The Blogiston Post

Politics, money, and war.

Thursday, October 21


Carl Levin has released a new report today from the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) Minority Staff.

Levin Releases Report on Pre-War Intelligence
Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), the Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) released a report today of an inquiry he initiated on June 27, 2003 and conducted by the SASC Minority Staff.

The report focuses on 1) the establishment of a non-Intelligence Community source of intelligence analysis in the office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith, and 2) the extent to which policy makers utilized that alternative source rather than the analyses produced by the Intelligence Community with regard to the issue of any relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda before the Iraq war.
Report of an Inquiry into the Alternative Analysis of the
Issue of an Iraq-al Qaeda Relationship (PDF)
is 46 pages long.

We love footnotes.
The Intelligence Community is currently comprised of:

the Office of the Director of Central Intelligence
the Central Intelligence Agency
the Defense Intelligence Agency
the National Security Agency
the National Reconnaissance Office
the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
the intelligence components of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps
the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research
the Energy Department’s Office of Intelligence
the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Office of Intelligence
[the FBI] Divisions of Counterterrorism and Counterintelligence
the Department of Homeland Security’s Directorate of Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection
[the DHS] Directorate of Coast Guard Intelligence
the Treasury Department’s Office of Terrorism and Finance Intelligence.
Interesting section, Part II, compares public statements made by senior Administration officials about the Iraq-al Qaeda relationship to the then-classified relevant Intelligence Community assessments.
However, the [Intelligence Community] never had the opportunity to defend its analysis, nor point out problems with DOD’s “alternative” view of the Iraq-al Qaeda relationship when it was presented to the policymakers at the White House. Under Secretary Feith never informed the IC that he was taking the briefing they saw (with the addition of the slide critical of the IC and two other slides) to the White House. In fact, [Director of Central Intelligence] Tenet had been unaware of the Feith staff September 2002 briefing to the White House until February 2004, when Senator Levin raised the issue at an [Senate Select Committee on Intelligence] hearing.
Let the Games Begin.

Department of Defense Statement Regarding The Levin Minority Report
The long-standing practice and policy of the Department of Defense is not to involve itself in political matters, but the following points are relevant:
The subjects covered in the Levin report have been investigated by, among other bodies, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. The Department provided volumes of documents and other requested materials to these committees.

The unanimous, bipartisan report of the 9/11 Commission noted relationships that existed between al Qaeda and Iraq prior to al Qaeda’s attack on the United States in September 2001.

The unanimous, bipartisan Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report of July 2004 found no evidence that Administration officials tried to coerce, influence or pressure intelligence analysts to change their judgments about Iraq’s WMD capabilities or links to terrorism.

The Senate Intelligence Committee also found that staff members from the Office of Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Mr. Douglas Feith “played by IC [intelligence community] rules” during their participation in an August 20, 2002 coordination meeting on the IC’s Iraqi Support for Terrorism report. The Senate Intelligence Committee report stated that Mr. Feith’s office was “not given special treatment,” and that their participation in the meeting “contributed to a frank exchange of opinions” which “did not result in changes to their analytical judgments.”
We laughed so hard we had to take a pee break before posting the DoD announcement. Obviously, Levin hit a nerve. Pass the popcorn.

Hint: Kiss, kiss, kiss. We might have missed the report if it hadn't been for the DoD announcement.


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