4,174. 10/27/2002

“Given the cover name Policy Counterterrorism Evaluation Group, [neoconservative scholar David] Wurmser’s unit [secretly reporting to Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith] was little more than a pro-war propaganda cell. It was designed to produce evidence to support the pretexts for attacking Iraq. …[including] finding loose ties between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. …But the primary purpose of the unit was to come up with some basis to counter the CIA, whose analysts had consistently found no credible links between Al Qaeda and Hussein. The CIA’s analysis [as quoted by Knight-Ridder on October 27, 2002], said [Chairman of the Defense Policy Board Richard] Perle with his trademark arrogance, ‘isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.’ …But instead of an honest, unbiased review of intelligence such as the CIA was charged with producing, the Wurmser intelligence unit would pluck selective bits and pieces of thread from a giant ball of yarn and weave them together into a frightening tapestry.”

 – James Bamford, A Pretext for War, Pages 289-290

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