From Phillip Giraldi at the AC:
An extremely reliable and well placed source in the intelligence community has informed me that Ron Suskind’s revelation that the White House ordered the preparation of a forged letter linking Saddam Hussein to al-Qaeda and also to attempts made to obtain yellowcake uranium is correct but that a number of details are wrong.
The Suskind account states that two senior CIA officers Robert Richer and John Maguire supervised the preparation of the document under direct orders coming from Director George Tenet. Not so, says my source. Tenet is for once telling the truth when he states that he would not have undermined himself by preparing such a document while at the same time insisting publicly that there was no connection between Saddam and al-Qaeda. Richer and Maguire have both denied that they were involved with the forgery and it should also be noted that preparation of such a document to mislead the media is illegal and they could have wound up in jail.
That's right, if CIA had attempted to mislead the American people they would have been commiting a crime, but the same isn't true for Feith and the Pentagon which lends the story yet another layer of credibility.
Since the White House and Tenet have become a solid wall of denials, Suskind has begun releasing transcripts of his conversations with CIA Official Rob Richer - which as he mentioned on Olbermann - were recorded.
Rob: To characterize it right, I would say, right: it came to us, George had a raised eyebrow, and basically we passed it on–it was to–and passed this on into the organization. You know, it was: ‘Okay, we gotta do this, but make it go away.’ … It was: ‘This is unbelievable. This is just like all the other garbage we get about … I mean Mohammad Atta and links to al Qaeda. ‘Rob,’ you know, ‘do something with this.’ I think it was more like that than: ‘Get this done.’ […]
Rob: What I remember is George saying, ‘we got this from’–basically, from what George said was ‘downtown.’
Ron: Which is the White House?
So apparently it did go away - all the way to the Pentagon and then eventually to Iraq.
From Thinkprogress, emphasis there's.
My source also notes that Dick Cheney, who was behind the forgery, hated and mistrusted the Agency and would not have used it for such a sensitive assignment. Instead, he went to Doug Feith’s Office of Special Plans and asked them to do the job. … It was Feith’s office that produced the letter and then surfaced it to the media in Iraq Unlike the [Central Intelligence] Agency, the Pentagon had no restrictions on it regarding the production of false information to mislead the public. Indeed, one might argue that Doug Feith’s office specialized in such activity.
That's putting it lightly.
According to the Pentagon's Inspector General the findings of Feith's "Office of Special Plans" that Iraq was an "imminent threat" were consistently at odds with the findings of the CIA, State Department and other intelligence agencies. They found his activities "inappropriate" but not illegal since the Pentagon isn't under the same restrictions that the CIA is.
Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld and Feith lied us into an unneccesary and deadly war of choice - they've commited the ultimate War Crime and need to be found accountable if not during this Administration, then under the next.