Those who knew the Bush White House was full of shit in its claims of Iraq threatening neighbours and the world with WMDs and nukes are finally being proven right.
The lies worked, however, the War On Iraq is heading towards its sixth year, more than 4100 US soldiers and hundreds of Coalition of the Willing solders are dead, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been killed and wounded, BushCo. fleeced the American taxpayers for more $600 billion to pay for the war and the Middle East is no more peaceful.
Ron Suskind, author of two excellent and headline-making books on BushCo. lays out the evidence for the lies that made the War On Iraq a reality :
Ron Suskind explains why the White House is now calling him names :
MI6 told Tony Blair before the invasion of Iraq that a high-placed Iraqi source said that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction. The intelligence was passed to the US but was buried by the White House, according to a new book.
The book claimed that the former Prime Minister sent a top British spy to the Middle East in 2003 — three months before the invasion — to dig up enough intelligence to avoid war but that President Bush and Dick Cheney, the Vice-President, dismissed any claims or possible evidence that would stop military action.
In The Way of the World, the Pulitzer prize-winning author Ron Suskind also claimed that the White House ordered the CIA to forge a backdated, handwritten letter purportedly from the head of Iraqi Intelligence to Saddam. The letter, which came to light nine months after the invasion, was meant to demonstrate a link between the Baathist regime and al-Qaeda.
The forgery, adamantly denied by the White House, was passed to a British journalist in Baghdad and written about as if genuine by The Sunday Telegraph on December 14, 2003. The article received significant attention in the US and provided the White House with a new rationale for the invasion, Suskind claimed. The White House called the allegation absurd.
Suskind said that at the beginning of 2003 MI6 sent one of its top agents, Michael Shipster, to the region. Mr Shipster held secret meetings in Jordan with Tahir Jalil Habbush, the head of Iraqi Intelligence. The meetings were confirmed by Nigel Inkster, former assistant director of MI6.
Mr Inkster also confirmed that Mr Shipster was told by Mr Habbush that there were no illicit weapons in Iraq. Mr Inkster refused to comment last night.
Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of British Intelligence, was also interviewed by Suskind. The author said that Sir Richard confirmed the Shipster meetings and report. He added that he asked why Mr Blair had not acted on the intelligence.
Sir Richard was quoted as saying that the mission was an eleventh-hour “attempt to try, as it were, I’d say, to diffuse \ the whole situation”. He added: “The problem was the Cheney crowd was in too much of a hurry, really. Bush never resisted them quite strongly enough.”
Suskind wrote that Sir Richard flew to Washington in February 2003 to present the Habbush report to George Tenet, then the Director of the CIA. The report stated that according to Mr Habbush, Saddam had ended his nuclear programme in 1991 — the same year that he destroyed his chemical weapons programme — and ended his biological weapons programme in 1996. These assertions turned out to be true.
Mr Tenet briefed Mr Bush and Condoleezza Rice, at the time his National Security Adviser.
Suskind wrote: “The White House then buried the Habbush report. They instructed the British that they were no longer interested in keeping the channel open.”
Rob Richer, a former CIA officer in the Near East division, told Suskind: “The Brits wanted to avoid war — which was what was driving them. Bush wanted to go to war in Iraq from the very first days he was in office.”
Mr Habbush was put on the White House’s list of most-wanted Iraqis but according to Suskind he was paid by the CIA in October 2003 to write the forged letter to Saddam, dated July 1, 2001, saying that the putative September 11 ringleader Mohammed Atta had trained for his mission in Iraq. This was the letter publicised in The Sunday Telegraph.
Of the forgery allegation, Mr Tenet said: “There was no such order from the White House to me or, to the best of my knowledge, was anyone from the CIA ever involved in any such effort.” Of Mr Habbush, Mr Tenet said that the claims in the book were a complete fabrication. He said that Mr Habbush had “failed to persuade” the British that he had “anything new to offer by way of intelligence”.
What just happened? Evidence. A secret that has been judiciously kept for five years just spilled out. All of what follows is new, never reported in any way:
The Iraq Intelligence Chief, Tahir Jalil Habbush -- a man still carrying a $1 million reward for capture, the Jack of Diamonds in Bush's famous deck of wanted men -- has been America's secret source on Iraq. Starting in January of 2003, with Blair and Bush watching, his secret reports began to flow to officials on both sides of the Atlantic, saying that there were no WMD and that Hussein was acting so odd because of fear that the Iranians would find out he was a toothless tiger. The U.S. deep-sixed the intelligence report in February, "resettled" Habbush to a safe house in Jordan during the invasion and then paid him $5 million in what could only be considered hush money.
In the fall of 2003, after the world learned there were no WMD -- as Habbush had foretold -- the White House ordered the CIA to carry out a deception. The mission: create a handwritten letter, dated July, 2001, from Habbush to Saddam saying that Atta trained in Iraq before the attacks and the Saddam was buying yellow cake for Niger with help from a "small team from the al Qaeda organization."
The mission was carried out, the letter was created, popped up in Baghdad, and roiled the global newcycles in December, 2003 (conning even venerable journalists like Tom Brokaw). The mission is a statutory violation of the charter of the CIA, and amendments added in 1991, prohibiting the CIA from conducting disinformation campaigns on U.S. soil.
So, here we go again: the administration is in full attack mode, calling me names, George Tenet is claiming he doesn't remember any such thing -- just like he couldn't remember "slam dunk" -- and reporters are scratching their heads. Everything in my book is on the record, with many sources. And so, we watch and wait....