Dick Cheney, Torture, Iraq, and Valerie Plame

I’ve been reluctant to embrace suggestions that torture, Iraq, and Valerie Plame were all going to coalesce into one linked story. After all, it would be too easy for me, of all people, to argue these stories were linked. But I increasingly suspect they are.

First, let me pull together some data points.

Nancy Pelosi and Bob Graham are linking the non-briefings on torture with the Iraq NIE

Now that they are explicitly stating that CIA lied in its September briefings on torture, Nancy Pelosi and Bob Graham are also both linking those lies with the lies they were telling–at precisely the same time–in the Iraq NIE. Here’s Pelosi:

Of all the briefings that I have received at this same time, earlier, they were misinforming the American people there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and it was an imminent threat to the United States. I, to the limit of what I could say to my caucus, told them, the intelligence does not support the imminent threat that this Administration is contending. Whether it’s on the subject of what’s happening in Iraq, whether it’s on the subject of techniques used by the intelligence community on those they are interrogating, every step of the way, the Administration was misleading the Congress.

And that is the issue. And that is why we need a truth commission.

And here’s Graham:

Yes, they’re obligated to tell the full Intelligence Committee, not just the leadership. This was the same time within the same week, in fact, that the CIA was submitting its National Intelligence Estimate on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq which proves so erroneous that we went to war, have had thousands of persons killed and injured as a result of misinformation.

Now, it’s quite possible Graham and Pelosi are tying these two lies together just to remind reporters how unreliable the CIA is. Perhaps they’re doing it to remind reporters of how they got burned leading into the Iraq War, trusting the spin of the Administration.

But perhaps they’re trying to say there’s a direct connection, an explicit one, between the NIE and torture. We know Ibn Sheikh al-Libi’s claims appeared in there. Did anything that came out of Abu Zubaydah’s interrogation? Or Ramzi bin al-Shibh? 

Did CIA not reveal they were torturing detainees to dodge any question about the accuracy of claims about Iraq intelligence?

The proposal to waterboard Muhammed Khudayr al-Dulaymi

Then there’s not just the revelation, by Charles Duelfer, but the timing he describes of OVP proposals to waterboard Muhammed Khudayr al-Dulaymi, a Mukhabarat officer. He says Dick Cheney’s office proposed waterboarding the officer in late April to May 2003.

At the end of April 2003, not long after the fall of Baghdad, U.S. forces captured an Iraqi who Bush White House officials suspected might provide information of a relationship between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein’s regime. Muhammed Khudayr al-Dulaymi was the head of the M-14 section of Mukhabarat, one of Saddam’s secret police organizations. His responsibilities included chemical weapons and contacts with terrorist groups.

[snip]

Duelfer says he heard from “some in Washington at very senior levels (not in the CIA),” who thought Khudayr’s interrogation had been “too gentle” and suggested another route, one that they believed has proven effective elsewhere. “They asked if enhanced measures, such as waterboarding, should be used,” Duelfer writes. “The executive authorities addressing those measures made clear that such techniques could legally be applied only to terrorism cases, and our debriefings were not as yet terrorism-related. The debriefings were just debriefings, even for this creature.”

Duelfer will not disclose who in Washington had proposed the use of waterboarding, saying only: “The language I can use is what has been cleared.” In fact, two senior U.S. intelligence officials at the time tell The Daily Beast that the suggestion to waterboard came from the Office of Vice President Cheney.

[snip]

“Everyone knew there would be more smiles in Washington if WMD stocks were found,” Duelfer said in the interview. “My only obligation was to find the truth. It would be interesting if there was WMD in May 2003, but what was more interesting to me was looking at the entire regime through the slice of WMD.”

But, Duelfer says, Khudayr in fact repeatedly denied knowing the location of WMD or links between Saddam’s regime and al Qaeda and was not subjected to any enhanced interrogation. Duelfer says the idea that he would have known of such links was “ludicrous".

Cheney’s office was proposing the waterboarding of a Mukhabarat officer in April to May 2003. That’s significant because Cheney wouldn’t have had to work through the chain of command in the least to propose waterboarding this guy. He had a representative on the ground in Baghdad, closely involved in intelligence collection: Harold Rhode. (Those who know my work well will be smiling at this timing, but for now, I’ll have to leave my treatment of Rhode and Kudhayr at that.)

Dougie Feith has said his DOD intell office helped formulate policy on detainees

As I reported last week, when asked specifically about how his little intelligence shop at DOD helped formulate policy, Feith described three ways:

  • DoD response to the presence in Iraq of the al-Qaida affiliated Ansar al-Islam terrorist group.
  • DoD response to the presence in Iraq of al-Qaida operative Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his CB W network.
  • Helping to formulate requirements for the debriefings of al-Qaida fighters detained at Guantanamo and Bagram.

Granted, Khudayr was not held at Gitmo or Bagram, nor did he have ties (AFAIK) to Ansar al-Islam or Zarqawi.

But Harold Rhode–who at the time OVP suggested Khudayr be waterboarded was in Baghdad–was Feith’s deputy and tied to his intelligence shop. If Feith was involved in "formulating requirements for the debriefings of detainees" in Iraq at all, Rhode would have been the one on the scene to implement that policy.

Dick Cheney outed Valerie Plame because of Joe–but also because of pushback at CIA

There were two factors that led Dick Cheney and Scooter Libby–on the orders or George Bush–to target the Wilsons starting on June 9, 2003. The first was a series of articles–several of them written by Walter Pincus–describing doubts at CIA about Iraq intelligence.

On May 29, Pincus reported with Karen DeYoung, "US Hedges on Finding Iraqi Weapons." It included a statement from Paul Wolfowitz (Feith’s boss) that revealed a difference of opinion over things like Iraqi ties to Al Qaeda. 

Looking back at the spotlight the administration cast on the weapons issue in building its case for war, Wolfowitz said, "There was no oversell." But he acknowledged yesterday that there "had been a tendency to emphasize the WMD [weapons of mass destruction] issue" as the primary justification for war because of differences of opinion within the administration over the strength of other charges against the Iraqi government, including its alleged ties to al Qaeda.

On May 31, Pincus had a scathing A1 article, "Tenet Defends Iraq Intelligence."

CIA Director George J. Tenet took the unusual step yesterday of publicly defending the agency’s intelligence on Iraq’s possession of chemical and biological weapons, amid growing criticism that the Bush administration exaggerated what it knew about Iraqi weapons programs to advance the case for going to war.

The article revealed the three complaints to the CIA Ombud about politicized intelligence. 

Three complaints have been filed with the CIA ombudsman about the administration’s possible politicization of intelligence on Iraq, an intelligence official said. He would not describe the substance of the complaints.

One senior administration official said CIA analysts have complained they felt pressured by administration policymakers who questioned them before the war about their assessment of Iraq’s arms programs.

It reported the first salvo from VIPS–the group of intelligence professional condemning the politicization of intelligence.

Tenet’s statement came in response to the release on Thursday of a "memorandum" to President Bush posted on several Internet sites by a group of retired CIA and State Department intelligence analysts. The analysts said there is "growing mistrust and cynicism" among intelligence professionals over "intelligence cited by you and your chief advisers to justify the war against Iraq."

The group, which calls itself Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, said the failure to find weapons of mass destruction after six weeks of searching "suggests either that such weapons are simply not there or that those eventually found there will not be in sufficient quantity or capability to support your repeated claim that Iraq posed a grave threat to our country’s security."

It targeted Feith’s little intelligence shop and claims about ties to al Qaeda. 

But opponents of the war — some from inside the government, others from outside — expressed concern that the administration failed to make its case about Iraq’s weapons programs, as well as the country’s alleged ties to al Qaeda. Opponents focused much of their criticism on a Pentagon intelligence analysis unit established last year by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz, who was among the administration’s most prominent advocates for invading Iraq.

And it repeated the reports of Cheney’s (and Libby’s) visits to CIA prior to the war.

A senior administration official said that during the run-up to the war, the CIA’s Iraq analysts had been questioned by administration policymakers, including Cheney. But the official added, "There is nothing wrong with them sitting down with analysts and asking them questions about how they know this or that."

Over the past year, Cheney has made "multiple trips to the CIA on many different subjects, including several times on Iraq," Cathie Martin, a Cheney spokeswoman, confirmed yesterday.

Thus, the story brought together Cheney’s personal involvement, false claims about WMD and al Qaeda, and Dougie Feith’s role, as well as portraying a range of current and former intelligence officials directly attacking the politicization of intelligence.

A June 5 Pincus article, which evidence submitted at the Libby trial makes clear was a big deal within OVP, expands the report on pressure from Cheney and Libby.

Vice President Cheney and his most senior aide made multiple trips to the CIA over the past year to question analysts studying Iraq’s weapons programs and alleged links to al Qaeda, creating an environment in which some analysts felt they were being pressured to make their assessments fit with the Bush administration’s policy objectives, according to senior intelligence officials.

With Cheney taking the lead in the administration last August in advocating military action against Iraq by claiming it had weapons of mass destruction, the visits by the vice president and his chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, "sent signals, intended or otherwise, that a certain output was desired from here," one senior agency official said yesterday.

It also focused on Feith’s shop.

In a signal of administration concern over the controversy, two senior Pentagon officials yesterday held a news conference to challenge allegations that they pressured the CIA or other agencies to slant intelligence for political reasons. "I know of no pressure," said Douglas J. Feith, undersecretary for policy. "I know of nobody who pressured anybody."

Feith said a special Pentagon office to analyze intelligence in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks did not necessarily focus on Iraq but came up with "some interesting observations about the linkages between Iraq and al Qaeda."

Officials in the intelligence community and on Capitol Hill, however, have described the office as an alternative source of intelligence analysis that helped the administration make its case that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein posed an imminent threat.

On June 7, Pincus and Dana Priest reported discrepancies between what analysts concluded and what Bush and Cheney said publicly.

During the weeks last fall before critical votes in Congress and the United Nations on going to war in Iraq, senior administration officials, including President Bush, expressed certainty in public that Iraq possessed chemical and biological weapons, even though U.S. intelligence agencies were reporting they had no direct evidence that such weapons existed.

In an example of the tenor of the administration’s statements at the time, the president said in the Rose Garden on Sept. 26 that "the Iraqi regime possesses biological and chemical weapons. The Iraqi regime is building the facilities necessary to make more biological and chemical weapons."

But a Defense Intelligence Agency report on chemical weapons, widely distributed to administration policymakers around the time of the president’s speech, stated there was "no reliable information on whether Iraq is producing or stockpiling chemical weapons or whether Iraq has or will establish its chemical agent production facilities."

On June 8, Condi Rice appeared on George Stephanopolous’ show; he asked her extensively about the case for war and brought up Wilson’s accusation from the Kristof article. The very next morning, after Bush told Libby he was concerned about the Kristof allegations, Libby and John Hannah and Dick Cheney started madly collecting oppo research on Joe Wilson. By the end of the week, Cheney was trying to launder Valerie’s identity through Robert Grenier’s office so it would go into a Pincus article. So when, on June 12, Pincus reiterated Wilson’s charges anew and not long after Spencer and friends repeated it, Cheney and Libby started leaking Plame’s identity directly to Judy Miller.

