30 October, 2005

A Spooked White House

The above title is borrowed straight from a column by Stephen F. Hayes. Its double meaning addreses both a hesitancy in the White House's actions based on previous experience, and the possibility that the career-administrator CIA "spooks" are effectively fighting the White House. It's an absolutely fascinating read that is also deeply disturbing because it gets at why the Bush Administration has never effectively clarified the importance of Iraq in the face of continual criticism. It turns out it all began with the CIA's response to those infamous "16 words."

Here's one set of bombshells from the article:

There are other documents from Iraq that would help the American public understand the nature of the former Iraqi regime and why a serious war on terror required its removal. Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) documents currently stored in a warehouse in Doha, Qatar, as part of the Defense Intelligence Agency's document exploitation project are a case in point. Many of these documents, listed in a database known as HARMONY, have rather provocative titles:

Money Transfers from Iraq to Afghanistan

Secret Meeting with Taliban Group Member and Iraqi Government (Nov. 2000)

Iraqi Effort to Cooperate with Saudi Opposition Groups and Individuals

IIS Reports from Embassy in Paris: Plan to Influence French Stance in UN Security Council

IIS Report on How French Campaigns are Financed

Improvised Explosive Devices Plan

Ricin research and improvement

There are thousands of similar documents. Many have already been authenticated and most are unclassified. That's worth repeating: Most are unclassified.
So why isn't the White House shouting this information from the rooftops? It goes back to "spooked." We've always heard that the Washington bureaucracy is vicious beyond our imagination, but if this analysis is correct, it's near-treasonous in its readiness to put internecine fights ahead of the White House's efforts to conduct national security and foreign policy activities. Unbelievable.