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Senate Intelligence chairman quietly 'fixed' intelligence, and diverted blame from White House over Iraq

Senate Intelligence chairman quietly 'fixed' intelligence, and diverted blame from White House over Iraq
By Larisa Alexandrovna



April 01, 2005
By Larry C. Johnson

"Dead wrong" is the phrase the media is trumpeting from the report issued by former Senator Chuck Robb and Judge Laurence Silbermann under the title , Final Report on Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction. Hopefully most Americans will take time to read the report and understand what a woeful, inept job that Robb and Silbermann have done. I agree with the Commission report that analysts made mistakes. But for all of the massive detail provided in the 600 plus page report, Robb and Silbermann fail to answer the most basic question: Was there any intelligence analysis from the CIA that indicated Iraq's pursuit of weapons of mass destruction had reached the point that if we did not act Saddam would? The answer is no. Yet, Robb and Silbermann want Americans to accept the nonsense that politics played no role in the intelligence analysis. They ask America to accept the sorry picture of a President and legislators who apparently were willing idiots being spoon fed wrong information by incompetent analysts. If we accept this fairy tale we will have learned nothing from the fiasco in Iraq.

Rovegate part 2 of 2

By Jim DiEugenio
Special to From the Wilderness

... The above evidence is strong enough to have persuaded former CIA officers Ray McGovern and Vince Cannistraro that Ledeen and his colleagues originally forged the Niger yellowcake uranium documents. Needless to say, if this is so, it would demonstrate that the Iraq War was a fabrication from its inception, even before 9/11. It would also explain another oddity: Pat Buchanan’s complaint that the administration has not shown enough outrage over the discovery of this forgery.

I have explained above why I think the Fitzgerald investigation poses a real danger to the White House. Which is not to predict with certainty that this Special Counsel proceeding will do to Bush what a previous one did to Nixon. The balance of power is not there yet. In fact, Senate Intelligence Chair Pat Roberts had already announced he wants to review the Special Counsel investigation “who has been investigating the Plame case for nearly two years

British, U.S. lied about justification for pre-war Iraq airstrikes

By Michael Smith

Special to RAW STORY. Michael Smith writes for the London Sunday Times. He broke the Downing Street Memo story.

Britain and America’s reasons for stepping up bombing of Iraq in the ten months leading up to the war in Iraq was a sham, official figures released by the British Ministry of Defense show.

U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and Geoff Hoon, his UK counterpart, said the stepped-up attacks by U.S. and Royal Air Force aircraft patrolling the southern no-fly zone were a response to increased attacks by Iraqi air defences.

The minutes of a meeting of Tony Blair’s Iraq war cabinet on July 23, 2003, leaked to the London Sunday Times, record Hoon as saying “the US had begun spikes of activity to put pressure on the regime.

Ex-agent says CIA wanted false data

By Reuters

WASHINGTON -- A fired CIA agent, whom a newspaper says told superiors in 2001 that Iraq had abandoned part of its nuclear program, is asking the FBI to investigate allegations that the spy agency dismissed him for refusing to falsify intelligence.

A July 11 letter to FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III from the former agent's lawyer suggests that CIA officials may be guilty of criminal violations involving intelligence he produced on weapons of mass destruction in 2000 that contradicted an official agency position.

The lawyer, Roy Krieger, said his client initially asked the CIA's inspector general to investigate allegations that CIA officials had pressured him to alter the intelligence and retaliated when he refused. But the inspector general rebuffed his request.

What I Heard about Iraq

By Eliot Weinberger

In 1992, a year after the first Gulf War, I heard Dick Cheney, then secretary of defense, say that the US had been wise not to invade Baghdad and get ‘bogged down in the problems of trying to take over and govern Iraq’. I heard him say: ‘The question in my mind is how many additional American casualties is Saddam worth? And the answer is: not that damned many.’

In February 2001, I heard Colin Powell say that Saddam Hussein ‘has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbours.’

