Tags: Was | Congress | Lied | About | Iraq?

Was Congress Lied To About Iraq?

Monday, 12 December 2005 12:00 AM

In the middle of the ongoing debate over whether or not the Bush administration

Defenders of the administration cavalierly claim, "Oh, the Congress saw the same intelligence that the president saw."

Nothing –

"Intelligence" – that information produced by CIA, NSA, NRO, DIA and the service intelligence agencies – is all executive branch product. In other words, the executive branch owns it, edits it, restricts it, decides who sees what and when.

I often tell an amusing story. In 1981, soon after being sworn in as a U.S. representative and being selected for the Foreign Affairs Committee, I attended a "closed" committee meeting to review the Iranian hostage crisis, which had just ended.

The meeting room was cleared of all staff. CIA personnel came in and gave each member a sealed file folder. I was so excited to think that I was now –

A CIA man signaled our committee chairman, who then said, "You may now break the seals and open your files." My heart rate increased.

I tore the seal and opened the file folder.

Over the subsequent years – especially through my devotion to the issue of American POWs abandoned by the U.S. government at the end of the Vietnam War and still held against their will in Vietnam and Laos – I have learned much about how the executive branch intelligence operation works:

1) CIA "places" its staffers all over the government. Thus, congressional staffs are infiltrated by CIA people, who are there to keep an eye on things and to "steer" investigations toward an outcome the CIA is happy with.

2) CIA places staffers over in the Pentagon, inside the State Department – even in the White House – all to spy on those departments.

3) The intelligence community is in the business of "keeping secrets." Thus, how do we know what they are

4) Back to the Iraqi situation: Back in the fall of 2002, senators and representatives were falling all over themselves to blast Saddam and Iraq for having WMDs. They claimed to have seen the intelligence of such weaponry. Now that the war has soured, these same senators – i.e., John Kerry, Hillary and scores of others – claim that they were "lied to."

Were they?

Yes – and no.

They were "manipulated" by the executive branch into voting for the authorization to use force.

This manipulation was done by the selective use of

However, these senators were so eager to be seen as hawks that they wanted to blast Saddam – regardless of the intelligence. How can you trust these elected officials anyway? If they were lied to, they allowed it to happen! They didn't question the intelligence, they didn't demand certain things, they didn't threaten their ultimate weapon –

No, they happily were complicit in this Kabuki theater whereby a phony case of Saddam's WMDs was made in order to get the American people riled up in the wake of 9/11.

Not so easily manipulated were our longtime allies such as Canada, which, when shown the intelligence, refused to join in the Iraq campaign because they saw nothing that worried them. (Keep in mind that Canada has fought with us in every war of the last century – until Iraq.)

This is an ongoing scandal of epic proportions: that the USA would launch a pre-emptive invasion based on faulty – or false – intelligence is an incredible crime.

We, as a nation, are only just now coming to grips with the enormity of this manipulation.

Guess what?

Other similar manipulations of intelligence have occurred. Look for that information to come out soon.

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In the middle of the ongoing debate over whether or not the Bush administration Defenders of the administration cavalierly claim, "Oh, the Congress saw the same intelligence that the president saw." Nothing "Intelligence" that information produced by...
Was,Congress,Lied,About,Iraq?
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2005-00-12
Monday, 12 December 2005 12:00 AM
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