Friday, June 06, 2008

Senate's Slow Learners Speak Out

A duped Bush Administration lied us into Iraq and, with the help of comparable Middle East con men, has been drumming up a war with Iran, the Senate Intelligence Committee disclosed yesterday in two reports, several years after anyone who has been paying attention knew all about it.

One, 170 pages long, accuses the President and Vice President Cheney of "repeatedly overstating the Iraqi threat in the emotional aftermath" of 9/11.

According to Committee Chairman Sen. Jay Rockefeller, “The president and his advisers undertook a relentless public campaign in the aftermath of the attacks to use the war against Al Qaeda as a justification for overthrowing Saddam Hussein.”

Much of it, as we have known for years, was based on information provided by Ahmad Chalabi, touted by Neo-Cons as the “George Washington of Iraq,” a fugitive from Jordan convicted of bank fraud, who fed the Pentagon intelligence on Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction and ties to Al Qaeda for which we paid $33 million over four years, none of which turned out to be true.

The second Senate report details the work of his Iranian counterpart. In December 2001, Douglas Feith sent two Pentagon employees to Rome meetings with Manucher Ghorbanifar, a middleman already dismissed by the CIA as untrustworthy, who outlined his plan for a change of government in Iran on a napkin.

The plan was pursued through at least May 2003, the report says, with requests for a $7 million loan, money for secret intelligence activity and an Iranian media outlet in Southern California in return for promised photos of suspected terrorists inside Iran and locations of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction that purportedly had been moved there.

Ghorbanifar turned out to be as reliable as Chalabi, but Feith (described by Gen. Tommy Franks as "the dumbest effing guy on the planet") and other Pentagon Neo-Cons kept feeding his "intelligence" to the White House without telling the CIA, which might have refuted it.

It's good to have the Senate Intelligence Committee putting all this Keystone Kops stuff on the record, however belatedly, although only two Republican members signed on to the reports with the others deeming them a waste of time but failing to comment on the stupidity and duplicity that led to waste of lives and billions of dollars.

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