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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 05:28 PM
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Is Congress powerless, as * Co, expands extraordinary powers?

Carnegie Analysis
Tenet: On the Record
by Alexis Orton
Wednesday, March 10, 2004

The testimony of Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet before the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 9 adds valuable insight into four key intelligence controversies: the role of DOD Undersecretary Douglas Feith's special intelligence unit, and allegations of an Iraq-Al Qaeda connection, mobile bio-weapon labs, and Iraqi efforts to procure uranium. In order to avoid future intelligence failures on the scale of September 11 and the war in Iraq, the independent commission to investigate Iraqi intelligence - or another of the several intelligence inquiries that currently exist - must make a deeper probe into these misrepresentations and mistakes. We present excerpts and analysis of Tenet's testimony below.
Feith's Special Intelligence Unit

Tenet revealed that the special intelligence unit run by Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith had given briefings to Vice President Cheney's office and the National Security Council on the Iraq-Al Qaeda connection - without the DCI's knowledge. Senator Levin noted, but did not specify, a "very significant omission" in the briefing the unit gave to George Tenet in contrast to the briefing given to Cheney's office and the NSC. (According to the Wall Street Journal, the omission was a slide that criticized the CIA's analysis of the Iraq-Al Qaeda issue.) This is significant because many suspect that Feith's now-disbanded office provided intelligence directly to administration officials, "cherry picking" information that would help justify a rush to war.

full analysis

and Now:

January 26, 2005

The following is the text of a letter that Senators Collins and Lieberman sent to Secretary Rumsfeld today:

Dear Secretary Rumsfeld:

We are writing to seek additional information about the Department of Defenses development of a human intelligence capability reportedly called the Strategic Support Branch. Recent news stories have discussed the Departments apparent creation of a full spectrum human intelligence capability to conduct human intelligence operations and possibly covert operations across a host of countries. As authors of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, we are concerned that this capability could undermine Congresss vision for intelligence reform as embodied in this new law.


The intelligence reform bill does not materially alter statutory requirements contained in Title 50 of the Unites States Code for Presidential authorization of covert action and notification to Congress. We understand that there are different authorization and notification requirements for activities carried out under the authority of Title 10 of the United States Code as opposed to Title 50. However, we are concerned that a broad interpretation of Title 10 authority could allow the Executive Branch to engage in covert action without complying with Title 50 authorization and notification requirements. Please describe in detail the Departments plans for compliance with Title 50 requirements concerning covert action or provide the legal basis for any conclusion that Title 50 does not apply in certain circumstances.

full press release
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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 05:40 PM
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1. Relief after Pentagon official resigns
Douglas Feith, undersecretary of defence for policy, became on Wednesday the first senior Pentagon official to announce his resignation since the re-election of President George W. Bush.


A former senior administration official said the White House had been pushing for Mr Feith's departure for several months. He had developed a contentious relationship with other members of the administration, including the White House and the State Department, where one official said there was a sigh of relief at the news.

The official said Mr Feith's departure did not represent a change in policy, given that Mr Bush had reaffirmed many of the neoconservatives' views in his inaugural speech last week. He said that instead it was an effort to remove some officials who were lightning rods in the first administration.


Scott Horton, president of the International League for Human Rights, said the Pentagon policy position was so important to the neoconservatives that they would push hard to make sure one of their members replaced Mr Feith.

But he said the White House would probably pick someone who attracted less criticism.

Mr Feith's office attracted attention last year after details were published of a Federal Bureau of Investigation inquiry into whether Lawrence Franklin, who worked for Mr Feith, passed classified information to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and an Israeli diplomat. Some neoconservatives speculated yesterday that Scooter Libby, chief of staff to vice-president Dick Cheney and protg of Paul Wolfowitz, deputy defence secretary, could replace Mr Feith at the Pentagon.

What relief? and whose relief? That now they will have a replacement with less media attention?
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