4,057. 10/7/2002

Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith used his Office of Special Plans unit to brief the CIA on intelligence linking Saddam and al Qaeda. The CIA ignored the briefing, having already discounted most of the material. “Feith’s road show turned around and gave the same briefing at the White House for senior officials. …But this time they added a slide harshly critical of the CIA for disagreeing with them on the unproven links between Iraq, Al Qaeda, and the 9/11 attacks. Despite the inaccuracy of the information contained in the high-level briefings, the top-down pressure worked and the CIA quickly reversed itself. On October 7 [2002], the agency’s deputy director, John E. McLaughlin, noted in a letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee, ‘We have solid evidence of senior level contacts between Iraq and al-Qa’ida going back a decade.’ ”

 – James Bamford, A Pretext for War, Pages 317-318

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