Sunday, March 15, 2009

"A Strategic Disinformation Campaign" to Jack the Nation to War

Gates Carries Over Iraq-WMD Lie

Originally published by Melvin Goodman on

In 1987, President Ronald Reagan nominated Robert Gates to be Director of Central Intelligence (DCI), but he was denied confirmation because a majority of members on the Senate Intelligence Committee believed he was lying about his knowledge and role in the Iran-Contra Affair.

Iran-Contra independent counsel Lawrence Walsh “found insufficient evidence to warrant charging Robert Gates with a crime,” but he concluded that Gates had been "less than candid" about his knowledge of Oliver North’s illegal support for the Contras and the illegal diversion of funds from Iranian arms sales.

In 1991, after being re-nominated by then-President George H.W. Bush, Gates survived the confirmation process to become DCI despite the opposition of more than 30 senators who also found Gates less than candid in discussing his role in the politicization of intelligence on the Soviet Union, Central America and Southwest Asia.

In his 1996 memoir, From the Shadows, Gates avoided explaining how the CIA exaggerated Soviet military forces, although he spent a great deal of his working life at the CIA tailoring national intelligence estimates on Soviet military capability and intentions.

And today, Gates is lying about the Iraq War, arguing that an intelligence failure was the reason for the Bush administration’s decision to launch a preemptive attack against Iraq.

Gates told PBS's Tavis Smiley this week that the United States will be more cautious about launching another preemptive attack because of the intelligence failures of the Iraq War, but that the role of the White House and the CIA in distorting the intelligence on Iraq had nothing to do with the decision to go to war.

In reality, the Bush administration relied on phony intelligence to create and employ a strategic disinformation campaign to convince the Congress, the media and the American people of the need for war.

President Bush wanted the war to establish himself as a genuine Commander-in-Chief; Vice President Dick Cheney wanted the war to create a more powerful presidency; Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld wanted the war to make his case for transforming the military into a smaller and more mobile force; National Security Advisor Condi Rice wanted the war because the old boy network favored it.

Sadly, Secretary of State Powell knew that going to war made no sense, but he unwisely made the phony case for war at the United Nations because he wanted to be seen as a team player. And now Gates, who owes all of his success to the Bush family, is helping George W. Bush make the case that faulty intelligence was responsible for the Iraq War.

There are lessons to be learned about the Iraq War, but the role of faulty intelligence in the declaration of a preemptive attack is not one of them.

[Full article]

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