You know, like that thing that guy said, well, that was, like, bogus

The Wall Street Journal Editorial engages in the always impressive feat of refuting arguments made by no one, with a helping of made up shit on top. They quote:

Senator Levin: “While the intelligence community was consistently dubious about links between Iraq and al Qaeda, Mr. Feith produced an alternative analysis, asserting that there was a strong connection. Were you comfortable with Mr. Feith’s office’s approach to intelligence analysis?”

And answer:

Mr. Feith’s office did not freelance an “alternative analysis.”

Seeing as how Levin is quoted as saying Feith produced an “alternative analysis,” we’re not sure what this ‘counterclaim’ is meant to achieve.

Nor did the Defense Department “assert” a “strong connection.” Judging by leaked excerpts of the still highly classified work printed in the Weekly Standard […]

Ah, the document is highly classified but the WSJ knows what it said (and did not say.)

(continuing directly) DOD merely [sic] provided the committee with a list of raw intelligence items on the topic.

Uh, Sadly, No!:

For example, Under Secretary Feith’s original Summary cited numerous raw intelligence reports, including some which came “from a well placed source.” The CIA requested that Under Secretary Feith delete the words “from a well placed source,” noting that the source was actually third hand, through a foreign government service. […]

Under Secretary Feith deleted the words “from a well placed source” per the CIA’s direction. However, rather than substituting language noting the third-hand nature of the information, he instead directed the readers to “the italicized paragraph above.” That paragraph states that the source had “very close access” to the reported information and suggests that the source was very credible. (PDF) [Emphasis added]

More Feith goodness? Giddy up!

In another case, the CIA noted that Under Secretary Feith’s assertion in the Summary that the Iraqi intelligence service knew of Zarqawi’s entry into Iraq was unsupported by the underlying report cited by Under Secretary Feith. Rather, the report actually contradicted Under Secretary Feith’s assertion. In response to this CIA correction, Under Secretary Feith, in the Addendum, cited a different CIA report in support of his assertion, but left the assertion itself unchanged. However, the CIA report that he substituted for the original report he relied on also does not support Under Secretary Feith’s assertion. [same link]

Bonus points:

Much of the work it did on the Iraq-al Qaeda connection was a response to a question for the record posed by the Senate Intelligence Committee [sic] itself.

What’s our line? Oh yeah: Sadly, No!

Within weeks of September 11, Under Secretary of Defense Doug Feith had tasked two consultants to start sifting through all of the intelligence, both finished products and raw reports, relating to terrorist groups and their state sponsors. […] In the spring of 2002, another analyst in Under Secretary Feith’s Policy office went back to look at earlier intelligence reports, including raw reports involving Iraq and al Qaeda that the IC had previously considered but deemed not suitable to reflect in finished intelligence reports. […] The DOD policy office analysts met with IC experts on August 20, 2002 at an IC “coordination meeting” planned to finalize the text of the IC’s Iraqi Support for Terrorism report. […] (PDF) [Emphasis added]

So when did Feith send his report to the Senate?:

On July 10, 2003, Under Secretary Feith appeared before the SSCI in a classified hearing. Senators Roberts and Rockefeller posed some additional questions to be answered for the hearing record, one of which addressed relations between Iraq and al Qaeda. Under Secretary Feith responded to that question on October 27, 2003, and attached to his answer a classified annex entitled “Summary of Body of Intelligence on Iraq-al Qaeda Contacts (1990-2003).” (PDF) [Emphasis added.]

So pretty much as the Wall Street Journal wrote, except that the silly party won.


Comments: 4

melior (in Austin)

There’s this stinky bit of dissembling in there too:

The truth, as a bipartisan report from his own committee attests, is that the CIA made most of the errors on its own.

Bzzzt! That very same bipartisan committee was prohibited from considering all questions as to the Administration’s errors (such as, for example, stovepiping, suppressing, getting suckered by Chalabi, or perhaps even paying SISMI to forge bogus Niger documents), which were instead deferred to some future “Phase 2” report that was first delayed and has since been reneged. Maybe it’s time for Harry Reid to shut down the Senate again?

I’m not surprised the WSJ would use the word mythology to refer to facts that are inconvenient to their religion.


the WSJ editorial – wasting paper and ink on grade B wingnuttery since time immemorial.


great job!


This reminds me of my favorite bit of WSJ defensive parsing:

“This writer never was ‘swaggering’ around a Hot Springs fishing camp carrying ‘semiautomatic pistols’ or ‘making noisy public displays’ of dislike toward President Clinton in ‘public places’ — or anywhere else for that matter.â€?

— WSJ’s Micah Morrison, defending himself against Conason & Lyons’ “The Hunting of the President,” April 20, 2000


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