Intelligence provided by former undersecretary of defense Douglas J. Feith to buttress the White House case for invading Iraq included "reporting of dubious quality or reliability" that supported the political views of senior administration officials rather than the conclusions of the intelligence community, according to a report by the Pentagon's inspector general.Something you never would have heard had the Repubs held onto the congress. That is, the truth. Now you're going to hear the real goods on how the intelligence was misused leading up to the war, through congressional oversight. We've had a taste from the exposures in the Libby trial regarding the Vice President's office and their effort to quash questions about the discredited Iraq-Niger "yellowcake" story.
Feith's office "was predisposed to finding a significant relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda," according to portions of the report, released yesterday by Sen. Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.). The inspector general described Feith's activities as "an alternative intelligence assessment process."
An unclassified summary of the full document is scheduled for release today in a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which Levin chairs. In that summary, a copy of which was obtained from another source by The Washington Post, the inspector general concluded that Feith's assessment in 2002 that Iraq and al-Qaeda had a "mature symbiotic relationship" was not fully supported by available intelligence but was nonetheless used by policymakers.
At the time of Feith's reporting, the CIA had concluded only that there was an "evolving" association, "based on sources of varying reliability."
Here's Senator Levin summing up the main issue:
"The bottom line is that intelligence relating to the Iraq-al-Qaeda relationship was manipulated by high-ranking officials in the Department of Defense to support the administration's decision to invade Iraq," Levin said yesterday. "The inspector general's report is a devastating condemnation of inappropriate activities in the DOD policy office that helped take this nation to war."This article is a must read today. It buttresses the case that the Vice President's office was instrumental in aligning itself with the Defense department in what was essentially an end-run around the CIA...and look where it's led...