Guest blogged by Winter Patriot
Our friends at The RAW STORY have recently posted a very detailed article by British journalist Michael Smith tracing the manipulation of intelligence leading to the false claims on which the war against Iraq was supposedly "justified".
Here's a sample:
This was a bit of a problem for the CIA, and in particular CIA director George Tenet. The CIA's 2001 annual assessment of 'worldwide threats' had played down any immediate threat from Iraq while the Agency had repeatedly dismissed the ludicrous idea that Saddam was in league with Osama bin Laden, a claim that was also strenuously denied in private by British intelligence officials.
By early 2002, US media reported the CIA had come under intense political pressure to back up the neo-cons' claims on Iraq with Rumsfeld's Pentagon even setting up an office of special plans which looked back through all the previous intelligence, hyping up any reports linking al-Qa'eda with Iraq in order to prove the CIA wrong.
Meanwhile, Dick Cheney took to visiting CIA headquarters in Langley and discussing the threat from Iraq with analysts. According to former CIA officials, the visits created a "chill factor" among those working on Iraq. There was "a kind of radical pressure" throughout 2002 and on into 2003, one said.
It's not light reading, but if you are seriously interested in learning about what happened, and why it happened, it's essential; I urge you to read entire article: Exclusive: Downing Street reporter dissects pre-war Iraq intelligence