Ron Suskind’s new book alleges that the White House ordered the CIA to forge a letter from the head of Iraqi intelligence to Saddam Hussein linking the dictator to the 9/11 terrorists. The American Conservative’s Philip Giraldi argues today that “an extremely reliable and well placed source in the intelligence community” told him Suskind’s overall claim “is correct,” but that it was Douglas Feith’s Office of Special Plans — not the CIA — that forged the letter:
My source also notes that Dick Cheney, who was behind the forgery, hated and mistrusted the Agency and would not have used it for such a sensitive assignment. Instead, he went to Doug Feith’s Office of Special Plans and asked them to do the job. … It was Feith’s office that produced the letter and then surfaced it to the media in Iraq. Unlike the [Central Intelligence] Agency, the Pentagon had no restrictions on it regarding the production of false information to mislead the public. Indeed, one might argue that Doug Feith’s office specialized in such activity.
A CIA counterrorism expert said that, in the run-up to war, Feith’s office recommended that the CIA’s finding of no link between Iraq al Qaeda relations “be ignored. Not challenged, not made the subject of a critical dialogue between policymakers and analysts, but ignored.”