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The simple fact is that the documentary Hubris skimmed over the real story of the lies and misinformation that was given.  Not only did white house officials cherry pick their statements to the public to sell the war in Iraq.  They also had a group of hand-selected people who were working to play up questionable intelligence and downplay good intelligence.

They were called, "The Office of Special Plans" but jokingly referred to themselves as "The Cabal".

According to this New Yorker article by Seymore Hersch, dated May 12, 2003, this group was hand-picked and chosen for one specific purpose:

According to the Pentagon adviser, Special Plans was created in order to find evidence of what Wolfowitz and his boss, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, believed to be true
(I Don't Believe that for a Moment!)
—that Saddam Hussein had close ties to Al Qaeda, and that Iraq had an enormous arsenal of chemical, biological, and possibly even nuclear weapons that threatened the region and, potentially, the United States
They filtered the intelligence, they worked together to produce a product that was easy to package and sell to the complicit media.  They worked to ensure that "the intelligence was bad".

for instance:

If Special Plans was going to search for new intelligence on Iraq, the most obvious source was defectors with firsthand knowledge. The office inevitably turned to Ahmad Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress. The I.N.C., an umbrella organization for diverse groups opposed to Saddam, is constantly seeking out Iraqi defectors. The Special Plans Office developed a close working relationship with the I.N.C., and this strengthened its position in disputes with the C.I.A. and gave the Pentagon’s pro-war leadership added leverage in its constant disputes with the State Department. Special Plans also became a conduit for intelligence reports from the I.N.C. to officials in the White House.

There was a close personal bond, too, between Chalabi and Wolfowitz and Perle, dating back many years. Their relationship deepened after the Bush Administration took office, and Chalabi’s ties extended to others in the Administration, including Rumsfeld; Douglas Feith, the Under-Secretary of Defense for Policy; and I. Lewis Libby, Vice-President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff. For years, Chalabi has had the support of prominent members of the American Enterprise Institute and other conservatives. Chalabi had some Democratic supporters, too, including James Woolsey, the former head of the C.I.A.

The reason that I don't believe that for a moment is because this is something that was done before, intentionally, to provide hand-picked faulty intelligence when Dick Cheney had Donald Rumsfeld's job during the cold war.  As shown in the important documentary, "The Power of Nightmares"
Professor RICHARD PIPES: And the idea was then to appoint a group of outside experts who have access to the same evidence as the CIA used to arrive at these conclusions, and to see if they could come up with different conclusions.

INTERVIEWER: Did you think it was a fantasy?

PIPES: No! I thought it was absolute reality.

CAHN: I would say that all of it was fantasy. I mean, they looked at radars out in Krasnoyarsk and said, "This is a laser beam weapon," when in fact it was nothing of the sort. They even took a Russian military manual, which the correct translation of it is "The Art of Winning." And when they translated it and put it into Team B, they called it "The Art of Conquest." Well, there's a difference between "conquest" and "winning." And if you go through most of Team B's specific allegations about weapons systems, and you just examine them one by one, they were all wrong.

INTERVIEWER: All of them?

CAHN: All of them.

INTERVIEWER: Nothing true?

CAHN: I don't believe anything in Team B was really true.

VO: The neoconservatives set up a lobby group to publicize the findings of Team B. It was called the Committee on the Present Danger, and a growing number of politicians joined, including a Presidential hopeful, Ronald Reagan.

And who set up the Team B back in the day?

Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Cheney, Richard Perle and Donald Rumsfeld

And who provided most of the faulty information for the "new team b" (Office of Special Plans)?


and who became Iraq's first appointed president?


and what was the excuse for not finding WMD in Iraq?

bad intelligence.

and what did wolfowitz say?

The war will pay for itself in oil

and how much did it actually cost the United States of America?

4 trillion dollars

“The minimum that it could cost now is $4 trillion,” Bilmes told the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington on Thursday. “We have trillions of dollars that have sort of sneaked up on us.”

For example, a few years ago Bilmes and Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz predicted in their landmark book, “Three Trillion Dollar War,” that about 45 percent of the troops sent to fight in the conflict might require disability compensation. Now it looks like 56 percent will.

and what did Rumsfeld say would happen?

"They would welcome us as liberators."

And what actually happened?

3,400 u.s. military deaths after mission accomplished
(unknown number of civilian contractor deaths)

And how many people did (a mouthpiece for the same complicit media) say died in direct conflict?


and how many died from lack of medical care? from being expatriated refugees? from poor nutrition? from unsafe drinking water? from loss of electrical power in major cities for over a year? from poor prenatal care and depleted uranium/chemical contamination?

