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THE IRAQ FORGERY

 
 
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2008 12:01 pm
The following story, which may have legs, could result in blockbuster charges against Bush and his administration. This couldl make Plamegate a walk in the park.


ADMINISTRATION
The Iraq Forgery

On Dec. 14, 2003, the London Sunday Telegraph published an explosive front-page story headlined, "Terrorist behind September 11 strike 'was trained by Saddam.'" The proof was a July 1, 2001, letter from the head of Iraqi intelligence, Tahir Jalil Habbush, stating that 9/11 terrorist Mohammed Atta had trained for his mission in Iraq. War supporters touted this story as further justification for the Bush administration's war. That same day, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly proclaimed, "Now, if this is true, that blows the lid off al Qaeda/Saddam." However, as the 9/11 Commission proved, there were no pre-war ties between Saddam Hussein's regime and the al Qaeda organization. So what happened? Pulitzer-Prize winning author Ron Suskind argues in his new book, "The Way of the World," the White House fabricated this letter and paid Habbush $5 million to stay quiet. Additionally, officials ignored Habbush's warnings that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. Suskind's reporting provides the latest bit of evidence that the Bush administration deliberately misled the public to launch its war.

IGNORING UNWANTED EVIDENCE: In January 2003, Michael Shipster, the head of Iraqi operations for the British intelligence service MI6, began secret talks with Habbush. According to Nigel Inkster, a former senior British intelligence official, Habbush confirmed that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. Hussein was "more concerned with threats from regional enemies like Iran than a US invasion." Senior White House officials were well-informed about these discussions. The British intelligence services prepared a final report on Shipster's meetings with Habbush, which then-CIA director George Tenet used to brief President Bush and then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice. "The report stated that according to Habbush, Saddam had ended his nuclear program in 1991, the same year he destroyed his chemical weapons stockpile. Iraq had no intention, Habbush said, of restarting either program," Suskind writes. "The White House then buried the Habbush report. They instructed the British that they were no longer interested in keeping the channel open." But as Suskind told MSNBC's Keith Olbermann yesterday, Bush administration officials became worried that Habbush might go public with his revelations after Amb. Joseph Wilson published his infamous op-ed on July 6, 2003. "Everyone was terrified that Habbush would pop up on the screen," former CIA agent Rob Maguire told Suskind. The CIA paid Habbush $5 million in hush money in October 2003 to lay low and stay quiet. Ironically, the State Department's "Rewards for Justice" website still lists Habbush as a "wanted" man, offering a $1 million reward.

THE BOGUS LETTER: Around the time that it hushed Habbush, the White House decided to use the Iraqi's name to forge the bogus letter, backdated to July 2001. The letter was meant to show "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," writes Suskind. According to Suskind's CIA sources, officials remember seeing the forgery order on "creamy White House stationery." Furthermore, they concluded that the letter must have come from the "highest reaches of the White House." The fake letter was then strategically leaked to Telegraph reporter Con Coughlin. Coughlin noted that in the memo, Habbush said that Atta "displayed extraordinary effort" and would be able to attack "the targets that we have agreed to destroy." The second part of the memo, headed "Niger Shipment," detailed an unspecified shipment -- presumably uranium -- that was allegedly shipped to Iraq via Libya and Syria. In his article, Coughlin wrote, Iraqi officials refused to disclose how and where they had obtained the document." Dr. Ayad Allawi, then a member of Iraq's Presidential Committee, nevertheless "said the document was genuine."

GUTTER ATTACKS: Current and former Bush administration officials wasted no time in excoriating Suskind's work. "There was no such order from the White House to me nor, to the best of my knowledge, was anyone from CIA ever involved in any such effort," said Tenet. He also questioned whether Suskind was a "serious journalist." White House spokesman Tony Fratto went further, telling Politico, "Ron Suskind makes a living from gutter journalism. He is about selling books and making wild allegations that no one can verify." The White House told NPR that the claims in the book were part of the "bizarre conspiracy theories that Ron Suskind likes to dwell in." Yesterday in a Washington Post online chat, media reporter Howard Kurtz disputed the White House's characterization of Suskind, stating, "Gutter journalism is certainly not a phrase I'd associate with Ron Suskind." Moreover, Suskind is standing by his work. He said that many of his sources "felt that at the end of this Bush era it is imperative to be truthful about this issue -- going to war under false pretenses so that we settle accounts and people understand what occurred and what the truth is. So we can get past this as a country." He also called the White House's reaction "regrettable" but "expected." "If they reacted any other way they would have to answer questions that might have some legal consequences," he told ABC News.
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2008 04:21 pm
Advocate, It's no use; this congress and the supreme court are Bush's patsies. Government by the people, and for the people, has been lost during the Bush regimes eight years.
0 Replies
 
Advocate
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2008 05:18 pm
You are probably right. But hope springs eternal. I wonder how the Iraq vets, and the families of injured and killed Iraq vets, feel when they read this. Perhaps they will raise a sufficient clamor for something to be done.

