This Writing Life--Mark Terry
Thoughts From A Professional Writer

A little terrorism context
Previous Entry :: Next Entry


Read/Post Comments (4)
Share on Facebook
August 15, 2006
An excerpt from "The One Percent Doctrine" by Ron Suskind that takes place just prior to President Bush's visit to the UN to drum up support for the war in Iraq.

"On Friday afternoon, January 10, Jami Miscik, the head of the DI walked down the hall on the seventh floor shaking with rage.

John Moseman, Tenet's chief of staff, saw her as she passed his office.

'You okay?'

'No. I'm not okay. I'm definitely not okay!'

A moment later, she'd made it to Tenet's suite.

She barely could get out the words. Stephen Hadley, Condi's second, had called from the office of 'Scooter' Libby, Cheney's chief of staff.

They wanted her down at Libby's office in the White House by 5 p.m. At issue was the last in an endless series of draft reports aobut the connection between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda. How many drafts? Miscik couldn't remember. The pressure from the White House--and from the various intelligence divisions under the Vice President and the Secretary of Defense--had started a week after 9/11.

Cheney's office claimed to have sources. And Rumsfeld's, too. They kept throwing them at Miscik and CIA. The same information, five different ways. They'd omit that a key piece had been discounted, that the source had recanted. Sorry, our mistake. Then it would reappear, again, in a memo the next week. The CIA held firm: the meeting in Prague between Atta and the Iraqi agent didn't occur.

Miscik was no fool. She understood what was going on. It wasn't about what was true, or verifiable. It was about a defensible position, or at least one that would hold up until the troops were marching through Baghdad, welcomed as liberators.

A few days before, when she had sent the final draft over to Libby and Hadley, she told them, emphatically, This is it. There would be no more drafts, no more meetings where her analysts sat across from Hadley or Feith, or the guys in Feith's office, while the opposing team tried to slip something by them. The report was not what they wanted. She knew that. No evidence meant no evidence.

'I'm not going back there, again, George,' Miscik said. 'If I have to go back to hear their crap and rewrite this goddamn report... I'm resigning, right now.'

She fought back tears of rage.

Tenet picked up the phone to call Hadley.

'She is not coming over,' he shouted into the phone. 'We are not rewriting this fucking report one more time. It is fucking over. Do you hear me! And don't you ever fucking treat my people this way again. Ever!'

They did not rewrite the report.

And that's why, three weeks later, in making the case for war in his State of the Union address, George W. Bush was not able to say what he'd long hoped to say at such a moment: that there was a pre-9/11 connection between al Qaeda and Saddam."

* * *

Of course, he was able to keep in that Saddam had bought quantities of yellow cake uranium in Africa, which not only wasn't true, but the CIA had been over this point again and again: 1. They didn't think it happened at all. 2. Saddam already had several hundred pounds of yellow cake, so why would he want more? 3. It's just not that easy to turn that crap into something that can be used in a bomb. He also said that the high-strength aluminum tubes were suitable for nuclear weapons production, which has been rejected by the CIA as well as the UN weapons inspection teams.

Educational, ey?

Mark Terry

Read/Post Comments (4)

Previous Entry :: Next Entry

Back to Top

Powered by JournalScape © 2001-2010 All rights reserved.
All content rights reserved by the author.