At The American Conservative, Philip Giraldi asks the question “Was the architect of the Iraq War getting advice from an agent of the Islamic Republic?”
It is now generally accepted that the Iraq War came about as a result in large part of manipulation of intelligence, which skewed the decision-making process. Ahmed Chalabi, the multi-millionaire confidence trickster who headed the Iraqi National Congress, fed fabricated information to his neoconservative allies in the Pentagon and White House. The so-called intelligence was repackaged in Doug Feith’s Office of Special Plans (OSP) and stove-piped up to the decision makers, thereby circumventing the normal checks and balances in place at the Central Intelligence Agency for the vetting of raw information. Alleged “reliable sources” provided detailed descriptions of drones capable of flying across the Atlantic Ocean, links with al-Qaeda, chemical and biological stockpiles, and hidden nuclear weapons programs, all of which became the menu du jour for policymakers. Garbage in, garbage out developed into the standard operating procedure as the United States government willy-nilly began a war of aggression against an enemy that presented no threat, Washington’s complete ignorance of facts on the ground best exemplified by its post-invasion futile search for weapons of mass destruction that did not exist.
Less well known is the role played by private neoconservative organizations in cooking the books to make the case for war. In 2001, the United States spent more than $20 billion per year on intelligence gathering and analysis, but the White House still felt it desirable to bring in outside advisers to provide additional insights. President George W. Bush was regularly briefed by “experts” from the American Enterprise Institute and other neocon think tanks, some of whom were simultaneously working at Feith’s OSP while also writing articles for publications including the Weekly Standard and The Wall Street Journal to make the case for war. It was a perfect trifecta: forge the intelligence, exploit access to the media, and brief a befuddled president based on your own contrived narrative.