Perhaps there will be some new Cindy Sheehan Moms who will get the attention of the public.
0 Replies
 
Advocate
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2008 05:44 pm
Here is an interesting piece on the weak denials coming out of the White House. This might get bigger than the Plame matter.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/blog/2008/08/06/BL2008080601864.html
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2008 07:19 pm
Even with all that, nothing will happen to Bush and company. Many conservatives still think Bush is a saint sent by god.
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slkshock7
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2008 10:28 am
so let me get this straight...we're supposed to go hang the Bush administration based on the allegations of one guy and some unnamed CIA sources.

Wake me up when this becomes more than money-making but baseless journalistic fodder.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2008 10:34 am
slkshock7 wrote:
so let me get this straight...we're supposed to go hang the Bush administration based on the allegations of one guy and some unnamed CIA sources.

Wake me up when this becomes more than money-making but baseless journalistic fodder.


It's quite obvious from your post that you have no knowledge about the laws of this country.
0 Replies
 
Advocate
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2008 03:19 pm
slkshock7 wrote:
so let me get this straight...we're supposed to go hang the Bush administration based on the allegations of one guy and some unnamed CIA sources.

Wake me up when this becomes more than money-making but baseless journalistic fodder.


It took a long time until Watergate was considered a very serious matter.

Let me ask you, should the charges be proven to be valid, what should be done with those responsible?
0 Replies
 
slkshock7
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2008 03:57 pm
CI,
Anybody can start a rumor and this guy, Suskind, has made a career out of it. I think this is about his third try to slander the Bush administration and not one has had any substantiation. Can't blame the guy though....he makes a ton of money getting you Bush-haters to buy his latest concoction.

Advocate,
If true, they should hang the Bush administration. If not true, you and others should hang Suskind. At a minimum, you should stop posting Suskind's garbage. Do you agree?
0 Replies
 
Advocate
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2008 04:03 pm
I understand that Suskind has an excellent reputation as a prize-winning investigative journalist. The WH responses seem to be carefully crafted to avoid outright lying. This tells me that the charges are true. I can't wait for the hearings.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2008 04:26 pm
slkshock, I still say you have absolutely no knowledge of US jurisprudence. Until then, your responses will be totally ignorant.
0 Replies
 
slkshock7
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2008 04:28 pm
Advocate wrote:
I understand that Suskind has an excellent reputation as a prize-winning investigative journalist. The WH responses seem to be carefully crafted to avoid outright lying. This tells me that the charges are true. I can't wait for the hearings.


You'll be waiting a long, long time....

The WH is being careful because the book was only released two days ago and you certainly can't offer a good rebuttal without studying the actual document itself.

Suskind had one great article 13 years ago but his vehement hatred of Bush has sent him off the deep-end recently. The fact that he has a history of writing books with baseless allegations tells me that these latest charges are also false. By the end of August, this will be forgotten, I'll wager.
0 Replies
 
slkshock7
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2008 04:30 pm
cicerone imposter wrote:
slkshock, I still say you have absolutely no knowledge of US jurisprudence. Until then, your responses will be totally ignorant.


Jurisprudence....big word for you...was that your "Word of the Day" recently?
0 Replies
 
snood
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2008 04:57 pm
slkshock7 wrote:
CI,
Anybody can start a rumor and this guy, Suskind, has made a career out of it. I think this is about his third try to slander the Bush administration and not one has had any substantiation. Can't blame the guy though....he makes a ton of money getting you Bush-haters to buy his latest concoction.

Advocate,
If true, they should hang the Bush administration. If not true, you and others should hang Suskind. At a minimum, you should stop posting Suskind's garbage. Do you agree?


Dang. That's some news right there. They give Pulitzer Prizes to people who just go around starting rumors. Wotta gyp.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2008 05:04 pm
slkshock7 wrote:
cicerone imposter wrote:
slkshock, I still say you have absolutely no knowledge of US jurisprudence. Until then, your responses will be totally ignorant.


Jurisprudence....big word for you...was that your "Word of the Day" recently?



Is that your very best shot? You poor sot.
0 Replies
 
slkshock7
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2008 05:14 pm
snood wrote:
slkshock7 wrote:
CI,
Anybody can start a rumor and this guy, Suskind, has made a career out of it. I think this is about his third try to slander the Bush administration and not one has had any substantiation. Can't blame the guy though....he makes a ton of money getting you Bush-haters to buy his latest concoction.

Advocate,
If true, they should hang the Bush administration. If not true, you and others should hang Suskind. At a minimum, you should stop posting Suskind's garbage. Do you agree?


Dang. That's some news right there. They give Pulitzer Prizes to people who just go around starting rumors. Wotta gyp.


Yeah, those Pulitzer guys in 1995 should have known he'd start rumors 13 years in the future and never have given it to him Rolling Eyes
0 Replies
 
Advocate
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2008 09:01 pm
Silky, of course Suskind hates Bush. Anyone with a brain would hate the POS. I think there must be hearings. These are serious charges that deserve investigation. I would bet that the charges are true.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2008 09:13 pm
If Suskind says he has it on tape, I believe him 24/7 over the Bush crime ring.
0 Replies
 
revel
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Aug, 2008 06:53 am
Actually Suskind claims he has tapes of the interviews with the CIA agents. Sort puts it in a different light of just a he said/ he said kind of a thing.

