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Thursday, August 14, 2008

How Tenet 'betrayed' the CIA on Iraq - Gareth Porter

WASHINGTON - Journalist Ron Suskind's revelation that Saddam Hussein's intelligence chief was a pre-war intelligence source reporting to the British that Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction (WMD) adds yet another dimension to the systematic effort by then Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director George Tenet to quash any evidence - no matter how credible - that conflicted with the George W Bush administration's propaganda line that Saddam was actively pursuing a nuclear weapons program.

According to Suskind's new book, The Way of the World, Iraqi director of intelligence Tahir Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti had been passing on sensitive intelligence to Britain's MI6 intelligence service for more than a year before the US invasion. In early 2003, Suskind writes, Habbush told MI6 official Michael Shipster in Jordan that Saddam had ended his nuclear program in 1991 and his biological weapons program in 1996. Habbush explained to the British official that Saddam tried to maintain the impression that he did have such weapons in order to impress Iran.


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