Douglas Feith has been much maligned by Iraq war opponents. In advance of his book release last Tuesday, 60 Minutes ran an interview with Feith, one of the architects of the Iraq War, last Sunday. I was at a weekend festival and missed it; but thanks to the wonders of the internet as well as CBS 60 Minutes now making their video archives embeddable, here is the interview:
This is the only time that I can recall 60 Minutes conducting a book-release interview that was not by an anti-Administration author or by someone who appears to be a Bush critic.
I certainly don’t believe, however, that 60 Minutes conducted the interview to allow Feith to “set the record straight” and dispel media myths. It’s more like, “let’s watch the hawkish neocon hang himself as he tries to rationalize away the debacle that is the Iraq invasion and occupation”.
I take issue with some of the mainstream media-pushed “conventional wisdom” and faulty premises given in the 60 Minutes narrative:
The most frequent and damaging charge has been that Feith used his Pentagon office to produce alternative intelligence reports that linked Saddam to al-Qaeda and then passed them on to the White House. Some of it, like a report that 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta met with Iraqi intelligence in Prague, has been widely discredited. An investigation by the Pentagon’s inspector general called Feith’s activities “inappropriate,” but not illegal or unauthorized.
When Kroft asks the former Defense official if he agrees the report was a rebuke, Feith answers,”Yes.” He goes on saying, “I think it was an unfounded rebuke. An ill founded rebuke.”
The recent Pentagon Report, despite initial misrepresentation of its findings, confirms that Saddam was more than willing to work with Islamic holy warriors. This includes the al-Qaeda network. So if Feith used “alternative intelligence”, hasn’t he been vindicated for having done so by this latest study based upon captured documents, when the CIA conventional beliefs made them refuse to look “outside the box”?
Hugh Hewitt interviewed Douglas Feith on February 13, 2007:
HH: …on Fox News Sunday, when you were being interviewed by Chris Wallace, you said that part of the motivation for the people who undertook this report, including your staff, was a sense on their part, “that the CIA was filtering its own intelligence to suit its own theory that the Baathists would not cooperate with al Qaeda, because they were secularists with the religious extremists of al Qaeda, and that they were not doing proper intelligence work, and that our people were criticizing them, for not putting forward an alternative intelligence analysis.” Do you believe, as opposed to your staff, that the CIA was filtering its own intelligence, Mr. Feith?
DF: Yes, I think that there were people, there were people in the CIA who had a theory that the Baathist secularists would not cooperate with the religious extremists in al Qaeda. And because they had that theory, when they looked at information that was, that showed, or that suggested that there was cooperation, they were inclined not to believe that information. And so what they were doing is they were preparing reports about the Iraq-al Qaeda relationship in the year 2002, that were either excluding altogether, or downplaying older intelligence reports that suggested that there were contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda.
HH: Are those people still in the CIA?
DF: One of the main people who was propounding that theory about…that the Baathists wouldn’t deal with the jihadists is now out in the private sector, and he’s actually been quite vocal, and has written articles, and his name is Paul Pillar. He’s also at Georgetown with me, in fact. But there are other people, I assume, I don’t know all the personnel at the CIA, but I’m sure there are other people who retained that view. Our objection, by the way, was not the fact that CIA people have a theory. There’s nothing wrong…it’s inevitable that people who work in an area develop their own theories of how things work in their areas of expertise. Our point was simply don’t exclude relevant information that is inconsistent with your theory. If you don’t credit the information, if you don’t think it’s very weighty because you theory tells you that it’s probably not the case, present the information, and explain we’re not giving this a lot of weight because, according to our theory, it’s probably not very significant. And that way, people can look at it, they can see the information, if they don’t share your theory, they can say well, we’ll give that information a little more weight than you do, because we don’t share you theory. And that’s fine. I mean, people have to understand that intelligence is not generally about objective truth. Intelligence is very sketchy, it’s speculative, it’s open to interpretation. It’s a very healthy thing when policy people challenge the intelligence people on this point. Intelligence, as we know historically, has often been wrong. The consensus of the intelligence community has often been wrong. And it’s very valuable when policy people challenge that.
And as for the Prague Connection, was it ever “oversold” by Bush Administration officials, based upon what we knew or thought we knew at the time? Accuracy in citing someone, is important. Anything less than that, leads to spin and falsehoods.
Here’s a series of Dick Cheney interviews from Meet the Press with Tim Russert.
RUSSERT: The plane on the ground in Iraq used to train non-Iraqi hijackers.