Quote:
Suskind insisted to Vieira, however, that "I'm actually not concerned," telling her, "I've spent a lot of time with them. Their interviews are taped. ... They talked to me at length, hour after hour ... and all of that is on the record."


source

Perhaps because he did say he has tapes now instead of just denying it and saying Suskind just wants to sell books; they offering a different account.

Suskind Revisited

If he really don't have tapes; then his story just fizzles away as nothing can be proved but if he does have tapes he better keep them in a safe place and at some point reveal them. If this administration's credibility wasn't already shot; this story would be bigger if it is proven to be true. As it is; many will just go, "see, I knew they were lying...." without any charges really ever being made against this administration.

[wrote this post before the ones before mind; kind of slow]
0 Replies
 
revel
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Aug, 2008 06:20 am
Interview Transcript

Quote:


. . . Ron Suskind: I know we've talked through these things eight ways to Sunday, and hour after hour, but here's what I want you to ask yourself. Prior to me jogging your memory, okay--forget Habbush part one, okay.

Rob Richer: Okay.

Ron: You know, the prewar stuff, cause there's zillions of people in on that part. And there's people in on the second part, too. But here's my question to you: before I, as I said, before I jog your memory on this stuff, what do you--and I think I have a good idea, cause I've asked you this seven different ways, but I just want to make absolutely sure--what do you remember? If I just grabbed you on the street and said what do you remember of the second part, okay--with the letter and all the rest--what would be the high marks in terms of what you--memory's the best editor I think's a line from Tennyson--

Rob: Exactly.

Ron: What were the parts that you remember most vividly?

Rob: You're talking about Habbush himself, correct?

Ron: No, I'm talking about the second part, with the letter being passed from--through George [Tenet] and down the ranks. Cause at one point--and I know we have recollections at the top and that's fine--you have recollections, not from me but from your own memory on that--

Rob: Let me tell you what I know, just so before you color any of it. Is that when you first asked me about it I remember just really telling you that it was a non-event, and if you were to ask me today I would tell you it was a non-event. It came down from the seventh floor. It was part of--as I remember it, it wasn't so much to influence America--that's illegal--but it was kinda like a covert, a way to influence Iraqis.

. . .

Rob: To characterize it right, I would say, right: it came to us, George had a raised eyebrow, and basically we passed it on--it was to--and passed this on into the organization. You know, it was: 'Okay, we gotta do this, but make it go away.' To be honest with you, I don't want to make it sound--I for sure don't want to portray this as George jumping: 'Okay, this has gotta happen.' As I remember it--and, again, it's still vague, so I'll be very straight with you on this--is it wasn't that important. It was: 'This is unbelievable. This is just like all the other garbage we get about . . . I mean Mohammad Atta and links to al Qaeda. 'Rob,' you know, 'do something with this.' I think it was more like that than: 'Get this done.'

Ron: Do something with this, right. Get this, this is like--

Rob: It died a natural death as you know.

Ron: 'This thing stinks, take it.'

Rob: Yeah, kinda like that, yeah. But, you know, we got so much garbage that first coupleâ€"that year.

Ron: Were there other things like this where we were creating product?

Rob: You know, I don't remember that.

. . .

Ron: The intent--the basic raison d'etre of this product is to get, is to create, here's a letter with what's in it. Okay, here's what we want on the letter, we want it to be released as essentially a representation of something Habbush says. That's all it says, that's the one paragraph. And then you pass it to whomever to do it. To get it done.

Rob: It probably passed through five or six people. George probably showed it to me, but then passed it probably to Jim Pavitt, the DDO, who then passed it down to his chief of staff who passed it to me. Cause that's how--you know, so I saw the original. I got a copy of it. But it was, there probably was--

Ron: Right. You saw the original with the White House stationery, but you didn't--down the ranks, then it creates other paper.

Rob: Yeah, no, exactly. But I couldn't tell you--again: I remember it happening, I remember a terrible brief kinda joking dialogue about it, but that was it.

. . .

Ron: Now this is from the Vice President's Office is how you remembered it--not from the president?

Rob: No, no, no. What I remember is George saying, 'we got this from'--basically, from what George said was 'downtown.'

Ron: Which is the White House?

Rob: Yes. But he did not--in my memory--never said president, vice president, or NSC. Okay? But now--he may have hinted--just by the way he said it, it would have--cause almost all that stuff came from one place only: Scooter Libby and the shop around the vice president.

Ron: Yeah, right.

Rob: But he didn't say that specifically. I would naturally--I would probably stand on my, basically, my reputation and say it came from the vice president.

Ron: Right, I'm with you, I'm with you. But there wasn't anything in the writing that you remember saying the vice president.

Rob: Nope.

Ron: It just had the White House stationery.

Rob: Exactly right.

Ron: That's fine, White House stationery's fine. Everything's from there. You know, that's the center point. But not OVP's Office. It's just the White House. It comes from the White House. That's plain and simple.

Rob: And you know, if you've ever seen the vice president's stationery, it's on the White House letterhead. It may have said OVP. I don't remember that, so I don't want to mislead you. . .
0 Replies
 
 

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