Former Undersecretary for Defense Doug Feith has written a book about the run up to the occupation of Iraq and one can’t help, but wonder why. Feith, once described by General Tommy Franks as “The dumbest f****ing guy on the planet….” might be doing more to earn that distinction. Every detail will be analyzed to death and if his 60 Minutes interview is any indication he’s going to have a lot of people to avoid on the beltway cocktail party circuit and the entire CIA,
Rumsfeld’s statement is followed with words from President Bush warning, “The Iraqi regime is a threat to any American,” which, in turn, is followed by Vice President Cheney’s statement, “There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies and against us.”
Feith responds, “It is true that there was a serious error that the CIA made in saying that we would find WMD stockpiles. And it was a terrible mistake for the administration to have made those stockpiles in any way a part of the case for war. I don’t think we needed to.”
“Wasn’t that the whole lynchpin for the war?” asks Kroft. “I don’t believe so,” the former Defense Department official answers.
Feith has been trying separately for some time to lay all blame at the foot of the CIA concerning intelligence about Iraq, as has Bush. CIA veteran Paul Pillar debunked this nonsense just last year,
When an intelligence officer responsible for counterterrorism politely pointed out that something Feith had just said (and was recommending as a public talking point) about Iraqi-al-Qa’ida relations was not supported by the intelligence, Feith dismissed my colleague’s point as “nit-picking” and quickly went on to the next subject. It was a don’t-bother-us-with-the-facts- we-have-a-war-to-sell approach.
Pillar wasn’t the only one to see that Feith wasn’t much more then the administration’s snake-oil salesman. The Pentagon’s Inspector General found that Feith treated intelligence reports like a creative writing assignment, Pentagon Iraq report called ‘highly disturbing’
Acting Inspector General Thomas F. Gimble told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the office headed by former Pentagon policy chief Douglas J. Feith took “inappropriate” actions in advancing conclusions on Al Qaeda connections not backed up by the nation’s intelligence agencies.
[ ]… Gimble responded that at issue was that the information supplied by Feith’s office in briefings to the National Security Council and the office of Vice President Dick Cheney was “provided without caveats” that there were varying opinions on its reliability.
Gimble’s report said Feith’s office had made assertions “that were inconsistent with the consensus of the intelligence community.”
Feith, wait for it Grover Norquist liberal collge professors conspiracy fans, now works as a professor at Georgetown.
Feith says there have been lots of errors in judgment, but not by him. He is generous in his criticism of Secretary of State Colin Powell, CIA Director George Tenet and General Tommy Franks. And they have returned the favor, plus interest.
Poor DF, he thinks he was the lone voice of truth and wisdom. So 9-11, an attack by some militants from Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates gives this administration the idea that they must make an ” Anticipatory Self-Defense” strike and then occupy a country from which none of those hijackers came from, had no relations with AQ and had given up their nuclear program back in the nineties. Even as Iraq sponsored some militant groups most of those groups attacked other Muslims. Only Mr. Feith and his neocon comrades could sit there with a straight face claiming their POV makes sense.