When asked about these articles during his grand jury appearance a year later, incidentally, Scooter Libby still remembered them and their content.

The point is, it was never just Valerie and Joe. Dick Cheney outed Valerie Wilson because of a sense that a large number of intelligence professionals were about to reveal just how fraudulent the case for war had been, with a special focus on his own pressure of intelligence professionals and Dougie Feith’s little intelligence shop. 

And we know that Cheney’s office was already trying to get out of that fix by torturing people. We don’t know what was happening with Gitmo interrogations at this time, nor what questions the torturers were asking Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. But Duelfer’s revelations make it clear that Cheney’s office had already, frantically, been trying to torture some kind of validation for his claims for war out of boh Iraqi and al Qaeda detainees.

Wilson’s recent comments tying everything together

Which brings us to a piece Joe Wilson wrote several weeks ago, after Jonathan Landay reported that Cheney and Rummy had ordered torture to find ties between Iraq and al Qaeda. Wilson alluded to that report.

We have also learned that a principal reason for having tortured senior al Qaeda detainees was not, in fact, to defend the Homeland, but rather to build the case for war with Iraq based on alleged ties between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. Despite literally hundreds of waterboarding sessions, there was no evidence developed that such a link existed. But that did not stop Cheney. He and others in the Bush administration simply asserted a link even though they knew one did not exist.

And then tied all of these things together.

The disinformation campaign to manipulate public opinion in favor of the invasion, the torture program, and the illegal exposure of a clandestine CIA agent—my wife, Valerie Plame Wilson—were linked events. In their desperate effort to gather material to whip up public support, Cheney and others resorted to torture, well known in the intelligence craft to elicit inherently unreliable information. Cheney & Co. then pressured the CIA to put its stamp of approval on a series of falsehoods—26 of which were inserted into Secretary of State Colin Powell’s speech before the United Nations Security Council. At the same time, Cheney was furiously attempting to suppress the true information that Saddam Hussein was not seeking yellowcake uranium in Niger. After I published the facts in an article in The New York Times in July 2003, Cheney tried to punish me and discredit the truth by directing the outing of a CIA operative who happened to be my wife.

Now, as I said, I still remain skeptical that it’s all as neat as this. It may well be that Joe is pulling all these threads together because Dick Cheney is a secretive power hungry asshole to everyone, and the renewed focus on Cheney gives the Wilsons another opportunity to hit back at Cheney for outing Valerie.

But I’m struck by two things: the insistence on Pelosi’s and Graham’s part that the NIE lies have ties to the torture briefings. And the likelihood that Dick Cheney’s guy in Iraq, Harold Rhode, may have suggested waterboarding an Iraqi to shore up the case for war. 

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

200 replies
  1. SparklestheIguana says:

    It’s always demoralizing when EW can type faster than the rest of us can read…….

    I think I can catch up…I think I can, I think I can…..

  2. LabDancer says:

    Ms e – Don’t you mean July 6 for Condi’s tv show, rather than July 8? I think I read that in a book, Anatomy something.

  3. tanbark says:

    Now that is good stuff, by Graham, by Marcy, for gathering it up.

    If we could get the whole ball of wax out there, the lies that killed maybe a million people who had nothing to do with 9-11 and were no threat to us until we invaded their country based on those lies, then we might make some hay.

    But the problem is, how many democrats went along with it. Either by acquiescing, or actively voting for it. And KEPT going along with it.
    (Pelosi even after the mid-term win, fits the former, at least, very nicely)

    Are we going to have a democratic chorus the size of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing “They fooled us! Let’s get them!” like it was Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”?
    And how many of the democrats who voted for the authorization of the war, want to be reminded of just how bloodily wrong they were? Graham’s accusations make good reading, let’s see how many democrats sign on.

    • GREYDOG says:

      TORTURE IS A WAR CRIME. ANYONE AUTHORIZING IT, DOING IT OR REFUSING TO PROSECUTE IT IS A WAR CRIMINAL.

      Party affiliation makes no difference.

  4. tanbark says:

    Almost forgot:

    One gigantic PSSSSTTT! to Graham and Pelosi, and to everyone.

    It’s still going on. :o(

  5. Mary says:

    I think reading your post with this Koppelman story from today at Salon adds even more flesh.

    That summer (Aug/Sept), not only did Miller go over to GITMO-ize Abu Ghraib, but also to try to GITMO-ize the Iraq Survey Group. So after the ISG turned down Cheney’s request to waterboard, they got a special visit from Miller (who was engaged in authorizing abuse of people at GITMO who the WH had been briefed, by the CIA in 2002, were completely innocent).

    …according to the Senate committee’s report, before Miller met with the Abu Ghraib officials, he first made a little-known visit to the Iraq Survey Group, which was in charge of the hunt for WMDs in Iraq after the invasion.

    Searcy said Miller suggested shackling detainees and forcing them to walk on gravel. Mike Kamin, another ISG official, told committee investigators that Miller recommended temperature manipulation and sleep deprivation.
    Miller also told the ISG’s Maj. Gen. Keith Dayton that Dayton’s unit was “not getting much out of these people,” and complained that the ISG hand not “broken” their detainees psychologically. Miller offered to send along suggested techniques, Dayton recalled, that would “actually break” the prisoners.
    Dayton demurred

    The ISG also had a debriefer threaten to quit if Miller got his way. So basically, Cheney’s ploy of sending in a Gen to make the ISG fold didn’t go so well. But if they had been convinced to torture and Al-Qaeda connection that didn’t exist out of people, who knows how much worse things would be now.

    Oh, and when Miller was done GITMO-izing in Iraq, he went straight bac to the Pentagon, for chichats with Wolfowitz and Cambone.

    EDITED TO ADD – I’m sorry, I think that is a Mark Benjamin story instead. Huge mea culpa – but another good piece by Benjamin

    • phred says:

      Mary, just read the Koppelman/Benjamin story. Wouldn’t you love to get your hands on the email from Miller back to OVP telling them ISG wouldn’t fold? Ah, but those emails were the ones sent in vanishing ink… Funny that.

      • Mary says:

        And think if they had folded. Not as funny, that.

        Then there was Miller, taking the military version of the 5th in the cases of officer’s authorizing use of dogs (where Pappas was given immunity)

        Tieing back to klynn’s comment in an earlier thread, about CACI and Titan and guys who worked for them, in support of the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade (and there has never been anything like the Taguba investigation for MI, despite his statements it was more needed than his MP investigation), being tied in. The 205th ” currently stationed in Germany and Italy in support of V Corps, under the command of Colonel Thomas Pappas

        Pappas was the senior officer present at the death of al-Jamadi and V Corps command was Sanchez’ old gig.

        The wheels keep spinning.

        • klynn says:

          Mary,

          I meant to respond to your earlier comment in the “limb” post. You are correct to focus on Pappas and Sanchez.

  6. rkilowatt says:

    Typo from prior Hoekstra thread.
    2nd para ” direct all elements of the Intelligence Committee” should read Intelligence Community.[see your pdf link] Alters the meaning.

  7. LabDancer says:

    Note the voices ‘pushing back’ against the theme of the Pincus/Priest story of June “4″ [5?]: Fougie Feith and Porter Goss.

    And note also this tidbit: “Cheney privately briefed GOP senators on the weapons intelligence” [emphasis added].

  8. allan says:

    It’s sickening to read Marcy’s incredibly detailed and well-informed journalism
    and then turn on the radio or TV and hear Bond, Boehnor, Gingrich and the rest
    of the American Taliban spout their crap to mindless broadcast personalities.
    I guess NPR chose the wrong week for a fund drive.

  9. reader says:

    Dana Bash reporting new statement from Pelosi ”turning down the volume.” Pelosi wants her notes declassified.

    • dmvdc says:

      Why in the world are Nancy Pelosi’s notes classified?

      Here’s a thought: she should just read them into the Congressional Record.

      Speech or Debate Clause of the Constitution, FTW.

    • emptywheel says:

      Brought to you by AIPAC! Full support of Jane Harman, the suggestion that she might be ousted (in favor of Steny Hoyer, who sent out a piece today that still had the AIPAC file name in it), and probably protecting her own role.

      Oh, did I say I was going to come back to the Harold Rhode stuff? Yes I did, Judy Miller, and that and several other pieces of this story haev your name on it.

  10. reader says:

    Why are they talking about Pelosi and NOT talking about Graham’s report that the CIA timeline is WRONG?

    • Mary says:

      For that matter, why are they talking about Pelosi at all vs the fact that the proof that torturing foreingers kills Americans, al-Libi, has died under odd circumstances just as the torture debate heats up.

      • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

        But I’m struck by two things: the insistence on Pelosi’s and Graham’s part that the NIE lies have ties to the torture briefings. And the likelihood that Dick Cheney’s guy in Iraq, Harold Rhode, may have suggested waterboarding an Iraqi to shore up the case for war.

        I thought that maybe I was spotting this when I compared EW’s Ghorbanifar Timeline with her other timelines, a week or two back. And adding in Landry’s reporting, it started forming a vortex toward this revelation.

        I fear that this cluster of cause/effect will prove to be so deeply, profoundly threatening and terrifying to some in the press (esp at Fox News) that they would rather try to convince us all that Pelosi has sex with rabbits while making confetti during thunderstorms than have to confront the horrific recognition that the people in the very highest offices of this nation sent our economy, military, reputation, and social fabric straight to hell.

        This alignment of events seems to be swirling toward Cheney in almost the same fashion that iron filings move toward a magnet: everything aligns and coheres.

        • Mary says:

          than have to confront the horrific recognition that the people in the very highest offices of this nation sent our economy, military, reputation, and social fabric straight to hell

          and they helped.

          A lot.

        • phred says:

          having sex with rabbits while making confetti during thunderstorms

          LOL, I do not want to know how you put this particular set of activities together, but it’s hilarious however you got there ; )

  11. MsAnnaNOLA says:

    Wow you never fail to amaze. So much was happening at that time. I hope the whole truth comes out sooner rather than later.

  12. reader says:

    How long before the CIA (through anonymous leaks of course) starts to throw Cheney under the bus to keep from being scapegoated for all of this?

  13. bonjonno says:

    It’s a pleasure when you use your large repertoire to connect the dots. Reading you for the last 2 or 3 years has kept me sane.

  14. reader says:

    I agree Mary. Hopefully it will lead to a deeper investigation. If Pelosi is the subject of that investigation so be it. If we go back and look at reditions, so be it. One way or another. The death of al-Libi just as congressional investigators were seeking access is really scary. More and more though it’s clearly systemic so there’s no end of people who know bad things. More is coming out every day. And still it’s really not news, is it.

  15. klynn says:

    Thank you! A snoopy dance by myself and I would imagine, readerOfTeaLeaves. Sorry if we have been a pain as we post snippits of the merged timelines But, the Ghorbanifar and Plame timelines do have interesting intersections.

    • emptywheel says:

      Dang. I was trying to remember exactly who was doing all those Ghorbanifar timelines and I didn’t credit you two. In my zoned brain I confused ROTL and RFL, too.

      Apologies, and yes, thanks.