Do you still believe there is no evidence that Iraq was involved in September 11?
[in a previous appearance on MTP, the Sunday following 9/11, when directly asked if there was evidence that Iraq had a part in 9/11, Cheney flat out said “No.” So much for the theory that since day one the Bushies had war in Iraq on their collective minds- wordsmith]
CHENEY: Well, what we now have that’s developed since you and I last talked, Tim, of course, was that report that’s been pretty well confirmed, that he did go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service in Czechoslovakia last April, several months before the attack.
Now, what the purpose of that was, what transpired between them, we simply don’t know at this point. But that’s clearly an avenue that we want to pursue.
RUSSERT: What we do know is that Iraq is harboring terrorists. This was from Jim Hoagland in The Washington Post that George W. Bush said that Abdul Ramini Yazen (ph), who helped bomb the World Trade Center back in 1993, according to Louis Freeh was hiding in his native Iraq. And we’ll show that right there on the screen. That’s an exact quote.
If they’re harboring terrorist, why not go in and get them?
CHENEY: Well, the evidence is pretty conclusive that the Iraqis have indeed harbored terrorists. That wasn’t the question you asked the last time we met. You asked about evidence involved in September 11.
VICE PRES. CHENEY: With respect to the connections to al-Qaida, we haven’t been able to pin down any connection there. I read this report with interest after our interview last fall. We discovered, and it’s since been public, the allegation that one of the lead hijackers, Mohamed Atta, had, in fact, met with Iraqi intelligence in Prague, but we’ve not been able yet from our perspective to nail down a close tie between the al-Qaida organization and Saddam Hussein. We’ll continue to look for it.
Mr. RUSSERT: One year ago when you were on MEET THE PRESS just five days after September 11, I asked you a specific question about Iraq and Saddam Hussein. Let’s watch:
(Videotape, September 16, 2001):
Mr. RUSSERT: Do we have any evidence linking Saddam Hussein or Iraqis to this operation?
VICE PRES. CHENEY: No.
Mr. RUSSERT: Has anything changed, in your mind?
VICE PRES. CHENEY: Well, I want to be very careful about how I say this. I’m not here today to make a specific allegation that Iraq was somehow responsible for 9/11. I can’t say that. On the other hand, since we did that interview, new information has come to light. And we spent time looking at that relationship between Iraq, on the one hand, and the al-Qaeda organization on the other. And there has been reporting that suggests that there have been a number of contacts over the years. We’ve seen in connection with the hijackers, of course, Mohamed Atta, who was the lead hijacker, did apparently travel to Prague on a number of occasions. And on at least one occasion, we have reporting that places him in Prague with a senior Iraqi intelligence official a few months before the attack on the World Trade Center. The debates about, you know, was he there or wasn’t he there, again, it’s the intelligence business.
Mr. RUSSERT: What does the CIA say about that and the president?
VICE PRES. CHENEY: It’s credible. But, you know, I think a way to put it would be it’s unconfirmed at this point. We’ve got…
Mr. RUSSERT: Anything else?
VICE PRES. CHENEY: There is-again, I want to separate out 9/11, from the other relationships between Iraq and the al-Qaeda organization. But there is a pattern of relationships going back many years. And in terms of exchanges and in terms of people, we’ve had recently since the operations in Afghanistan-we’ve seen al-Qaeda members operating physically in Iraq and off the territory of Iraq. We know that Saddam Hussein has, over the years, been one of the top state sponsors of terrorism for nearly 20 years. We’ve had this recent weird incident where the head of the Abu Nidal organization, one of the world’s most noted terrorists, was killed in Baghdad. The announcement was made by the head of Iraqi intelligence. The initial announcement said he’d shot himself. When they dug into that, though, he’d shot himself four times in the head. And speculation has been, that, in fact, somehow, the Iraqi government or Saddam Hussein had him eliminated to avoid potential embarrassment by virtue of the fact that he was in Baghdad and operated in Baghdad. So it’s a very complex picture to try to sort out.
Mr. RUSSERT: But no direct link?
VICE PRES. CHENEY: I can’t-I’ll leave it right where it’s at. I don’t want to go beyond that. I’ve tried to be cautious and restrained in my comments, and I hope that everybody will recognize that.
Russert is always fishing for “gotcha” statements, regarding 9/11-Saddam connections. He keeps coming back to repeating the same question in all of these interviews.
