PDA

View Full Version : U.S. Issues Kaboom! Suskind: White House ordered CIA to forge docs linking Iraq to al Queda


jAZ
08-05-2008, 01:47 AM
If true, well... Holy Shit.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0808/12308.html

Book says White House ordered forgery
By MIKE ALLEN | 8/4/08 11:23 PM EST Text Size:

A new book by the author Ron Suskind claims that the White House ordered the CIA to forge a back-dated, handwritten letter from the head of Iraqi intelligence to Saddam Hussein.

Suskind writes in “The Way of the World,” to be published Tuesday, that the alleged forgery – adamantly denied by the White House – was designed to portray a false link between Hussein’s regime and al Qaeda as a justification for the Iraq war.

The author also claims that the Bush administration had information from a top Iraqi intelligence official “that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq – intelligence they received in plenty of time to stop an invasion.”

The letter’s existence has been reported before, and it had been written about as if it were genuine. It was passed in Baghdad to a reporter for The (London) Sunday Telegraph who wrote about it on the front page of Dec. 14, 2003, under the headline, “Terrorist behind September 11 strike ‘was trained by Saddam.’”

The Telegraph story by Con Coughlin (which, coincidentally, ran the day Hussein was captured in his “spider hole”) was touted in the U.S. media by supporters of the war, and he was interviewed on NBC's "Meet the Press."

"Over the next few days, the Habbush letter continued to be featured prominently in the United States and across the globe," Suskind writes. "Fox's Bill O'Reilly trumpeted the story Sunday night on 'The O'Reilly Factor,' talking breathlessly about details of the story and exhorting, 'Now, if this is true, that blows the lid off al Qaeda—Saddam.'"

According to Suskind, the administration had been in contact with the director of the Iraqi intelligence service in the last years of Hussein’s regime, Tahir Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti.

“The White House had concocted a fake letter from Habbush to Saddam, backdated to July 1, 2001,” Suskind writes. “It said that 9/11 ringleader Mohammad Atta had actually trained for his mission in Iraq – thus showing, finally, that there was an operational link between Saddam and al Qaeda, something the Vice President’s Office had been pressing CIA to prove since 9/11 as a justification to invade Iraq. There is no link.”

The White House flatly denied Suskind’s account. Tony Fratto, deputy White House press secretary, told Politico: “The allegation that the White House directed anyone to forge a document from Habbush to Saddam is just absurd.”

The White House plans to push back hard. Fratto added: "Ron Suskind makes a living from gutter journalism. He is about selling books and making wild allegations that no one can verify, including the numerous bipartisan commissions that have reported on pre-war intelligence."

Before “The Way of the World: A Story of Truth and Hope in an Age of Extremism,” Suskind wrote two New York Times bestsellers critical of the Bush administration – “The Price of Loyalty” (2004), which featured extensive comments by former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, and “The One Percent Doctrine” (2006).

Suskind writes in his new book that the order to create the letter was written on “creamy White House stationery.” The book suggests that the letter was subsequently created by the CIA and delivered to Iraq, but does not say how.

The author claims that such an operation, part of “false pretenses” for war, would apparently constitute illegal White House use of the CIA to influence a domestic audience, an arguably impeachable offense.

Suskind writes that the White House had “ignored the Iraq intelligence chief’s accurate disclosure that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq – intelligence they received in plenty of time to stop an invasion.

“They secretly resettled him in Jordan, paid him $5 million – which one could argue was hush money – and then used his captive status to help deceive the world about one of the era’s most crushing truths: that America had gone to war under false pretenses,” the book says.

Suskind writes that the forgery “operation created by the White House and passed to the CIA seems inconsistent with” a statute saying the CIA may not conduct covert operations “intended to influence United States political processes, public opinion, policies or media.”

“It is not the sort of offense, such as assault or burglary, that carries specific penalties, for example, a fine or jail time,” Suskind writes. “It is much broader than that. It pertains to the White House’s knowingly misusing an arm of government, the sort of thing generally taken up in impeachment proceedings.”

