Saturday, March 22, 2008
Elie is a Unique and Unforgettable Hero and a LEADER.
The following includes pages 318-322 from Bamford's 'A Pretext for War' book:
Hadley and Libby were part of another secret office that had been set up within the White House. Known as the White House Iraq Group (WHIG), it was established in August 2002 by Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card, Jr., at the same time the OSP (Office of Special Plans) was established in Feith's office. Made up of high-level administration officials, its job was to sell the war to the general public, largely through televised addresses and by selectively leaking the intelligence to the media.
In June 2002, a leaked computer disk containing a presentation by chief Bush strategist Karl Rove revealed a White House political plan to use the war as a way to "maintain a positive issue environment." But the real pro-war media blitz was scheduled for the fall and the start of the election season "because from a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August," said Card.
At least once a week they would gather around the blonde conference table downstairs in the Situation Room, the same place the war was born on January 30, 2001, ten days into the Bush presidency. Although real intelligence had improved very little in the intervening nineteen months, the manufacturing of it had increased tremendously. In addition to Hadley and Libby, those frequently attending the WHIG meetings included Karl Rove, Condoleezza Rice, communications gurus Karen Hughes, Mary Matalin and James R. Wilkinson; and legislative liaison Nicholas E. Calio.
In addition to ties between Hussein and 9/11, among the most important products the group was looking to sell as Labor Day 2002 approached were frightening images of mushroom clouds, mobile biological weapons labs, and A-bomb plants, all in the hands of a certified "madman." A key piece of evidence that Hussein was building a nuclear weapon turned out to be the discredited Italian documents purchased on a street corner from a con man.
The WHIG began priming its audience in August when Vice President Cheney, on three occasions, sounded a shrill alarm over Saddam Hussein's nuclear threat. There "is no doubt," he declared, that Saddam Hussein "has weapons of mass destruction." Again and again, he hit the same chord. "What we know now, from various sources, is that he . . continues to pursue a nuclear weapon." And again: "We do know, with absolute certainty, that he is using his procurement system to acquire the equipment he needs in order to enrich uranium to build a nuclear weapon."
Facing network television cameras, Cheney warned, "We now know that Saddam has resumed his efforts to acquire nuclear weapons. . . . Among other sources, we've gotten this from firsthand testimony from defectors, including Saddam's own son-in-law." The relative was Hussein Kamel, who defected to Jordan in 1995 with a great deal of inside information on Iraq's special weapons programs, which he managed. He was later convinced by Saddam to return to Iraq, but executed by the ruler soon after his arrival.
But what Kamel told his interrogators was the exact opposite of what Cheney was claiming he said. After numerous debriefings by officials from the United States, the UN, and Jordan, he said on August 22, 1995, that Saddam had ended all uranium-enrichment programs at the beginning of the Gulf War in 1991 and never restarted them. He also made clear that "all weapons --biological, chemical, missile, nuclear--were destroyed." Investigators were convinced that Kamel was telling the truth, since he supplied them with a great deal of stolen raw data and was later murdered by his father-in-law as a result. But that was not the story Feith's OSP, Bush's WHIG, or Cheney wanted the American public to hear.
At the same time that Cheney began his media blitz, Ariel Sharon's office in Israel, as if perfectly coordinated, began issuing similar dire warnings concerning Hussein and pressing the Bush administration to go to war with Iraq. Like those from Cheney, pronouncements from Sharon's top aide, Ranaan Gissin, included frightening "evidence" --- equally phony --- of nuclear, as well as biological and chemical, threats.
"As evidence of Iraq's weapons building activities, " said an Associated Press report on the briefing, "Israel points to an order Saddam gave to Iraq's Atomic Energy Commission last week to speed up its work, said Sharon aide Ranaan Gissin. 'Saddam's going to be able to reach a point where these weapons will be operational,' he said. . . . Israeli intelligence officials have gathered evidence that Iraq is speeding up efforts to produce biological and chemical weapons, Gissin said."
It was clear, based on the postwar reviews done in Israel, that Israeli intelligence had no such evidence. Instead, the "evidence" was likely cooked up in Sharon's own Office of Special Plans unit, which was coordinating its activities with the Feith/Wurmser/Shulsky Office of Special Plans. The joint get-Saddam media blitz would also explain the many highly secret visits by the Israeli generals to Feith's office during the summer..
"Israel is urging U.S. officials not to delay a military strike against Iraq's Saddam Hussein, an aide to Prime Minister Ariel Minister said Friday," the AP report continued. " "Any postponement of an attack on Iraq at this stage with serve no purpose,' Gissin told the Associated Press. 'It will only give him [Saddam] more of an opportunity to accelerate his program of weapons of mass destruction.'"
As expected. Sharon's calls as widely publicized and increased pressure on Congress, which often bows to Israel's wishes, to vote in favor of the Bush war resolution. "Israel To U.S.: Don't Delay Iraq Attack," said a CBS News headline. "Israel is urging U.S. officials not to delay a military strike against Iraq's Saddam Hussein, an aide to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Friday," said the report.
The story also made the news in London, where the Guardian newspaper ran the headline: "Israel Puts Pressure on US to Strike Iraq." It went on, "With foreign policy experts in Washington becoming increasingly critical of the wisdom of a military strike, and European governments showing no willingness to support an attack, the Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, wants to make it clear that he is the US president's most reliable ally."
It was as if the Feith-Wurmser-Perle "Clean Break" plan come full circle. Their plan for Israel to overthrow Saddam Hussein and put a pro-Israel regime in his place had been rejected by former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Now Bush, with Sharon's support, was about to put it into effect.
Across the Atlantic, British Prime Minister Tony Blair also contributed to the war fever by releasing a much-hyped report that reinforced the White House theme that Iraq was an imminent threat not only to the United States but also to Britain. In addition to including a reference to the bogus Iraq-Niger uranium deal, the report -- later dubbed the "doggie dossier"--made another frightening claim. It warned that Iraq could launch a deadly biological or chemical attack with long-range ballistic missiles on British tourists and servicemen in Cyprus with just forty-five minute's notice.
Only after the war would it be publicly revealed that the reference was not to a strategic weapon that could reach Cyprus, but simply to a short-range battlefield weapon that could not come anywhere close to Cyprus. And because all the missiles were disassembled, even to fire on them on the battlefield would take not forty-five minutes but days of assembly and preparation. At least three times prior to the war, Blair was warned by intelligence officials that the report was inaccurate, but he made no public mention of it.. "
Democracy presupposes civic equality,the equality of all citizens in the eyes of the law. Elie's main goal in politics can be summarized as: The preferred government must possess the capacity of representing different Lebanese factions and enjoy unwavering moral values and a modern administrative effectiveness. Only such a government is capable of taking the steps needed to rebuild the Lebanese political system and regain the balance in the republic. Elie is an Unforgettable LEADER.