VICE PRES. CHENEY: With respect to 9/11, of course you’ve had the story that’s been publicly out there: The Czechs alleged that Mohamed Atta, the lead attacker, met in Prague with a senior Iraqi intelligence official five months before the attack. But we’ve never been able to develop any more of that yet, either in terms of confirming it or discrediting it. We just don’t know.
Finally, MTP 9/10/06, where Russert tries to play “gotcha”:
RUSSERT: And now we have the Select Committee on Intelligence coming out with a report on Friday, it says here, “A declassified report released [Friday] by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence revealed that U.S. intelligence analysts were strongly disputing the alleged links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda while senior Bush administration officials were publicly asserting those links to justify invading Iraq.”
You said here that it was pretty well confirmed that Atta may have had a meeting in Prague, that that was credible. All the while, according to the Senate Intelligence Committee in January and in June and in September, the CIA was saying that wasn’t the case. And then the president…
“Pretty well confirmed” was said in Dec 2001. Why doesn’t Russert bring up Cheney’s subsequent statements on the matter?
VICE PRES. CHENEY: Well, let me, let me—on that—well, go ahead.
RUSSERT: No, go ahead.
VICE PRES. CHENEY: No, I want a, I want a chance to jump on that.
RUSSERT: OK, but, but you said it was pretty well confirmed that it was credible and now the Senate Intelligence Committee says not true, the CIA was waving you off.
VICE PRES. CHENEY: No –
RUSSERT: Any suggestion there was a meeting with Mohamed Atta, one of the hijackers, with Iraqi officials?
VICE PRES. CHENEY: (unintelligible) The sequence, Tim, was, when you and I talked that morning, we had not received any reporting with respect to Mohamed Atta going to Prague. Just a few days after you and I did that show, the CIA, CIA produced an intelligence report from the Czech Intelligence Service that said Mohammad Atta, leader of the hijackers, had been in Prague in April of ‘01 and had met with a senior Iraqi intelligence official in Prague. That was the first report we had that he’d been to Prague and met with Iraqis. Later on, some period of time after that, the CIA produced another report based on a photographer—on a photograph that was taken in Prague of a man they claim 70 percent probability was Mohammad Atta on another occasion. This was the reporting we received from the CIA when I responded to your question and said it had been pretty well confirmed that he’d been in Prague. The—later on, they were unable to confirm it. Later on, they backed off of it.
But what I told you was exactly what we were receiving at the time. It never said, and I don’t believe I ever said, specifically, that it linked the Iraqis to 9/11. It specifically said he had been in Prague, Mohamed Atta had been in Prague and we didn’t know…
RUSSERT: And the meeting with Atta did not occur?
VICE PRES. CHENEY: Uh. We don’t know. I mean, we’ve never been able to, to, to link it, and the FBI and CIA have worked it aggressively. I would say, at this point, nobody has been able to confirm …
I think anyone who is serious about politics and more specifically, a serious student on the run-up to war, should check out Douglas Feith’s book. Whether you are a critic or not, whether you believe what he says or not, he is a key architectural player in this, and so what he presents is very relevant, from either standpoint.
Excerpt from Frank Gaffney’s book review:
I was unprepared for the thoroughness of the documentation, the sweeping nature of the narrative and the highly readable prose with which War and Decision depicts the actions precipitated at the highest levels of the U.S. government by the 9/11 attacks. Particularly edifying are Mr. Feith’s exploration of the serious policy differences between various decision-makers and the material contribution those disagreements made to the way in which the preparation, execution and aftermath of the overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s regime went down.
In contrast to previous books and memoirs on the subject that have been published to date, Feith’s is not aimed at self-promotion or self-vindication. Neither is it an effort to settle scores with those who have, in some cases viciously, attacked the author in their own screeds.
Rather, it is the first attempt by a serious student of history to lay out the myriad, challenging choices confronting a president who, within eight months of taking office, witnessed a devastating attack on this country and resolved to prevent another – possibly far more destructive one – from occurring. The considerations, the competing recommendations and the presidential and Cabinet-level decisions that shaped the Bush Administration’s approach to the terrorist threat emanating from state-sponsored networks are documented in an unvarnished, highly accessible way.
Particularly interesting are the many points on which earlier tomes and conventional wisdom are mistaken. For instance, Mr. Feith demonstrates that the record simply does not support claims that: “Bush and his hawkish advisors” were intent on waging war on Iraq from the get-go; Rumsfeld and his “neo-cons” failed to prepare for post-war Iraq and that the State Department had, only to have its plans spurned by the Pentagon; and Feith’s office tried to manipulate pre-war intelligence about Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction. Given how central many of these myths are to the current criticism of the Iraq war, the contradictory evidence deserves attention.