Habbush is still listed as wanted on a State Department website designed to help combat international terrorism, with the notation: “Up to $1 Million Reward.”

Suskind is scheduled to discuss the book’s findings – and his assertion that the country has “diminished moral authority” -- in a pair of interviews by NBC’s Meredith Vieira on the “Today” show at 7:10 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“[B]y placing so much on its secret ledger,” Suskind writes in his final chapter, “the administration profoundly altered basic democratic ideals of accountability and informed consent.”

The book (HarperCollins, $27.95) was not supposed to be publicly available until Tuesday, but Politico purchased a copy Monday night at a Washington bookstore.

Suskind, an engaging and confident Washingtonian, writes that the book was “one tough project.” He won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, where he worked from 1993 to 2000.

The White House said Suskind received no formal cooperation. He writes in the acknowledgments section at the end of the book: “It should be noted that the intelligence sources who are quoted in this book in no way disclosed any classified information. None crossed the line.”

Among the 415-page book’s other highlights:

--John Maguire, one of two men who oversaw the CIA’s Iraq Operations Group, was frustrated by what Suskind describes as the “tendency of the White House to ignore advice it didn’t want to hear – advice that contradicted its willed certainty, political judgments, or rigid message strategies.”

And Suskind writes that the administration “did not want to hear the word insurgency.”

--In the first days of his presidency, Bush rejected advice from the CIA to wiretap Russian President Vladimir Putin in February 2001 in Vienna, where he was staying in a hotel where the CIA had a listening device planted in the wall of the presidential suite, in need only of a battery change. The CIA said that if the surveillance were discovered, Putin’s respect for Bush would be heightened.

But Condoleezza Rice, Bush’s national security adviser, advised that it was “too risky, it might be discovered,” Suskind writes. Bush decided against if as “a gut decision” based on what he thought was a friendship based on several conversations, including during the presidential campaign. The CIA had warned him that Putin “was a trained KGB agent … [who] wants you to think he’s your friend.”

--Suskind reports that Bush initially told Cheney he had to "‘step back’ in large meetings when they were together, like those at the NSC [National Security Council], because people were addressing and deferring to Cheney. Cheney said he understood, that he’d mostly just take notes at the big tables and then he and Bush would meet privately, frequently, to discuss options and action.”

--Suskind contends Cheney established “deniability” for Bush as part of the vice president’s “complex strategies, developed over decades, for how to protect a president.”

“After the searing experience of being in the Nixon White House, Cheney developed a view that the failure of Watergate was not the break-in, or even the cover-up, but the way the president had, in essence, been over-briefed. There were certain things a president shouldn’t know – things that could be illegal, disruptive to key foreign relationships, or humiliating to the executive.

“They key was a signaling system, where the president made his wishes broadly known to a sufficiently powerful deputy who could take it from there. If an investigation ensued, or a foreign leader cried foul, the president could shrug. This was never something he'd authorized. The whole point of Cheney’s model is to make a president less accountable for his action. Cheney’s view is that accountability – a bedrock feature of representative democracy – is not, in every case, a virtue.”

--Suskind is acidly derisive of Bush, saying that he initially lost his “nerve” on 9/11, regaining it when he grabbed the Ground Zero bullhorn. Suskind says Bush’s 9 p.m. Oval Office address on the fifth anniversary was “well along in petulance, seasoned by a touch of self-defensiveness.”

“Moving on its own natural arc, the country is in the process of leaving Bush – his bullying impulse fused, permanently, with satisfying vengeance – in the scattering ashes of 9/11,” Suskind writes. “The high purpose his angry words carried after the attacks, and in two elections since, is dissolving with each passing minute.”

--Suskind writes in the acknowledgments that his research assistant, Greg Jackson, “was sent to New York on a project for the book” in September 2007 and was “detained by federal agents in Manhattan. He was interrogated and his notes were confiscated, violations of his First and Fourth Amendment rights.” The author provides no further detail.

