Top CIA official confesses order to forge Iraq-9/11 letter

Scott Free
Tape: Top CIA official confesses order to forge Iraq-9/11 letter came on White House stationery

A forged letter linking Saddam Hussein to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks was ordered on White House stationery and probably came from the office of Vice President Dick Cheney, according to a new transcript (external - login to view) of a conversation with the Central Intelligence Agency's former Deputy Chief of Clandestine Operations Robert Richer.
The transcript was posted Friday by author Ron Suskind of an interview conducted in June. It comes on the heels of denials by both the White House and Richer of a claim Suskind made in his new book, The Way of The World. The book was leaked to Politico's Mike Allen on Monday, and released Tuesday.
On Tuesday, the White House released a statement (external - login to view) on Richer's behalf. In it, Richer declared, "I never received direction from George Tenet or anyone else in my chain of command to fabricate a document ... as outlined in Mr. Suskind's book."
The denial, however, directly contradicts Richer's own remarks in the transcript.
"Now this is from the Vice President's Office is how you remembered it--not from the president?" Suskind asked.
"No, no, no," Richer replied, according to the transcript. "What I remember is George [Tenet] saying, 'we got this from'--basically, from what George said was 'downtown.'"
"Which is the White House?" Suskind asked.
"Yes," Richer said. "But he did not--in my memory--never said president, vice president, or NSC. Okay? But now--he may have hinted--just by the way he said it, it would have--cause almost all that stuff came from one place only: Scooter Libby and the shop around the vice president."
"But he didn't say that specifically," Richer added. "I would naturally--I would probably stand on my, basically, my reputation and say it came from the vice president."
"But there wasn't anything in the writing that you remember saying the vice president," Suskind continued.
"Nope," Richer said.
"It just had the White House stationery."
"Exactly right."
Later, Richer added, "You know, if you've ever seen the vice president's stationery, it's on the White House letterhead. It may have said OVP (Office of the Vice President). I don't remember that, so I don't want to mislead you."
Suskind says decision to post transcript unusual

Suskind posted the transcript (external - login to view) at his blog, saying, "This posting is contrary to my practice across 25 years as a journalist. But the issues, in this matter, are simply too important to stand as discredited in any way." It was first picked up (external - login to view) by ThinkProgress and Congressional Quarterly's Jeff Stein.
Suskind's new book asserts that senior Bush officials ordered the CIA to forge a document "proving" that Saddam Hussein had been trying to manufacture nuclear weapons and was collaborating with al Qaeda. The alleged result was a faked memorandum from then chief of Saddam's intelligence service Tahir Jalil Habbush dated July 1, 2001, and written to Hussein.
The bogus memo claimed that 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta had received training in Baghdad but also discussed the arrival of a "shipment" from Niger, which the Administration claimed had supplied Iraq with yellowcake uranium -- based on yet another forged document whose source remains uncertain.
The memo subsequently was treated as fact (external - login to view) by the British Sunday Telegraph, and cited by William Safire in his New York Times column, providing fodder for Bush's efforts to take the US to war.
The Sunday Telegraph cited the main source for its story on Iraq's 9/11 involvement as Ayad Allawi, a former Baathist who rebelled against Saddam and was appointed a government position after the US occupation.
Nothing in the story explains how an Iraqi politician was privy to the fake memo, but the New York Times column alluded to Allawi and described him as "an Iraqi leader long considered reliable by intelligence agencies."
"To characterize it right," Richer also declares in the transcript, "I would say, right: it came to us, George had a raised eyebrow, and basically we passed it on--it was to--and passed this on into the organization. You know, it was: 'Okay, we gotta do this, but make it go away.' To be honest with you, I don't want to make it sound--I for sure don't want to portray this as George jumping: 'Okay, this has gotta happen.' As I remember it--and, again, it's still vague, so I'll be very straight with you on this--is it wasn't that important. It was: 'This is unbelievable. This is just like all the other garbage we get about . . . I mean Mohammad Atta and links to al Qaeda. 'Rob,' you know, 'do something with this.' I think it was more like that than: 'Get this done.'"
Magazine asserts Feith created bogus document

Today, The American Conservative also published a report (external - login to view) saying that the forgery was actually produced by then-Defense Undersecretary Douglas Feith's Office of Special Plans, citing an unnamed intelligence source. The source reportedly added that Suskind’s overall claim “is correct."
"My source also notes that Dick Cheney, who was behind the forgery, hated and mistrusted the Agency and would not have used it for such a sensitive assignment," the magazine wrote. "Instead, he went to Doug Feith’s Office of Special Plans and asked them to do the job. … It was Feith’s office that produced the letter and then surfaced it to the media in Iraq. Unlike the [Central Intelligence] Agency, the Pentagon had no restrictions on it regarding the production of false information to mislead the public. Indeed, one might argue that Doug Feith’s office specialized in such activity."
More of Suskind's transcripts are available here (external - login to view).

Source (external - login to view)

So all you need in the US is white house stationary to forge an executive order?

First that is bat $hit crazy and second scary as hell.

I call BS.
Are his pants on fire? (external - login to view)

"WASHINGTON — The White House and the CIA on Tuesday adamantly denied a report that the Bush administration forged a letter purporting to show a link between Saddam Hussein’s regime and al-Qaida as a justification for the Iraq war.

The allegation was raised by Washington-based journalist Ron Suskind in a new book, The Way of the World, published Tuesday. The letter supposedly was written by Tahir Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti, director of Iraqi intelligence under Saddam Hussein.

"The White House had concocted a fake letter from Habbush to Saddam, backdated to July 1, 2001," Suskind wrote. "It said that 9-11 ringleader Mohammad Atta had actually trained for his mission in Iraq thus showing, finally, that there was an operational link between Saddam and al-Qaida, something the vice-president’s office had been pressing CIA to prove since 9-11 as a justification to invade Iraq. There is no link."
Dick Cheney, was behind the forgery why am i not surprised,how many times must these same people get away with the crimes perpetrated on the American ppl without coming to book for it ..
This was intended to link Iraq to 9/11. Cheney who considers himself "not a part of the Executive branch", but it was drafted on White House letterhead. We now have DOCUMENTED PROOF of a conspiracy to lie and fabricate evidence for war with Iraq!--all likely headed by Dick Cheney, chief of the neoconservative Fifth Column that hijacked the government by using 9/11 as their pretext for everything.
For Cheney to use White House letterhead to order a forged letter from the CIA is also a blatant usurpation of power, making use of power that is not his ("not part of Executive branch"). Did Bush know or did Cheney act alone?

Scott Free
It is pretty damning evidence.
Bush and Cheney are dickheads.....who knew?

It's to bad this guy is allowed to finnish his presidency but on the lighter side his leagcy will be one of shame.
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