The forgery appeared as a follow-up to the now infamous "Feith Memo," a 16-page "top secret" intelligence document "leaked" to the Weekly Standard purportedly detailing evidence of Saddam's complicity with terrorist activities perpetrated by al Qaeda.
Feith's notorious allegations, produced by the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans, were summarized and published in the Weekly Standard in an equally notorious article, "Case Closed" that served to prop-up the latest casus belli in a string of lies, including the "Niger Yellowcake Forgery," that were aggressively exploited by Vice President Richard Cheney in order to promote what has now turned into the Administration's regional war in the Middle East.
When it all folds together, the unavoidable conclusion -- that Congress nevertheless persists in avoiding -- is that the Bush/Cheney Administration is guilty of war crimes of the highest order.
Book Says White House Ordered ForgeryAs we discussed above, this was apparently all part of an organized effort to provide false intelligence linking Saddam Hussein with al-Qaeda and Osama ben Laden. The centerpiece of the scam was the infamous "leak" of a "top secret" memo written by Douglas Feith, the neoconservative head of the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans, a classical piece of agitprop now known as "The Feith Memo."
By MIKE ALLEN | 8/4/08 11:23 PM ESTA new book by the author Ron Suskind claims that the White House ordered the CIA to forge a back-dated, handwritten letter from the head of Iraqi intelligence to Saddam Hussein.
Suskind writes in “The Way of the World,” to be published Tuesday, that the alleged forgery – adamantly denied by the White House – was designed to portray a false link between Hussein’s regime and al Qaeda as a justification for the Iraq war.
The author also claims that the Bush administration had information from a top Iraqi intelligence official “that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq – intelligence they received in plenty of time to stop an invasion.”
The letter’s existence has been reported before, and it had been written about as if it were genuine. It was passed in Baghdad to a reporter for The (London) Sunday Telegraph who wrote about it on the front page of Dec. 14, 2003, under the headline, “Terrorist behind September 11 strike ‘was trained by Saddam.’”
The Telegraph story by Con Coughlin (which, coincidentally, ran the day Hussein was captured in his “spider hole”) was touted in the U.S. media by supporters of the war, and he was interviewed on NBC's "Meet the Press."
"Over the next few days, the Habbush letter continued to be featured prominently in the United States and across the globe," Suskind writes. "Fox's Bill O'Reilly trumpeted the story Sunday night on 'The O'Reilly Factor,' talking breathlessly about details of the story and exhorting, 'Now, if this is true, that blows the lid off al Qaeda—Saddam.'" According to Suskind, the administration had been in contact with the director of the Iraqi intelligence service in the last years of Hussein’s regime, Tahir Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti.
“The White House had concocted a fake letter from Habbush to Saddam, backdated to July 1, 2001,” Suskind writes. “It said that 9/11 ringleader Mohammad Atta had actually trained for his mission in Iraq – thus showing, finally, that there was an operational link between Saddam and al Qaeda, something the Vice President’s Office had been pressing CIA to prove since 9/11 as a justification to invade Iraq. There is no link.”
Miraculously, as they say, the Feith Memo fell into the hands of none other than the Weekly Standard, the bastion of neoconservative journals founded by William Kristol, and was reported in an article entitled "Case Closed," by the Standard's Stephen F. Hayes.
The 16-page memo detailed years of so-called attempts to coordinate terrorist activities between Iraq and al-Qaeda, intelligence that now has been proved false and made up from whole cloth.
Richard Cheney then began to give personal interviews promoting the most recent "evidence" of Iraq and al Qaeda complicity in planning terrorist operations, "evidence" that was completely contrived as ordered up by him personally. Here is one example:
In today's [1/27/04] Washington Post, Dana Milbank reported that "Vice President Cheney . . . in an interview this month with the Rocky Mountain News, recommended as the 'best source of information' an article in The Weekly Standard magazine detailing a relationship between Hussein and al Qaeda based on leaked classified information." [cf. Weekly Standard, "Case Closed", by Stephen F. Hayes; Editor's Note of 01/27/04.]Only a few weeks later, the hoopla that followed the Feith Memo was capped by the forged letter from the Iraqi chief of intelligence to Saddam Hussein, the missive now under examination by Ron Suskind. Despite confrontation from the media's left-bank, Cheney continued for months in the controlled mainstream media to arrogantly promote the very lies that had been discredited by the independent press. It was all a can of pork and beans.