ron suskind builds the case for impeachment

We all know now that the Bush administration sold the Iraq war to the American people by disseminating the lie that Saddam Hussein’s government had weapons of mass destruction. They also, as you’ll recall, inferred repeatedly that there was a connection between the 9/11 attacks on the United States and the oil-producing middle eastern country. You may even remember that there was a handwritten letter dated July 1, 2000, by Iraq Intelligence Chief, Tahir Jalil Habbush, to Saddam Hussein, saying that 9/11 mastermind Mohammed Atta had trained in Iraq. The note also mentioned that their government had been attempting, through al Qaeda, to purchase yellow cake uranium from Niger. We’ve known for a while now that it was fake. What we didn’t know, however, was who was behind it.

According to Pullitzer-Prize winning author Ron Suskind, in his new book, “The Way of the World,” the letter was written years later by Habbush, and only after he’d been paid $5 million by the U.S. government, and set up in a safe house in Jordan. And, most shocking of all, according to Suskind, it was written on order of the White House. [It’s also worth noting that, prior to the war, Habbush was already on the U.S. payroll. In fact, it now looks as though he had reported to his CIA handlers several times prior to our invasion that there were no weapons of mass destruction. Those reports, as you might expect, had been buried.]

The administration, upon hearing the charge, was quick to challenge Suskind on it. And, Suskind, in response, released the transcript of an interview he’d conducted with the CIA’s former Deputy Chief of Clandestine Operations Robert Richer. According to the transcript, there’s no question – the CIA received an order from the White House to create a forged document showing a link between 9/11 and Iraq. Richer then goes on to suggest that Cheney was responsible.

I’m not a huge conspiracy theorist, but I don’t imagine that Dick Cheney will be with us much longer… I think that maybe he’s outlived his usefulness.

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  1. Posted August 9, 2008 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    Ron Suskind won the Pulitzer? He would never lie!

  2. Brackache
    Posted August 10, 2008 at 12:30 am | Permalink

    A) I’ve been drinking and I’m sleepy and I didn’t read the whole post. I’ll no doubt be embarrassed about that later (OEC, please feel free to quote that back to me regarding my politics — see (B)).

    B) I used to be a neocon, and I repented when it was pointed out eloquently from a personage with a trustworthy voting record that neoconservatism violates traditional Republican principles.

    C) I, and I think many neocons, was/were never under the impression that Saddam had anything to do with al Qaeda or 9-11 or Osama bin Laden. My first reaction to the Iraq not-technically-a-war was “Iraq? What the fuck has that got to do with anything. Oh well, they must know something I don’t. I guess it’s part of a larger strategy to attract al Qaeda fighters to a less domestic front (i.e. — Iraq) and eventually set up an invasion of Iran, which is probably necessary in the long run… and they probably had some wmd’s, who knows.” No shit, that’s what I thought. I still think that (not that the reasoning is good, moral, and necessary, but that that’s what the real reasoning was), but now I realize that none of it would have been necessary if we had stuck to the traditional Republican platform of noninterventionism during the 20th century, so really the only viable long-term strategic solution is to get the fuck out of everywhere asap.

    D) I’m just saying this so you know what a former neocon actually thought, because I’m afraid that the left is just as propaganderizing as the right and I don’t want anyone to believe things that aren’t true regarding their political opponants, because their political opponants are adept at using such misunderstandings as strawmen arguments to discredit your point of view and entrench their base.

  3. mark
    Posted August 10, 2008 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure I understand your comment, ytown. If you’re suggesting that Suskind didn’t win the Pulitzer, you confirm it online. He was given the award in 1995 for work he’d done with the “Wall Street Journal.” He was also valediction in his class at the University of VIrginia. It seems to me unlikely that he would make things up, jeopardizing his livelihood. Of course, it’s easy to shout baseless allegations out anonymously on the internet.

    And thanks for the confession Brackache. I’m glad that I didn’t have to waterboard you for it.

  4. mark
    Posted August 10, 2008 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Researching the denials made by CIA officials, I found the following paragraph at Wikipedia. I thought that I’d pass it along.

    …In an interview on NPR’s Fresh Air, August 7, 2008, Suskind claimed that the two CIA agents he used as a source for his charges about the faked letter are making denials under ‘pressure’, because they are ‘under stress’, and under the ‘heat … of public attention’. He claims one of them, Robert Richer, read the book the night before it was available to the public, and agreed with the book, but changed his mind the afternoon of the day the book went public, due to ‘enormous pressure’. He also claimed that John Maguire had not read the book, but was making carefully worded denials because Richer had given ‘misinformation’ about the book to Maguire. Suskind also claims to have emailed with Maguire about this misinformation, and that Maguire will soon get the book. Suskind also claimed to have tape recorded quotes to back up his claims…

    And I guess this is what led him to release the transcripts of his interviews yesterday.

  5. Dirtgrain
    Posted August 10, 2008 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    How is it not obvious that the Iraq war has been about profiteering?

  6. Robert
    Posted August 10, 2008 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Dirtgrain, I don’t know how everyone hasn’t realized it by now either.

    I’m surprised ytown even commented under this posting at all. He, Publius, and guys like them usually like to pretend none of this stuff even exists.

