Who in the White House knew about DITSUM No. 044-02 and when did they know it?Scheer has written a number of solid pieces on Iraq and a host of other topics, but you won't be reading his observations in the Times anymore. Scheer was just canned by the newspaper without explanation.
That's the newly declassified smoking-gun document, originally prepared by the Defense Intelligence Agency in February 2002 but ignored by President Bush. Its declassification this weekend blows another huge hole in Bush's claim that he was acting on the best intelligence available when he pitched the invasion of Iraq as a way to prevent an Al Qaeda terror attack using weapons of mass destruction.
The report demolished the credibility of the key Al Qaeda informant the administration relied on to make its claim that a working alliance existed between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. It was circulated widely within the U.S. government a full eight months before Bush used the prisoner's lies to argue for an invasion of Iraq because "we've learned that Iraq has trained Al Qaeda members in bomb making and poisons and deadly gases.
Al Qaeda senior military trainer Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi — a Libyan captured in Pakistan in 2001 — was probably "intentionally misleading the debriefers," the DIA report concluded in one of two paragraphs finally declassified at the request of Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) ...
The report also said: "Ibn al-Shaykh has been undergoing debriefs for several weeks and may be describing scenarios to the debriefers that he knows will retain their interest."
... Americans came to believe the lie that Hussein was associated with the Sept. 11 hijackers.Even CIA Director George Tenet publicly fell into line, ignoring his own agency's dissent that Libi would not have been in a position to know what he said he knew. In fact, Libi, according to the DIA, could not name any Iraqis involved, any chemical or biological material used or where the training allegedly occurred.
In January 2004, the prisoner recanted his story, and the next month the CIA withdrew all intelligence reports based on his false information.
... The Bush defense of what is arguably the biggest lie ever put over on the American people is that everyone had gotten the intelligence wrong. Not so at the highest level of U.S. intelligence, as DITSUM No. 044-02 so clearly shows. How could the president not have known?
Monday, November 14, 2005
Unknown | Monday, November 14, 2005 |