In a new book hitting the stores, Ron Suskind writes that, post-9/11, the White House directed the CIA to forge a letter from Saddam’s security minister to create the impression of a link between Iraq and al-Qaeda. Bush administration spokesperson Tony Fratto characterized Suskind’s claim as “absurd” – and interestingly enough, Fratto is right.
Commentary By: Richard Blair
File this under “just another outrage”. Well, maybe not. According to Politico, author Ron Suskind claims in a new book that’s hitting the stores:
…the White House ordered the CIA to forge a back-dated, handwritten letter from the head of Iraqi intelligence to Saddam Hussein.
Suskind writes in “The Way of the World,” to be published Tuesday, that the alleged forgery – adamantly denied by the White House – was designed to portray a false link between Hussein’s regime and al Qaeda as a justification for the Iraq war.
The author also claims that the Bush administration had information from a top Iraqi intelligence official “that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq – intelligence they received in plenty of time to stop an invasion.” …
Normally, I’d just let such a report fall through the cracks of my mind (and ASZ). I mean, how many tell-all books have to be written to document the lies, secrecy and deceit that have become the legacy of George Bush’s presidency? There’s already a special library section dedicated to the genre, written by either former administration insiders (such as O’Neill, Clarke, and McClellan) or credible authors (like Suskind, Hersh, and Woodward), each of whom had unique access to the movers, shakers, and decision makers. So why am I picking on this particular instance? For instructional purposes.
Here’s how a “non-denial-denial” works:
The White House flatly denied Suskind’s account. Tony Fratto, deputy White House press secretary, told Politico: “The allegation that the White House directed anyone to forge a document from Habbush to Saddam is just absurd.” …
Damnation. Mr. Fratto is right. It is absurd. Which is why it’s probably true. Note that Fratto did not deny the allegation, only that it was absurd.
Absurd (–‰–™b-s–»rd’, -z–»rd’) adj: So senseless as to be laughable. Syn: foolish, harebrained, idiotic, imbecilic, insane, lunatic, mad, moronic, nonsensical, preposterous, silly, softheaded, tomfool, unearthly
Yep, I’d say that just about sums up the entire 7+ years of the Bush administration.
Our esteemed colleague Jill has more.