Ultra Peanut
08-05-2008, 02:11 AM
I’ve got the thingie. Half in English, half in squibbly.

http://i33.tinypic.com/1zc2t51.jpg

'Hamas' Jenkins
08-05-2008, 03:35 AM
At this point, I think that most Republicans are about as willing to admit guilt in their fellow R's as Dave Chappelle was in reference to R. Kelly and OJ in the "Jury Duty" sketch.

Taco John
08-05-2008, 03:52 AM
Obama goes caca peepee!

VAChief
08-05-2008, 06:51 AM
Maybe one of those "schemes" wasn't rejected.

VAChief
08-05-2008, 07:19 AM
"The author claims that such an operation, part of “false pretenses” for war, would apparently constitute illegal White House use of the CIA to influence a domestic audience, an arguably impeachable offense."

Forget impeachment...if true get the nuthooks out.

NewChief
08-05-2008, 07:52 AM
That's great and all, but unless he's got actual proof, it's not going to change any minds out there.

chiefforlife
08-05-2008, 08:08 AM
"Executive Privilege"

mlyonsd
08-05-2008, 09:02 AM
Looks like another classic jAZ thread in the making.

I'm going on record that "Kaboom" will replace "Oops" in this forum.

Baby Lee
08-05-2008, 09:08 AM
Looks like another classic jAZ thread in the making.

I'm going on record that "Kaboom" will replace "Oops" in this forum.
The jAZ experience in 5 words. . . ROFL ROFL
If true, well... Holy Shit.

***SPRAYER
08-05-2008, 09:14 AM
Prediction: Karl Rove indicted in two weeks.

:)

jAZ
08-05-2008, 09:17 AM
Looks like another classic jAZ thread in the making.

I'm going on record that "Kaboom" will replace "Oops" in this forum.

Awe-some!

BigChiefFan
08-05-2008, 09:20 AM
They did it, but they won't make them accountable for these actions, they never ****ing do, but let's tow that political party line because the members of the party could never **** over good Americans, right?

VAChief
08-05-2008, 04:39 PM
They did it, but they won't make them accountable for these actions, they never ****ing do, but let's tow that political party line because the members of the party could never sacrifice good Americans, right?

fyp

KILLER_CLOWN
08-06-2008, 12:42 AM
This has been known since 2004, it's just that most turn a blind eye to it.

SBK
08-06-2008, 02:04 AM
I'm posting in here so I have such an early post when this thing comes back years from now.

Ari Chi3fs
08-06-2008, 02:07 AM
Kaboom goes the dynamite.

**** YEAH!

Mr. Kotter
08-06-2008, 03:04 AM
This has been known since 2004, it's just that most turn a blind eye to it.

That, or the....

"IF" part.....eh?

;)

VAChief
08-06-2008, 06:26 AM
I was skeptical, although not shocked when I saw this yesterday morning since several of the people quoted as sources in the book backed away from some of the statements.

Apparently though the interviews for the book were recorded. I'm surprised there hasn't been more coverage in the media at least to scrutinize one way or the other.

jAZ
08-06-2008, 09:59 AM
Suskind lays out the background on his interviews and talks about what his sources said on tape, and why they backing off (sort of) now. (Hint: they are currently gov't contractors dependant upon the "goodwill" of the Bush Adminsitration to feed their families.

Here's a pretty extensive interview from Countdown.

<iframe height="339" width="425" src="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22425001/vp/26045433#26045433" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe>

Chief Henry
08-06-2008, 10:32 AM
When will Rove be indicted again ?

Ultra Peanut
08-06-2008, 11:26 AM
Around the time we find WMDs, I'd imagine.

patteeu
08-06-2008, 04:39 PM
Choose your favorite:

1. Serious consequences to follow... in two weeks!

2. This charge is based on sources who deny the accuracy of the allegation. At worst, the charges are fabricated either by Suskind who twisted the statements of his sources or by the sources themselves. At best, the sources have changed their tune dramatically which impacts their original credibility.

