CASE CLOSED … what really happened in the 2001 anthrax attacks?

* Seymour Hersh: selective intelligence from the OSP (5-12-03)

Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 9, 2009

Seymour Hersh wrote in the New Yorker (5-12-03) …

  • They call themselves, self-mockingly, the Cabal—a small cluster of policy advisers and analysts now based in the Pentagon’s Office of Special Plans.
  • In the past year, according to former and present Bush Administration officials, their operation, which was conceived by Paul Wolfowitz, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, has brought about a crucial change of direction in the American intelligence community.
  • These advisers and analysts, who began their work in the days after September 11, 2001, have produced a skein of intelligence reviews that have helped to shape public opinion and American policy toward Iraq.
  • “The Pentagon has banded together to dominate the government’s foreign policy, and they’ve pulled it off. They’re running Chalabi. The D.I.A. has been intimidated and beaten to a pulp. And there’s no guts at all in the C.I.A.”
  • According to the Pentagon adviser, Special Plans was created in order to find evidence of what Wolfowitz and his boss, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, believed to be true—that Saddam Hussein had close ties to Al Qaeda, and that Iraq had an enormous arsenal of chemical, biological, and possibly even nuclear weapons that threatened the region and, potentially, the United States.
  • Rumsfeld and his colleagues believed that the C.I.A. was unable to perceive the reality of the situation in Iraq. The goal of Special Plans, he said, was “to put the data under the microscope to reveal what the intelligence community can’t see.
  • For example, many newspapers published extensive interviews with Adnan Ihsan Saeed al-Haideri, a civil engineer who, with the I.N.C.’s help, fled Iraq in 2001, and subsequently claimed that he had visited twenty hidden facilities that he believed were built for the production of biological and chemical weapons.
  • One, he said, was underneath a hospital in Baghdad. Haideri was apparently a source for Secretary of State Colin Powell’s claim, in his presentation to the United Nations Security Council on February 5th, that the United States had “firsthand descriptions” of mobile factories capable of producing vast quantities of biological weapons. The U.N. teams that returned to Iraq last winter were unable to verify any of al-Haideri’s claims.
  • In a statement to the Security Council in March, on the eve of war, Hans Blix, the U.N.’s chief weapons inspector, noted that his teams had physically examined the hospital and other sites with the help of ground-penetrating radar equipment. “No underground facilities for chemical or biological production or storage were found so far,” he said.
  • … they were using the intelligence from the C.I.A. and other agencies only when it fit their agenda. They didn’t like the intelligence they were getting, and so they brought in people to write the stuff. They were so crazed and so far out and so difficult to reason with—to the point of being bizarre. Dogmatic, as if they were on a mission from God.” He added, “If it doesn’t fit their theory, they don’t want to accept it.”
  • In interviews, former C.I.A. officers and analysts described the agency as increasingly demoralized. “George knows he’s being beaten up,” one former officer said of George Tenet, the C.I.A. director. “And his analysts are terrified. George used to protect his people, but he’s been forced to do things their way.”
  • The Defense Department and the Office of the Vice-President write their own pieces, based on their own ideology. We collect so much stuff that you can find anything you want.”

read the entire article at … http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2003/05/12/030512fa_fact

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