A former fetus, the “wordsmith from nantucket” was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1968. Adopted at birth, wordsmith grew up a military brat. He achieved his B.A. in English from the University of California, Los Angeles (graduating in the top 97% of his class), where he also competed rings for the UCLA mens gymnastics team. The events of 9/11 woke him from his political slumber and malaise. Currently a personal trainer and gymnastics coach.
The wordsmith has never been to Nantucket.
They say it was a terrible idea to invade Iraq, but they are the liars.
Abu Ghraib was nothing compared to Saddam’s real torture/murder rooms.
Also, from MosqueWatch…
Why doesn’t 60 minutes do a story on that?! (just rhetorical, I know the answer)
They focus only on what we have done wrong, as if a mistake in a war could invalidate the need for that war. But they never look objectively at why the war needed to be fought. And they criticize us for taking things out of context, when it is they who never look at anything in a balanced way. But when something we are doing wrong threatens our national security, they are silent, or even approve.
It occurs to me (and I hope these are good reasons) that…
1. Fed laws may require advertising in a way that targets all citizens equally.
2. If terrorists try to infiltrate, maybe the FBI is waiting for them to use them? That’s reaching, I know, but one can “hope.”
Feith, after Kroft itemizes his “the Parade of Horribles”:
“We certainly understood that these are the things that might happen. That’s why we wrote them down.”
I’m also enjoying some of his book reviews:
I, too, happen to remember when The DoD’s findings and their conclusion that his gathered prewar analysis “developed, produced, and then disseminated alternative intelligence assessments on the Iraq and al Qaida relationship, which included some conclusions that were inconsistent with the consensus of the Intelligence Community, to senior decision-makers.” Yet, while they were his actions were “inappropriate”, that’s where it ends:— What a career reward! A valiant claim to fame! …One that many of Bush’s public servants can be proud of having aspired to by avoiding the law.
Few will buy his book and less will finish it.
Doug, anything Feith’s office presented was followed 48hrs later by a CIA report called, “Iraqi Support for Terrorism 2002.” That report made clear any of Feith’s claims and the confidence in them. The Sen Intel Com’s phase I investigation into pre-war intel on Iraq notes this well, but people ignore the timeline of intel reporting on Iraq. There was no misleading by Feith and/or his office, and they didn’t do anything that the Sen Intel Com itself hasn’t done.
The interview w CBS was classic hit piece, but ends well. Feith is acutely correct: given what was known before the war, and what was found afterwards…the invasion of Iraq was the correct decision. Clearly the lesser of the two evils: invade or not invade.
Scott, your interpretation of this story, as you are probably no doubt aware, has the unfortunate position of being a minority claim; therefore, that locates you, in the logic of things, with the onus, with having to disprove the “accepted” story.
If there is an “accepted” story, it’s probably over at Wikipedia: As they say, “As Google goes, so goes the nation”:
Of course, this doesn’t make you wrong, or myself correct. But like most things in this unfortunate Iraqi-connected conversation, it resides you to the margins, like so many other considerations regarding this war.
The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the – Web Reconnaissance for 04/14/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day…so check back often.
As you request Doug,
ie 9/16/02 Feith’s office gave it’s last presentation
ie 9/19/02 CIA publishes Iraqi Support for Terrorism [note, a closer look at the Sen Intel Com investigation’s report shows that this report/pamphlet covered the same ground as Feith’s office’s]
See Doug, most of the reporting on Saddam’s ties to Al Queda, pre-war intel in general, and criticisms of the Bush Administration are politically driven. Even a so-called non-biased media has three hurdles:
1) individual outlets have marketing demographics/audiences that they need to ‘spin’ or slant or feed be that to the L or R
2) media in general sees itself as a check/balance to power and that traditionally manifests itself in a wary eye to the biggest fish; towards the President rather than some Congressman from Podunk, Nebraska
3) very VERY few of the investigations into pre-war intel on Iraq (or post-war for that matter) have actually been read. It takes time to read them. Add up the 4 Sen Intel Com reports on pre-war Iraq intel, the Joint House/Sen 911 investigation, the 911 Commission report, the Duelfer Report, the Butler Report, and a few others from the UK and Australia….you’re talking 5000-10000 pages. People just don’t care enough to sit and read it, to really understand it. They’d rather have their agendas or preconceived notions affirmed than read an entire report (let alone ALL of them). As a result, few of these bi-partisan investigations ever really get read by the media or evenly interpreted.
