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Under Investigation, Feith Resigns

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    Feith Resigns Under Pressure of Investigations Juan Cole Friday, January 28, 2005 http://www.juancole.com/2005/01/feith-resigns-under-pressure-of.html Douglas
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 5, 2005
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      Feith Resigns Under Pressure of Investigations
      Juan Cole
      Friday, January 28, 2005

      http://www.juancole.com/2005/01/feith-resigns-under-pressure-of.html

      Douglas Feith, the number three man at the Pentagon who went there
      from the pro-Likud Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
      (JINSA) and the Project for a New American Century, will leave the
      Pentagon as of this summer. Feith's office is the subject of an FBI
      investigation as well as two Congressional investigations, one by
      the Senate Intelligence Committee. Feith helped set up an Office of
      Special Plans in the Near East and South Asia desk of the Pentagon
      to cherry-pick Iraq intelligence and create a case for Iraq having
      weapons of mass destruction and having operational links with al-
      Qaeda. At one point, contrary to Federal law, Feith's people
      actually briefed officials in the Executive on intelligence. Feith
      seems to have used David Wurmser a a liason of some sort, employing
      him at OSP before he later went to other key advisory offices at the
      State Department and finally in 2003 to Vice President Dic Cheney's
      office. Wurmser, who has ties to the Likud, is working for a US war
      against Iran and Syria. [An earlier version of this post got the
      sequence wrong out of a memory lapse.] The OSP was somehow able to
      get its analyses and false intelligence conclusions directly to
      Cheney's national security staff, from which they went directly to
      Bush, by-passing the CIA and the State Department Intelligence and
      Research division.

      Having a Likudnik as the number three man in the Pentagon is a
      nightmare for American national security, since Feith could never be
      trusted to put US interests over those of Ariel Sharon. In the build-
      up to the Iraq War, Feith had a phalanx of Israeli generals visiting
      him in the Pentagon and ignored post-9/11 requirements that they
      sign in. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was a vocal advocate of
      a US war against Iraq, who "put pressure" on Washington about it.
      (If Sharon wanted a war against Iraq, why didn't he fight it himself
      instead of pushing it off on American boys?)

      Feith has been questioned by the FBI in relation to the passing by
      one of his employees of confidential Pentagon documents to the
      American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which in turn passed them
      to the Israeli embassy. The Senate Intelligence Committee is also
      investigating Feith. There seems little doubt that he operated in
      the Pentagon in such a way as to produce false and
      misleading "intelligence," that he created an entirely false
      impression of Iraqi weapons capabilities and ties to al-Qaeda, and
      that he is among the chief facilitators of the US war in Iraq.

      Feith is clearly resigning ahead of the possible breaking of major
      scandals concerning his tenure at the Department of Defense, which
      is among the more disgraceful cases of the misleading of the
      American people in American history.

      There are several downsides to Feith's departure, as welcome as it
      is for anyone who cares about US security in particular. The first
      is that now we probably have to see him forever on cable news
      channels as one of those dreary neocon talking heads flogged by the
      American Enterprise Institute, a far rightwing "think tank" funded
      by cranky rich people to obscure the truth. Another is that his
      departure now may help keep Bush from being blamed for his shady
      dealings in intelligence "analysis."

      It is important to note that what is objectionable about Feith is a)
      his playing fast and loose with the truth, producing poor
      intelligence analysis that has been shown to be completely false and
      b) his doing so on behalf of not only American nationalist
      aspirations but also on behalf of a non-American political party,
      the Likud coalition of Israel, which desired to destroy the Oslo
      peace process initiated by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (and which
      was therefore on the same side of this issue as the fanatic who
      assassinated Rabin). There is no objection to Americans having
      multiple identities or love for more than one country. Someone of
      Serbian heritage would make a perfectly good Pentagon administrator.
      But you wouldn't want a vehement supporter of Slobodon Milosevic as
      the number three man in the Pentagon. It is ideological dual loyalty
      that is dangerous. Mere sentiment based on multiple ethnic
      identities is not dual loyalty, and hyphenated Americans mostly have
      other countries they wish well (and rightly so).

      It is also important to underline that only a small minority of
      American Jews support the Likud Party or its policies, and that a
      majority of Jewish Americans opposed the Iraq war. In short, the
      problematic nature of Feith's tenure at the Department of Defense
      must not be made an excuse for any kind of bigotry.


      Juan Cole is Professor of History at the University of Michigan

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