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White House Leaked Classified Intelligence to Make its Case for War

By David Swanson

A new report looks into instances in which the Bush Administration leaked classified information to support its case that Iraq was a threat to the United States.

While that case was, of course, ridiculous and the information falsified, the leaking of it was illegal. And the leaks appear to have been part of a coordinated effort. Immediately following important leaks, top administration officials appeared on talk shows to discuss information that they could not have legally discussed had it not appeared in a newspaper that morning.

Congressman John Conyers has just released an extensive report titled "The Constitution in Crisis: The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Torture, Retribution, and Cover-ups in the Iraq War." Pages 73 – 81 address the Bush Administration's claims regarding aluminum tubes allegedly acquired by Iraq for the purpose of developing nuclear weapons.

On page 78, the report notes: "Our investigation has also found that classified intelligence information supporting the Bush Administration's position regarding the aluminum tubes was leaked to the press. For example, on Sunday, September 8, 2002, the lead story in The New York Times, written by Judith Miller and Michael R. Gordon, quotes 'anonymous' Administration officials as stating that 'Iraq has stepped up its quest for nuclear weapons and has embarked on a worldwide hunt for materials to make an atomic bomb.'"

The headline of that article was "U.S. Says Hussein Intensifies Quest for A-Bomb Parts."

Conyers' report continues: "The article goes on to source 'administration officials' for the proposition that '[i]n the last 14 months, Iraq has sought to buy thousands of specially designed aluminum tubes, which American officials believe were intended as components of centrifuges to enrich uranium' and that '[t]he diameter, thickness and other technical specifications of the aluminum tubes had persuaded American intelligence experts that they were meant for Iraq's nuclear program.'"

So, someone in the Administration was leaking classified information. Of course, it was false information, but that made it all the more damaging. But who was the leaker(s)?

According to Conyers' report, "Subsequent media accounts have traced the story, at least in part, to Paul Wolfowitz:

"'In the summer of 2002, [Deputy Defense Secretary Paul] Wolfowitz convened a secret meeting [concerning the tubes] in his office with Francis Brooke, the I.N.C. adviser, and Khidir Hamza, a former chief of Saddam's nuclear program, who had defected to America in 1994 . . . Wolfowitz circulated his conclusions to his administration allies. A few days later, the story of the "nuclear" tubes was leaked to The New York Times, where it landed on the front page.'

"On the CNN Documentary, Dead Wrong, an anonymous source characterized the dissemination of this biased and slanted information to Miller and Gordon as 'official leaking': 'I would call it official leaking because I think these were authorized conversations between the press and members of the intelligence community that further misreported the nature of the intelligence community's disagreement on this issue.'

Of course, a front page story in the New York Times gets everyone's attention, and – if the lies are glaring enough – can lead to a reporter resigning in disgrace. But the Bush Administration has often promoted stories into the "mainstream" media by first establishing them in the super-right-wing outlets.

"The Constitution in Crisis" continues: "Our investigation has also learned that administration officials appear to have leaked classified information to the press well before the New York Times article. A July 29, 2002, article in the Washington Times, titled 'Iraq Seeks Steel for Nukes' reported:

"'Procurement agents from Iraq's covert nuclear-arms program were detected as they tried to purchase stainless-steel tubing, uniquely used in gas centrifuges and a key component in making the material for nuclear bombs, from an unknown supplier, said administration officials familiar with intelligence reports . . . U.S. intelligence agencies believe the tubing is an essential component of Iraq's plans to enrich radioactive uranium to the point where it could be used to fashion a nuclear bomb.'"

With impeccable timing, on the eve of the first anniversary of the September 11th attacks, top Bush officials appeared on the Sunday talk shows to discuss the aluminum tube story that someone among them had just planted in the New York Times.

Knight Ridder explained how this worked: "[the leaks] appearance in the nation's most influential paper also gave Cheney and Rice an opportunity to discuss the matter the same day on the Sunday television talk shows. They could discuss the article, but otherwise they wouldn't have been able to talk about classified intelligence in public." ("CIA leak illustrates selective use of intelligence on Iraq [The Aluminum Tubes]," by Jonathan S. Landay, Knight Ridder Newspapers.)

And who can forget the horrifying comments that the Bush Administration made?

Condoleezza Rice: "[Iraq has obtained] high quality aluminum tubes that are only really suited for nuclear weapons programs, centrifuge programs" and "We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."
-- CNN Late Edition (CNN television broadcast, Sept. 8, 2002).

