Friday, August 22, 2008

from Counterpunch

Revisiting the Habbush Letter

The Neo-Cons' Dream Forgery


don’t really want to remember those several months after 9-11.
The memories upset my stomach. Those months of soaring Bush ratings,
the ubiquitous intimidating sight of U.S. flags, the official
exhortations to be afraid and suspicious, the endless indulgence in
national self-righteousness and self-pity, the frighteningly successful
effort to impose a highly simplistic worldview on a clueless
population. The PATRIOT Act, passed overwhelmingly by a Congress that
never read it, which savaged the Constitution. The anthrax scare,
widely blamed on Iraq as the administration began its relentless
campaign to target that country following the overthrow of the Taliban
in Afghanistan. The reports about a new Information Awareness Office
that seemed to take a page out of the Stasi handbook...

recall how at the time objections were raised to the placement of
government agents in the U.S. press. It was therefore announced that
propaganda would only be placed in foreign presses. So many outrageous
plans were being announced, then withdrawn over protest, during that
period as the neocons accomplished their coup and the nation flirted
with fascism. How absolutely mad it all seems now, or should seem.

I thought at the time that this Habbush letter had to be bogus. On December 19, 2003, I wrote a Counterpunch column with a lengthy title pointing to its implausibility: “The
Neocons’ Dream Memo, Featuring: the Latter-Day Hitler, Saddam
Hussein; His Intelligence Chief, Habbush al-Takriti; Palestinian
Terrorist, Abu Nidal; 9-11 Mastermind, Mohammed Atta; and a Mysterious
Shipment to Iraq from Niger
.” I concluded that column as follows:

“If I were Paul Wolfowitz, or Abram Shulsky (Leo Strauss
disciple, Machiavelli scholar, and chief disinformation operative in
the office of Special Plans), or Douglas Feith, or Richard Perle, and I
were just dreaming up what might be the perfect ‘find’ to
validate my actions to date (questioned, as they have been, by numerous
recently retired intelligence operatives in the U.S., Britain, and
Australia), I would think: Hmmm. . . We'll find a document addressed to
Saddam, from someone currently without access to the press, reporting
on the Chief Hijacker's welcomed presence in Iraq just before the 9-11
attacks. (Never mind the FBI and CIA place Atta in Florida at the
time.) Saddam’s intelligence chief would be the best source to
cite for this information. We’ll connect [Habbush] al-Takriti,
and Atta, with Palestinian terrorism (thus continuing our effort to
link Afghanistan/al-Qaeda with Iraq and Syria and Iran and the PLO, and
Evil generally). The Abu Nidal connection is especially good because
Adu Nidal is dead and won’t pose a problem. Let’s float the
report through an Iraqi operative [Allawi], not too well known, and use
a British paper for the initial revelation. Then use Fox and see if CNN
will buy it.”

Four and a half years later, Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Ron Suskind has just published a book, The Way of the World: A Story of Truth and Hope in an Age of Extremism, in which he purports to reveal the origins of the neocons’ dream memo:

the fall of 2003, after the world learned there were no WMD -- as
Habbush had foretold -- the White House ordered the CIA to carry out a
deception. The mission: create a handwritten letter, dated July, 2001,
from Habbush to Saddam saying that Atta trained in Iraq before the
attacks and the Saddam was buying yellow cake for Niger with help from
a ‘small team from the al Qaeda organization'.

indicates that Habbush, still the Jack of Diamonds in Bush’s deck
of wanted men, and with a $1 million bounty on his head, was actually
in a safe house in Jordan at this time, having been whisked out of Iraq
during the invasion and paid generous hush-money. He cooperated by
copying the bogus letter in his own handwriting.

“The mission was carried out, the letter was created, popped up
in Baghdad, and roiled the global news cycles in December, 2003
(conning even venerable journalists with Tom Brokaw). The mission is a
statutory violation of the charter of CIA, and amendments added in
1991, prohibiting CIA from conducting disinformation campaigns on U.S.

1 comment:

goooooood girl said...

Very good......