November 16, 2003

Looks to me like our government is distancing itself from our government. The neocons dumped out a story "proving" that Saddam was funding and arming Al Qaida. So first, DOD disowns the stuff. Excerpt:

The classified annex was not an analysis of the substantive issue of the relationship between Iraq and al Qaida, and it drew no conclusions.

Then CIA disowns the stuff, according to WaPo intelligence writer Walter Pincus. Excerpt:

The CIA's search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq has found no evidence that former president Saddam Hussein tried to transfer chemical or biological technology or weapons to terrorists, according to a military and intelligence expert.

As blogger Bob Manis of The Spy Game reports, it looks like the Iraqi resistance's spook squad is more on the ball than CIA. Why am I not surprised? This USA Today piece goes into detail. Excerpt:

Sophisticated U.S. intelligence tools such as spy satellites and electronic eavesdropping intercepts have been of little practical use, according to intelligence officials in Washington and military officers in Iraq. And despite an intense search and exhaustive intelligence efforts, deposed leader Saddam Hussein remains at large.

The key problem is that Iraqi guerrillas simply have more and better sources than the coalition. U.S. military officers worry that the Iraqis who work for them, such as translators, cooks and drivers, include moles who routinely pass inside information back to insurgents. In at least two cases, Iraqis have been fired on the suspicion that they were spies.

Thing is, even when The Cheney Gang is given the goods, they trash it if it doesn't support the conclusions they've already drawn, according to today's Observer. Excerpt:

British warnings that America was failing before the war to prepare properly for a crumbling security situation in Iraq after Saddam Hussein was ousted were ignored by Vice President Dick Cheney and the Pentagon.

In some of the first direct evidence of serious divisions between the key allies in the run-up to the conflict, the former British Ambassador to Washington, Sir Christopher Meyer, said the US had failed to focus on what might happen after Saddam had been overthrown.

His admission raises serious questions that a lack of planning by US forces is at least partly to blame for Iraq's present security problems.

Be at peace.