Fri 18 Nov, 2005 10:02 am
How can the Pentagon investigate Douglas Feith when he is a major player in the Rumsfeld-Cheney cabal? ---BBB
Pentagon agrees to probe Feith's role in Iraq intel
Thu Nov 17, 2005 8:42 PM ET
By David Morgan
The Pentagon's inspector general has agreed to review the prewar intelligence activities of former U.S. defense undersecretary Douglas Feith, a main architect of the Iraq war, congressional officials said on Thursday.
News of the Defense Department probe comes at a time of bitter political debate over whether President George W. Bush misled the American people with prewar intelligence. The increasingly biter dispute has pitted the president and his top advisers against lawmakers including some from Bush's own Republican Party.
Democrats have accused Feith of manipulating information from sources including discredited Iraqi politician Ahmad Chalabi to suggest links between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network, which masterminded the September 11, 2001, attacks.
Bush and other top administration officials cited alleged ties between Iraq and al Qaeda as a justification for military action. But the September 11 commission later reported that no collaborative relationship existed between the two.
The inspector general's office informed the Senate on October 19 that it would undertake a review after receiving separate requests from the Republican chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the ranking Democrat on the Senate Committee on Armed Services, officials said.
Congressional officials expect the review to look at whether Feith and his staff bypassed the CIA by giving the White House uncorroborated intelligence that sought to make a case for war in the months leading up to the 2003 Iraq invasion.
Feith, who was the Pentagon's policy chief until he left the Defense Department for the private sector earlier this year, was not immediately available for comment.
Officials said the Pentagon's inspector general told the Senate its review would begin sometime in November. One official estimated the probe could take at least six months.
"We're going to try to expedite it as much as possible," said Republican Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, the Senate intelligence panel chairman who asked the inspector general on September 9 for a review of Feith's Office of Special Plans.
"The IG knows we are very eager to get this done but he wants to get it done right," he told Reuters.
Roberts said his request had been incorporated with a later one from Democratic Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, who asked acting Defense Department Inspector General Tom Gimble in a September 22 letter for a broad probe encompassing all elements of Feith's Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.
Defense Department spokesman Bryan Whitman said in an e-mail on Thursday that the inspector general's office was still discussing the requests with committee staff.
Defense officials have defended Feith, saying no credible evidence of wrongdoing by him or his staff has ever been discovered. They also say Democratic lawmakers never responded to a Pentagon challenge to produce incriminating evidence.
A copy of Levin's letter to Gimble, which was obtained by Reuters, asks the inspector general to consider 10 questions including whether Feith's office undercut the intelligence community by providing the White House with its own analysis that went beyond the scope of the underlying intelligence.
Levin also wants the inspector general to look into whether Feith misled Congress in January 2004 by providing oversight committees with reports dealing with the credibility of prewar intelligence on Iraq.
Roberts' office declined to provide a copy of his written request to the inspector general.
A CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll this week said 63 percent of Americans oppose Bush's handling of the Iraq war, and 52 percent say troops should be pulled out now or within 12 months.
Investigating Doug Feith
Investigating Doug Feith
So it looks like it will be announced this afternoon that the Pentagon's inspector general will launch an investigation into the activities of one Douglas Feith. Feith, as we know, was the inside ringleader for the neoconservative cabal during the run-up to the war in Iraq. He created the Counterterrorism Evaluation Group (CTEG) and the Office of Special Plans (OSP), the Orwellian-named successor to the CTEG.
As I documented extensively here and here, Feith's Pentagon shop was the principal Lie Factory for bogus intelligence on Iraq's supposed ties to Al Qaeda and on Iraq's WMD programs.
Pentagon sources say that Acting Inspector General Tom Gimble will announce this afternoon the scope of the inquiry into Feith and Co. His action comes in response to two letters, one from Senator Carl Levin (D.-Mich.), sent on Sept. 22, and one from Senator Pat Roberts (R.-Kan.), sent Sept. 9. Roberts, of course, chairs the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI). GImble, who took over as Pentagon I.G. only in September, is the former Deputy Inspector General for Intelligence, who served as the Principal Advisor to the IG and the DoD on all matters relating to DoD-wide intelligence programs and operations, according to DOD. He's a civilian with no apparent ties to the cabal himself--so it's likely that he will apply the typical flinty-eyed look at Feith that we usually associate with an I.G.'s work.
This comes in the context of the Bush administration's continuing free-fall on Iraq. Bit by bit, Congress is turning against him, and the SSCI will conduct its own Phase II inquiry into pre-war intelligence manipulation by the Bush people--an inquiry that can't help but look into the Feith-based intelligence system. Bush is scrambling around Asia sounding like Richard I-am-not-a-crook Nixon, saying, "I didn't lie! I didn't lie!" In my humble opinion, as I've told all my friends, Bush in fact didn't lie, simply because he is Too Stupid To Lie. He just read the scripts handed to him by the VP and by Feith. After all, this is the president who said, in June 2003, "We found the WMD." No doubt he will be as surprised as anyone when he finds out that Dick and Dougie made all that stuff up.
It will show how the Likud Party of Israel led the Pentagon by the nose to fight Likud Party wars to play the role of the Golem.