5,376. 9/25/2003

“In late September [2003], [CIA Director George] Tenet returned from a meeting at the White House with instructions for CIA. …The White House had concocted a fake letter from [Iraqi intelligence head Tahir Jalil] Habbush to Saddam, backdated to July 1, 2001. It said that 9/11 ringleader Mohammed Atta had actually trained for his mission in Iraq–thus showing, finally, that there was an operational link between Saddam and al Qaeda, something the Vice President’s [Dick Cheney’s] Office had been pressing CIA to prove since 9/11 as a justification to invade Iraq. There is no link. The letter also mentioned suspicious shipments to Iraq from Niger set up with al Qaeda’s assistance. The idea was to take the letter to Habbush and have him transcribe it in his own neat handwriting on a piece of Iraq government stationary, to make it look legitimate. CIA would then take the finished product to Baghdad and have someone release it to the media.” [The 25th of the month used for date sorting purposes only.]

 – Ron Suskind, The Way of the World, Page 371

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