Suskind Book Charges Bush Used Forged Document to Embark on Iraq War

Author Ron Suskind has a new book out that's getting a lot of attention today. It's called “The Way of the World: A Story of Truth and Hope in an Age of Extremism.”

President Bush committed an impeachable offense by ordering the CIA to to manufacture a false pretense for the Iraq war in the form of a backdated, handwritten document linking Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda, an explosive new book claims.

....Suskind says he spoke on the record with U.S. intelligence officials who stated that Bush was informed unequivocally in January 2003 that Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction. Nonetheless, his book relates, Bush decided to invade Iraq three months later — with the forged letter from the head of Iraqi intelligence to Saddam bolstering the U.S. rationale to go into war.

As to the fake letter: [More...]

Suskind writes: “The White House had concocted a fake letter from Habbush to Saddam, backdated to July 1, 2001. It said that 9/11 ringleader Mohammed Atta had actually trained for his mission in Iraq — thus showing, finally, that there was an operation link between Saddam and al-Qaeda, something the Vice President's office had been pressing CIA to prove since 9/11 as a justification to invade.”

He continues: “A handwritten letter, with Habbush's name on it, would be fashioned by CIA and then hand-carried by a CIA agent to Baghdad for dissemination.”

CIA officers Richer and John Maguire, who oversaw the Iraq Operations Group, are both on the record in Suskind’s book confirming the existence of the fake Habbush letter.

The White House responds, denying the charge.

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    Yawn. (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by pie on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 06:25:43 PM EST
    The White House responds, denying the charge.

    Same as it ever was.

    Do something.

    Wow (5.00 / 0) (#2)
    by athyrio on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 06:27:52 PM EST
    Bush and Cheney should be arrested for being war criminals after all the lives they have cost both American and Iraqi. So very sad and the Democrats don't have a fighter to prosecute them. We need a fighter so badly!!!!!!

    Athyrio....you mean like Hillary?? :) (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by PssttCmere08 on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 06:53:25 PM EST
    absolutely Hillary as she is the toughest (5.00 / 0) (#24)
    by athyrio on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 09:05:10 PM EST
    Democrat out there....the others are just pretenders and fakes IMO....

    Well, you know, I guess we can just let (5.00 / 6) (#3)
    by Anne on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 06:35:02 PM EST
    bygones be bygones; no use getting people all riled up over something we can't undo, right?  I mean impeachment is off the table, Bush will be gone in less than 6 months, and what good could it possibly do to hold people accountable for forging the evidence - or should I say - more of the evidence used as a justification for war.

    I mean - poor George Tenet; he might have to give back that Presidential Medal of Freedom (maybe now we know why he really got it), and well, that would just be too humiliating for words, wouldn't it?

    Okay, that's the end of the snark.  For now.

    Honest to God, is there anything - anything - these people could do that would elicit ANY action?  It makes my blood boil when I think about all the men and women who have been killed or injured or irreparably damaged fighting this war - and think about how many times that stinkin' lyin' SOB-in-Chief has condescendingly told us that we can't leave Iraq lest the lives lost there be in vain.  The lives lost there, the lives forever changed here at home - because the people at the highest levels - and this has Cheney written all over it - wanted to go to war.  Wanted to.  Thought it was a jim-dandy idea.  The same people that want to spy on us and torture people and hide people in black site prisons.  No wonder these people had no interest in something like S-CHIP - that actually helps people.

    I have to stop thinking about this before my keyboard goes up in smoke and the vein in my forehead pops.


    If there is any way possible (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by weltec2 on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 07:12:31 PM EST
    to remove Nancy... it needs to be found and it needs to be exercised quickly while Bush and company are still in office. I do not believe there can be any real healing in the US without it.

    Another Day, Another Book (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by KeysDan on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 07:00:52 PM EST
    What does it take to motivate our leadership? What does it take for public opinion to go beyond acceptance of  ridicule and humor by late night comics?   Why is a Republican candidate for president neck-and-neck with the Democratic candidate?  I recall how outraged many were when the Kyoto agreement was discarded  and when increased arsenic levels in the water supply was encouraged early in the Bush administration.  Maybe, concerned citizens have been immunized by the barrage of corruptive insults to their systems, not unlike the immunity gained from constant exposure from coliform bacteria.

    I'm shocked, SHOCKED, (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by litigatormom on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 08:18:07 PM EST
    that forgery is going on here. No wonder Cheney kept talking about Saddam and Mohammed Atta.  He was paving the way for the public disclousre of the forged letter.  

