to the need to punish the violator of Resolution 1441 than, say, of Resolution 242 of 1967 requiring Israel to withdraw from the Arab territories it occupied that year. More urgency? You will not find many Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims who would agree."

It has been the death of innocence for these intelligence officials, when Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz took control. I suppose these veterans have been living under the illusion of intelligence gathering without pretext. They are an important group, because where there is doubt, there is room for learning. These Cheney led neocons have no doubts, at least none that they admit to themselves, which makes them dangerous fanatics.

In today's Los Angelas Times , in an article reprinted in the Times Picayune in New Orleans, Colin Powell was quoted defending the intelligence used to wage war on Iraq:

"Everything I presented on Feb. 5th, I can tell you, there was good sourcing for, was not politicized. It was solid information," Powell said. "Let people look into it. Let people examine it."

"Let people examine it," may very well be an invitation by Powell, perhaps unconscious, to expose the manipulation of intelligence to stage this war, given the revelations that he expressed serious doubts about intelligence concerning Iraq with the British Defense Secretary, Jack Straw, even while presenting the same intelligence to the U.N. Security Council. From the Guardian Unlimited:

"The foreign secretary reportedly expressed concern that claims being made by Mr Blair and President Bush could not be proved. The problem, explained Mr Straw, was the lack of corroborative evidence to back up the claims.

Much of the intelligence were assumptions and assessments not supported by hard facts or other sources.

Mr Powell shared the concern about intelligence assessments, especially those being presented by the Pentagon's office of special plans set up by the US deputy defence secretary, Paul Wolfowitz.

Mr Powell said he had all but "moved in" with US intelligence to prepare his briefings for the UN security council, according to the transcripts.

But he told Mr Straw he had come away from the meetings "apprehensive" about what he called, at best, circumstantial evidence highly tilted in favour of assessments drawn from them, rather than any actual raw intelligence."

In the meantime, we have Wolfowitz openly and arrogantly stating the true reasons for this war, as quoted in next month's Vanity Fair, and explored in this MSNBC article:

"IN AN INTERVIEW in the next issue of Vanity Fair magazine, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz is quoted as saying a “huge” reason for the war was to enable Washington to withdraw its troops from Saudi Arabia.
“For bureaucratic reasons we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction, because it was the one reason everyone could agree on,” Wolfowitz was quoted as saying.
“Almost unnoticed but huge” was the need to maintain U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia as long as Saddam was in power, he was quoted as saying."

Then the MSNBC article notes that Wolfowitz backed down from a key point, and published a slightly different version of the Vanity Fair interview on the Pentagon web site:

"Some of the quotations in the Vanity Fair article differ from the versions offered by the Pentagon, which suggested that Wolfowitz meant to say withdrawal of U.S. troops from Saudi Arabia was an important outcome of the war, not an important reason for it."

It sounds like MSNBC actually believes Wolfowitz. But Wolfowitz is playing dodge ball, and floating the true reasons, at least one, for this war.

The fox is in the rabbit hole.