      And btw, I have a half-finished Ghorbanifar post from way back I need to get back to.

      • JThomason says:

        Yes,I very much would like to be reminded who was thought to have been at the Rome meeting with Ghorbanifar. If I remember correctly Juan Cole has an interesting and relevant take on this.

  16. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    Did CIA not reveal they were torturing detainees to dodge any question about the accuracy of claims about Iraq intelligence?

    And it’s a … it’s a homer!!!!! R-i-ggghht outta the ballpark! Out beyond left field, wayyyyy over the fence… Whoaa…!

    (and now, to continue reading the thread…)

    • rkilowatt says:

      rotl– indeed! thanks for noting. I had missed that. And EW and all–what an awesome thread.

    • klynn says:

      Did CIA not reveal they were torturing detainees to dodge any question about the accuracy of claims about Iraq intelligence?

      Outtah the park and that hit broke the bat!

      BTW, I think “coffee talk” with Helgerson would interesting right now.

  17. maryo2 says:

    IMO – The thing that Cheney has always been hiding is that HE KNEW the Niger documents were forgeries. The deceit was committed from September to December 2001. Everything else after that winter has been to cover up the fact that Cheney KNEW beyond a shadow of doubt that the documents were forgeries.

    Saying the intelligence was faulty or cherry-picked is not the deceit. Cheney did not out Plame and he is not all over tv recently raising hell because he depended on faulty intelligence. He is on tv to keep the discussions focused on 2002 and later.

    • prostratedragon says:

      Yeah, at least, as to timeline. Inspired by the recent news and EW’s energetic example, I’m going back over some old stuff and it looks as if preparations to launder something or other through Niger were laying around for some time. Especially if you don’t buy that the origin of the “documents” themselves wasn’t quite the simple desire of a marginally employed man to get a paycheck.

    • greenbird4751 says:

      “The deceit was committed from September to December 2001.”
      Could you add a few condiments to this hotdog?…
      And, for someone, they were not only forgeries, but commissioned.

    • Civlibertarian says:

      maryo2, I’ve always been interested in the forged Niger documents too. But if Jeff Kaye @ 42 is correct that Dec. 2001 saw the start of the use of torture to make the connection between 9/11 and Iraq, that’s a far bigger coverup and story.

      • prostratedragon says:

        But with things like the Rome group meeting going on at the same time (December 9 in my notes, but around then in any case), seems like a capacious avenue for theory-unifying. Even crude mfs like these are likely to have had some motivation beyond their ungoverned ids for what they did.

  18. dude says:

    Now, if you could just add one more dot (if only to tantalize): that sniveling weasel Addington.

  19. Mary says:

    Did CIA not reveal they were torturing detainees to dodge any question about the accuracy of claims about Iraq intelligence?

    This gets to what I think were the bigger questions relating to Pelosi and all the other congress critters as well – but is also behind why the transferred al-Libi to Egypt to torture IMO. He looked to be early on their best shot at getting what Dick wanted, a guy they could claim was al-Qaeda who would give them an Iraq link. Unfortunately, DIA was right there looking over their shoulder and issuing statements on credibility (like those durn Germans re Curveball). So they can launder the statements by handing him off to Egyptian intel and having all communications go through CIA without any DIA layer.

  20. Mary says:

    OT – Blackwater Xe employees shoot up some Afghan civilians.

    Four U.S. contractors affiliated with the company formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide fired on an approaching civilian vehicle in Kabul earlier this month, wounding at least two Afghan civilians, according to the company and the U.S. military.

    The off-duty contractors were involved in a car accident around 9 p.m. on May 5 and fired on the approaching vehicle they believed to be a threat, according to the U.S. military. At least some of the men, who were former military personnel, had been drinking alcohol that evening, according to a person familiar with the incident. Off-duty contractors aren’t supposed to carry weapons or drink alcohol.

  21. phred says:

    Thanks for the excellent post EW. There are so many points of discussion, but my favorite bit is this, the Wolfowitz quote in the May 29, 2003 Pincus article:

    But he acknowledged yesterday that there “had been a tendency to emphasize the WMD [weapons of mass destruction] issue” as the primary justification for war because of differences of opinion within the administration over the strength of other charges against the Iraqi government, including its alleged ties to al Qaeda.

    The two key arguments specifically cited by Wolfowitz, WMD and AQ-Iraq links, were both false. They had nothin’ and they knew it. The other bit I liked was from the June 5th Pincus article…

    With Cheney taking the lead in the administration last August in advocating military action against Iraq by claiming it had weapons of mass destruction

    That’s August 2002, the month AZ spent underwater. Sometimes coincidences are coincidences. Sometimes they’re not.

  22. skdadl says:

    On July 8, Condi Rice appeared on George Stephanopolous’ show;

    EW, isn’t that June 8? You’re the expert, but the chronology otherwise has me baffled.

  23. rkilowatt says:

    1.”…Cheney and Libby started leaking Plame’s identity directly to Judy Miller.” If Judy is a CIA asset, that sure put her in an awkward position. She surely is somone’s asset.

    2. I did not know of Wilson’s richly sensible, recent article. “Despite literally hundreds of waterboarding sessions, there was no evidence…” is perhaps better stated as [credible] evidence.

    3.”…Cheney tried to punish me and discredit the truth by directing the outing of a CIA operative who happened to be my wife.” Well ok, but the entire Brewster-Jennings covert op was outed [altho MGrossman allegedly had already outed the op to Turkish contacts, per SEdmonds.].

    So “…skeptical that it’s all as neat as this.” invites a silly supposition that B-J work to elicit ME oil producton data was ultimate target. All producers’ production, depletion and well geology is fairly known except the giant SArabian fields [like Ghawar], which are deliberately obscured and Iraq. Any manipulation of a Black Swan scenario like PeakOil would have to be very secret and B-J ops seen as a critical threat. Maybe Cheney would not want CIA/B-J to find out what he and others were planning? Just idle spec, sorry to distract.

    • Rayne says:

      It’s all connected; I know at one time I suggested the timelines would collapse.

      The Energy Task Force documents outline the real reason for the Iraq War; Cheney did everything possible to obstruct our seeing them.

      Brewster-Jennings, covering energy intelligence across the Middle East, would already know the contents of those documents although by their own parallel gathering of intelligence and analysis.

      Enron collapsed in December 2001, filing for bankruptcy on the 2nd of the month; the artificial inflation of the energy market would be replaced by the volatility due to political tension in the run-up to war. But there had to be a casus belli to inject this new tension into the market, and soon or the market for energy could plummet.

      There are many more links between the different timelines which at one point appeared to be separate stories. But as long as Bush and Cheney were involved, they were definitely entwined.

      • susiedow says:

        Something to maybe add to the list.

        In the lead up to the war, Pete Domenici then sitting on the Energy Committee, was on the Imus show – his comments were picked up and quoted on The Note. He said the war in Iraq was “about oil and Israel.” When Imus asked why no one else was saying that, Domenici said he didn’t know.

        Question: was Domenici present for any of Cheney’s energy task force meetings? Seems like a good possibility. If Domenici was in fact present, it might still be possible to FOIA any notes Domenici took either during or after the meeting. (Probably worth filing an FOIA with any/all of the other Energy committee and subcommittee members during the 2000-2003 time frame.)

        An old BF link for a ref – scroll down to Liz Taylor.

        • Rayne says:

          thanks for that — have you been in touch recently with pthomas on this stuff?

          asked both he and tfls where they were at on a line of inquiry they were both working on as it’s related.

  24. Arbusto says:

    I’m curiouser and curiouser how Tenet supported his troops during this time frame with the Dark One camped at CIA. Was he finally browbeat and reamed with 100 grit petroleum jelly, or on board all the time and beating the bushes for any tie in to al-qaeda and Iraq?

    • phred says:

      I think there is a 3 word answer to your question: Medal of Freedom.

      Call it a hunch, but I don’t see W handin’ one o’ them out to a guy wasn’t a team player.

  25. bobschacht says:

    EW, this is fantastic!
    Perhaps things are coming full circle?

    IIRC, PatFitz’s shop that convicted Libby is inactive, but not technically closed, right? I wonder, what with all these dots you’re connecting, isn’t it time for him to open up shop on the Valerie Plame Matter again? Especially with a new administration in town? (Not that they’re all that eager to do anything.)

    Can’t PatFitz open shop again on his own initiative? Or does he need permission?
    Isn’t there new material now that he can pursue, under his old mandate?

    Here’s hoping,
    Bob in HI

      • bobschacht says:

        So, I wonder how ol’ Scooter is thinking about all the scurrying about these days. Do you suppose Addington has been assigned permanent Scooter-watch?

        What I mean by this is to wonder what would happen if Scooter got back into the headlines and was put under oath. He seems to be lying low for the time being, and everyone seems to be ignoring him.

        Why doesn’t Congress call Scooter back to the witness stand? Might be interesting to hear what he has to say about what the Veep was authorizing back in 2001 – 2003. Betcha he knows a bunch.

        Bob in HI

          • Palli says:

            meaning Cheney is twotiming Scooter? ,,,keeping him under control while pretending to want his pardon & release

            • perris says:

              no, I believe he meant that if skooter did get a pardon then he can’t plead the fifth amendment since he can no longer incriminate himself, therefore no pardon to protect those he would be forced to testify against

    • Mary says:

      Fitzgerald had a very limited mandate and now that you have an AG who doesn’t have to be recused, it’s a different gig on that front too.

      • bobschacht says:

        Yeah, but I keep hoping for an opening for Fitz. Can’t he subpoena Cheney directly now? I know that under Bush they would have tried the Gray Mail defense, but times are different now, and the courts seem to think they can sort out what needs to be secret, and what not.

        Please, oh please, I want some Fitzmas!

        Bob in HI

  26. lllphd says:

    marvelous, marcy, simply marvelous!

    fwiw, i have since the get-go been highly suspicious of the public excuse reason cheney and clan put forward in outing plame:
    that she was the one who had arranged the trip to niger??

    please.

    it has – since the get-go – seemed far more plausible that she was outed because she was involved (in her role on the jtfi), and they weren’t delivering what the big dick wanted.

    such marvelous madness; thanks.

  27. Jeff Kaye says:

    Very well put together, Marcy. I think the fact that the torture program started much earlier, in Dec. 2001 at least, demonstrates that the drive to make a connection between 9/11 and Iraq was in earnest by then. But it took some months for this to filter out and get voice from the dissident intelligence agents.

    It helps us understand part or most of why Bush/Cheney wanted to spike the Wilson report. But, the problem with this theory is that we don’t fully understand the role of CIA throughout the whole post-9/11 process, because they certainly were involved in helping organize the SERE experiment.

  28. MaryCh says:

    Didn’t Ambassador Wilson say at the time that his wife was outed as a shot across the bow of other CIA agents who might question what was going on? Or maybe it was some astute libblogger.

    The supposition rang true at the time because the Administration was riding high and snapping its 911-antythingless-than-100%-support-is-treason whip, daily it seemed.

    And EW? Thank you! You’re amazing.