The last one[report] from the Pentagon on ties between Saddam’s regime and terrorism based on captured docs was a great example. Media reporting categorically came out and said not just the opposite of what the report did, but the specific and complete opposite. Media said it affirmed there were no ties to AQ and Saddam would never work with Jihadis, but the actual report specifically gave several examples of the regime working with groups in the AQ network and specific examples of the regime working with radical Islamists.
Want to know what really happened, read the reports. Don’t believe Bush or Dems or CNN or Fox or The Daily Show. Read em yourself. Me, I find em fascinating.
You don’t find it ironic, while pulling from Global Security, the founder and military policy wonk par excellence, John Pike, of G.S., is a critic of Bush’s military policy?
And the senior fellow of G.S., Andrew Fois, is a liberal democrat and regular on Air America, and…
Not only are you still in a minority position on the subject matter, but now your “go to” source for your own resource library (G.S.) puts your thought in a rather humorous incongruity with theirs.
Again, it doesn’t mean you’re wrong or they’re right, but it’s an odd position to be in.
Doug, the link to Global Security isn’t an oped. I linked to the report-not the site’s owners or their opinions etc. I guess I coulda linked to the Sen Intel Com pdf, but the GS one is searchable, and I thought you might Did you read the report? Did you see the facts I presented? appreciate that.
My facts remain:
a bi-partisan investigation into reporting by Feith’s office shows that the final report his office presented was immediately followed by a CIA report that made all the claims from his office clear.
Minority reporting and belief aside, please show me something that contradicts my claim that the reporting from Feith’s office was followed days later by the CIA’s “Iraqi Support for Terrorism 2002” report. BTW, the CIA then followed up in January 2003 w yet another report reiterating the 2002 one. It was called, “Iraq Support for Terrorism 2003.” Of course, if you go to the Sen Intel Com website, you can also see that after Feith’s office gave its last report in Sept 02, there were almost two dozen closed door hearings where the Sen Intel Com (and the House Intel Com) had leaders of all the intelligence agencies behind closed doors where concerns that were voiced after Presidential campaigns were started, could have been asked before the invasion started instead.
Nope, Feith’s just the scapegoat. If you wanna find the real intel manipulators, look to Paul Pillar, Sen Rockefeller, and Sen Levin.
btw, the link to that WashingtonIndependent oped…nice piece of propaganda. I followed their link to the piece that was supposed to dismiss Hayes, and found a PERFECT example of someone who half-read several reports looking only for political affirmation rather than facts, truth, etc.
Total half truths.
911 Commission said there was no evidence because there was almost no evidence gathered/sought, and after seeing the captured docs, the matter of regime ties was the ONLY thing the 911 Commission members asked to be re-examined.
Sen Intel Com report cited here said there was no evidence because (again) there was almost no evidence gathered/sought [how convenient that the article somehow missed that fact a second time].
Sen Intel Com second report dismissed reports of regime ties based on a single, interim DIA officer, but it couldn’t discount or dismiss the reports from the hundreds of captured regime members caught working w/AQ or the captured docs.
When a fraction of the captured docs were examined, they showed [in absolute polarity to the claims from the article] that the regime DID have in depth ties to AQ groups including hosting training camps and planning operations against western nations [again, in complete polarity to what the article says].
I could easily go on, but…my guess is that since you commented on GS rather than the facts I presented…you’re not even reading the links or the quoted facts from them; facts like the CIA presented/clarified any regime ties issues just days after Feith’s office gave its last report.
Earth to Doug. Your references are far Left, and so share the agenda of attacking without proof. Now, I don’t want to be accused of attacking without proof, so here is a quicky from an ad on Raw Story targeing their audience. (Don’t forget to cheach your chong on the way out, dude.)
Also, Global Security pushes “Paleostinian” propaganda, MotherJones has been doped out since the 60’s, Wikepedia is unreliable, etc., etc. Screwballs, all.
If you want people on the Right to take you seriously, you have to use sources that base their articles on fact not fiction, on reason not fantasy.
W/r to Wordsmith’s post, re., the 60 minuites video; I can just hear Bubba now, if he were confronted like that… “Republican hit job, blah, blah, blah,” wagging his finger in their faces, screaming, looking more like a drunken thug than a retired president. In fact, Kroft himself seemed almost Clintonesque, barely restrained as though he were probing Feith for a weakness he could lunge at.