Spy's Notes on Iraqi Aims Were Shelved, Suit Says

By James Risen
The New York Times

Washington - The Central Intelligence Agency was told by an informant in the spring of 2001 that Iraq had abandoned a major element of its nuclear weapons program, but the agency did not share the information with other agencies or with senior policy makers, a former CIA officer has charged.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court here in December, the former CIA officer, whose name remains secret, said that the informant told him that Iraq's uranium enrichment program had ended years earlier and that centrifuge components from the scuttled program were available for examination and even purchase.

Timing the Cheney Nuclear Drumbeat

Tomgram: Jim Lobe on Timing the Cheney Nuclear Drumbeat

In a recent piece, The Media's Roving Eye, trying to establish a timeline that would offer context for the Plame case, I wrote the following:

"Vice President Cheney started the administration's atomic drumbeat to war in Iraq with a series of speeches on Saddam's supposed nuclear capabilities and desires beginning in August of 2002. (The crucial role of Cheney, whose eye was first caught by a Defense Intelligence Agency report on the Niger uranium documents back in February 2002, in the events that would become the Plame case, has been poorly covered...)"

When They Knew

Time Magazine

As the investigation tightens into the leak of the identity of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame, sources tell TIME some White House officials may have learned she was married to former ambassador Joseph Wilson weeks before his July 6, 2003, Op-Ed piece criticizing the Administration. That prospect increases the chances that White House official Karl Rove and others learned about Plame from within the Administration rather than from media contacts. Rove has told investigators he believes he learned of her directly or indirectly from reporters, according to his lawyer.

Key No 10 aides were split over war

Sunday Times
By Robert Winnett, Whitehall Correspondent

THE SPLIT over the Iraq war, which ran through the Labour party, reached into Tony Blair’s innermost circle, according to an updated biography of the prime minister.

Key Downing Street advisers including Alastair Campbell, former director of communications, and Baroness Morgan, former director of political and government relations, are revealed to have had “private reservations

Condoleezza Rice at the Center of the Plame Scandal

Condoleezza Rice at the Center of the Plame Scandal
The Source Beyond Rove
Former NSC staffer

"We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."

It was September 2002, and then-National Security Advisor, now-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was fastening on CNN perhaps the most memorable and frightening single link in the Bush regime's chain of lies propagandizing the war on Iraq. Behind her carefully planted one-liner with its grim imagery was the whole larger hoax about Saddam Hussein possessing or about to acquire weapons of mass destruction, a deception as blatant and inflammatory as claims of the Iraqi dictator's ties to Al Qaeda.

Transcript of Hearing on TreasonGate



Use and abuse of intelligence

Tony Blair takes advice from his security experts when it fits with his foreign policy, and ignores it when it doesn't
Richard Norton-Taylor
Tuesday July 19, 2005
The Guardian

If ministers and MPs cannot bring themselves to acknowledge that the invasion of Iraq has increased the threat from terrorism, then let others do so. We can begin with senior officials responsible for protecting our national security and Britain's interests abroad.

On February 10 2003, a month before the onslaught on Iraq, Whitehall's joint intelligence committee told Tony Blair that "al-Qaida and associated groups continued to represent by far the greatest terrorist threat to western interests, and that threat would be heightened by military action against Iraq". It added that the collapse of the Iraqi regime would increase the risk of chemical and biological warfare agents or technology finding their way into the hands of terrorists.

The 12-hour gap is worse than you think

Posted By Carpetbagger On 25th July 2005 @ 09:03 In General | 4 Comments

Yesterday, the New York Times' Frank Rich reminded a lot of the political world that there was lengthy gap between when the Plame investigation began and when the White House started preserving documents related to the probe. My concern, however, is that the gap is even worse than Rich made it out to be.

As White House counsel, [Alberto Gonzales] was the one first notified that the Justice Department, at the request of the C.I.A., had opened an investigation into the outing of Joseph Wilson's wife. That notification came at 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 29, 2003, but it took Mr. Gonzales 12 more hours to inform the White House staff that it must "preserve all materials" relevant to the investigation. This 12-hour delay, he has said, was sanctioned by the Justice Department, but since the department was then run by John Ashcroft, a Bush loyalist who refused to recuse himself from the Plame case, inquiring Senate Democrats would examine this 12-hour delay as closely as an 18½-minute tape gap.