  7. mark
    Posted August 10, 2008 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know that I’d say it was “all” about war profiteering. I think the administration thought it was win, win, win, win across the board. Sadam would be out of power, Bush would get to avenge his father, the oil companies would get their access, everyone would welcome us, and we’d get bases along the border with Iran. There was no down side as they saw it. 9/11 gave them a huge opportunity, and they weren’t going to blow it. Only problem is, they didn’t have a reason to go to war, so they made one up. If they’d succeeded, no one would care right now, but they didn’t. They failed miserably, and now, hopefully, they’ll be held accountable.

  8. mark
    Posted August 10, 2008 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    And, for what it’s worth, I think at least one of the objectives was worth pursuing. I liked the idea that we should try to create a democratic stronghold in the middle east. I would have focused on Afghanistan, though – a nation that was involved in 9/11.

    And I’ve said it here quite a few times before, but the thing that really pisses me off is that we squandered the opportunity that 9/11 gave us to pursue change on a war in Iraq instead of on an ambitious initiative to ween us off oil. If Gore had been President when the attacks had taken place, I’m confident that he would have taken the opportunity to lead us toward a more sustainable future, instead of going after what’s left of the world’s oil. It was a colossal strategic error – one that may have signaled the beginning of the end for the world’s greatest super-power.

  9. mark
    Posted August 10, 2008 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    You can see video of Suskind being interviewed on the “Today”

  10. mark
    Posted August 10, 2008 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    And the more I read, the more unsure I am that Tahir Jalil Habbush wrote the letter, as I suggested in my post. He was clearly paid $5 million by the CIA to keep quiet, but it seems as though the letter itself may have been forged by someone at the CIA. I don’t suppose it matters all that much, as it’s still an impeachable offense, regardless of who actually wrote the letter.

  11. Kate
    Posted August 10, 2008 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    If it gets to the point where these lies by Bush and Cheney are proven to BE lies convincingly enough, I think impeachment is going to be the last of Bush’s worries. For every soldier who’s been killed or maimed in Iraq, there will be at least one person and probably many more who want Bush’s hide nailed to the side of the barn.

  12. Robert
    Posted August 10, 2008 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like a bunch of conspiracy theory to me, Mark.

  13. Robert
    Posted August 10, 2008 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    …and you used a lot of “big words” too. Good for you.

  14. Posted August 10, 2008 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps I’ve missed something. Are you suggesting a need to actually build a case?

    I thought that the jury had pretty much come back on that long ago, but that the spinelessness of Congress was the major impediment to acting, not the failure to build a case.

  15. Brackache
    Posted August 10, 2008 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    You bet, mark. Just trying to bridge some gaps and empty the trenches.

  16. Michael Schils
    Posted August 11, 2008 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Was the link the 1st commenter included a self-admission that he/she is posting as a troll?

    Is merely calling something a “conspiracy theory” a valid criticism?

    Isn’t the “official” narrative of what occurred on 9-11-2001 one of the most inconceivable conspiracy theories ever put forth?

    No answers from me, just questions.

  17. Robert
    Posted August 11, 2008 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Michael Schils, to answer your questions; yes, no, and yes.

    To explain, I was just channeling publius and ytown in my previous posts. To do it, I put myself into a deep state of meditation and allow them to speak through me. I rattle off a bunch of stupid remarks in haiku form and then end up feeling all scared and empty inside, and afraid someone will expose me as a fraud. When I come out of the trance, I feel refreshed.

  18. Michael Schils
    Posted August 11, 2008 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Robert, my sarcasm-detector sometimes malfunctions…

    8-8-08 article from–

    New evidence suggests Ron Suskind is right

  19. Robert
    Posted August 11, 2008 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    It’s not your fault, Michael Schils. I’m kind of a jackass. It’s nice of you to try to take the blame though.

    The Salon article is good. I wonder what the Administration is going to do to distract everyone from this stuff. It will be interesting to see. They’ll have to do something.

  20. Ty
    Posted August 11, 2008 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    According to Google Trends, no one cares about the Suskind revelations anymore:

  21. dp in ypsi
    Posted August 11, 2008 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    I’m looking for my soapbox, but it seems to have been borrowed by a Blackwater mercenary as a posing stand for recent victims of torture in the name of US taxpayers.

  22. dp in ypsi
    Posted August 13, 2008 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    Robert: Your answer lay in a tune that Ray Charles sang… “Georgia, Georgia… your always on my mind.”

    Gotta love a good proxy war to keep the public ready to pump more money into cowboy-energy-diplomacy.

  23. Robert
    Posted August 15, 2008 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    So, in a way, it’s Suskind’s fault that all those people died in the fighting in Georgia. He’s heartless.

  24. Andrew Wang
    Posted September 28, 2008 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    Bush is the worst president in American history. Bush facilitated the 9/11 attacks. Subsequently, Bush lied to Congress and the American people relative to the reasons for invading Iraq. Bush purposefully misled Congress and the American people. Then, Bush murdered more than 4,000 United States service members. And Bush wounded more than 30,000 United States service members. In torturing prisoners of war, Bush patently violated the Geneva Convention. Bush unlawfully wiretapped United States citizens. In using “signing statements” to challenge hundreds of laws passed by Congress, Bush violated the Constitution. Bush has ignored global warming. Bush is guilty of criminal negligence relative to the response to Hurricane Katrina. Bush disobeys our democratic values and Constitution. Bush is a disgrace to the United States.

    Furthermore, Ron Suskind has revealed that Bush directed the forgery of a letter connecting Iraq to the 9/11 attacks. Bush is beyond help.

    Submitted by Andrew Yu-Jen Wang
    B.S., Summa Cum Laude, 1996
    Messiah College, Grantham, PA

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