3. If it is true that the CIA was involved in a forgery operation in order to sway foreign governments to support US policy, what's the issue? Isn't that the kind of thing our covert operations folks are supposed to be doing?

jAZ
08-06-2008, 04:49 PM
Choose your favorite:

1. Serious consequences to follow... in two weeks!

2. This charge is based on sources who deny the accuracy of the allegation. At worst, the charges are fabricated either by Suskind who twisted the statements of his sources or by the sources themselves. At best, the sources have changed their tune dramatically which impacts their original credibility.

3. If it is true that the CIA was involved in a forgery operation in order to sway foreign governments to support US policy, what's the issue? Isn't that the kind of thing our covert operations folks are supposed to be doing?

Wow you are really bad at playing dumb.

patteeu
08-06-2008, 05:36 PM
Wow you are really bad at playing dumb.

I'm apparently too dumb to know what you're talking about. Which of my responses did you choose?

jAZ
08-06-2008, 05:49 PM
I'm apparently too dumb to know what you're talking about. Which of my responses did you choose?

Pick either 2 or 3.

VAChief
08-06-2008, 05:57 PM
Choose your favorite:

1. Serious consequences to follow... in two weeks!

2. This charge is based on sources who deny the accuracy of the allegation. At worst, the charges are fabricated either by Suskind who twisted the statements of his sources or by the sources themselves. At best, the sources have changed their tune dramatically which impacts their original credibility.

3. If it is true that the CIA was involved in a forgery operation in order to sway foreign governments to support US policy, what's the issue? Isn't that the kind of thing our covert operations folks are supposed to be doing?

They secretly resettled him in Jordan, paid him $5 million – which one could argue was hush money – and then used his captive status to help deceive the world about one of the era’s most crushing truths: that America had gone to war under false pretenses,” the book says.

Suskind writes that the forgery “operation created by the White House and passed to the CIA seems inconsistent with” a statute saying the CIA may not conduct covert operations “intended to influence United States political processes, public opinion, policies or media.”

“It is not the sort of offense, such as assault or burglary, that carries specific penalties, for example, a fine or jail time,” Suskind writes. “It is much broader than that. It pertains to the White House’s knowingly misusing an arm of government, the sort of thing generally taken up in impeachment proceedings.”

Habbush is still listed as wanted on a State Department website designed to help combat international terrorism, with the notation: “Up to $1 Million Reward.”

The accusations seem a little broader than an attempt to sway foreign governments, I mean be honest, when has this administration really given a damn about what other foreign governments thought about our decisions?

patteeu
08-06-2008, 06:19 PM
They secretly resettled him in Jordan, paid him $5 million – which one could argue was hush money – and then used his captive status to help deceive the world about one of the era’s most crushing truths: that America had gone to war under false pretenses,” the book says.

Suskind writes that the forgery “operation created by the White House and passed to the CIA seems inconsistent with” a statute saying the CIA may not conduct covert operations “intended to influence United States political processes, public opinion, policies or media.”

“It is not the sort of offense, such as assault or burglary, that carries specific penalties, for example, a fine or jail time,” Suskind writes. “It is much broader than that. It pertains to the White House’s knowingly misusing an arm of government, the sort of thing generally taken up in impeachment proceedings.”

Habbush is still listed as wanted on a State Department website designed to help combat international terrorism, with the notation: “Up to $1 Million Reward.”

The accusations seem a little broader than an attempt to sway foreign governments, I mean be honest, when has this administration really given a damn about what other foreign governments thought about our decisions?

According to Suskind? Why does his characterization rule the day? Do his sources specifically claim that the operation was intended for US consumption or is this a case of something that "seems" to Suskind to be intended for US consumption. My reading leads me to the latter.

VAChief
08-06-2008, 07:02 PM
According to Suskind? Why does his characterization rule the day? Do his sources specifically claim that the operation was intended for US consumption or is this a case of something that "seems" to Suskind to be intended for US consumption. My reading leads me to the latter.

