When I started researching this story, I had a short blog planned. But the more I researched, the deeper the story goes, it’s a story of huge proportions, with back stories, and secrecy, lies and propaganda that drives the veins, right to the heart of the war in Iraq, acting more like the plot of a Ludlum novel, than the core of realty. It’s a ridiculously deep story. Usually I do not give conspiracy theories much of a second thought, but when it is brought to my attention by a Pulitzer Prize winning Journalist with a Columbia University Masters, my curiosity is demanding to be fed.
In December 2003, six months after the Invasion of Iraq, and with the World coming to terms with the notion that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction, and had no ties to Al Qaeda; a document was released, dated July 2001, apparently showing a connection between the head of Saddam’s Iraqi Intelligence, General Tahir Jalil Habbush and one of the terrorists behind 9/11 (Mohammed Atta). The document was supposedly found by the coalition Government in Iraq, and verified as authentic by interim Iraqi President (and long time CIA asset) Ayad Allawi shortly after the invasion. It suggests that Atta was trained as a terrorist by Abu Nidal, known at that time as the most dangerous terrorist on the planet, and who was based in Iraq. Despite the fact that Nidal was a long time critic of Saddam and was supposedly killed by the Hussain regime, after the Iraqi’s became convinced Nidal was spying for Egyptian and Kuwaiti intelligence, with the knowledge of the Americans. Nidal then, was not able to defend himself from these claims suggested in the uncovered documents.
The document, Addressed to: “To the President of the Ba’ath Revolution Party and President of the Republic, may God protect you.”
“Mohammed Atta, an Egyptian national, came with Abu Ammer [the real name behind this Arabic alias remains a mystery] and we hosted him in Abu Nidal’s house at al-Dora under our direct supervision.
We arranged a work program for him for three days with a team dedicated to working with him…He displayed extraordinary effort and showed a firm commitment to lead the team which will be responsible for attacking the targets that we have agreed to destroy.”
Pulitzer Prize winning Journalist and Author Ron Suskind, has suggested that the Bush White House along with the CIA had forged the document to suggest a pre-war link between Iraq and Al Qaeda to back up their authority for war. He suggests that the biggest threat facing the America, and the World is a nuclear weapon falling into the hands of terrorists, and so with America losing it’s moral leadership in the World, the rise of Anti-Americanism becomes an ever increasing threat, which America fights with it’s own brand of semi truths, secrecy, and terrorism.
Suskind suggests that Habbush was an informer for the Bush Administration on Iraq. He started sending reports to both the White House and Downing Street in 2003, and confirmed that there were no WMDs in Iraq. The reports were kept secret, and during the invasion, Habbush was paid $5,000,000 in hush money and relocated to Jordan, by American intelligence. Later that year, the White House ordered the CIA to forge a document back dated to 2001, from Habbush, to Saddam, stating that Mohammed Atta had trained in Iraq, and so weaving a direct link between 9/11 and Iraq, simply because the WMD claim had failed miserably. The document was thus released to the media whom took it at face value, unquestioning, severely lacking in the journalistic qualities that earned Suskind the Pulitzer. Ayad Allawi, the interim President of Iraqi in 2003, and long time CIA associate, was of course quick to verify that the document was indeed genuine, refusing to answer the question of why Nidal would be colluding with Hussain, given weapons, a training camp, and a band of terrorists given that Nidal and Saddam were not exactly the best of friends, and that Nidal was more of a hired gun, than a trusted friend of Iraq.
Suskind goes on to suggest that CIA officers Robert Richer and John Maguire supervised to creation of the document, the order coming through from the Office of Dick Cheney. Richer and Maguire have categorically denied the claims, and so it is of course possible that the CIA did not produce the document. The CIA are under 1991 guidelines that prevent them from feeding false information in the U.S. Not that they can’t get round that. They do however know that their testament, could lead to the President being impeached. It’s quite the pressure. But, if Suskind is wrong about the source of the document, then who’s the likely culprit? Who would Cheney turn to? He was afterall, manic about finding a link, regardless of how the link was found and how credible the information was, between Al Qaeda and Iraq, despite intelligence suggesting absolutely no link between the two.
My guess, and of course this is just speculation, is the Pentagon’s top policy official at the time, Douglas Feith. Feith was the head of the Officeof Strategic Influence, which until it became public was a secretive arm of the defence in the United States. It existed for a very short period and was uncovered in 2002. The Office was set up to produce false documents and propaganda to mislead the enemy. The media started to ask questions about the Office, and it’s secretive operations. Defence Secretary Rumsfeld shut it down in February 2002. However, all he did in essence, was change it’s name. Rumsfeld stated in 2002, in regard to the closing of the Office ” You can have the name, but I’m going to keep doing every single thing that needs to be done.” Whether or not Rumsfeld would have closed it down, had it not been uncovered, is something one must think about when assessing this case. In any event, the newly created Information Operations Task Force (IOTF) took up much of the work where the Office of Strategic Influence left off. The IOTF has dealings with John Rendon of the Rendon Group. A PR group dedicated to supporting U.S military interventions all over the Globe, through propaganda aimed at the population of the victim nation. The field of work is known as “perception management,“, they have been accused of feeding foreign media fabricated articles in order to bring the citizens round to their clients way of thinking. Rendon’s work includes anti-Saddam covert PR campaigns in 1991, aimed at attempting to over throw the Hussain regime. Rendon has been involved in covert pro-American propaganda in Iraq, Kuwait, Kosovo, and Zimbabwe amongst others. Rendon is even supposedly the father of the Iraqi National Congress, a group of anti-Saddam Militants and Oil tycoons put together to oppose the Saddam regime and gain support for his eventual removal. Lead by Ahmed Abdel Hadi Chalabi, and funded by the Americans, the INC was responsible for passing on false information regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction to the Bush Administration. The evidence they provided was flimsy at best, but lead to the invasion of Iraq. Chalabi had his eyes set on power after the toppling of Saddam. Any official claim that his information was flimsy, would not have been taken lightly, and was a threat to Chalabi, Blair, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld or Rendon itself. The apparent suicide of David Kelly, comes to mind.
Rendon had been awarded a $6,400,000 contract to create pro-war, and pro-American propaganda and target Iraqi civilians with it.
This information, and much like it (search Google for Rendon Group, it’s all there) leads me to conclude that if Cheney was indeed adamant that he needed a link, regardless of it’s credibility, between Al Qaeda and Iraq, then the most likely source of the forged Habbush document, was not the CIA, it would have been the Office dedicated to creating this type of propaganda, and given the nature of the document, and it’s obvious importance to the Administration, it must have been the responsibility of the most senior members of the IOTF and the Rendon Group. I’d put all of this at the door of Cheney, and the Rendon Group.
Like I said, this story goes so very deep. It proves much more efficiently than any other story that I’ve come across connected to the Iraq war, that the indelibly secretive Bush Administration worked tirelessly to prove a link between Al Qaeda and Iraq, in order to justify a War that seems more and more likely to have been based on profit from defence and oil contracts, and that didn’t stand up to scrutiny the moment the Weapons of Mass Destruction Argument failed. All the time, hammering the American public into a sense of false Patriotism, you’re either pro-war, or you’re against us. It’s why they forged the Habbush document. It’s why they tortured. It had very little to do with Cheney’s dire need to protect America, and much much more to do with Cheney’s need to cover up the fact that his war, the death toll, the families lives destroyed, was based on such an ugly lie.
Why did we invade Iraq?
I wonder what Doctor David Kelly knew.