Archive for the 'Forgery' Category

Conyers Questions Iraq ‘Forgery’

Jason Leopold | The Public Record | August 22, 2008

House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers has asked current and former White House aides and ex-CIA officials to respond to questions about an alleged scheme to create a bogus letter in late 2003 linking Saddam Hussein to al-Qaeda.

In sending the interview requests Wednesday, Conyers is following up on a disputed story in journalist Ron Suskind’s new book, The Way of the World: A Story of Truth and Hope in an Age of Extremism, which includes an account of how the mysterious letter originated.

The book cites statements from former CIA associate deputy director of operations Rob Richer and John Maguire, the former chief of the CIA’s Iraq Operations Group/Near East Division, as indicating that the White House ordered the CIA to produce the bogus letter to retroactively justify the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

Richer and Maguire gave Suskind on-the-record interviews, which the author recorded, discussing the reasons the letter was created and saying that it likely emanated from Vice President Dick Cheney’s office. Both men have since recanted their statements.

Conyers, who has held periodic hearings on abuses of power by George W. Bush’s administration, sent letters to former CIA Director George Tenet; the CIA’s former executive director A.B. “Buzzy” Krongard; Cheney’s former chief of staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby; and John Hannah, another Cheney assistant – as well as to Richer and Maguire.

“I am writing to follow up on recent serious allegations regarding the creation of a false letter from Tahir Jalil Habbush, Saddam Hussein’s former Chief of Intelligence, to Saddam Hussein,” Conyers said.

“The letter, which was allegedly backdated to July 1, 2001, attempted to establish an operational link between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein in the period before the 9/11 attacks by specifically stating that 9/11 ringleader Mohammed Atta had received training in Iraq.

“At the time of the alleged decision in 2003 to concoct the false letter, the Vice President’s Office had been reportedly pressuring the CIA to prove this connection as a justification to invade Iraq. The letter also falsely noted that Iraq had received a ‘shipment’ (presumably uranium) from Niger with the assistance of al-Qaeda.

“Upon careful review of the allegations concerning this matter, I have become very concerned with the possibility that this administration may have violated federal law by using the resources of our intelligence agencies to influence domestic policy processes or opinion.

“The law specifically provides that ‘no covert action may be conducted which is intended to influence United States political processes, public opinion, policies, or media.’”

Suskind wrote in his book that such a violation might constitute an “impeachable offense.”

Continue reading ‘Conyers Questions Iraq ‘Forgery’’

White House ‘buried British intelligence on Iraq WMDs’

Times | August 6, 2008

Tony Blair and George Bush both saw intelligence contradicting the rationale for invading Iraq, a new book claims

Tim Reid in Washington and Sam Coates in London

MI6 told Tony Blair before the invasion of Iraq that a high-placed Iraqi source said that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction. The intelligence was passed to the US but was buried by the White House, according to a new book.

The book claimed that the former Prime Minister sent a top British spy to the Middle East in 2003 — three months before the invasion — to dig up enough intelligence to avoid war but that President Bush and Dick Cheney, the Vice-President, dismissed any claims or possible evidence that would stop military action.

In The Way of the World, the Pulitzer prize-winning author Ron Suskind also claimed that the White House ordered the CIA to forge a backdated, handwritten letter purportedly from the head of Iraqi Intelligence to Saddam. The letter, which came to light nine months after the invasion, was meant to demonstrate a link between the Baathist regime and al-Qaeda.

The forgery, adamantly denied by the White House, was passed to a British journalist in Baghdad and written about as if genuine by The Sunday Telegraph on December 14, 2003. The article received significant attention in the US and provided the White House with a new rationale for the invasion, Suskind claimed. The White House called the allegation absurd. Continue reading ‘White House ‘buried British intelligence on Iraq WMDs’’

Ron Suskind Says White House Forged Iraq-Al Qaeda Letter

What the Iraq Forgery Says About 9/11

George Washington’s Blog | Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Bestselling journalist Ron Suskind has revealed that the White House ordered the CIA to forge and backdate a document falsely linking Iraq with Muslim terrorists and 9/11 . . . and that the CIA complied with those instructions and in fact created the forgery, which was then used to justify war against Iraq.

Suskind also revealed that “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.’ ”

This is a stunning revelation in its own right. But what does it say about the government’s claims that 9/11 was an attack by Muslim extremists which the U.S. government could not have anticipated?

Continue reading ‘What the Iraq Forgery Says About 9/11′

White House Fabricated Iraq Intelligence, Book Alleges

By MIKE ALLEN | 8/4/08 11:23 PM EST

A 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.” Continue reading ‘White House Fabricated Iraq Intelligence, Book Alleges’


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