9 December 2003

Secrets And Spies

Meanwhile, Newsweek reports that Luti was a recipient of intelligence passed on to him by the Washington office of the Iraqi National Congress (INC), the former Iraqi exile group led by Ahmad Chalabi, the darling of the neocons and their candidate to be Iraq's next prime minister. The INC - whose intelligence was widely considered bogus and unreliable by the U.S. intelligence community - served as a conduit for hair-raising but unproven (and later disproven) reports about Iraq WMD and terrorism links. Now, Newsweek has obtained a memo from the INC's Washington rep that claims the INC fed its intelligence to Luti and directly to Vice President Cheney's office.

Heaping more doubts on the integrity of the fact-finding process is new information from Israel suggesting that Israeli intelligence officials, too, joined U.S. and British intelligence in exaggerating the threat of Iraqi WMD. A report by the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University last month called for an official investigation of how Israeli intelligence assessed the Iraqi threat. According to informed U.S. sources, a secret intelligence team was set up in Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's office before the war in Iraq to generate data adding yet more justifications for war - intelligence that Sharon;s office then shared, in English, with Luti's OSP - even though the Mossad, Israel's intelligence service, was said to be much more cautious and restrained about the threat to Israel from Iraq.

Curiouser and curiouser? Or more and more lupine?

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