Unknown but likely over 1 million early civilian deaths.


Will we ever see war crimes brought against U.S. Administration Officials for the lies of the Iraq War?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Btw, did they realize that Russian military manual (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    subtropolis, sunbro, zenox, jayden, New Minas

    they were talking about was written in 1795?

  •  I think you are fully correct about the staging (7+ / 0-)

    of the war hysteria, and the role played by Chalabi, but I'm not sure if Chalabi wasn't working undercover for Iran the entire time. Iran, after all, used the US military to depose their mortal enemies, and now that Iran is firmly the power broker in Iraq, it's clear the US will get no substantial military influence in Iraq, as fantasied by the neocon cabal, and US oil companies will get no cheap, no-bid access to the oil reserves of Iraq. My only consolation for the unfathomable war crimes committed by the cabal, and the cowardice shown by so many media and elected officials, is that they got only the profits of the war amid the massive destruction of the American economy and spirit, but not the military beachhead or the control of cheap oil. The idiots got suckered by Chalabi and INC.

    Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge. -Carl Sagan

    by howardfromUSA on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 09:21:23 PM PDT

    •  there are many nodes in the web (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sunbro, Ginny in CO, Buckeye54

      Iran took advantage of the foolishness of the Cheney administration. Full stop.

      And i'm sure that Chalabi would have loved for Iraq to become sort of like a cross between Turkey and Saudi Arabia, with him at the top. And with the US a favoured  partner and thus no small leverage where its relations with Iran were concerned.

      Personally, i wish it did all come to pass. The freedoms, etc. But i knew from the get-go that these chumps were in over their heads, and that a lot of blood would be spilled as a result.

      But they'll never hang for it. Not in America.

      All things in the sky are pure to those who have no telescopes. – Charles Fort

      by subtropolis on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 10:07:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wasn't it Chalabi's relative who (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      New Minas

      provided Bush & Cheney with all the intelligence they wanted?  Didn't Bush try to get Chalabi a major position in Iraq after the war?  Didn't Wolfowitz's girlfriend play a major role in making sure the US went to war with Iraq?

      The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

      by nupstateny on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 12:01:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Juan Cole did an excellent analysis (of course) (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Don midwest, viral, ybruti

      What we Lost: Top Ten Ways the Iraq War Harmed the US

      I especially found this illuminating.

      8. The Iraq War allowed Iran to rise as a regional power, so that a Tehran-Baghdad-Damascus-Beirut political axis was created. This alignment is visible in the Syria conflict, with Iran and its allies attempting to prop up Syria’s ruling elite (which adheres to the Alawi sect of Shiite Islam). This Iranian geopolitical dominance exacerbated sectarian conflict throughout the region, with militant Sunnis striking back at ascendant Shiites, contributing to a destabilization of the region.
      Since we are still the major military power by many times, it's going to be interesting how much respect we can maintain. It's looking like plenty of countries around the world are going to work together and if we want to cooperate, fine. Otherwise they will continue in their own  intelligent plans.

      "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

      by Ginny in CO on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 03:31:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  read Juan Cole first thing in AM for over decade (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the next day after this post Juan described the conditions in Iraq

        the American public resists hearing about reality because they spend so much time on reality TV?

        why are we so uncaring about the destruction we foist on the world?

        Former Haliburton unit got over $39B from Iraq war so someone saw a benefit....

    •  No (0+ / 0-)

      Chalabi was a long-time ally of rumsfeld, feith, perle and wolfowitz.  He was in it for the money.  He was hired to provide bad intelligence to the office of special plans to provide raw meat for the intelligence report.  The same report that democratic senators and congress now say was the sole reason for authorizing war.

  •  Team B Is The Great Untold Story Of Post-Vietnam (7+ / 0-)


    First they sold us the Cold War based on stories of imaginary Russian wonder weapons, then the same people dusted off the same script for the war with Iraq.

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 10:03:50 PM PDT

  •  Corrupt men with mediocre intelligence (3+ / 0-)

    ...born into priviliged circumstances, allowing them rise to power positions they should not have held, accessing to world's deadliest fire power... the formula behind most lethal nightmares.

    None of these individuals, inclufing Perle, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfovitz, have the necessary qualifications and maturity to be trusted with such responsibility.

    We must learn from what happened.

    "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

    by zenox on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 03:37:24 AM PDT

  •  Neocons (10+ / 0-)

    are still not disgraced or discredited enough to prevent them from being invited on tv news, cable news, etc.