Vice President Dick Cheney: "I do know with absolutely certainty that he is using his procurement system to acquire the equipment he needs to enrich uranium to build a nuclear weapon"
-- Meet the Press (NBC television broadcast, Sept. 8, 2002).

Donald Rumsfeld: "Imagine a September 11 with weapons of mass destruction."
-- Face the Nation (CBS television broadcast, Sept. 8, 2002).

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David - this is an excellent new perspective on the "somebody leaked classified info and it is killing our troops so we must punish somebody" meme and feigned indignation on the right.

We can debate whether or not whether leaked NSA or secret CIA prison info has put anyone in harm's way, but there is no denying that the march to war put tens of thousands in harm's way - and has resulted in the deaths of 2000+ of our troops.


Sarcasm aside, this is still a very important story that will no doubt cause many more Bush apologists to finally drop their lost cause and accept the ugly truth.

Kudos once again to Mr. Conyers and to you, David, for spreading the news.

John Perry
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John Conyers is a patriot. It is time for all patriots to do whatever we can to get this deceptive and power grabbing administration out of office. We have to talk to those on the otherside who are beginning to understand what this is all about and make our case to them, This is about the rule of law and our democracy. To do nothing is tantamount to complicity.

I commend John Conyers on his action being taken. We can't let this administration get away with all the deceptions and lies. These should be grounds for impeachment.

please, let's dispense with the "i'm a patriot and you're not" inferences here. it's a distractionary and divisive tactic of the far right, and to use it gives credence to their arguments, whether you support them or not. look, we all know it's a "post-9/11 world". one of the things i despise most about that phrase is how much "patriotism" is now a quantifiable trait. before 9/11, who was questioning anybody's patriotism, or how much of it they had? not even a hundredth of the people who do it today.

impugning someone's patriotism is somehow the ultimate insult now. and it's really just imbecilic (no, i'm not calling you an imbecile, bear with me here), because how can you give value to something that's so easy to just blithely insult away? that kind of talk is the boon of fascism. it's a witch-hunt: accuse someone of having no patriotism and they've lost all credibility with one segment of the political spectrum.

funny thing is, i've found most people that aren't patriots will gladly admit it. the other funny thing is, most people in america don't have much of a choice in the matter -- you're either a patriot or you don't have a homeland. sure, you could try to move to another country, but it's much harder than you think it is. it costs more money and is a greater effort than most people can afford.

so what's the definition of patriotism today? the way i read it, the patriots on the left and the patriots on the right are talking about two different ideological homelands to which only they belong... and those on the other side are anti-american or pro-terrorist.

funny how five years ago we were all just americans with differing opinions. and we know how we've gotten here, but please let's not buy into those tactics, or we've lost altogether.

yes, what i'm saying is that the word 'patriot' has been made into such a divisive term that it has become bereft of meaning in today's america.

shame about that.

how about making today's america less about who's a 'patriot' and more about having a place we're all proud to live in again?

The newsprint media is complicit in the crimes of leaking intelligence by Bush and Company. The Bush Administration's flunkies leak to the NY Times (i.e. Judith Miller,) the Washington Post, Time, etc., which allows the Bush Administration's talking heads (Rumsfeld, Powell, O'Reilly, etc.)to come on the evening news and repeat the leaked information. But because it is already in the newspapers, it is not a violation of the law. In truth, the print media (NY Times, Washington Post etc.) are the criminals and complicit in the leaked information and are doing the crimes for Bush's Administration. HISTORY WILL NOT BE KIND TO THE TRAITORS TO AMERICA IN THE NEWS MEDIA.

It is a laugh reading the "comments" of delusional liberals.

How do you "impeach" when you do not control the Congress? And how do you convict without 67 votes in the Senate?

Here's how - YOU DON'T. Unless you are a stupid liberal, and you still think you can.

I might be disillusioned but not dilusional.

I was foolish enough to think that Dick Chaney would have a calming influence on an alcoholic and spoiled-brat of a president instead of talking him into an illegal, unfortunate, and unnecessary war with Iraq, causing the deaths of thousands.

We impeach him by winning elections in '06, electing politicians with a smattering of honesty. It doesn't take much to improve on the corrupt crew now in Washington DC put there by narrow-minded, brainwashed people like you who have forgotten how to think for themselves.