  29. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    Apologies if someone already caught this, but just to be sure, shouldn’t this be:

    On JulyJune 8,[2003] Condi Rice appeared on George Stephanopolous’ show

  30. SaltinWound says:

    Could the torture have worked on a couple of levels? One was to gather evidence linking Iraq to al Qaeda. Another was to make the CIA complicit and to have something to hold over them.

  31. dotmafia says:

    From Wikipedia:

    Michael Ledeen had been accused of being involved in the forgery which claimed that Saddam Hussein had bought yellowcake in Niger.

    According to Joshua Micah Marshall, Laura Rozen, and Paul Glastris noted in Washington Monthly of September 2004:

    “The first meeting occurred in Rome in December, 2001. It included Franklin, Harold Rhode, and another American, the neoconservative writer and operative Michael Ledeen, who organized the meeting. (According to UPI, Ledeen was then working for Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith as a consultant.) Also in attendance was Ghorbanifar and a number of other Iranians.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M…..llegations

  32. SaltinWound says:

    Is it too much to ask for a post about Dick Cheney, Torture, Iraq, Valerie Plame, and ANTHRAX?

    • oregondave says:

      Is it too much to ask for a post about Dick Cheney, Torture, Iraq, Valerie Plame, and ANTHRAX?

      Shout out to any ambitious MSMers reading this. You’ve got three weeks to scoop Marcy. Get on it.

    • mamayaga says:

      Is it too much to ask for a post about Dick Cheney, Torture, Iraq, Valerie Plame, and ANTHRAX?

      As long as we’re finally constructing the Grand Unified Theory, is there a chance we could revisit David Kelley’s death? Also connected to Iraq, WMD, Judy Miller, and occurring in the same time frame.

      • Rayne says:

        Can I make a suggestion? Why not pull together some key dates and supporting articles so that the work moves more quickly.

        You could post them here in comments, or create an Oxdown Gazette diary and post info on Kelley, ask other Firedoglake folks to help flesh it out.

        Got to remember there’s only one emptywheel to go around, and the information on torture is spilling out at increasing speed. If you can pitch in it will make things go more quickly.

        klynn, for example, has been working on gathering info, as have a few others here at EW’s site.

        • Petrocelli says:

          You could also be showcasing your talents to win the Wheeler Idol™ gig, where you could be Marcy’s assistant.

          I’m prepping by learning how to make Guinness Stew and pouring Beamish from a Keg … *g*

          • Rayne says:

            That’s hysterical! I better one-up and figure out how to import kegs of Beamish…

            Hey, I think CIA records is a shiny object; if we have both military and contractors involved in all the intel in 2001 and 2002, why would CIA have all the info to relay to the Senate or House Intel Committees?

            By what mechanism would DoD-based intel or contractors not signed directly to CIA report their intel gathering processes to Congress?

            Lieberman disgusts me, but he might be right with his weaselly response that CIA reported the truth as they saw it — because some of the truth may have been compartmentalized away from CIA.

            • phred says:

              Lieberman disgusts me, but he might be right with his weaselly response that CIA reported the truth as they saw it — because some of the truth may have been compartmentalized away from CIA.

              Lieberman, right? Ummm, no. There would have been parallel tracks. That’s why the Senate Armed Services Committee has a report out for the stuff that happened in DoD. And that’s why there is no CIA report, because SSCI is only now getting around to looking into things. The CIA briefings doc was created to aid and abet Rethug spin.

              Of course, you then have to wonder about who’s overseeing the contractors. In principle the DoD contractors should be overseen by their contract monitors within the DoD and the same would be true for CIA contractors. Whether or not Bush era contract monitors did any actual monitoring though is an open question. I’m guessing, not likely…

              • phred says:

                Although I should be careful to note, there has never been an investigation into Military Intelligence, unlike the Taguba report which was on Military Police (per Mary).

          • klynn says:

            You could also be showcasing your talents to win the Wheeler Idol™ gig,

            Wheeler Idol…that’s too funny!

            • freepatriot says:

              what

              Marcy is gonna hire some random slob off the innertoobz ???

              I’m a random slob on the innertoobz, an I’m PERFECT for the job

              I’m articulate, clean (I shower regularly) even tempered (play along folks) gracious (well I can spell it any way) and attractive (my friends are always telling me I’m one of the “beautiful people”) so I’ll really spice up the picture of the employees (probably my strongest sellin point here)

              I’m willing to work at least 8 4 days a month, and I have no life, so some of those days could be weekends

              I don’t drink beer, so you wouldn’t have to worry about anybody stealin your beamish (I might get into your “other” stash, but I’m from California, so I can always get ya some more)

              the best part is, I work cheap (well, cheap by wall street standards anyway)

              and if the blog fails, I’m willing to give back at least half of my seven figure signing bonus

              but ya better let me know quick, cuz I got Atrios an wonkette on the other line, so this is a limited time offer (It could happen, okay maybe it couldn’t)

              so if yer interested, call my agent, Dave Rosenhaus

              or just leave a stack of cash in the same place where you leave the stale pizza (as always. small bills, no consecutive serial numbers)

              PS: half of that stuff in my FBI file is a fookin lie, so just ignore that (an NO, I ain’t tellin you which half …)

              the CIA can not verify the verbosity of some of the statements in this post

              (wink)

          • bobschacht says:

            I yearn for an opportunity for the Wheeler Idolgig, but I lag far behind the field, led by bmaz, Mary, and so many others. Why don’t we have an open competition for Marcy’s prime assistant? Might boost the funding thermometer if we knew who that might be. Is FDL set up to do polls?

            I swear I won’t touch the Beamish in the fridge. Do I get any points for that?

            Bob in HI

      • Petrocelli says:

        *waves to skdadl*

        Chance of frost Monday night in my neck of the woods, so am putting off planting the Garden … which means I’ll be wasting the Victoria Day weekend barbecuing and drinking beer … what a waste of a holiday ! *g*

        • skdadl says:

          *waves to Petrocelli*

          Frost? We’re having frost? And furthermore — it’s Victoria Day? See, that’s what happens when you work at home. A long weekend — who knew?

          Yes, friends: we are the last nation in the world to celebrate Queen Victoria’s birthday. There will be fireworks. Don’t ask.

          Happy barbeque, Petro.

          • Petrocelli says:

            Don’t the Aussies celebrate Vicky’s B’Day ?

            I’ll raise a Draft to you and you and you (hic)

          • Quebecois says:

            Yes, friends: we are the last nation in the world to celebrate Queen Victoria’s birthday. There will be fireworks. Don’t ask.

            It’s a double festivity, over here in Quebekistan, we also celebrate Dollard Des Ormeaux. A drunken soldier who wiped out his fort, trying to defend it by throwing a gunpowder barrel over the wall at the attacking savages. He never saw the branch (tree, not fourth)that whipped back the explosive device…

    • bobschacht says:

      Good link! And credit Landay and McClatchey for discounting Cheney’s claim in the lead sentence!– unlike other more famous MSM, which will dangle Cheney’s claim in front of the hapless reader, and then either fail to mention that the claim was false, or bury it in paragraph 32 on the back page.

      Bob in HI

  33. jackie says:

    Probably completely non-connected, but do we know which Base in Germany CACI International and Titan had their boys at?

    ‘Sergeant John M Russell of the 54th engineer battalion based in Bamberg, Germany was charged with five counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault in yesterday’s shooting, Major General David Perkins told reporters.’
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/worl…..d-killings

    klynn May 15th, 2009 at 6:58 am
    ‘Two private military contractors are being investigated for their role in torture allegations at the Abu Ghraib prison, Iraq: CACI International, Inc. from Arlington, Virginia, and Titan of San Diego, California. CACI supplied at least one interrogator while Titan supplied at least two translators named in a 53-page classified internal Army report written by Major General Antonio Taguba that have dominated news coverage all over the world.

    A total of four men — Steven Stephanowicz, John Israel, Torin Nelson and Adel Nakhla — are named in the report. All of them were assigned to work with the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, a unit that is currently stationed in Germany and Italy in support of V Corps, under the command of Colonel Thomas Pappas.’

    http://emptywheel.firedoglake……th-branch/

    • watercarrier4diogenes says:

      To be followed by David Iglesias. I get irritated when I hear people comment that her show is political opinion.

    • phred says:

      Yeah and I think Mayer misunderstands current events. She talked about the frightening state of the intelligence briefings they were having every morning. I wonder if those terror matrix reports were intended to whip everyone into a frenzy on purpose? Everyone in the administration talks about how freaked out they were after 9/11, yet pretty quickly Cheney et al. were trying to hang things on Iraq. If a few people successfully get everyone around them in a tizzy, that would make it easier for the few to manipulate the many to do things they might not otherwise do.

      I also just read the McClatchy piece by Landay that dmvdc linked to at 71 that cites a January 9, 2004 Rocky Mt. News interview with Cheney where he was still selling the AQ-Iraq link on the basis of interrogations at Guantanamo. But we also know that SERE people were telling Cheney that torture produced false confessions at least as early as 2002 (if not 2001).

      I still don’t own enough tin-foil to buy that 9-11 was an inside job, but I do wonder whether Cheney and his Iraq obsessed buddies (WHIG, was that what they called themselves?) took advantage of the circumstances that came their way… get sane people sufficiently panic stricken, while getting corrupt people in place, to create the “reality” you need to sell the public a war…

      • bobschacht says:

        Yeah and I think Mayer misunderstands current events. She talked about the frightening state of the intelligence briefings they were having every morning. I wonder if those terror matrix reports were intended to whip everyone into a frenzy on purpose? Everyone in the administration talks about how freaked out they were after 9/11, yet pretty quickly Cheney et al. were trying to hang things on Iraq. If a few people successfully get everyone around them in a tizzy, that would make it easier for the few to manipulate the many to do things they might not otherwise do.

        We forget here in Left Blogistan that the Bushies were being pounded on almost a daily basis back then about their failure to “connect the dots” (remember that phrase?). I think it is right to pin some of the sadomasochism on the neocon dreams of empire, but those who weren’t neocons were feverishly trying to connect those dots they had been neglecting. Condi Rice, in particular, was getting hammered, IIRC.

        Bob in HI

        • phred says:

          That’s my point though, Mayer said the stuff in those briefings was ridiculous. So why waste your time on a bunch of useless information? If you were really in a panic to find out what was going on, one would focus their attention on the most useful information and go from there. I don’t think that was ever Cheney’s purpose. It makes no sense to create a panicked atmosphere other than for misdirection.

          • bobschacht says:

            So why waste your time on a bunch of useless information? If you were really in a panic to find out what was going on, one would focus their attention on the most useful information and go from there. I don’t think that was ever Cheney’s purpose. It makes no sense to create a panicked atmosphere other than for misdirection.

            You’re talking too rationally. You’re willing to entertain the thought that your initial assessment might be wrong. Cheney was, from our POV, delusional: On the basis of info from the 1990s, when Saddam *did* have WMD, he concluded (not assumed, but concluded) that Iraq had WMDs. He was not willing to entertain the possibility that they didn’t. So what looks to you like “useless information” was not useless information to Cheney. He already had his mind made up, and he was not about to be confused by facts. Remember that the purpose of WHIG was to *sell* the war. Not to debate about whether it was justified or not, but to sell it. They already had their product. What they wanted was the right sales pitch. They were not accepting the assessment of others that al-Libi, KSM, & AZ did not have information to confirm a link between Al Quaeda and Iraq. I think it is probably accurate to say that Cheney was “obsessed” with this. TheraP might dispute me on this, however.