If it is just according to him then it is shoddy journalism at best. If however he has the recordings of these people with no embellishments I would say it is a horrible breach of the public trust. It would make Watergate look like a jaywalking violation by comparison.

patteeu
08-06-2008, 10:28 PM
If it is just according to him then it is shoddy journalism at best. If however he has the recordings of these people with no embellishments I would say it is a horrible breach of the public trust. It would make Watergate look like a jaywalking violation by comparison.

Does he say that the source says that they were told that the purpose of this endeavor was to dupe the American public? Nothing in the article suggests such a thing. Instead, it seems to be pretty clear that it's an opinion expressed by Suskind. It may even be an opinion that would be shared by a lot of so-called legal experts and/or anti-Bush politicians, but it's an opinion nonetheless. We'd have to know something about the statute in question to judge the quality of the opinion. If the law says that any disinformation action that can possibly make it's way back into the consciousness of the American public is illegal then he'd have a point. But I doubt that we have such a law and if we do we should repeal it immediately. In today's world of instant, global communications, the line between a disinformation program aimed at a foreign government and one aimed at the domestic population has grown much thinner, but we can't allow that to completely hamstring our government's ability to act in international affairs in the best interests of our country.

jAZ
08-06-2008, 10:33 PM
Does he say that the source says that they were told that the purpose of this endeavor was to dupe the American public? Nothing in the article suggests such a thing. Instead, it seems to be pretty clear that it's an opinion expressed by Suskind. It may even be an opinion that would be shared by a lot of so-called legal experts and/or anti-Bush politicians, but it's an opinion nonetheless. We'd have to know something about the statute in question to judge the quality of the opinion. If the law says that any disinformation action that can possibly make it's way back into the consciousness of the American public is illegal then he'd have a point. But I doubt that we have such a law and if we do we should repeal it immediately. In today's world of instant, global communications, the line between a disinformation program aimed at a foreign government and one aimed at the domestic population has grown much thinner, but we can't allow that to completely hamstring our government's ability to act in international affairs in the best interests of our country.
Man, you'll do or say anything, won't you?

patteeu
08-06-2008, 10:45 PM
Man, you'll do or say anything, won't you?

Man, you'll say nothing over and over in a thread, won't you?

SBK
08-06-2008, 10:49 PM
Man, you'll do or say anything, won't you?

LMAO

jAZ
08-06-2008, 10:59 PM
Man, you'll say nothing over and over in a thread, won't you?

You didn't say anything directly. If you want to reword your original post as a direct assertion of some sort, I'll gladly respond.

go bowe
08-06-2008, 11:02 PM
Choose your favorite:

1. Serious consequences to follow... in two weeks!

2. This charge is based on sources who deny the accuracy of the allegation. At worst, the charges are fabricated either by Suskind who twisted the statements of his sources or by the sources themselves. At best, the sources have changed their tune dramatically which impacts their original credibility.

3. If it is true that the CIA was involved in a forgery operation in order to sway foreign governments to support US policy, what's the issue? Isn't that the kind of thing our covert operations folks are supposed to be doing?wrt number 3, the article didn't seem to indicate that the letter was supposed to influence foreign governments...

in fact, the article seems to indicate that the influencing was directed at the american public as an additional justification for the war...

at least that's the way i read it...

banyon
08-06-2008, 11:54 PM
wrt number 3, the article didn't seem to indicate that the letter was supposed to influence foreign governments...

in fact, the article seems to indicate that the influencing was directed at the american public as an additional justification for the war...

at least that's the way i read it...

Aw, you read carefully, that's no fair.

***SPRAYER
08-08-2008, 06:54 AM
Karl Rove get indicted yet?

patteeu
08-09-2008, 10:02 AM
wrt number 3, the article didn't seem to indicate that the letter was supposed to influence foreign governments...

in fact, the article seems to indicate that the influencing was directed at the american public as an additional justification for the war...

at least that's the way i read it...

That's certainly what the book author is contending, but there's nothing in the article that explains why we should believe this contention.

jAZ
08-09-2008, 10:22 AM
That's certainly what the book author is contending, but there's nothing in the article that explains why we should believe this contention.