As usual, the U.K. newspaper The Guardian has it just about right. An article written by Dr Richard Drayton (a senior lecturer in history at Cambridge University) and published in today's edition is entitiled Shock, awe and Hobbes have backfired on America's neocons. Here's a brief excerpt:

Iraq has shown the hubris of a geostrategy that welds the philosophy of the Leviathan to military and technological power. The tragic irony of the 21st century is that just as faith in technology collapsed on the world's stock markets in 2000, it came to power in the White House and Pentagon. For the Project for a New American Century's ambition of "full-spectrum dominance" - in which its country could "fight and win multiple, simultaneous major-theatre wars" - was a monster borne up by the high tide of techno euphoria of the 1990s.

Ex-hippies talked of a wired age of Aquarius. The fall of the Berlin wall and the rise of the internet, we were told, had ushered in Adam Smith's dream of overflowing abundance, expanding liberty and perpetual peace. Fukuyama speculated that history was over, leaving us just to hoard and spend. Technology meant a new paradigm of constant growth without inflation or recession.

But darker dreams surfaced in America's military universities. The theorists of the "revolution in military affairs" predicted that technology would lead to easy and perpetual US dominance of the world. Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters advised on "future warfare" at the Army War College - prophesying in 1997 a coming "age of constant conflict". Thomas Barnett at the Naval War College assisted Vice-Admiral Cebrowski in developing "network-centric warfare". General John Jumper of the air force predicted a planet easily mastered from air and space. American forces would win everywhere because they enjoyed what was unashamedly called the "God's-eye" view of satellites and GPS: the "global information grid". This hegemony would be welcomed as the cutting edge of human progress. Or at worst, the military geeks candidly explained, US power would simply terrify others into submitting to the stars and stripes.

The American imperial strategists invested deeply in the belief that through spreading terror they could take power. [Note: that the operative verb is spreading not defeating.] Neoconservatives such as Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and the recently indicted Lewis "Scooter" Libby, learned from Leo Strauss that a strong and wise minority of humans had to rule over the weak majority through deception and fear, rather than persuasion or compromise. They read Le Bon and Freud on the relationship of crowds to authority. But most of all they loved Hobbes's Leviathan. While Hobbes saw authority as free men's chosen solution to the imperfections of anarchy, his 21st century heirs seek to create the fear that led to submission. And technology would make it possible and beautiful.

The problem for the US today is that Leviathan has shot his wad. Iraq revealed the hubris of the imperial geostrategy. One small nation can tie down a superpower. Air and space supremacy do not give command on the ground. People can't be terrorised into identification with America. The US has proved able to destroy massively - but not create, or even control. Afghanistan and Iraq lie in ruins, yet the occupiers cower behind concrete mountains.

The US needs to discover, like a child that does not know its limits, that there is a world outside its body and desires, beyond even the reach of its toys, that suffers too.

Will it ever actually learn that lesson? Sadly, I have very serious doubts that it will. Empathy is not an American strong suit -- much to its own disadvantage and ultimate downfall.

will post

In case you had'nt seen this yet.

I know you follow this:

Nuking Iran With
the UN's Blessing
Only the American people can stop it
by Jorge Hirsch

From this an impeachment time frame should evolve.

With dispatch.

---The Bikemessenger

I know you're following this, just in case you have'nt seen it yet:

Nuking Iran With
the UN's Blessing
Only the American people can stop it
by Jorge Hirsch

The leviathan may have shot it's wad, but does it KNOW it's shot it's wad?

---The Bikemessenger

As Drayton says, the US certainly has the proven ability to accomplish massive destruction. But, when it comes to achieving anything positive, even in terms of its own (often nefarious) purposes, it's another story entirely. If Iraq has been a quagmire, Iran is a lit fuse attached to thousands of incendiary devices worldwide, with some underlying nuclear potential for good measure.

Even Russia and China aren't so sanguine about this one, but the leviathan (blinded cyclops?) stumbles onward in its own inimitable fashion.

I wonder how many our lovely PNAC ambassador arm-wrestled before UN "cried uncle" and gave its "blessing"?


Arm yourselves.

I am not at all sure that anything has backfired. I think these evil people and their truly evil philosophies have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. Iraq is a war being fought not to be won, just like the Viet Nam war.