    I wonder what other forgeries the CIA has made?  Yellowcake documents, anyone?


    Yep but nothing will happen (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Saul on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 07:22:21 PM EST
    They will get away with murder. Literally.  All the blood on the lost lives in Iraq and Afganistan to included those on the other side are on Bush's and Cheney's hands. He and Cheney  sent them to their death. He could have stopped it the war anytime he wanted to but did not.  A war that should have never happened.  A war based on right out lies.  

    Brue Fein said it would be a grave mistake not to have impeached Bush and Cheney before they leave.  Ain't going to happen though.  If ever there was an administration that needed to be impeach it was this one.

    I wonder how they sleep at night.

    The lack of a soul... (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 07:33:28 PM EST
    ...morals and conscience is my guess.  People that lack these things have no problem sleeping.

    who'd go into the national government line of (none / 0) (#28)
    by sancho on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 11:19:06 PM EST
    work if you couldnt get away with murder and/or other, less horrible forms of crime?

    Are Nancy Pelosi's fingerprints (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by Edger on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 07:40:18 PM EST
    on the letter?

    The first thing I was reminded of (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by weltec2 on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 08:03:58 PM EST
    when I read this was Bush with a big smile on his face saying to a reporter, "I'm a sunny guy." Thousands upon thousands of Iraqi people and American forces have died and are dying every day and George is a "sunny guy." That is just... unbelievable. And he's going to get away with it too. All the Suskinds can write their books... but it doesn't matter because the Repugs have Nancy on their side.

    But she explained it all the other day (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Edger on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 08:45:15 PM EST
    Nancy Pelosi Answers 10 Questions; First Question: Why Did You Take Impeachment Off the Table?

    Q: Why have you taken impeachment off the table as an option for President George W. Bush? Nancy Shipes WOODSTOWN, N.J.

    A: I took it off the table a long time ago. You can't talk about impeachment unless you have the facts, and you can't have the facts unless you have cooperation from the Administration.

    Translation: We can't impeach Bush because it's not ok with Bush. He won't co-operate and let us impeach him.


    This is the sort of thing (5.00 / 0) (#25)
    by BrianJ on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 09:12:15 PM EST
    Combined with her "I'm trying to save the planet" babble last week, that really makes me wonder if Pelosi is all there.  If she won't reconvene the Congress to deal with this, I seriously believe it may be time for her to get a psychiatric evaluation.

    I can't make fun of her anymore.  It's like kicking a kitten.


    A kitten with very sharp teeth and claws (none / 0) (#26)
    by Edger on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 09:37:04 PM EST
    A year ago would have been a good time for a mass letter writing campaign to the democratic Party, telling them that dem candidates were guaranteed the votes in November 2008.

    IF and only if they did certain things first, and not otherwise. Such as defund and end the Iraq occupation, repeal the MCA, shelve any thought of telecom immunity, use inherent contempt to enforce congressional subpoenas, uphold laws against torture and illegal invasions and lay war crimes charges and prosecute where indicated.

    Maybe it'll happen next year re the 2012 elections? Or will the majority of the democratic base whine and say "if they don't fix things by 2012 then we'll hold their feet to the fire again - after we give away all leverage and vote them in again"?

    Nancy Pelosi is much smarter than she appears, I think.


    I don't think she's crazy. (none / 0) (#29)
    by weltec2 on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 11:19:57 PM EST
    She's pretending to be stupid. Personally I do not believe she is as stupid as she is pretending to be. She wouldn't have gotten to where she is if she were stupid. No, I think she has been paid off. I think she has been paid big bucks to stonewall it until BO becomes POTUS after which BO will smile and wave and tell the TV cameras that it is time to move on.

    And all the death... and the billions that have been stolen by this administration... will all be forgotten as Bush and Cheney chuckle off into history.


    Complicit (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by Edger on Wed Aug 06, 2008 at 03:31:15 AM EST
    She was briefed on and signed off on torture. She won't impeach because she is an accessory, I think. She would be impeaching and convicting herself.

    Glenn Greenwald
    Tuesday July 15, 2008 08:16 EDT
    The motivation for blocking investigations into Bush lawbreaking

    ...one important political impediment to holding Bush officials accountable for their illegal torture program:

    An additional complicating factor is that key members of Congress sanctioned this program, so many of those who might ordinarily be counted on to lead the charge are themselves compromised.
    In December of last year, The Washington Post revealed:

    Four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody. For more than an hour, the bipartisan group, which included current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was given a virtual tour of the CIA's overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk.

    Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill. But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said.

    The article noted that other Democratic members who received briefings on the CIA's interrogation program included Jay Rockefeller and Jane Harman.

    Thanks Edger (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by weltec2 on Wed Aug 06, 2008 at 11:16:20 PM EST
    much appreciated. Great article. My sense of helplessness and hopelessness deepens.

    What's more sickening? (5.00 / 0) (#27)
    by Marco21 on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 10:01:58 PM EST
    That another flat out lie contributed to the atrocity that is the Iraq War or the fact that our weak-kneed congress won't do anything to right the redoubtable, numerous wrongs?

    I don't know... (1.00 / 1) (#4)
    by bocajeff on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 06:53:06 PM EST
    I mean is there, what's it called, proof?

    testimony is proof (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by txpublicdefender on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 07:07:16 PM EST
    In courts of law across the country, people are convicted of crimes--misdemeanors and felonies--all the time based on proof consisting of nothing but witness testimony.  If Suskind has people on the record saying that this was done, as it sounds like he does, and these people are credible people, and it sounds like they are, then that, my friend, is proof.

    I don't know. (5.00 / 0) (#8)
    by pie on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 07:07:46 PM EST
    I mean, did they ever find WMD's?

    Was the White House ever forced to to release documents?

    Was anyone forced to testify?

    Was anyone in the White House, other than those who had to resign and Scootie, held accountable?

    You funny.

    Really.  Hilariously so.


    See the link -- and his sources (5.00 / 0) (#9)
    by Cream City on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 07:09:02 PM EST
    CIA officers Richer and John Maguire, who oversaw the Iraq Operations Group, are both on the record in Suskind's book confirming the existence of the fake Habbush letter.

    When asked by Vieira for further proof of the letter, Suskind said: "Well, the CIA folks involved in the book and others talk about George Tenet coming back from the White House with the assignment on White House stationery, and turning to the CIA operatives, who are professionals, and saying, `You may not like this, but here is our next mission.'

    "And they carried it through step by step, all the way to the finish."

    OMG. (5.00 / 0) (#10)
    by pie on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 07:12:23 PM EST
    You may not like this, but here is our next mission.'

    To kill thousands of people and destroy a country that did nothing to us.

    For oil.


    Not exactly. (5.00 / 0) (#13)
    by RonK Seattle on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 07:25:49 PM EST
    The letter came after the invasion, and after the widespread realization that there were no WMD.

    Strictly face-saving effort.

    Not that the anti-war movements covered themselves in glory either. Loathe to engage in facts and consequences, so long as there were juicy affinities and sentiments to play with.


    Okay. (none / 0) (#16)
    by pie on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 07:40:48 PM EST
    The letter came after the invasion, and after the widespread realization that there were no WMD.

    But there's still the matter of the "evidence" before the invasion.


    John Dean (none / 0) (#17)
    by NYShooter on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 07:46:17 PM EST
    stated that the trail, and the "buck" stopped with Cheney.

    Ron Suskind was just on (none / 0) (#21)
    by litigatormom on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 08:20:11 PM EST
    Countdown.  Two of his sources are backpedaling, issuing statements that "no one in their chain of command" ordered them to make the forgeries.  As Suskind pointed out (1) that's not what he said, and (2) the sources are now government contractors and subject to government pressure.  As late as mid-day today, they were talking to Suskind and sticking to their guns.  And then, late in the afternoon...the backpedaling began.

    Just asking..... (none / 0) (#19)
    by NYShooter on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 08:08:51 PM EST
    If Obama was asked at a news conference, "Sir, as a Constitutional lawyer and potential POTUS, you will have to swear to 'protect and defend The Constitution' and see to it that its laws are fully and faithfully executed." "In light of the revelations expressed by journalists with impeccable credentials  regarding the Bush Administration's impeachable crimes, do you still stand by your statement,
    "I would not want my first term consumed by what was perceived on the part of the Republicans as a partisan witch hunt ..."
    What would be his response?

    Hard to believe (none / 0) (#22)
    by Lil on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 08:40:10 PM EST
    that we all know folks who still defend Bush!

    Oh come on folks... (none / 0) (#31)
    by ctrenta on Wed Aug 06, 2008 at 09:01:10 AM EST

    ... even though we found another smoking gun, we REALLY can't impeach! Why? Because having to conduct investigations into impeachment means the Democrats have to stand up for something like..... principle. Standing up for principle and the health of our democracy makes us look bad and makes us lose elections. We can't jeopardize that!

    This is getting ore surreal by the moment.