Rowan Scarborough has an article in today's Washington Times about the links between Iraq and al-Qaeda.
This article reveals some new information. Scarborough writes that the reports in the Feith memo "are from detained Iraqis and communications intercepts." I haven't found any reference to "communication intercepts" in the Case Closed article.
In addition, Scarborough reveals that:
Much of the information in Mr. Feith's letter was compiled by a special team he assembled in 2002. Their job was to study a decade of raw and confirmed intelligence on any ties between al Qaeda and Iraq, and put it in one report.Scarborough reports that it was at this point that Mr. Tenet, Mr. Rumsfeld and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice began making stronger statements about the connection between al-Qaeda and Iraq.
The team was disbanded in the fall of 2002 after the report was filed. Mr. Rumsfeld was briefed, as were other administration officials, including Mr. Tenet.
He quotes Rumsfeld as saying in September 2002:
"We do have solid evidence of the presence in Iraq of al Qaeda members, including some that have been in Baghdad."Tenet is quoted from a letter to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence:
"We have solid reporting of senior-level contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda going back a decade. ... We have credible reporting that al Qaeda leaders sought contacts in Iraq who could help them acquire WMD capabilities."Rice is quoted as saying:
"We know that several of the detainees, in particular some high-ranking detainees, have said that Iraq provided some training to al Qaeda in chemical-weapons development."Two other articles were published during the Thanksgiving weekend belittling the Feith memo. In this column in the Washigton Post David Ignatius, concludes:
The CIA, which collected most of the raw intelligence Feith cites, remains unconvinced, and for good reason. The case is thin, and contradicted by high-level Iraqi sources.In this article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Jon Sawyer asserts that the leaking of the Feith memo may evidence a willingness to "manipulate intelligence for political ends."
This story has survived for over two weeks. A newspaper publishes a story about the Feith memo every other day or so. But we haven't seen the media feeding frenzy that the story deserves. The mainstream media should find the necessary experts and analyze the Feith memo, picking it apart piece by piece. Only then can the case be closed. Either the links were there or not, we deserve to know either way.
You can find all my posts following this story here.