Iraq-Niger: Cheney and the Forgery

July 25, 2005
By Ray McGovern

By now it should be clear that the White House assault on former ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife had much less to do with personalities than with the “particular lie

Gonzales Warned White House

Click here: Crooks and Liars

Alberto Gonzales Told Andy Card

On CBS’s Face the Nation, host Bob Schieffer brought up the Frank Rich column:" took Mr. Gonzales 12 more hours to inform the White House staff that it must “preserve all materials

Follow The Deployments

Did Bush Administration troop deployment patterns suggest a President who was content to give peace a chance? Or did they suggest a President bent on war regardless of Saddam Hussein's degree of cooperation, and the findings of the UN weapons inspectors?

As far as I'm concerned, it's the latter. And if the latter is true, then the Downing Street memos are tantamount to a smoking gun.

Think about it. George Bush and Tony Blair contend that when they went to the UN, they went in order to give Saddam Hussein one last chance to cooperate. Yet, if you follow the troop deployment patterns of both the United States and Great Britain - and the fashion in which both nations were stranding several hundred thousand troops in Qatar and Kuwait, at states of high readiness - the only conclusion that I can draw is that Bush and Blair were planning to go to war regardless of Saddam’s degree of cooperation with the UN inspectors. By going to the UN, Bush and Blair were only looking for political cover.

Et Tu, Ari?

Another White House official possibly facing perjury charges?

Last Monday, Bloomberg News reported that former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer had seen the classified memo thought to be the original source of Valerie Plame’s identity. “On the flight to Africa, Fleischer was seen perusing the State Department memo on Wilson and his wife, according to a former administration official who was also on the trip.

Former CIA Officer Testifies: Rove Leak, Cover-Up 'Increases Risk to Security of American People'!

Former CIA Officer Testifies: Rove Leak, Cover-Up 'Increases Risk to Security of American People'!


Blasts 'Partisan Obfuscation', 'Ruthless Attacks' on Joe Wilson at Joint House/Senate Hearings!
Says 'Politics in This Country Trumps National Security'

Jim Marcinkowski, former CIA case officer, gave some remarkable testimony at today's Joint Democratic House/Senate Hearings on Karl Rove's TreasonGate. He described the leak about Valerie Plame's identity and it's subsequent coverup by the White House as "a disservice to our country," resulting in an "increase in the risk to the people of the United States."...

Rep. Conyers Releases 36-Page Timeline of March to War

Congressman John Conyers has produced a 36-page timeline of the Bush Administration's march to war.
Get it here.

Here is Congressman Conyers' summary.

Colleague of outed agent seeks to 'set the record straight'


Copy of my testimony to be presented on Friday, 22 July 2005 before a joint session of Congressional Democrats. / CORRECTING THE RECORD ON VALERIE PLAME / Larry C. Johnson

I submit this statement to the Congress in an effort to correct a malicious and disingenuous smear campaign that has been executed against a friend and former colleague, Valerie (Plame) Wilson. Neither Valerie, nor her husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson has asked me to do anything on their behalf. I am speaking up because I was raised to stop bullies. In the case of Valerie Plame she is facing a gang of bullies that is being directed by the Republican National Committee.

TreasonGate - What Did Bush Know, And When Did He Know It?

By Thom Hartmann

Political smears by right-wingers are nothing new. In the election of 1800, John Adams had a surrogate newspaper publisher write an article about "Dusky Sally," the half-sister of Thomas Jefferson's deceased wife, who was also one of the Jefferson family slaves. Jefferson succeeded in avoiding the issue, and his friends pointed out that it was merely about his personal life, not national security.
George W. Bush may not be so fortunate.

Today comes the revelation in The Wall Street Journal that "A key department memo discussing Joseph Wilson's Niger trip was classified 'Top Secret,' and the passage about his wife's CIA role was specially marked 'S/NF' -- not to be shared with any foreign intelligence agencies."

Rove, Libby Accounts In Plame Case Differ From Reporters

Rove, Libby Accounts on Plame Differ With Reporters' (Update2)
July 22 (Bloomberg) -- Two top White House aides have given accounts to a special prosecutor about how reporters first told them the identity of a CIA agent that are at odds with what the reporters have said, according to people familiar with the case.