Notice that they didn’t ask Feith what he meant when he said that knowing what we know now the war was even more justified? Of course not. Why follow up on some lead that actually justifies the war? They may be @$$#*&’s, but they aren’t so stupid as to fall into the trap of talking about anything that’s actually relevant.
And, Feith wasn’t just making that up to try to look good. David Kay, head of weapons searches, made the same assertion,
“I think Baghdad was actually becoming more dangerous in the last two years than even we realized. Saddam was not controlling the society any longer. In the marketplace of terrorism and of WMD, Iraq well could have been that supplier if the war had not intervened.“
In other words, “Thank G-d we went, and didn’t delay any longer than we did!” And, the fact that everyone is downplaying that, and continuing to try to fit selected “facts” to their anti-Bush agenda rather than trying to understand all the facts within the dynamic process in which they were embedded, is a sign that wisdom is in very short supply where it is needed most: our leaderes and our media.
Bottom line, Feith, et. al., were acting in good faith, unlike the do-nothing obstructionists currently trying to stampede themselves and the country over the cliff.
Sorry I didn’t have time to finish my comments about Doug’s post regarding referencing GlobalSecurity last night.
I try to avoid using unreliable sources, even when they post real material, unless I’m using them to prove my point with a “hostile witness” or such. Occasionally I mess up, but I do try to be consistent about that. Here’s an alternative neutral source of the same document.
It avoids the pitfall of getting criticized for using a source who’s interpretation of said document might usually be (a lot more than) a bit Left of one’s own, and getting comments like Doug’s, even though what you cited from them was fine. If I have to use something like that because I can’t get the material somewhere else, I try to issue a disclaimer to head off such criticism.
Just a thought.
As a student of the media, its curious that there has never been a question ever posed in contradiction to the accepted premise that: 1. There was no ‘post-invasion plan for Iraq’, 2. That we did not find ‘weapons of mass destruction’ even though we did and that 3. Bush (et al) claimed that Saddam/Iraq were involved in 9/11.
These are three huge myths amongst the public with somewhere between 2/3 to 3/4 of the public believing the falsehoods. Obviously, the public could not have determined these opinions in a vacuum so they must have obtained them from the media they consume. And the media itself still believes that Bush told us that Iraq was connected to 9/11 and that there were ‘no WMDs found in Iraq’ although they’ve mostly stopped harping on the fictitious ‘no planning’ canard now that Rumsfeld is gone.
None of the ‘truth squads’ which the media has constructed to verify the campaign ads and statements for this election have noted that the statements by the two most liberal candidates frequently cite empirical falsehoods about Iraq and what Bush said and didn’t say about Iraq and our reasons for starting war.
In fact, most of the most aggravating allegations made about Bush, regarding Iraq, were actually claims made by the democrat candidates THEMSELVES prior to the war but are attributed to Bush, Cheney or Wolfowitz. Think of ‘Iraq is an imminent threat’ or ‘Iraq is reconstitution their nuclear weapons program’ which are statements beyond where Bush, Cheney, Rice or Powell would go but were uttered by John F. Kerry and Hillary Clinton the Senate floor as well as they assertion that they possessed ‘independent intelligence’ which proved that there were stockpiles of WMD in Iraq (the only thing we didn’t find was ‘stockpiles’).
Doug Feith was the most knowledgeable person possible about all of the fighting in the WH at the time since he was in between DOD, State and the WH pre-war and fought to prevent the invasion from becoming an ‘occupation’ but watched the CIA push Bremer into gutting the Iraq Provisional Government, to avoid an possible Chalabi ascendency, and establish instead a caucasian monarchy in the form of Bremer. Feith is very smart guy and appears to have no political agenda. Which is a curiousity considering the agendas of the people who’ve taken part in this soap opera which is the Iraq War.
The most mysterious thing to me is why Bush didn’t address at least some of the most blatant lies without sounding like he was at times almost even affirming them. I’ve tried to come up with a rational for that, but can’t. The only thing I’ve read on it is a remark by Rove that he considered it an error not to have been more aggressive in countering the falsehoods. But even then he wasn’t all that specific about what they were.
Aside – one of Doug’s Lefty references slams Feith’s book as being worthless, and the author cites Kissinger and someone else as giving lousy revues, which if you read turn out to be very positive (unless you are a Lefty in a looking glass world). For some strange reason they think calling a book thorough, well referenced and objective is a bad thing. Go figure! Anyway, I decided to find out myself, so I ordered that and 2 other conservative books by authors I respect. If the Left hates it that much, it has to be worth reading.