"This is about the rule of law and our democracy." The rule of law has to do with the supreme law of the land -- the United States Constitution, the non-living, non-breathing, non-evolving United States Constitution. Our Constitutional republic is not now and was never designed or intended to be a democracy, which is basically mob rule, the exact opposite of the "rule of law."

Well, if that is so, the current administration is certainly doing a marvellous job of averting and curtailing any and all tendencies in that undesirable direction.

Democracy is "basically mob rule"? I suppose that might explain why the neocons are so anxious to impose it by force of arms on other countries. "Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad". Or, in this case, they first disunite and disorganize by imposing "democratic" mob rule.

I don't get it. Condi's comment that the aluminum tubes were suitable "only" for centrifuges is flat-out prevarication, and she was the National Security Advisor, with access to all the intelligence, including the overwhelming amount of data that showed the tubes to be Iraqi rocket-launcher sized, possibly (maybe) adaptable for centrifuges. She's also the first "mushroom cloud" orator, followed by Bush (no doubt after Rove saw how well Condi's comment flew). How is this person still in government, now elevated to Secretary of State?

Where are the Federal Marshals during all this? They should all be fired for not doing their jobs and arresting all these felon leaders.

I am an American (a rouge nation) and I say not in my name!
enough this is not what we are supposed to be. Defending freedom is somethig that other nations ask us to do not to impose our will on others (see the iraq war?) we defended ourselves when attacked by Japan yes. but no country or potantate elected or otherwise has attacked us this war is illiegal,immoral, and as an American I am asshamed! asshamed that our (socalled) elected leaders would stoop to the underhanded behavior of the last 6 years. Censure king George (the lessor) and his lacky dick then Impeach the two of them for thier war crimes and punish them in the full face of the world.

Remember when Clinton shook his finger and denied he had sexual relations with Monica? The right just went crazy. After years of drilling dry holes in White Water, File Gate, Travel Gate, Vincent Foster, etc., etc. They hit pay dirt, Texas tea with Monica. Yep, time for impeachment, they said. Their Arkansas plan worked. Now we have no oversight by basically the same congress. This Bush Administration is acting like the biggest bully on the block while Congress acts like his little brother, just standing their watching him. No, there won’t be an impeachment of Bush under this Congress, no matter how much damage he has done, or for a crime he may have committed. But Bush has been a lemon in the garage for a long time and if enough people get tired of the current situation in Washington of corruption and lies and the Democrats find just enough gray matter to intelligently win an election, Bush may be learning how to say impeachment.

Get over it!

"Biggest Bully on the block"!???

I don't think so, no matter what Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfwitz claimed ( In writing)... that America can fight and win two major wars in seperate theatres simultaneously.... you are loseing two small, nasty, colonial wars against two of the smallest. weakest, nations on this planet.

And you were only able to fight those because China financed it.... and you, as a nation, are now in debt to them.

We've all spent Christmas knowing that a major American city is dying.... (Wave Bye bye to New Orleans... while you still can).... while The American people went shopping.

America has failed as a nation, as a people, and as a democracy..... It's future is a small and pitiful one...... it doesn't deserve, and has not earned.... any other.


Well, it seems that every body wants to be patriotic, but when religion strikes, all rights go out the window..just like the can't do this ,you can't do that or u are goin to hell..or these days maybe to jail.You are pre judged either bush pro christian or anti american AND CATHOLICS,LUTHERANS OR ANYTHING ELSE is just off the radar completely. I just don't like the idea that people completely lose their reasoning power for any of these reasons. Right is right and wrong is wrong. Either you are pro humanity or you are not, I don't care if it's cats or dogs, the sense is there and if you don't get it you are f''''cked up. If you reason your existence and actions good or bad behind something else other than a true good will upon others than what you have is ...A LIE. Bush is a consistent lie and has no good will except for himself, the true selfish believer

This article makes some very strong points, but referring to a previous posting here, Impeachment will only be possible after Congress, as a whole, has been stripped of it's ability to avoid the wrath of it's constituencies and lives up to it's Oath. Efficiency requires making only the most direct efforts to acquire success. Afterall, even the Prez'dint knows who to blame and kick around like a rag doll to deflect criticism of any wrongdoing because Congress sure looks like the essential "TefloNostra".

With admiration and sympathy to Rachel Lea Hunter.....