    Some of them (maybe most, I don't listen to them much) still defend their actions.  They say the world is a better place because Saddam is gone.  Meanwhile many Iraqis don't agree.  They now look back nostalgically at the Saddam days. That's how bad things are in Iraq and how horrible the outlook is.  They look back on the days under a dictator as the good days, compare to now.

    But these asshole cabal members are still welcome on tv interviews.  That's how you know that we have not learned any lessons when war criminals are treated with respect.  That means we'll do these things again. No lessons learned.  Media is still welcoming war criminals on the news.

    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 04:09:23 AM PDT

    •  government sponsored crime in Iraq war (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jayden, ybruti, blueoasis
      Not only did Iraq war hawks push America into war, but the House and Senate, including Democrats, authorized war. The media notoriously signed on to the war. People in power who could have spoken up and sections of society that could have been more outspoken were silent.
      No persons have ever been held accountable for the war. The organization of a truth commission, where Bush administration officials and others complicit or responsible for the criminal Iraq war are exposed and shamed, has not occurred.
      Like previous US wars, it could be decades later before the world really learns all that should be known about the crimes of humanity Iraqis endured. The truth of what happened is still being learned, but enough is known, however, to unequivocally conclude a massive ongoing eight-year crime was carried out in Iraq and, sadly, Iraqis are unlikely to ever get the justice, accountability or even the reparations they deserve.
    •  neocon war deficit (5+ / 0-)

      Don't take our social security to pay for Bush's war. The point of income taxes was long held to be for paying for wars, the tax increase on the rich is not negotiable.

  •  not about being right (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Buckeye54, viral, hlsmlane, unfangus, New Minas

    they viewed each problem in front of them as a political issue to be overcome.

    1. Intelligence doesn't support the policy you want; change the  INTEL not the policy

    2. Public doesn't like the cost of protracted war; shield them from it

    3. Media coverage of war costs turns public against it; turn the media into a propaganda outlet

    4. Congress wants to investigate your behavior prior to the war; refuse to participate

    5. leakers expose your actions; destroy their careers

    in every care, its never about formulating a policy that serves the circumstances of the moment. it always about dealing with current circumstances in ways that preserve the policy. they already decided what needed to be done, and if it didn't turn out the way they wanted its only because OUR failure to support their brilliant insights no matter the cost.

  •  The OSP needs to be mentioned often (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden, viral it doesn't slither from history. So I hope this sits on the Rec list for a while.

    Mainstream news organizations need to shine more light on this.

    Yeah, I know.....

    "This is a center-left country. Democrats can act that way and win. In fact, they must." -- Markos

    by cassandraX on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 06:06:43 AM PDT

  •  Wolfowitz was a disciple of Leo Strauss. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    viral, ybruti, New Minas

    Strauss was the father of deception, lies and perpetual war.

    Prof. Shadia Drury is the expert on these connections and to Iraq.

    Boehner Just Wants Wife To Listen, Not Come Up With Alternative Debt-Reduction Ideas

    by dov12348 on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 06:22:47 AM PDT

  •  the evil twin of Hitler. . . (0+ / 0-)

    methinks. . .and one of W's most scariest 'mentors' during his reign of terror. Glad to read this diary and know the secret's out. Now will someone please do the same for the scariest son of a bitch and evil doer of all times. . .DICK F'N CHENEY?

    Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

    by richholtzin on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 07:52:47 AM PDT

  •  Raw Intel Data... (0+ / 0-) a mess. Confused, self contradictory, garbled. Dealt with such data, a few times in my life; increased my respect for the analysts who try to sort through it all.

    Takes a very hard nosed, skeptical attitude to do this right. So, was this or that senior cabinet minister really in Dubai this past weekend? SIGINT shows radio traffic from his private jet, en route... but, trusted (?) informant with a drug habit (which we're bank rolling) puts him in Kuwait at the same time. And so on.

    To approach all of this accumulated data with an axe to grind is, at the least, a recipe for error. At worst, it is a license for fraud.

    I can guarantee, if the "Office for Special Plans" had wanted to mine raw Intel data to find proof that Hussein was an alien Pod Person, they could have done it!

    "Cause 5 in every 4 just don't amount to nothin' more, so watch the rats go 'cross the floor, and make up songs ' bout bein' poor." F Zappa

    by GearRatio on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 09:17:30 AM PDT

    •  not only that but (0+ / 0-)

      they hired third party members to stage false intel, it was a cointel project directed against congress via the CIA.  This is analogous to the "nurse" (who later turned out to be one of kuwaiti delegate's daughters and was coached to testify to congress) who testified about the now infameous incubator theft lie in the invasion of kuwait.

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