Pentagon probe fills in blanks on Iraq war groundwork

We all know that there was no connection between Hussein and Al Qaeda. But now we know exactly where that rhetoric came from…

“Just four months after the Sept. 11 attacks, then-Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz dashed off a memo to a senior Pentagon colleague, demanding action to identify connections between Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s regime and Al Qaeda.

“We don’t seem to be making much progress pulling together intelligence on links between Iraq and Al Qaeda,” Wolfowitz wrote in the Jan. 22, 2002, memo to Douglas J. Feith, the department’s No. 3 official.”

“Using Pentagon jargon for the secretary of Defense, Donald H. Rumsfeld, he added: “We owe SecDef some analysis of this subject. Please give me a recommendation on how best to proceed. Appreciate the short turn-around.

“Wolfowitz’s memo, released Thursday, is included in a recently declassified report by the Pentagon’s inspector general. The memo marked the beginnings of what would become a controversial yearlong Pentagon project supervised by Feith to convince the most senior members of the Bush administration that Hussein and Al Qaeda were linked – a conclusion that was hotly disputed by U.S. intelligence agencies at the time and has been discredited in the years since.” – From the Los Angeles Times

More here.

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DOUGLAS J. FEITH, architect of rhetoric. Many of the activities of the intelligence unit Feith headed are now well known. But the release of the full inspector general’s report provided more detail about how a group of Pentagon officials and on-loan intelligence analysts were able to shunt aside contradictory reports and convince top administration officials that they had powerful evidence of the connections between Hussein’s regime and Al Qaeda.

Posted on by Joshua Dysart Posted in Journal, News & Politics

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