Saturday 10 May 2003

Selective Intelligence

Possibly one of the last REAL American journalists. Unlike most of his corrupt sycophantic brethren Mr Hersh is a credit to his Nation.

Have you noticed that the term "conspiracy theorist" is becoming the same as the term "anti-semite". It's a label that babykilling politicians and ignorant media shrills can use to dismiss criticism, if you criticise Israel, you're an "anti-semite" and if you think Bush had prior knowledge of 911 you're a "conspiracy theorist". At no point do the people involved ever answer the charges, they think they can ignore them because they can badge the originator as someone unreliable and thus conveniently side-step the real issue. To this date there has still been no full public enquiry into the events of 911, why the hell not? Surely any sane society would want a full and frank investigation into the undoubted failures of the intelligence and other government services?!? Instead, the US government has continually obstructed any investigations, why? There can be only two reasons; firstly, they could be hiding incompetance which is certainly believable but still inconsistent with the sheer size an number of people who must have been involved. The second and arguably more sinister reason points towards criminal complicity in the WTC attacks. The first would mean that Bush would simply not get re-elected, the second would most likely see him in jail, or worse... No-matter the lies and the evasions the evidence speaks for itself and people realise that something is wrong even if they don't know what it is, how many people do you know who really think that Oswald assasinated Kennedy on his own? I think the same is true of 911, at least to any semi-objective observer anyway!

by Seymour M. Hersh

They call themselves, self-mockingly, the Cabal—a small cluster of policy advisers and analysts now based in the Pentagon’s Office of Special Plans. In the past year, according to former and present Bush Administration officials, their operation, which was conceived by Paul Wolfowitz, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, has brought about a crucial change of direction in the American intelligence community. These advisers and analysts, who began their work in the days after September 11, 2001, have produced a skein of intelligence reviews that have helped to shape public opinion and American policy toward Iraq. They relied on data gathered by other intelligence agencies and also on information provided by the Iraqi National Congress, or I.N.C., the exile group headed by Ahmad Chalabi. By last fall, the operation rivalled both the C.I.A. and the Pentagon’s own Defense Intelligence Agency, the D.I.A., as President Bush’s main source of intelligence regarding Iraq’s possible possession of weapons of mass destruction and connection with Al Qaeda. As of last week, no such weapons had been found. And although many people, within the Administration and outside it, profess confidence that something will turn up, the integrity of much of that intelligence is now in question.

The director of the Special Plans operation is Abram Shulsky, a scholarly expert in the works of the political philosopher Leo Strauss. Shulsky has been quietly working on intelligence and foreign-policy issues for three decades; he was on the staff of the Senate Intelligence Com-mittee in the early nineteen-eighties and served in the Pentagon under Assistant Secretary of Defense Richard Perle during the Reagan Administration, after which he joined the Rand Corporation. The Office of Special Plans is overseen by Under-Secretary of Defense William Luti, a retired Navy captain. Luti was an early advocate of military action against Iraq, and, as the Administration moved toward war and policymaking power shifted toward the civilians in the Pentagon, he took on increasingly important responsibilities.

W. Patrick Lang, the former chief of Middle East intelligence at the D.I.A., said, “The Pentagon has banded together to dominate the government’s foreign policy, and they’ve pulled it off. They’re running Chalabi. The D.I.A. has been intimidated and beaten to a pulp. And there’s no guts at all in the C.I.A.”

The hostility goes both ways. A Pentagon official who works for Luti told me, “I did a job when the intelligence community wasn’t doing theirs. We recognized the fact that they hadn’t done the analysis. We were providing information to Wolfowitz that he hadn’t seen before. The intelligence community is still looking for a mission like they had in the Cold War, when they spoon-fed the policymakers.”

A Pentagon adviser who has worked with Special Plans dismissed any criticism of the operation as little more than bureaucratic whining. “Shulsky and Luti won the policy debate,” the adviser said. “They beat ’em—they cleaned up against State and the C.I.A. There’s no mystery why they won—because they were more effective in making their argument. Luti is smarter than the opposition. Wolfowitz is smarter. They out-argued them. It was a fair fight. They persuaded the President of the need to make a new security policy. Those who lose are so good at trying to undercut those who won.” He added, “I’d love to be the historian who writes the story of how this small group of eight or nine people made the case and won.”

Full story...