This morning, the Pentagon Inspector General Thomas F. Gimble found that former Undersecretary of Defense Doug Feith developed, produced, and disseminated “alternative intelligence assessments” to falsely claim that a relationship existed between Iraq and al Qaeda.
Testifying about the report before the Senate Armed Services Committee today, Gimble said Feith’s office “did not provide the most accurate analysis of intelligence to senior decision makers” at a time when the White House was making the public case for war at home.
While Feith’s “intelligence” analysis was presented to the White House, Gimble explained that he was unable to determine to what extent the White House used Feith’s false reports. Under questioning from Sen. John Warner (R-VA), Gimble revealed that White House attorneys refused to allow National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley to be interviewed:
GIMBLE: Senator, we requested an interview with Mr. Hadley. The lawyers at the National Security Council did not let us interview him. So we requested and were unable to. Frankly, he is not a member of our department, so we don’t have any authority to interview…
WARNER: I understand that. But the simple fact is you made a request, for whatever reason. On counsel’s advice, he declined.
At the conclusion of the hearing, Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) pledged that his committee would pursue both Hadley and Scooter Libby. “We will be talking to witnesses who presented [the Feith analysis] to the Vice President’s Office and to the National Security Council.” Addressing Gimble, Levin said, “So if you would supply us with the names of the people from the Feith office that did make this presentation, we will be interviewing those folks.” Stay tuned.