Feith In The Office Of Special PlansFebruary 9, 2007
When I first heard of the Office of Special Plans (OSP), I assumed that it was something from a James Bond movie. I mean, there wouldn’t actually be a government agency somewhere that really sounded that mysterious would there? Well, I might was well put my $.02 since it’s come up in the headlines: Prewar Intelligence Unit at Pentagon Is Criticized.
A flashback and little background: Video: Democratic Committee hearing on pre-war intelligence (transcript). You’ll notice that a common phrase in the video was “Feith‘s office “(The OSP). Feith was part of Cheney’s “network”; but has since retired from public service:
Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (2001-2005)
As top policy advisor to Rumsfeld and his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, Feith helped build the administration’s case for war. At the Pentagon, Feith created two units: the Office of Special Plans (OSP) and the Policy Counterterrorism Evaluation Group (PCTEG). The former was quietly planning for post-war Iraq while the Bush administration was publicly trying to engage Iraq through diplomacy. The latter group served as an alternative to the CIA for intelligence analysis and uncovered a supposed pre-9/11 Al Qaeda-Iraq connection and alleged evidence of WMDs. When Feith left the Pentagon in 2005, he was replaced by Eric Edelman, Vice President Cheney’s former national security advisor.
OK, I should probably just come out and say that this war was a sales pitch from the very beginning. The main backers were Cheney and the rest of the neocons entrenched in the administration that had been pushing for an invasion of Iraq since the ’90’s. So, this Pentagon report that has come out recently was no surprise to me. It would seem logical that someone who was predisposed to invade would have presented the Iraqi threat in worst-case-scenario terms. It’s hard to sell a war telling tales of relatively harmless mustard pellets scattered around, after all.
The story is making a lot of noise on the blogs (just a few):
Captain Ed there seems to think all this is “political payback” for “alternative analysis”. He completely omits the fact that Feith was one of the PNAC boys in the Pentagon. The ‘analysis’ presented by Feith had an agenda attached to it, plain and simple: Make Saddam look as bad as possible to sell the war. No wonder 90% of it was way off.
These bloggers really can’t accept the fact that the war was a foregone conclusion, and all this OSP did was find something, anything, to bolster the case. Have they read the Downing Street Memo?
Yes, a memory hole indeed. Did anyone else notice that the OSP was created only two months after the DSM talk of “facts being fixed around the policy“? I wonder if the two are related?