July 03, 2005

White House Iraq Group

Both Billmon and Digby noted that E & P had posted [and then pulled] a story from last year about the Plame investigation which has this interesting tie back to the Niger yellowcake forgery. The piece mentioned the Iraq Group -- the White House marketing arm for the war on Iraq. As Digby said, it then brings into play the work by Ret. Lt. Colonel Sam Gardiner: Truth From These Podia (pdf). Digby posted this intro of this study from the Edge:

According to Gardiner, "It was not bad intelligence" that lead to the quagmire in Iraq, "It was an orchestrated effort [that] began before the war" that was designed to mislead the public and the world. Gardiner's research lead him to conclude that the US and Britain had conspired at the highest levels to plant "stories of strategic influence" that were known to be false.

The Times of London described the $200-million-plus US operation as a "meticulously planned strategy to persuade the public, the Congress, and the allies of the need to confront the threat from Saddam Hussein."

Rereading Gardiner's piece last night was definitely worth the time. In there, he lists out the members of the Iraq Group:

  • Karl Rove (will he finally be frog-marched out of the WH in handcuffs?)
  • Karen Hughes
  • Mary Matalin
  • Jim Wilkinson
  • Nicholas Callo (Leg. Liaison)
  • Condi Rice
  • Stephen Hadley
  • Scooter Libby

What an interesting cast of characters, huh? And they were responsible for ginning up propaganda to support Bush's war. As Gardiner shows, this group provided direction to the Global Office of Communication and coordinated their message with the British through the Coalition Information Center. So much for the canard that the CIA was responsible for providing bad intelligence.[**]

* Remember Steve Soto recommended that Rep. John Conyers invite Sam Gardiner to his DSM hearings. Hopefully, Patrick J. Fitzgerald has already asked him to come before the Plame grand jury. It sure is interesting how all these stories are starting to come together.

** This sentence was poorly stated. The real canard was the assertion that the Bush administration was the innocent victim of bad intelligence. Both the DSM and a potential Rove conviction go a long way in making it clear that the architects of the lies came from the highest levels of the administration. And the CIA had many willing accomplices.

Update (12/17/2006): Sam Gardiner was one of the first to rigorously document the propaganda the Bush administration was using to shape the "truth" in his Truth from These Podia. As such, this article in the Columbia Journalism Review takes Gardiner's piece and ties it to how much uncertainty we have for now understanding the truth, because now the bad information is intertwined with what was real. We are now living in the time of truthiness, not reality.

Posted by Mary at July 3, 2005 10:52 AM | Propaganda | TrackBack(4) | Technorati links |

"So much for the canard that the CIA was responsible for providing bad intelligence."

It's not a canard. The CIA DID provide bad intelligence -- or rather, passed along bad intelligence from other sources.

The questions are why, and at whose behest?

Posted by: Billmon at July 3, 2005 01:29 PM

Billmon, you are correct. The canard is that the Bush administration was the unwitting victim of the bad intelligence that was produced.

Posted by: Mary at July 3, 2005 02:39 PM