            Bob in HI

            • phred says:

              You know Bob, I think we are saying the same thing in different ways. I agree. Cheney had a war to sell. To do it, he needed to find certain information and if he couldn’t find it, he needed to create it. And while he went about his business he needed to either distract, strong-arm, or recruit others to achieve his ends.

      • Loo Hoo. says:

        I still don’t own enough tin-foil to buy that 9-11 was an inside job, but I do wonder whether Cheney and his Iraq obsessed buddies (WHIG, was that what they called themselves?) took advantage of the circumstances that came their way… get sane people sufficiently panic stricken, while getting corrupt people in place, to create the “reality” you need to sell the public a war…

        I still don’t own enough tin-foil either (got a lot of aluminum foil though!), but I notice that as often as plunger has been sacked around here, he hasn’t been banned. And his links are thought provoking…

      • Palli says:

        Way late to comment but…
        I do wonder whether Cheney and his Iraq obsessed buddies (WHIG, was that what they called themselves?) took advantage of the circumstances that came their way… get sane people sufficiently panic stricken, while getting corrupt people in place, to create the “reality” you need to sell the public a war…

        This fact is exactly what the pascifist segment of the anti-war movement has always said- war is the subjugation of commonsense and the manipulation of a society’s understanding of their well-being by powerful self-serving people. It is why pascifism must be labeled as an outlandish & unrealistic belief system. As children must be taught to be racist; humans must be taught to war.

      • tjbs says:

        Not good enough.
        Think one sheet of plywood 4′ X 8′.
        Now draw a line 5 ” in around the perimeter.
        That’s the thickness of the base of each column reaching up stories then a smaller steel box beam (96″-10″X48″-10″) was inserted to rise more stories ,so they tapered as they rose.
        No amount of jet fuel can melt 5″ steel in an hour, Even if jet fuel could melt steel.
        Another little problem is there where 120 of these 4″ X 8′ columns in each tower.
        Just so happened all 120 had to fail simultaneously, miraculously twice other wise they would have canted over.

        Other than that I’m glad to know everything there is to know about that Minot missile mix-up.

        If you believe jet fuel can melt steel in an hour skip any long flights you may have considered.

  34. Rayne says:

    By the way, does anybody remember seeing dates attached to these events Sidney Blumenthal described in this article from November 2003?

    Twice, in the run-up to the war, Vice-president Cheney veered his motorcade to the George HW Bush Center for Intelligence in Langley, Virginia, where he personally tried to coerce CIA desk-level analysts to fit their work to specification.

    Would be nice to know exactly what dates Cheney camped out in Langley, and exactly what work he was pressuring them to produce to spec, hmm?

  35. klynn says:

    EW, you know, you posted this in time for Maddow to pick up the storyline…(klynn wonders if EW’s pinkie finger is uplifted at the corner of her mouth.)

  36. perris says:

    great piece, great writing marcy, thanx for the post

    A throught occured while reading what you wrote;

    whenever cheney does his torture tour, whenever a progressive or democrat is asked about cheney’s claims the first thing that politician should be saying is something like;

    “cheney is the same person who got in front of us and said ‘there is no question saddam has weapons of mass destruction’

    he is the same person who continued telling us ‘there are links between al qaeda and saddam’ even after his own nie told us there was no link

    anyone that wants to give credibility to that man needs some professional help fast”

    their heads will explode

    • Hmmm says:

      Quoth Digby:

      It’s not as if these techniques are cruel or inhuman. They aren’t even illegal if the president authorizes it (although we may have to conduct the interrogations on a ship at sea somewhere, just to be sure we don’t violate the spirit of the constitution.)

      As long as we’re going for the Grand Unified Theory here, may as well mention that that reminds me: What the hell did they bring Cap’n Jack “Law Pirate of the High Seas” Goldsmith in for anyway?

      • bobschacht says:

        Heck, we’ve just started to focus on Bagram. We have barely started to worry about places like Diego Garcia, as well as specially “equiped” ships cruising around in the middle of the Indian Ocean. I think that’s where we’re headed with this.

        Bob in HI

  37. perris says:

    It included a statement from Paul Wolfowitz (Feith’s boss) that revealed a difference of opinion over things like Iraqi ties to Al Qaeda

    wolfowitz, signatory to the pact created by the manacle fraternity known as the pnac

    how many of these were actually on CHENEY’S original team b as well

  38. tryggth says:

    When you look at the composition of the WHIG group perhaps Libby’s presence might have been more than just being Dick’s #2 and rep.

    Remember this was the “marketing arm” and I really doubt Scooter had much useful tactical marketing insights on how to get the 18-24 just drafted demographic.

    He might have just been eyes and ears for shooter, but hey, Matlin was there too.

    Fitz was suspicious and subpoenaed WHIG’s records. But I think that was just a long shot to find evidence of collusion with Rove.

    Nice part is if this current strain of politically driven torture for false information we may yet get to see the full extent of what was done to us.

  39. Leen says:

    Wondered how those time lines lined up. Knew EW would put it together.

    Former Secretary of the Treasury Paul O’Neil said that during the early cabinet meetings Paul Wolfowitz and Cheney were focused on Iraq not so much Rumsfeld.

    Best articles I have read about Dougie Feith’s little shop of lies and horrors.

    The New Pentagon Papers…Karen Kwiatowski tells us what it was like to be in the Pentagon at the time

    http://dir.salon.com/story/opi…..index.html

    Men from Jinsa

    http://www.thenation.com/doc/20020902/vest

    Almost thirty years ago, a prominent group of neoconservative hawks found an effective vehicle for advocating their views via the Committee on the Present Danger, a group that fervently believed the United States was a hair away from being militarily surpassed by the Soviet Union, and whose raison d’être was strident advocacy of bigger military budgets, near-fanatical opposition to any form of arms control and zealous championing of a Likudnik Israel. Considered a marginal group in its nascent days during the Carter Administration, with the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 CPD went from the margins to the center of power.

    JINSA/CSP advisers Richard Perle and Douglas Feith have spent the past fifteen years working quietly to keep the US arms sluice to Turkey open.
    Just as the right-wing defense intellectuals made CPD a cornerstone of a shadow defense establishment during the Carter Administration, so, too, did the right during the Clinton years, in part through two organizations: the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) and the Center for Security Policy (CSP). And just as was the case two decades ago, dozens of their members have ascended to powerful government posts, where their advocacy in support of the same agenda continues, abetted by the out-of-government adjuncts from which they came. Industrious and persistent, they’ve managed to weave a number of issues–support for national missile defense, opposition to arms control treaties, championing of wasteful weapons systems, arms aid to Turkey and American unilateralism in general–into a hard line, with support for the Israeli right at its core.

  40. perris says:

    Officials in the intelligence community and on Capitol Hill, however, have described the office as an alternative source of intelligence analysis that helped the administration make its case that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein posed an imminent threat.

    that’s team b

    One senior administration official said CIA analysts have complained they felt pressured by administration policymakers who questioned them before the war about their assessment of Iraq’s arms programs.

    those are the professionals, valery was among those in the A team, the professionals rendering actual evaluation

    team b was compiled originally by cheney/runsfeld to undermine nixon’s detante…they invented a story about a submarine we couldn’t track, tha was so secret even the cia didn’t know about it, only “team b” knew about it

    the cia laughed in their face and called it a fantasy

    complete story here, written long before we went to war in Iraq, same players, same lies, and we were fooled again even after being warned these are sociopaths

    • emptywheel says:

      Yeah. He basically didn’t say anything new.

      No one has yet asserted that Goss and Pelosi were briefed that torture had occured. The CIA records don’t say that. And Panetta isn’t saying that.

      Until someone does, we don’t even have a real conflict.

      • Hmmm says:

        I took a close read at Panetta’s missive, and I don’t see a clear statement that they didn’t lie to Pelosi. All he’s saying is that lying to Congress is against the rules (…no duh…) and their records say they told her the straight poop. Which, of course, leaves open the possibility that the briefers may have deliberately written it down differently than the way they told it to Pelosi. I think that’s what Panetta is getting at with the statement that Congress is in the end going to have make a finding about who is telling the truth. Actually, that could be interpreted as a call for help in excising bad elements that still hold sway inside the CIA.

        • bobschacht says:

          Actually, that could be interpreted as a call for help in excising bad elements that still hold sway inside the CIA.

          Yeah, I’ve been wondering about that. Is Rizzo still there? When’s Rizzo’s replacement due to start? And Kappes? Panetta has some major house cleaning to do.

          Bob in HI

          • klynn says:

            I would agree with you both. That’s what I meant by “Panetta trying to slow an internal implosion,” in an earlier thread.

          • Styve says:

            I, too, have been thinking that much of the progressive angst about the Obama Admin., in response to events and decisions over the past few months, may be the intentional outcome the Bush leave-behinds have sought.

            It’s great that Obama has finally come out to say that he will be replacing a “batch” of US Attorneys in the next few weeks. If it was prodded by the Siegelman prosecutors’ push for more punative sentencing, and Rove allies Fuller and Alice Martin’s finagling…can we hope that is a template for future house cleaning?!

      • freepatriot says:

        we don’t even have a real conflict.

        I might have a real conflict with tanbark over this

        I seen him fawning an actin like a socophant upthread, which makes him MORE suspect in my opinion

        it’s a classic concern troll act

        jes sayin, he’s suspect, is all

      • Leen says:

        Just back from the farmer’s market where I am known as a political junkie. Lots of questions comments about did Pelosi know? Kept bringing it back to where EW/Matthews/Ed Show etc keep reminding us. Bring the discussion and focus back to Who pushed for the torture laws to be re-written, Who rewrote the laws, and Who ordered those newly written interpretations of torture laws to be used.

        Thanks for being persistent ED

  41. perris says:

    And the likelihood that Dick Cheney’s guy in Iraq, Harold Rhode, may have suggested waterboarding an Iraqi to shore up the case for war.

    I totally loved the entire read however that paragraph puzzles me

    we know as a fact the cia told cheney there was no al-qaeda link, we know as a fact cheney told them to use more extreme methods to get the information anyway

    this is not “may have” this is “definately”

  42. JasonLeopold says:

    I wonder if any of the threads tied together so well here with regard to Iraq, Cheney, Valerie Plame and torture explains why the Justice Department has said that Cheney’s interview with Fitzgerald was classified:

    “We are withholding [the transcript of Cheney’s interview]…because they are classified and contain information protected from disclosure by the National Security Act of 1947.”

    • Leen says:

      Can that be de classified? We know it could if Cheney was still the V.P. Hell he thinks he is…..the Pres

      • JasonLeopold says:

        I’ve filed a FOIA request for it just for kicks back in January. But I would imagine that it’s something that could and probably should be declassified albeit with major redactions. It would be great if the documents Cheney is seeking from the CIA and his leak testimony were declassified and released publicly at the same time.

  43. JThomason says:

    By the way I opened my wallet today. Not much but what I could do given that I appreciate the work.

