'Intelligence failures' prior to 9/11, Iraq war: Planned strategies?


By Steve Hammons
October 31, 2005

Inquiries by the 9/11 Commission and the Senate Intelligence Committee into “intelligence failures” have blamed intelligence officers and intelligence agencies.

Some former CIA officers and others have expressed concerns that the commission’s and the committee’s investigations of so-called intelligence failures before 9/11 and before the Iraq invasion seemed to make scapegoats of dedicated intelligence professionals.

The “intelligence failures” that led to the 9/11 attacks, and the “intelligence failures” that led to the invasion of Iraq have parallels and links that seem to pose difficult questions for many Americans.

What if they were not failures by good intelligence officers, but planned strategies and manipulations by others? What if they were a kind of psychological operation (PSYOP) perpetrated on the American people, Congress and on our military and intelligence services?

Additional questions have centered on whether the invasion of Iraq was related to legitimate worries about weapons of mass destruction, or rather a complex combination of various factors that included allies in the region, oil, defense industry profits, U.S. domestic politics and other factors.

When, or if, the Senate Intelligence Committee or some other investigative body, such as a special prosecutor, do look into these issues, a comprehensive report hopefully will shed light on these questions, reveal the truth and hold those responsible accountable.

The American people deserve more thorough investigations, particularly the families of those killed on 9/11 and American troops who have fought, been severely injured and died in the Iraq war, and their loved ones.

The 9/11 Commission did not report on a wide range of suspicious circumstances that indicated the 9/11 hijackers may have been under surveillance by U.S. officials or intelligence operations of other countries, outside and inside the U.S.

It did not answer all questions about U.S. air defense exercises and drills prior to and during 9/11 that reportedly confused U.S. air defense forces and air traffic controllers.

The commission did not report on allegations that certain powerful people reportedly claimed “a new Pearl Harbor” was needed to persuade the American people to support aggressive military activities in the Middle East, including the invasion of Iraq.

As has been widely reported, immediately after the 9/11 attacks, some government officials were focused on Iraq, even though there was no evidence of Iraq’s involvement.

Some people seem to think the commission assisted in a cover-up.

The Senate Intelligence Committee has reportedly made limited progress in inquiring into allegations that intelligence used to justify the invasion of Iraq was manipulated or “cooked.”

Some claim that pressure was applied to intelligence officers to agree with reasons put forth for the Iraq war and slant intelligence and intelligence analysis in the same way and for the same reason.

An example of one of these areas of concern has been repeated statements to the American people by government officials about connections between Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 attacks – links that were frequently implied by government officials, but which apparently lacked adequate reasonable evidence.

Sen. Pat Roberts, the committee chairman, reportedly promised that the committee would follow-up its initial investigation and report with an inquiry into whether intelligence was manipulated or even fabricated in the run-up to the Iraq war.

Such a follow-up inquiry would certainly need to include looking at The Office of Special Plans (OSP), a group created in the Pentagon and supervised by Douglas Feith. There have been allegations that the OSP was tasked with finding or even creating intelligence to justify the invasion of Iraq.