Sunday, February 11, 2007

US credibility gap hurt Iran meddling claims

The two articles cited here below are closely related. Congressional investigations into pre War intelligence that resulted in the ill-fated decision to invade Iraq have brought to light the existence of a Pentagon intelligence operation serving at the pleasure of Cheney and Rumsfeld. Current defense secretary Gates opposes the creation of such groups stating "groups outside the CIA and other chartered intelligence agencies should not be involved in freelance analysis."

The fact that the administration that led America to war is unchastened, even emboldened to expansion, by the substantial and overwhelming rejection of their policies by Americans and the world, has all but completely undermined all claims by this administration to provide accurate information on the region. The accusation of Iranian involvement in aspects of Iraqi insurgency, might be true, but US statements, especially which encourage more war, are no longer trusted by anyone.

Defense Report Says Pentagon 'Manipulated' Pre-War Intelligence -

A "very damning" report by the Defense Department's inspector general depicts a Pentagon that purposely manipulated intelligence in an effort to link Saddam Hussein to al-Qaida in the runup to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, says the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The LA Times report says: The work of that special Pentagon unit — which was run by former
Undersecretary of Defense Douglas J. Feith — is one of the lingering symbols of the intelligence failures leading up to the war in Iraq....

Most of the evidence that Feith's Office of Special Plans cited in making its case for significant collaboration between Baghdad and Al Qaeda has crumbled under postwar scrutiny...

Feith's work was of critical importance to Vice President Dick Cheney, who once referred to the Pentagon team's conclusions as the "best source" for understanding the relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda.

Tehran agents blamed for deaths of US troops

The US military claimed yesterday that 170 soldiers had been killed in Iraq by sophisticated armour-piercing weapons supplied by Iranian agents acting on behalf of the highest levels of the Tehran Government...

The revelations were greeted with caution by Iraqi and Western journalists because of their timing, coinciding with Washington intensifying the pressure on Tehran over its nuclear programme. The suspicion was heightened by defence officials refusing to be named and
forbidding photographs or filming of the briefing, in which they put on display a small cache of the weapons allegedly involved and supplied a CD-Rom of other material...

Asked why the US-led coalition chose to make the claims now — two years after the threat posed by EFPs to multi-national forces’ armour was first identified — one senior defence official said that their use had “dramatically increased”, with 620 soldiers wounded in addition to those killed.

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