  44. Leen says:

    The photos America doesn’t want seen:

    By Matthew Moore

    02/14/06 “SMH” — – MORE photographs have been leaked of Iraqi citizens tortured by US soldiers at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison on the outskirts of Baghdad.

    Tonight the SBS Dateline program plans to broadcast about 60 previously unpublished photographs that the US Government has been fighting to keep secret in a court case with the American Civil Liberties Union.

    Although a US judge last year granted the union access to the photographs following a freedom-of-information request, the US Administration has appealed against the decision on the grounds their release would fuel anti-American sentiment.

    Some of the photos are similar to those published in 2004, others are different. They include photographs of six corpses, although the circumstances of their deaths are not clear. There are also pictures of what appear to be burns and wounds from shotgun pellets.

    The executive producer of Dateline, Mike Carey, said he was showing the pictures leaked to his program because it was important people understood what had happened at Abu Ghraib.

    Seven US guards were jailed following publication of the first batch of Abu Ghraib photographs in April 2004.

    Mr Carey said he could not explain why the photographs had not yet been published, as he thought it was likely that some journalists had them.

    “It think it’s strange, maybe they think its more of the same.”

    Copyright © 2006. The Sydney Morning Herald

  45. Leen says:

    Interesting
    What did Nancy know
    http://original.antiwar.com/ju…..ancy-know/

    More interesting
    http://turcopolier.typepad.com…..ngman.html
    Colonel Pat Lang’s site
    “Sources familiar with the FBI investigation of the AIPAC espionage case, say that the investigation is continuing even though the charges against Rosen and Weissman were dropped. Harman was interviewed by DoJ prosecutors after the Rosen/Weissman charges were dropped.

    Sources indicate that based on multi-agency reports of Israeli espionage activities in the u.s. prior to 9/11, George Tenet as DCI ordered his senior staff to assemble for him a study of all the files available concerning the history of Israeli espionage activities in the US. The resulting study shocked him.

  46. freepatriot says:

    I’m as willing to credit ew as the next guy

    but come on

    the fookin dots connected themselves here

    I’m beginning to think ew has been training the dots or something

    it’s like a circus routine

    she’s got all the players actin like a bunch of seals

    she held up a fish, an leon pannetta barked an clapped his flippers

    the repuglitard clown car shows up and explodes

    and then the ringmaster brings us right back where we started

    I’m on to you, ew

    and I obviously need new tinfoil, huh ???

  47. orionATL says:

    well, hot damn!

    i never believed “they” were going after joe wilson. wilson’s op-ed was just a convenient “cover story” for going after plame. they went after plame most likely as a warning (from cheney, let us be clear about this) to the cia about not co-operating. and because she was an intellectually honest analyst working on middle east nuclear matters who would not bend with the wind.

    nuclear matters, please recall, were the heart and soul of the cheney/rumsfeld psy-ops operation on the american people. arousing fear of “weapons of mass destruction”, was the lynch pin of the justification for invading iraq.

    and don’t forget the collateral damage of this campaign, including american citizen jose padilla an american citizen, like you or I, labeled “the dirty bomber”, denied habeas, imprisoned beyond the reach of american law, and driven mad by deliberate, officially sanctioned, sensory deprivation.)

    on to current matters.

    with graham’s having weighed in, suddenly, the washington mediaocrachy’s mob lynching of SPEAKER pelosi,

    repeat, speaker of the united states house of representatives, nancy pelosi,

    has hit a snag in the river – churning along, all pistons firing, wham. uh oh.

    big question:

    what will our cheshire-cat prez have to say about this new development in the “cia lied to the congress and the american people saga.

    any bets?

    • freepatriot says:

      what will our cheshire-cat prez have to say about this new development in the “cia lied to the congress and the american people saga.

      looks like Obama is selling rope to the repuglitards

      buy one, get one free

  48. Leen says:

    he Israelis informed the US Government that Klingberg confessed, but they withheld from the US something much more important. Klingberg had been, according to the report presented to Tenet, a Soviet/Israeli double-agent. While in the US, Klingberg received 20,000 pages of documents onUS biological warfare and dbiological defense programs from two scientists at Ft. Detrick, Maryland. The classified information passed from Ft. Detrick to Israel greatly advanced Israelis biological warfare work, including aerosolized weaponized Anthrax.
    http://turcopolier.typepad.com…..ngman.html

  49. fatster says:

    Spanish probe paints grim picture of Gitmo abuse

    BY MURIEL KANE 

Published: May 15, 2009 
Updated 2 hours ago

    “According to journalist Jeremy Scahill — best known for his investigations of mercenary firm Blackwater (now Xe) — an ongoing Spanish investigation is painting a devastating picture of the brutality exercised by the US military over detainees at Guantanamo and elsewhere.”

    http://rawstory.com/08/news/20…..tmo-abuse/

    • freepatriot says:

      nobody could have predicted the Spanish Inquisition

      their two main weapons are fear and surprise, and a ruthless devotion to the pope

      wait

      three, three weapons

      let me start again …

      couldn’t resist

    • phred says:

      Usually I thank people for the links they share here, but fatster you have found something too disturbing for me to ever be thankful for it. Your link goes to a synopsis. Here is the link to the full article by Scahill. It’s revolting. No ticking time bomb. No AQ-Iraq link. Just ungodly brutality just for the hell of it. And it still goes on.

      I pray the Spaniards throw the book at these fuckers. Not just the lawyers, but every vicious SOB that ever laid a hand on a prisoner and did these things. These are the “honorable men and women serving our country” Obama is trying so hard to protect. I have known honorable men and women who have and are serving our country. These criminals are not among them.

      • JThomason says:

        I judge by the green screen and the computer freeze I got about twenty seconds after loading this site that someone really is not too keen on this article being read.

      • fatster says:

        We are all in this together, phred. I would like to share this quote: “Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.” Peace.

      • Palli says:

        For some individuals: once allowed to do evil the human urge to be evil can be insatiable
        Hanging onto one’s humanity is hardwork when those around you have chosen to be inhuman

  50. fatster says:

    Waaaay O/T, and do pardon me for I am not trying to divert attention to this topic, but here’s another example of the O-team doing some weird things. What’s next?

    Obama Nominates Superfund Polluter Lawyer To Run DOJ Environment Division

    “President Barack Obama has nominated a lawyer for the nation’s largest toxic polluters to run the enforcement of the nation’s environmental laws. On Tuesday, Obama “announced his intent to nominate”Ignacia S. Moreno to be Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division in the Department of Justice. Moreno, general counsel for that department during the Clinton administration, is now the corporate environmental counsel for General Electric, “America’s #1 Superfund Polluter“:

    “Number five in the Fortune 500 with revenues of $89.3 billion and earnings of $8.2 billion in 1997, General Electric has been a leader in the effort to roll back the Superfund law and stave off any requirements for full cleanup and restoration of sites they helped create.”

    http://thinkprogress.org/2009/…..superfund/

    • freepatriot says:

      Waaaay O/T, and do pardon me for I am not trying to divert attention to this topic

      pardon granted

      on the weekends, the inmates tend to take over the asylum

      you break open the liquor cabinet and I’ll grab the glasses …

      • fatster says:

        You don’t drink beer and I don’t drink liquor. I guess we’ll have to settle for the stash.

        PS Thnx for the pardon. I’ll put it in my scrapbook.

    • Palli says:

      remember the adage about a “reformed smoker” and his previous work gives him “insider” information…just thinking positively

  51. orionATL says:

    emptywheel @ 107

    “No one has yet asserted that Goss and Pelosi were briefed that torture had occurred. The CIA records don’t say that. And Panetta isn’t saying that.

    Until someone does, we don’t even have a real conflict.”

    th, th, that all folks.

    that’s the nut
    inside the shell.

    scratch that. that’s the carrot inside the shell.

  52. eagleaz4 says:

    I think it really is as neat as all that. It’s all beginning to make perfect sense now. And in this case, for once, I don’t think the cover-up is worse than the crime. The attempted cover-up and the current spin is, of course, abhorrent, and just degrades us more in the international community in which we live.

    And it doesn’t matter who knew what, when, democrat or republican. What is really disgusting me now is the “Democrats knew about it” argument…which has replaced the “torture worked” argument, which of course, replaced the “we don’t torture” argument.

    Torture is a war crime, period. It doesn’t matter who knew about it or if it supposedly worked. These people should go to jail – regardless of party affiliation.

    And mucho thanks to Marcy – she is clearly the best at keeping us informed.

  53. ezdidit says:

    Magnificent synchronicities! You are The Queen of Sam Spades!! One missing piece that provoked Cheney to burn Plame-Wilson was Brewster Jennings inability to predict Iranian nukes. One estimate in January 01 said three months, one said fifteen. By March 01, Cheney was a madman, drawing up drilling maps of Iraq for his buddies, seeing billion dollar signs dancing in his head – and sharpening up a burn on B/J and Plame because B/J did know that wmd was no longer available in Iraq.

    It was too good to be true that CIA later sent Wilson to Niger. But where was Tenet? And why is Tenet now so untouchable? Sandy Berger was in the archives stuffing op records up his ass. What were those docs? How much can Tenet deny he knows?

    see, also, CIA Insider: CIA Blackmailed Officials So “Bush Family” Could Profit From War

    It’s the cover-up that will kill them while all Cheney can do is twist on his “just keeping us safe” petard.

  54. TheOracle says:

    Former CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson was a CIA specialist on WMD issues.

    I just wonder if Mrs. Wilson, in her capacity as a top CIA intelligence gatherer and analyst involving counter-proliferation, was responsible for any of the push-back in late 2002 and early 2003 by career CIA officials against the Bush/Cheney administration’s “fixing of the intelligence around the policy” of starting a war with Iraq? Were any of the buried cautionary footnotes in the 2002 NIE authored by her or came from her CIA section? Was her outing (besides going after her outspoken husband Joe Wilson) payback by top Bush/Cheney officials for her contradicting their bogus claims before the war that Iraq was an imminent threat to our national security, with active nuclear and other WMD programs? And finally, during any of the multiple trips Cheney and Feith made to CIA headquarters, did they ever sit down face-to-face with Valerie Plame Wilson, or anyone else from her CIA counter-proliferation section, not just to listen to their unbiased non-political analysis and report on Iraq’s nuclear and other WMD capabilities, but to strong-arm either Mrs. Wilson or someone else from her section into toeing the Bush/Cheney pro-war line?

    During Libby’s trial, I checked firedoglake daily, reading the excellent streaming reportage from the courtroom, but I can’t remember if Valerie Plame Wilson was ever asked if she was accosted by either Cheney or Feith (or any other Bush/Cheney political hack) while on duty at CIA headquarters.

  55. kspena says:

    Thanks EW and all. I’ve been thinking all week about the link between cheney and Plame again. I remember Valerie saying several times how consumed she and her group were in trying to find evidence of WMD in Iraq and how frustrated they were in finding none. The info cascading out from multiple sources indicates how closely cheney rides herd on these details and how he is willing to ‘destroy’ PEOPLE to get what he wants…including Scooter. I do wonder if things were to get bad enough for him if he would sacrifice his wife, or daughters, of grandchildren for his own salvation…

    • NealDeesit says:

      …how closely Cheney rides herd on these details and how he is willing to ‘destroy’ PEOPLE to get what he wants…including Scooter. I do wonder if things were to get bad enough for him if he would sacrifice his wife, or daughters, or grandchildren for his own salvation…

      In a cardioverter-defibrillator-monitored-and-maintained heartbeat.

