How about the Phase II report from the Senate Intelligence Committee (still under Republican leadership at that time)? The Senate Committee reported that on the issue of Al Qaeda and Iraq, the intelligence community--CIA and DIA in particular--had it right, even before the war. When the report came out I posted this summary at NoQuarter:
1. Postwar findings indicate that Saddam Hussein was distrustful of al-Qa'ida and viewed Islamic extremists as a threat to his regime, refusing all requests from al-Aq'ida to provide material or operationa support.Now, unless you are what Tommy Franks considers to be "a stupd fucker", this is all pretty straightforward. Unfortunately, this is not just about words.
2. Postwar findings have identified only one meeting between representatives of al-Qa'ida and saddam Hussein's regime reported in prewar intelligence assessments. Postwar findings have identified two occasions, not reported prior to the war, in which Saddam Hussein rebuffed meeting requests from an al-Qa'ida operative.
3. . . .Postwar findings support the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) February 2002 assessment that Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi was likely intentionally misleading his debriefers when he said that Iraq provded two al-Qa'ida associates with chemical and biological weapons (CBW) training in 2000. . . .No postwar information has been found that indicates CBW training occurred and the detainee who provided the key prewar reporting about this training recanted his claims after the war.
4. Postwar findings support the April 2002 Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) assessment that there was no credible reporting on al-Qa'ida training at Salman Pak or anywhere else in Iraq.
5. . . . .Postwar information indicates that Saddam Hussein attempted, unsuccessfully to locate and capture al-Zarqawi and that the regime did not have a relationship with, harbor, or turn a blind eye toward Zarqawi.
6. Postwar information indicates that the Intelligence Community accurately assessed that al-Qa'ida affiliate group Ansar al-Islam operated in Kurdish-controlled northeastern Ira, an area that Baghdad had not controlled since 1991.
7. Postwar information supports prewar Intelligence Community assessments that there was no credible information that Iraq was complicit in or had foreknowledge of the September 11 attacks or any other al-Qa'ida strike. . .
8. No postwar information indicates that Iraq intended to use al-Qa'ida or any other terrorist group to strike the United States homeland before or during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
I tried to warn folks about Feith and the OSP back in June of 2003. I was interviewed on National Public Radio and provided these quotes to journalist Neil Mackay:
The OSP was set up by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to gather intelligence which would prove the case for war. In a staggering attack on the OSP, former CIA officer Larry Johnson told the Sunday Herald the OSP was 'dangerous for US national security and a threat to world peace', adding that it 'lied and manipulated intelligence to further its agenda of removing Saddam'.But Feith was a symptom of a much deeper sickness. Feith did not do it alone. George Bush, emboldened by the hack work of Feith and his minions, went to Cincinnati, Ohio in March 2002 and used his best fearmongering to persuade Americans that Saddam was in league with the terrorists who attacked us on 9-11. Bush said:
He added: 'It's a group of ideologues with pre-determined notions of truth and reality. They take bits of intelligence to support their agenda and ignore anything contrary. They should be eliminated.' Johnson said that to describe Saddam as an 'imminent threat' to the West was 'laughable and idiotic'. He said many CIA officers were in 'great distress' over the way intelligence had been treated. 'We've entered the world of George Orwell,' Johnson added. 'I'm disgusted. The truth has to be told. We can't allow our leaders to use bogus information to justify war.'
And that is the source of our urgent concern about Saddam Husseinâ€™s links to international terrorist groups. Over the years, Iraq has provided safe haven to terrorists such as Abu Nidal, whose terror organization carried out more than 90 terrorist attacks in 20 countries that killed or injured nearly 900 people, including 12 Americans. Iraq has also provided safe haven to Abu Abbas, who was responsible for seizing the Achille Lauro and killing an American passenger.And who can forget delusional Dick Cheney? When he wasn't busy sending Scooter Libby on errands to trash Joe Wilson and out covert CIA officer Valerie Plame, he insisted repeatedly that Saddam and Bin Laden were doing everything together but have sex. Just two short years ago Cheney was beating this drum:
And we know that Iraq is continuing to finance terror and gives assistance to groups that use terrorism to undermine Middle East peace. We know that Iraq and the al Qaeda terrorist network share a common enemyâ€”the United States of America. We know that Iraq and al Qaeda have had high-level contacts that go back a decade. Some al Qaeda leaders who fl ed Afghanistan went to Iraq. These include one very senior al Qaeda leader who received medical treatment in Baghdad this year, and who has been associated with planning for chemical and biological attacks. Weâ€™ve learned that Iraq has trained al Qaeda members in bomb-making and poisons and deadly gases.
And we know that after September the 11th, Saddam Husseinâ€™s regime gleefully celebrated the terrorist attacks on America. Iraq could decide on any given day to provide a biological or chemical weapon to a terrorist group or individual terrorists. Alliance with terrorists could allow the Iraqi regime to attack America without leaving any fingerprints.
Vice President Dick Cheney said Thursday the evidence is "overwhelming" that al Qaeda had a relationship with Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq, and he said media reports suggesting that the 9/11 commission has reached a contradictory conclusion were "irresponsible." "There clearly was a relationship. It's been testified to. The evidence is overwhelming," Cheney said in an interview with CNBC's "Capitol Report." "It goes back to the early '90s. It involves a whole series of contacts, high-level contacts with Osama bin Laden and Iraqi intelligence officials." "The press, with all due respect, (is) often times lazy, often times simply reports what somebody else in the press said without doing their homework."By now I guess we should be accustomed to the ability of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, and Feith to deny the obvious and to try to recreate the past. But as Stephanie Miller says (one of my favorite talk radio personalities) someone ought to tell these guys about video cameras and tape recorders. You see, we don't have to take their word for something. We can go back and listen. We can read. And we better learn--these are really stupid fuckers and they are dangerous. Why an inept clown like Dougals Feith is allowed to hold faculty position at the University of Georgetown makes one wonder if the Jesuits have been infected by mass hysteria. Feith is a stain on that institution and we only need take account of the blood of more than 3000 American soldiers to begin to gauge the monstrosity of Feith's stupidity.