It is the August silly season, and just to prove it we have a book filled with many claims and no proof.
When asked by Vieira for further proof of the letter, Suskind said: “Well, the CIA folks involved in the book and others talk about George Tenet coming back from the White House with the assignment on White House stationery, and turning to the CIA operatives, who are professionals, and saying, ‘You may not like this, but here is our next mission.’
Sounds official, yes? Well, the official himself who supposedly was in charge, doesn’t agree.
Former CIA director George Tenet also released a statement in which he ridicules the credibility Suskind’s sources and calls the White House’s supposed directive to forge the document as “a complete fabrication.”
And people who make up stories often over reach. Here we have “the assignment on White House Stationery.” What? I’m going to have the CIA make up a story so I write it on White House stationery? Excuse me, but that’s giggle time.
But what does Suskind say?
But Suskind stands by his work. “It’s not off the record,” he says. “It’s on the record. It’s in the book and people can read it for themselves.”
On what record? Who are the CIA people making the claims? What are their names? What proof do they have? “It’s in the book,” isn’t proof and is just another claim.
Read what he said.
Suskind said it took about seven months to get his storied “nailed.” “I’d done this sort of thing for a while, and the way it worked was there were off-the-record sources who played out the story, and then I went to people actually involved,” he told Vieira.
“They were freed up because they’re not the original source, if you will … to sort of talk about the context, what they felt, what they did [and] the people actually involved. And of course they’re all, through the book, on the record talking about how it all worked.”
So they’re “not the original source?” That’s called rumor and hearsay in courtrooms and can’t be used. Yet it is lapped up and published in the midst of a Presidential election as “fact.” Can we name this what it is, “Suskindgate?”
And let’s examine the Iraqi side.
Suskind reports that the head of Iraqi intelligence, Tahir Jalil Habbush, met secretly with British intelligence in Jordan in the early days of 2003. In weekly meetings with Michael Shipster, the British director of Iraqi operations, Habbush conveyed that Iraq had no active nuclear, chemical or biological weapons programs and no stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction.
Let me see. You have the head of your enemies intelligence secretly claim that Iraq had no ACTIVE nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. Wow. Did they have any INACTIVE weapons? How long does it take to make an INACTIVE nuclear weapon an ACTIVE nuclear weapon?
Oh. Did I mention that the person making the claim is the head of our ENEMY’s intelligence service. He wouldn’t lie, would he? Well, would he? A visit to the real world.
“And a lot of people, at the end of the day, said it was hard for him to prove the negative, that what he said was no weapons were actually not there. That’s hard to do.”
And let’s examine this little jewel.
When Tenet was informed of the findings in early February, he said, “They’re not going to like this downtown,” Suskind wrote, meaning the White House. Suskind says that Bush’s reaction to the report was: “Why don’t they ask him to give us something we can use to help make our case?”
Does Suskind expect us to believe that is a quote from Bush, or is that Suskind quoting Suskind’s understanding of Bush’s reaction? I believe it to be the latter, but think about this. All of the previous intelligence from all of the world’s major intelligence agencies has Iraq having WMD’s.
The administration is on record that they do, as are many leading Democrats. If they now decide they do not and go public, confusion will reign and the Democrats will start charging that Bush is not protecting the country.
So Bush saying:
“Why don’t they ask him to give us something we can use to help make our case?”
makes perfect sense.
Dear chums we are going to have to get the CIA out of politics. And that means they can’t talk to anyone, for good reasons or bad. The reason is as simple as this. The people we elect to protect the country have to make decisions based on a lot of inputs.
There are times when they will have to say, “Well I’m only 70% sure, but if I’m right and don’t take action then millions of Americans will die.”
Do we really want them worrying about a politicized CIA feeding information to a political opposition’s author?