Monday, May 17, 2010

US in Iraq: 'We were going to war regardless'

Ex-CIA Official Reveals New Details

The Invasion of Iraq
Truthout: ... By August 1, 2002 he was working on top-secret issues related to the administration's Iraq invasion plans. So secret was his new job, Kiriakou wrote in his book, [The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA's War on Terror] that he had to sign six separate 'secrecy agreements.'...

'Okay, here's the deal,' the CIA's unnamed director of Iraq operations told Kiriakou and Grenier. 'We're going to invade Iraq next spring. We're going to overthrow Saddam Hussein. We're going to establish the largest Air Force base in the world and we're going to transfer everybody from Saudi Arabia to Iraq. That way, al-Qaeda won't have that hanging over us, that we're polluting the land of the two holy cities.'

Kiriakou wrote that he and Grenier were stunned.

'We're going to invade Iraq?' Grenier asked the unnamed director of Iraq operations, Kiriakou wrote. Kiriakou added that Grenier had later told him that one of his bosses had briefed him 'on the executive branch's thinking a couple of months earlier,' meaning the war had been in the planning stages for some time, which supports similar claims made by other former Bush administration officials.

'It's a done deal, Bob.' the director said. 'The decision's already been made... the planning's competed, everything's in place.'

Kiriakou wrote that the Iraq director explained to him and Grenier that the ruse the Bush administration cooked up was 'rachet up the pressure on weapons of mass destruction... go to the United Nations toward the end of the year to make it look as if we wanted to ask the UN Secretary [sic] Council to authorize force. We expected Russian, Chinese, and French opposition... and we were prepared to go it alone.'

Kiriakou said he was told the public and Congressional debates surrounding the invasion of Iraq had no bearing on the administration's plans.

'We were going to war regardless of what the legislative branch of what the federal government chose to do,' he wrote. The CIA's role would be one of 'support... not a rerun of Afghanistan where [the agency] was running the show.'