Lewis ``Scooter'' Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, told special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald that he first learned from NBC News reporter Tim Russert of the identity of Central Intelligence Agency operative Valerie Plame, the wife of former ambassador and Bush administration critic Joseph Wilson, one person said. Russert has testified before Fitzgerald that he didn't tell Libby of Plame's identity, the person said.

All in One Book

The Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation has published a booklet containing all the Downing Street Documents, all the legal advice, the resignation letter of Elizabeth Wilmshurst, the UK Foreign Office Legal Adviser who resigned, and the Conyers letter to Bush. It is called The Dodgiest Dossier.
Get it here.

A catalogue of warnings

New Statesman Monday, July 25, 2005

Terror and the UK - Blair was told about Muslim rage not just by his critics, but by some of his closest advisers, writes Michael Smith


Tony Blair has been at his most contemptuous when dismissing the idea that the bombers might have been angry about Iraq, Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo. "Their cause is not founded on an injustice," he declared. "It is founded on a belief, one whose fanaticism is such that it can't be moderated. It can't be remedied. It has to be stood up to."

The trouble is that in the minds of those four young men their cause almost certainly was founded on injustice. Nor can this be any surprise to the government, for it was warned many times, officially and unofficially, on the record and off. Even at the heart of the security establishment people are well aware of this.

Plame's Identity Marked As Secret

Memo Central to Probe Of Leak Was Written By State Dept. Analyst
By Walter Pincus and Jim VandeHei
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, July 21, 2005; A01

A classified State Department memorandum central to a federal leak investigation contained information about CIA officer Valerie Plame in a paragraph marked "(S)" for secret, a clear indication that any Bush administration official who read it should have been aware the information was classified, according to current and former government officials.

Plame -- who is referred to by her married name, Valerie Wilson, in the memo -- is mentioned in the second paragraph of the three-page document, which was written on June 10, 2003, by an analyst in the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), according to a source who described the memo to The Washington Post.

Cheney And Plame
By Ray McGovern

In yesterday’s essay, Why Plame Matters , we suggested that the White House assault on the reputations of former ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife had much to do with “the particular lie that Wilson exposed,

British Intelligence Cites Iraq War as Cause of Terrorism

New York Times
July 19, 2005
June Report Led Britain to Lower Its Terror Alert

LONDON, July 18 - Less than a month before the London bombings, Britain's top intelligence and law enforcement officials concluded that "at present there is not a group with both the current intent and the capability to attack the U.K.," according to a confidential terror threat assessment report.

The previously undisclosed report was sent to British government agencies, foreign governments and corporations in mid-June, about three weeks before a team of four British suicide bombers mounted their July 7 attack on London's public transportation system.

Waxman: Bush Statement on Rove Conflicts with Executive Order

By Rep. Henry A. Waxman

Monday 18 July 2005

Dear Mr. President:

In June 2004, you said that you would fire anyone found to be involved in the disclosure of Valerie Wilson's identity as a covert CIA agent. [1] Today, you significantly changed your position, stating that you would remove Karl Rove or other White House officials involved in the security breach only "if someone committed a crime." [2]

Your new standard is not consistent with your obligations to enforce Executive Order 12958, which governs the protection of national security secrets. The executive order states: "Officers and employees of the United States Government ... shall be subject to appropriate sanctions if they knowingly, willfully, or negligently ... disclose to unauthorized persons information properly classified." [3] Under the executive order, the available sanctions include "reprimand, suspension without pay, removal, termination of classification authority, loss or denial of access to classified information, or other sanctions." [4]

Raw acquires copy of letter from British ambassador in lead-up to war

Raw acquires copy of letter from British ambassador in lead-up to war: 'Need to wrongfoot Saddam'
Larisa Alexandrovna and John Byrne

RAW STORY has acquired a copy of the Mar. 18, 2002 letter dispatched from then-British ambassador to the United States Sir Christopher Meyer to Tony Blair's chief foreign policy advisor, David Manning.

The release comes just before the third anniversary of the Downing Street minutes. The minutes documented a high-level meeting between the Blair and Bush governments, at which the director of British intelligence declared 'the facts were being fixed around the policy' before either nation sought approval for war.

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