  56. YYSyd says:

    I’m beginning to worry with the most recent torture related stuff reminding me of how Dan Rather got taken down and Bush’s forces managed to kill the substance of the story of his National Guard service (or non-service as it were) at the same time. It wasn’t as though the narrative was wrong, only that a crucial piece of evidence was a fabricated (with possible exact duplicate of something that would have existed) and the issue got gamed. Not only did it kill Rather’s story, it killed the entire narrative for everybody.

    There are enough people who want this story to go away that they will try to find every chink in the armor to demolish any narrative that relates to motives behind the actions and policies. They will do so even if that meant further disclosure of inconvenient truths about their own criminality. Those seeking justice should be very wary of constructing motive based public narratives, though it is fun, as if that were the final objective. The broadest part of the media and parts of the administration or if you will, the current establishment is proving to be not so eager to pursue the crimes as crimes. If the pursuit is based upon getting the story out and only so as to have an understanding, then the whole thing can be torpedoed by gaming it.

    Just a thought.

    • behindthefall says:

      Good to point out the “National Guard” case. Not sure how you avoid the gaming.

    • perris says:

      cheney is out of office

      the fbi want this story out

      the professionals in the cia want this story out

      team b, the republicans and obama are the only people that would like this to go away

    • Rayne says:

      MMO = means, motive, opportunity — needed to “convict” in court, whether judicial or public opinion.

      At some point we must have a motive, even if it’s not the driver by which the facts are found.

      • YYSyd says:

        The problem with concentrating on nefarious motives such as propaganda purpose of torture is that it only appears to make the crime worse. Well intentioned torture is still torture, and to get into the intentions is to open up the debate into justification (of which there should be none). So establishing and then blowing up a false narrative on the motives can intimidate the magnificently brave fourth estate from venturing further into the issue.

  57. perris says:

    I would like to know if someone should be contacting valery herself for an interview!

    talk about a SCOOP, get her here on this subject and WATCH the traffic SOUR

    they frequent the site and have said it’s among their favorites, I think they might be interested in giving jane, christy or the wheel a scoop!

  58. wavpeac says:

    Wow!! If all the marbles lay out the way EW makes so perfectly clear, this is treason. I mean we all knew it, but this is the best case for treason there ever was. But unfortunately, our constitution was not strong enough to protect against this tyranny.

    Bush/cheney committed treason when they lied to congress about an act of war.

    Thanks so much…now what do you think we will learn about 9/11 as more and more evidence reveals these crimes. It is clear that this administration completely lost the moral compass, how can we logically argue that the “wouldn’t” do something like allow 9/ll to occur?

    It becomes plausible with the proof that they purposefully led us into war where millions of people have died, that they torture for political gain, and that they let those in hurricane Katrina die. How is it not plausible given the warnings by Clinton, given the lack of attention to the problem?

    We will get to the bottom of this ugly chapter thanks to the blogger world and E.W. Thank you thank you and more thank you..

    • TheraP says:

      It is clear that this administration completely lost the moral compass

      Actually, I think they had the compass firmly set for immoral, illegal, and unethical. Not the setting you and I would follow. No, they’ve got an awareness of what’s right and wrong. Or they would not have gone to such lengths to keep things secret.

      Yes, the crime is treason.

  59. Muzzy says:

    I’m trying reconcile Panetta’s statement in his note to CIA employees yesterday in terms of it not being a contradiction of what Pelosi was briefed about in 9/2002.

    The interrogation of al-Libi in Thailand keeps coming to mind as an example where govt interrogators getting good intel using standard methods got supplanted by contractors willing to escalate with harsh methods (with resultant shutdown of cooperation). And who was responsible for the govt interrogators getting shoved aside ?

    Taking note of this portion of Panetta’s statement:

    Let me be clear: It is not our policy or practice to mislead Congress. That is against our laws and our values. As the Agency indicated previously in response to Congressional inquiries, our contemporaneous records from September 2002 indicate that CIA officers briefed truthfully on the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, describing “the enhanced techniques that had been employed.” Ultimately, it is up to Congress to evaluate all the evidence and reach its own conclusions about what happened.”

    Is there some wordplay on Panetta’s part here to indicate that the waterboarding of Zubaydah occurred in a manner that was not ‘officially employed’ i.e. sanctioned by the CIA, but got carried out by a few explicitly because Cheney said so? Even if the CIA engaged in torture later on with presumed OLC legal cover, is Panetta’s odd statement specific to Zubaydah a way of directing attention specifically to the path by which Zubaydah got tortured that may differ from others later on?

    Is Panetta saying the CIA truthfully briefed Pelosi on the interrogation practices it vouched for regarding Zubaydah, but did not brief her on techniques which it was unwilling to sponsor but which actually were perpetrated by some? And who might these people have been and what unique relationship with Cheney might they have had?

  60. radiofreewill says:

    Okay, we’re on the Strategic high ground now, above the fray – beyond the ’she knew, too!’ food fight that the Goopers are so desperately hoping will Distract the Masses from what We have Plainly Seen for Ourselves:

    Bush and Cheney Tortured other Human Beings to Generate ‘Fixed’ Facts – in order to Support their Policy of Invading Iraq – which, in their minds, was Never in Doubt – all they were looking for was a ’sellable’ pre-text as ‘Justification.’

    To do this, not only did Bush and Cheney have to ‘create’ False Intelligence, but they also had to ‘discredit’ any True Intelligence that was ‘inconvenient’ to their Policy of Invading Iraq.

    So, Bush and Cheney were willing to ‘create’ the False Intelligence – through the use of Torture and, very possibly, Forgery – that would ‘drive’ the Country to War in Iraq.

    But, a question – What has been Bush and Cheney’s pathological response to Dissent?

    Destruction. Zelikow’s Memo? Get all the copies and destroy it.

    So, I’m with EW – increasing voices of Criticism in the Professional Intelligence Analyst Community were beginning to Coalesce into Condemning Dissent – which Bush and Cheney sought to Demonize and portray as Political Disloyalty.

    I would suggest that – for Bush and Cheney – if they were willing to Torture for False But ‘Favorable’ Confessions – they, particularly Cheney, would have been Hyper-Sensitive to Being Linked to the Niger Forgeries/Yellowcake Purchase behind the 16 Words. Why? Because Cheney – and it looks like Rumsfeld, too – Knew the Fakes were Fakes, and that the Niger Purchase had been De-bunked.

    We know Cheney and Rummy ‘knew’ because they had ‘Twisted Word’ Memos of their own created to ‘Reinterpret’ Joe Wilson’s Findings – that Iraq Hadn’t Approached Niger for Yellowcake – into a *Magical Re-Sifting* of cherry-picked innuendo that concluded that Wilson’s ’sloppy work’ had ‘missed’ the ‘real truth’ of Iraq’s Purchase – and Viola! – the Facts of the Truth were Twisted into ‘Misinformation’ suitable for War!

    But, do we know – and I’m really asking here – if Cheney had any Reason to Suspect that Valerie would have Known that the Forgeries were Forgeries?

    Could Cheney have ’seen’ information – email traffic, analyst’s reports, briefing requests, etc – that Linked Joe Wilson’s wife, Valerie, to Knowledge that the Forgeries were Forgeries?

    Because, if so, that would be the Daily Double of Dissent – if Joe had De-Bunked the Niger Yellowcake Purchase and his CPD wife had Known of the De-Bunked Forgeries – then it would be *crystal clear* to Cheney, and probably Rummy, too, that the Dissent – Valerie plus Joe – had to be Destroyed – or the Bush/Cheney Agenda-Not-Facts Neocon Cabal would get Exposed for having Totally Fabricated Invading Iraq.

    Hence the Outing of Valerie, the Nepotism Smear and Wilson’s Sloppy Work – all done to Falsely Blame, Deny, Punish – to Batter – the Wilson’s and to Send a Strong Message to the Professional Intelligence Community:

    Shut-Up and Be Loyal or you’ll get the Wilson Treatment, too!

    So – Are there any linkages between Plame knowing the Forgeries were Forgeries, and Cheney ‘having knowledge’ that she knew?

  61. emptywheel says:

    169

    No. Panetta is saying the briefers briefed the techniques that had been employed with Zubaydah. All he’s saying is, CIA briefed on walling, sleep deprivation, waterboarding, etc. He’s not saying that they told Pelosi and Goss they had used it (and even Goss doesn’t claim they did).

    I suspect when we see the briefing notes, we’ll see a list of techniques they briefed. But no assertion that they told Congress they had used those techniques. Still dishonest though. But remember that Jose Rodriguez, he of the destroyed torture tapes, was almost certainly one of the briefers at that meeting. I’m sure the CIA is realdy panicked that Durham is closing in on Rodriguez and people like Goss. This is a way to distract from it.

    • Muzzy says:

      Yes. I’m on board with your explanation that you’ve previously elucidated. Panetta used very peculiar wording:

      …indicate that CIA officers briefed truthfully on the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, describing “the enhanced techniques that had been employed.” Ultimately, it is up to Congress to evaluate all the evidence and reach its own conclusions about what happened.”

      His insertion of the quoted phrase is the mechanism required to generate the illusion. He won’t at this time say “CIA officers briefed truthfully on the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, which already had included the use of waterboarding…”. The quoted part of his statement is taken from a retrospective account about what we know today was used on Zubaydah whereas at the time of Pelosi/Goss briefing the topic of waterboarding was presented prospectively.

  62. x174 says:

    mt-hope you’re having as much fun researching this stuff as we are imbibing it.

    it’s obvious what’s missing: the source of the stench–nine eleven

    amazing how the media superstars have burned such an enormous hole in our collective psyche that we can pretend that there is not a large, dead elephant in the room that has been decomposing for almost eight years.

    until the carcass is identified and the culpable parties exposed, everyone better just get used to the awful smell and STFU.

    good luck in your research!

  63. Mile23 says:

    I often wonder if the destroyed torture tapes have al Qaeda operatives convincingly demonstrating that there was no connection to Iraq.

    They are destroyed not because they are damning of Cheney or anyone, but they are destroyed because they say the wrong thing.

    The more this narrative is unwrapped, the uglier Cheney gets.

  64. gundersonrogers says:

    The point is, it was never just Valerie and Joe. Dick Cheney outed Valerie Wilson because of a sense that a large number of intelligence professionals were about to reveal just how fraudulent the case for war had been, with a special focus on his own pressure of intelligence professionals and Dougie Feith’s little intelligence shop.

    And we know that Cheney’s office was already trying to get out of that fix by torturing people.

    EW, You and Joe have so succinctly tied the knot on these links. If only the public could now see these tight little relationships. Next, you need to help us understand how the Pelosi/Graham pieces fit in.

