Rockefeller on Feith
UPI runs a guest editorial by Greg Guma that signals a long-delayed outbreak of public candor in the US print press about the sinister role of Undersecretary of Defense for Planning Douglas Feith in a disinformation campaign aimed at provoking a US war on Iraq, primarily for rightwing Israeli purposes. Sen. Jay Rockefeller provoked a furor by naming Feith as a culprit, in his expression of dissatisfaction that the Senate Intelligence Report crucified the CIA but more or less let the White House off the hook— even though it is clear that the Bush politicos wanted an Iraq war much more than the CIA did.
‘ In the 1990s, Feith churned out anti-Arab diatribes in Israeli newspapers, Bamford reveals. In those articles, he urged Israel to establish more settlements and end the Oslo peace process. When George H.W. Bush was president, he organized a group to denounce the elder Bush for his “mistreatment of Israel . . .”
Once back in government, Feith created an Office of Strategic Influence after 9/11. Senior officials have called it a disinformation factory . . .
But the worst was still to come: Feith’s Office of Special Plans. Officially, its job was to conduct pre-war planning. But its actual target was the media, policy-makers, and public opinion. Feith’s partner, Abram Shulsky, liked to call their operation “the cabal.”
According to London’s Guardian newspaper, the OSP’s job was to provide key people in the administration with “alarmist reports on Saddam’s Iraq.” In particular, holdouts like Powell needed to be persuaded. To do that, the OSP obtained cooked intelligence from its own unit and a similar Israeli cell. There was also a close relationship with Vice President Dick Cheney’s office. In the end, the public heard what Feith’s unit wanted them to hear.
How did it work? According to Bamford, OSP’s intelligence unit cherry-picked the most damning items from the streams of U.S. and Israeli reports. “Then the OSP would brief senior administration officials,” he writes. “These officials would then use the OSP’s false and exaggerated intelligence as ammunition when attempting to hard-sell the need for war to their reluctant colleagues, such as Colin Powell, and even to allies like British Prime Minister Tony Blair.” Senior White House officials received the same briefings . . . ‘