3,291. 1/14/2002

On January 14, 2002, “a little-noticed article in The Washington Times reported that the Pentagon had launched its own secret effort to develop a case for attacking Iraq and overthrowing Saddam Hussein as part of the war on terrorism. …Established under [Deputy Secretary of Defense] Paul Wolfowitz by [Undersecretary of Defense for Policy] Douglas Feith, the Pentagon effort was overseen by Feith’s deputy, William J. Luti. Luti, a retired naval officer and former aide to ex-House Speaker Newt Gingrich [R-GA], had come to the Pentagon from [Vice President Dick] Cheney’s office. Chief among the new office’s multiple tasks was a closer examination of all intelligence information to find links between Iraq and al-Qaeda and evidence of Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction that other analysts might have overlooked or underappreciated. The office…also managed the Pentagon’s relationship with its favored candidate to replace Hussein, the exiled leader Ahmed Chalabi, a leading supplier of anti-Saddam intelligence. Intelligence analysis was normally the province of the CIA, and the State Department was nominally in charge of the [Bush] administration’s relationship with Chalabi and his Iraqi National Congress [INC]. But at the White House and the Pentagon, both the CIA and the State Department were considered insufficiently aggressive on the subject of Iraq and unnecessarily hostile toward the INC.”

 – Karen DeYoung, Soldier: The Life of Colin Powell, Pages 396-397

Categorised in:

Comments are closed here.