    Somehow I think it ties to the fact that the wiretapping was put in place prior to 9-11. The difficult-to-fathom Democratic Congress during this period might better be understood if we knew that every email and phone call of every member of congress was being listened to from the get-go. –and can you even imagine Cheney not listening in on Fitzgerald during the Libby trial? What was the initial purpose of the illegal wiretapping, if it was installed prior to 9-11? –high-tech Watergate.

  65. gundersonrogers says:

    The point is, it was never just Valerie and Joe. Dick Cheney outed Valerie Wilson because of a sense that a large number of intelligence professionals were about to reveal just how fraudulent the case for war had been, with a special focus on his own pressure of intelligence professionals and Dougie Feith’s little intelligence shop.

    And we know that Cheney’s office was already trying to get out of that fix by torturing people.

    EW, You and Joe have so succinctly tied the knot on these links. If only the public could now see these tight little relationships. Next, you need to help us understand how the Pelosi/Graham pieces fit in.

    Somehow I think it ties to the fact that the wiretapping was put in place prior to 9-11. The difficult-to-fathom Democratic Congress during this period might better be understood if we knew that every email and phone call of every member of congress was being listened to from the get-go. –and can you even imagine Cheney not listening in on Fitzgerald during the Libby trial? What was the initial purpose of the illegal wiretapping, if it was installed prior to 9-11? –high-tech Watergate.

  66. x174 says:

    Loose Change-Final Cut (3-16) describes the involvement of SENATOR BOB GRAHAM (serving as Chairman on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence) and PORTER GOSS (House Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence) in falsifying evidence related to foreknowledge of the attacks on 9/11. In addition, they were also in a meeting with the chief of ISI on the morning before the attack. The day earlier General Ahmad, the ci=hief of ISI, had wired $100,000 to a bank account of Mohamed Atta.(Condi Rice’s reaction in the video to directly being questioned on the matter is unforgettable.)

    Loose change (3-16):


    Photo of General Mahmud Ahmad/Ahmed:
    http://images.google.com/imgre…..N%26um%3D1

  67. tanbark says:

    [email protected]; and the repubs are going to reply to you:

    “Fine. Can we include the democrats who knew it was going on way back in 2003 (including Pelosi) and did nothing about it, either under the national security table or on top of it?”

    And if anyone thinks that they won’t do this (They’re already doing it) and that, with the roll-over-and-play-dead-for-operation-enduring-shitmire that so many dems pulled, that THEY want to see indictments and trials happen (very dicey indictments and trials) then they are as wrong as two left feet.

  68. tjbs says:

    Pre 911
    Kenny boy convicted for the enron financial ponsi scheme.
    The largest fundraiser for bush/cheney.
    Iraq held ten % of the worlds reserves.
    You strip back ten % of the supply you could have people willing to pay $ 4/5/6/10 whatever for gas, The Enron method.
    Problem is bush cheney were elected receiving stolen funds.
    This bothers kenny so much he has a heart attack out of shame.
    His family is so ashamed of him they cremate his the next day or something.
    Damn bush/cheney are the luckiest fellows you know.
    Kenny never sentenced so no foul no crime.
    Damn bush/cheney are the luckiest fellows that the enron records were reportedly stored in >>>>> WTC7

  69. tanbark says:

    and tjbs has now officially opened up the “9-11 was a bushCo plot!” roll of tinfoil.

    Do you have any idea how many people would have had to be in on that, for it to happen?

    The communications between some Bush/repub operatives and the people who did it?

    The fact that by communicating with Osama and Al-Queada on it, they were leaving themselves open to the possibility of being exposed as betraying the country in the worst attack on us since Pearl Harbor?

    Speaking as someone who would put almost nothing past the republicans, it’s crazy to accuse them of this. What they did was take shameless, bloody, idiotic, advantage of something that happened on their watch, to wrench the country to the right. Happily, the insanity of it has become rather apparent to a healthy majority of american voters, which is the main reason why we won the last election, going away.

    But accusing the repubs of helping to orchaestrate 9-11 is the stuff of wingnuttery. One hell of a lot of sharp people have gnawed on that bone from the day it happened, and they’ve gotten precious little sustenance to show for it.

    BTW, the collapse didn’t happen simultaneously, it happened sequentially, as the videos of it clearly indicate. The pancaking, as the steadily increasing weight above caused the lower floors to collapse is right there to see.

    You are, of course, saying that someone planted explosives to make this happen. I’m no demolition expert, but the amount required to do that on both towers would surely have filled a fair-sized truck, and placing them would have taken so long that every security person in both towers, plus all of the housekeeping personnel, would probably have had to be in on it.

    When you figure out how they did all that and have kept everyone quiet about it for 8 years, let us know.

    • tjbs says:

      If you are open minded and smart enough ,go to opednews.com click through to the 911 links and start rethinking everything you know. Could you provide links to you many demolition experts who say it wasn’t Controlled demolition. Learn to read with discernment.
      I said” Just so happened all 120 had to fail simultaneously, miraculously twice other wise they would have canted over.” The comment was all 120 columns failed simultaneously not 120 WTCs failed simultaneously. I’ll accept your theory of pancaking if you provide the pictures of the columns remaining after the pancaking.
      One column is 24′ perimeter of 5″steel failing in an hour from a cold start X 120. I guess the steel companies would love to substitute jet fuel for the train loads of coal needed to make steel and to cut the time needed to melt steel from 24 hours to just an hour.
      911 didn’t change the laws of nature but it sure boosts bush cheney fall down theory.

  70. tanbark says:

    It’s also worth noting that the people who are experts at bringing down large buildings seem not to think that this was an inside job. At least, the ones I’ve read.

    Are all of them on the take?

    • ezdidit says:

      They’ve been bought off with a prized place on the telephone tree, warning of any new ‘attacks.’

  71. JEP07 says:

    Truth Commission?

    We know the truth,

    this should be ”The Lie Commission”
    …they’ll have a lot more stuff to find.

    Let me count the ways. Lie by lie.

    #1. WMD
    #2. Saddam/Osama Link
    #3. ”They’ll welcome us with open arms…”
    (by ”arms” did they mean AK-47’s?)
    #5. Ohio election fraud
    #6. ”We Do Not Torture”
    #7. ”The economy is strong.”
    #8+. fill in the blank(s)

  72. CarolA says:

    After reading The Dark Side by Jane Mayer, there is no doubt in my mind that “zealots and fools exploited America’s fears and anxieties” and they were “willing to corrupt the whole country to save it” and to protect themselves.

    Cheney had spent a decade preparing for nuclear holocaust. He participated in annual drills, hiding in a fortified undergroudn bunker, acting as the sole surviving government leader of an attack. After 9/11 and the anthrax attacks, Cheney’s paranoia and fears of additional attacks morphed into a complicated government takeover.

    Bush/Cheney politicized the justice department to expand their executive powers, reinterpret the laws to establish enemy combatant status for prisoners, and to redefine, condone, carry out, and cover up torture. They approved the CIA’s rendition of detainees to black sights in foreign countries where they could be tortured to supply “proof” that would back up their plan to go to war. They created Guantanamo as an off-shore detention center that was outside the reach of law. They ordered the kidnapping and detention of people from around the world and held them for years without due process.

    The CIA, DOD, Justice Department, and the executive branch ginned up fears of terrorism to promote their political agendas. In the name of “keeping America safe,” they staged a defacto takeover of the U.S. government, carried out illegal acts, circumvented our system of checks and balances, and protected themselves from prosecution with “golden shields” provided by the justice department. Whenever Cheney or Addington were challenged, they browbeat, ridiculed, dismissed, and destroyed the careers of those who dared to speak out(Powell, Plame, Goldsmith, Mora, Zelikow). Many had told Cheney and Addington that what they were doing was in fact torture, it was illegal, and warned them that “we may hang for this.” The Bush/Cheney administration hid the truth from Congressional investigation and 9/11 Commission inquiry behind the excuse of “national security” and shielded themselves with “executive immunity.”

    Just as they lied about the Iran/Contra Affair, the CIA was caught lying to the 9/11 Commission about the existence of torture and interrogation videotapes, and then they destroyed them to avoid embarrassment and prosecution. It is not a stretch to believe that the CIA lied about torture to Nancy Pelosi. Panetta wasn’t there; Tenet and Hadley were, and they were involved in the conspiracy. With the help of his neo-con friend David Addington, Cheney ran the lead up to the war with Iraq, the war on terror, including the torture of detainees while ignorant go-alongs Bush and Gonzales followed in lock step.

    Joe Wilson is right. All of this is connected. Those at the top who were involved should be required to testify under oath. No more excuses; no more distractions; no more denials. Americans need to understand exactly what Bush/Cheney did and how they got away with it. What they did to individuals to create excuses to go to war and how they ruined our standing in the world is no worse that what they did to destroy our system of government. And they did it right under our noses.

  73. highllama says:

    Thanks to the Queen of Timelines and her Court for the great institutional memory this work has become. Cheney et Co. have banked on our willingness to forget or our overloadedness, and threads like these prove that some have not slept through this hiddeous gash in American conscience. I agree so much goes back to Cold War origins and Dick’s sick bunker dreams of Total War. What is the Iraq War but an attempt to envision some of what fortunately didn’t pass between Russia (aka the USSR) and the US? And of course the Iraqi oil grab out from Russian hands, same story new day, and the twisted brinkmanship that I will always disdain these Reaganeers for…

  74. Boston1775 says:

    The most disturbing thing is the way people and events are actually connected. After Obama was elected I was happy for about a week.

    Then I continued reading my usual newsblogs, and the Obama administration was continuing the same practices that we were so upset about with the Republicans.

    So I took a vacation and started studying history in the same manner that EW et al have taken on current political events in the US. Pearl Harbor is similar to 9/11. The United States funded Hitler’s rise to power. World War I was staged to get a foothold in the Middle East. The Council of Nicea was the ultimate in political dirty tricks.

    The amount of human torture that has been planned by others is staggering. The level of suffering that has been planned by others in order to enrich the few has caused me to desire to rise above American politics and look into the history of politics itself.

    Politics feeds on manipulation through fear and human suffering. Hegel, the philosopher who posited that thesis v antithesis = synthesis (if you create two opposing sides and then bring them into conflict, you get a brand new force). It’s old school Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine.

    Where did Bush, Cheney and Rove come from? Where did Rahm, Nancy and Barrack come from? And how much human suffering will it take for us to dig deeper and continue connecting the dots that EW and all of you work so hard at concerning Dick Cheney?

    Who nurtured Dick Cheney?

  75. deke4 says:

    Why, of course we can include not only the Democrats, but also the Republicans and Independents. Remember all were acting on the inflammatory lies Bush, Cheney, Rice, Wolfnowitz, Feith were spreading to justify their rush to war. Remember ”the mushroom cloud”, remember the statement ”We have ’SOLID EVIDENCE’ of Iraq’s wmds, remember the mobile labs and ”this small vial” could cause tens of thousands of deaths. Remember the plea of the IAEA to Bush and his warmongers to ”let us finish our job”. How much proof does it take to prove that Bush and Cheney caused ”the war that should never have been”?
    I wonder what a show like TW3 (That Was the Week That Was) would have made of the warmongers assertions. Bush, Cheney, et al would have been exposed for the fools they really are.

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