Is Bush Just
Like Julius Caesar?
Outspoken North Carolina Supreme Court
Nominee Says Bush Reminds Her Of Caesar

Attorney Rachel Lea Hunter is Again Making Political Waves, saying the way to get rid of a dictator like Bush, who said the Constitution was just a "god damned" piece of paper, is by using the power of impeachment.

By Greg Szymanski

A North Carolina Supreme Court nominee is again making political waves and raising her voice this week, slamming President Bush and saying he is no better than the old Roman dictator, Julius Caesar.

Attorney Rachel Lea Hunter is the type of candidate who doesn't hold back her feelings, doesn't mince words and is genuinely "one breath of fresh air" in an otherwise stinky field of politicians and judicial candidates.

Several months ago, Hunter gained national attention when she likened Bush to Hitler, causing neo-con talk show host Bill O'Reilly and others to "scream bloody murder" as they tried to discredit her motives.

Hunter, disillusioned with the administration's lack of respect for the Constitution and Bill of Rights, shrugged of the O'Reilly attacks while stepping up her efforts to expose the corruption in the Washington and sweeping across the country.

"When Julius Caesar became Dictator of Rome, he aggregated all power in himself to accomplish his own ends. He believed it to be justified, for the Romans' own good, whether they wanted it or not. What we have in this administration is not any different," said Hunter this week from her North Carolina campaign headquarters as state polls have her in the lead for one of the open State Supreme court slots in the next election.

"This administration thinks it is okay to spy on individuals. This administration thinks that it is permissible to lock someone up indefinitely without charging them with a crime. This administration takes the position that it is fine to engage in a preemptive war without justification. This administration believes that if the facts don't fit, it will make them do so either by selectively choosing them, or by lying. This administration thinks that the murder of a panic-stricken US citizen by air marshals is acceptable. This administration thinks that manipulation of the media to obtain positive stories is warranted.

"Is it any wonder that this administration tramples on our civil liberties and shreds the Constitution? After all, the Constitution is "outdated" and just a "god-damned" piece of paper, (as Bush said in private to White House aides). What is next? Martial law? Suspension of the elections? It is not unthinkable.

Running on the Democratic ticket after defecting from the Republican party, Hunter is one of the few candidates for an important state or federal office who openly has tried to buck the neo-con stranglehold on Washington.

Hunter's views are openly posted on her web site at where the outspoken judicial candidate blogs questions and answers and opens up her heart and soul to readers on both side of the political fence.

"We can continue to let our modern day Caesar become stronger. The war in Iraq will go on; more lives will be needlessly lost and we can keep paying billions to prop up the country, said Hunter. "Or we can put a stop to "the end justifies the means" and American world-domination analysis of the neo-cons and use the tools at our disposal to rid ourselves of this tyrant.

"We have a remedy; its called impeachment. Some are afraid to use this remedy, as they believe that the vice president will become president or that whom ever takes over will somehow have become the "incumbent." These are unwarranted fears.

"I already commented that if nothing changes, this war will continue. I believe that this administration has no intent of pulling out, no matter how they try and manipulate troop strength to make it appear that they are doing so."

Hunter also took time to strongly criticize corporate consolidation of major oil companies, causing high spikes in gas prices and having a negative ripple effect on the economy going into the New Year.

"I noticed too that gas prices declined last month, but that they had risen by a quarter in the past few weeks," said Hunter. "Am I the only person who has noticed that the major oil companies are BP-Amoco, Conoco-Phillips, Shell, Chevron-Texaco and Exxon-Mobile?

"One commentator said that these companies were forced to merge. Yeah, right. Like some guy with a hood held a gun on them and said "merge or die!" They were not "forced" to merge. They merged out of a business decision, to become bigger and more powerful. And with the merger, there is less competition.

"Tell me again how there is no collusion amongst them and that it really is the hurricanes which have led to the increased prices. I am all for free-enterprise and competition. I understand increased demand and no more refining capacity. But I do not believe that there is absolutely no manipulation by the big, now-merged, oil companies.

"The increased price for gas will have ripple effects through the economy. In fact, the effect has started. The increased cost has led to car sales, particularly for SUVs, to be down. It costs more to transport food and other items. The housing bubble is about to burst, if it has not already done so. Taxes are on the rise too. And we, the consumer, are left paying for all of this. We cannot continue spending for all these inflated goods. We cannot keep paying for a war that is unnecessary, unconstitutional and unjustified. Something has to give and that something is inflation."

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