Sunday, November 23, 2003

The Leaked Feith Memo Memo
Doug Feith was psyched for a war in Iraq. The neo-Straussians, the Likudniks, the defense contractors, the oil barons, and the President himself, who nearly lost his father, were pulling for him. The 107th Congress had recently been voted-back-in, the electorate spent hours watching commercials and fear-mongering. Who was telling them no? The armed forces want a ribbon, the networks want their ratings, the politicians want to be re-elected, and the people want some peace of mind (never mind if their usual source for that, the churches of the world, were almost universally against the idea), and everyone was looking to our man, Doug Feith. If only he could only connect the Tyrant and the Terrorist, the war would be a cinch. Bush Team plays "connect-the-dots" in a pentagon-shaped building. If Saddam Hussein had had an out of body experience, and floated most-of-the-way-around-the-world to the Office of Special Plans(OSP), do you think he would have felt a palpable menacing feeling? What do you think, maybe, ought to be done with Ahmed Chalabi, Khidre Hamza, and Adnan Al-Hadeiri, if so many powerful things they told the American government were lies? Possibilities, Facts, and Reverberations Sometime this spring or summer, something one of Saddam's captured henchmen said reverberated with one of the fifty-plus pieces of possible links between Ousama and Saddam, assembled by the OSP before the war. Doug Feith, in all likelihood, tacked this on the front of the (releasable sections of) the pre-war list and had it leaked. The DoD denial is a repudiation not only of the link, but of the implication that DIA research in Iraq has resulted in a confirmation of OSP pre-war "intelligence." Who do you think has first dibs on all the Iraqis who are captured over there? The Army, specifically, Army Intelligence. More broadly, the DIA. There are, undoubtedly, certain exceptions, maybe even some interviews done outside the range of DIA eyes, but that's not going to be most of it, or even 10%. I can even imagine Gen. Hugh Shelton grabbing a piece of paper out of Mr. Feith's hands and stating "and that's why DoD handles intelligence releasings." Example from the Feith Memo:
    Prague-Atta, or, Pragatta
      We can now read about four meetings between Mohammed Atta, a 9/11 hijacker, and a Mr. Al-Ani from Iraqi Intelligence Services(IIS). Trawling our memories might unearth that we had heard of one, maybe two such meetings before. Two or three more must be good for the case, right?

      In fact, quite the opposite. These two "new" claims had been part of the raw intelligence that was generally discredited before the war by the CIA. This new "intelligence" is what our CIA thought was worse than the intelligence we heard before.

Gentle reader, the folks over at the Weekly Standard have been used. Whether this was something Kristol had to do as part of a deal, whether someone had smoke gently blown up their heinie, or whether or not Doug Feith can make a 600 million ton, partially radioactive pile of magma-hot war look tasty. I can't say. I almost feel bad for the ones who will, one day, perhaps with an intelligent person's help, figure this all out for themselves. Jim Lobe has all the right angles covered on this story, but I had already written mine. Does anyone have a fact-check problem with Lobe? I know he hangs on the Israel connection too much, but to deny that there is any relation, or to suggest that using the word "neocon" disparagingly is really code for anti-semitism, well, that part is over the line, too.

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