That's a really, really strange standard for you to assert. It's as if you weren't personally around during this period to witness the Bush Adminstration's endless efforts to influence the public about all fascets of this war, before, during and after invasion. All the while you personally assert that this was "a forgery operation in order to sway foreign governments to support US policy" based on nothing, not even this article.

You, denise and jake.

Pathetic mirrors of one anothers' cognitive dissonance.

patteeu
08-09-2008, 01:04 PM
That's a really, really strange standard for you to assert. It's as if you weren't personally around during this period to witness the Bush Adminstration's endless efforts to influence the public about all fascets of this war, before, during and after invasion. All the while you personally assert that this was "a forgery operation in order to sway foreign governments to support US policy" based on nothing, not even this article.

You, denise and jake.

Pathetic mirrors of one anothers' cognitive dissonance.

I'm not even agreeing that Suskind is correct when he says that this is a US sponsored forgery. I'm just criticizing the incredible leaps of faith people like you are taking along with these questionable allegations.

'Hamas' Jenkins
08-09-2008, 01:08 PM
I'm just criticizing the incredible leaps of faith people like you are taking along with these questionable allegations.

ROFL ROFL ROFL

jAZ
08-09-2008, 06:27 PM
I'm not even agreeing that Suskind is correct when he says that this is a US sponsored forgery. I'm just criticizing the incredible leaps of faith people like you are taking along with these questionable allegations.

Yes, we all know, as I pointed out before, you tried to use wiggle words so that you could pull back later when you were bitchslapped.
You didn't say anything directly. If you want to reword your original post as a direct assertion of some sort, I'll gladly respond.
We all also can read that you worded your point #3 using the pre-condition that "if it's true" and then went on to assume it as having been "in order to sway foreign governments". That assumption of your's came out of friggen no where, but your own pooter.

So like I said, for a guy who's just pulled a baseless rationalization out of his butt, "(t)hat's a really, really strange standard for you to assert" when you are operating "based on nothing, not even this article".

patteeu
08-09-2008, 11:06 PM
Yes, we all know, as I pointed out before, you tried to use wiggle words so that you could pull back later when you were bitchslapped.

We all also can read that you worded your point #3 using the pre-condition that "if it's true" and then went on to assume it as having been "in order to sway foreign governments". That assumption of your's came out of friggen no where, but your own pooter.

So like I said, for a guy who's just pulled a baseless rationalization out of his butt, "(t)hat's a really, really strange standard for you to assert" when you are operating "based on nothing, not even this article".

That's a pretty dumb analysis. What you call wiggle words are essential qualifiers for talking about something so poorly evidenced as what we have in the thread OP. Get better material and I'll make more definitive statements. You thoughtlessly accept Suskind's gratuitous assertion because you want to believe it, not because there is any basis provided whatsoever.

mikey23545
08-09-2008, 11:09 PM
I wonder if Suskind and Dan Rather are related.

jAZ
08-09-2008, 11:59 PM
That's a pretty dumb analysis. What you call wiggle words are essential qualifiers for talking about something so poorly evidenced as what we have in the thread OP. Get better material and I'll make more definitive statements. You thoughtlessly accept Suskind's gratuitous assertion because you want to believe it, not because there is any basis provided whatsoever.
Really?

Again, what is "essential" and what is your "basis" for pulling the "in order to sway foreign governments" qualifier out of your ass?

***SPRAYER
08-10-2008, 03:35 PM
Has Karl Rove been indicted yet?

beer bacon
08-10-2008, 03:35 PM
Has Karl Rove been indicted yet?

He fled the country.

***SPRAYER
08-10-2008, 03:41 PM
He fled the country.

The only bad thing about his whole John Edwards mess is, now who is going to feed the 2 billion homeless vets living under highway overpasses?

Smed1065
08-10-2008, 04:53 PM
Has Karl Rove been indicted yet?

No, but he has a lot of dogs that look a lot alike.