Um, do you think maybe now
our elected officials might spend a wee bit of time reflecting on just how
they received all of that 'faulty intelligence' that allowed them to get led into this mess in the first place?
Remember the Germans as a source for Powell's assertions about bioweapons labs (which intelligence Powell recently admitted was wrong)? Oh, and remember the yellowcake affair, and how the source for that info was, depending on how you read it, 'British intelligence reports' or the Italian intelligence service?
Hmm, I wonder how all of those other countries were so bamboozled? You don't suppose that any of our government folks worked this one both ways, fooling other intelligence agencies so that we could cite them instead of our own intelligence...?
Take a look at a couple of possible scenarios showing how we could have used our agents and friends to feed false intelligence to other countries, then handily scoop it up as gospel truth. The first is from der Spiegel
and deals with the mobile bioweapons labs:
This is a sentence that will probably find its way into every history book: "It turns out that we were all wrong." This assessment, reached by former US chief weapons inspector David Kay, has been causing significant problems for US President George W. Bush for months. The inflated story about Saddam's alleged arsenal of horror could be one of the factors that may cost him his reelection.
Another remark Kay made during his testimony before a congressional panel in January has not yet become as widely known: "The Germans and their intelligence services believed that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq."
Does this mean that key reasons to go to war were supplied by Germany, an opponent of the war?
The erstwhile key informer in the case is now suspected of being nothing but a con man. According to Kay, the BND was deceived by a "total liar," one of the agitators that the shady Ahmed Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress (INC) dispatched to the intelligence services to exaggerate the threat posed by Saddam Hussein. In Washington today, the fact that the intelligence services relied on Chalabi's agents is viewed as one of the main reasons behind this intelligence fiasco. Agent "Curveball," as the BND source is called in the US files, is apparently the brother of one of Chalabi's closest associates.
And then there is this little gem re: the yellowcake-Niger forgery from antiwar.com:
Italian investigators are pursuing leads that suggest a likely source for the required materials: a January, 2001 break-in at the Niger Embassy in Rome
, in which files were plundered, and letterhead stationary was taken, while valuables were left undisturbed. The thieves also got away with official seals. Months passed, and SISME, the Italian intelligence service, found itself in possession of documents that looked authentic, and purported to detail Saddam's efforts to procure uranium from Niger. From SISME to Ms. Burba to the American embassy and thence on to Washington, the trajectory of the Niger uranium story was an arrow of disinformation aimed straight at the White House. There was only one problem: officials who supposedly signed these documents hadn't worked for Niger's government in years, and they referenced agencies that had long since been disbanded. The deception was swiftly uncovered, albeit not until more objective analysts could get a look at them.
A rogue group of U.S. government officials, in league with whomever broke into the Niger embassy in Rome, somehow injected these bogus documents into the intelligence stream, which then flowed directly into the President's State of the Union. Whoever did it is guilty of much more than violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. Try espionage on for size.
Lots of folks were looking into this second one back in July; perhaps the heat will turn up when Wilson's book comes out this spring....