On Being Led By the Nose
By James Abourezk, Counterpunch, July 12, 2010
I picked up a copy of a memoir written by the long-gone CIA Director, George Tenet. On the first page of the book’s preface, Mr. Tenet described what it was like on the day after the World Trade Towers had exploded as a result of the terrorists’ actions on 9-11-01.
I quote Mr. Tenet here:
“All this weighed heavy on my mind as I walked beneath the awning that leads to the West Wing and saw Richard Perle exiting the building just as I was about to enter. Perle is one of the godfathers of the neoconservative movement and, at the time, was head of the Defense Policy Board, an independent advisory group attached to the Secretary of Defense. Ours was little more than a passing acquaintance. As the doors closed behind him, we made eye contact and nodded. I had just reached the door myself when Perle turned to me and said, ‘Iraq has to pay a price for what happened yesterday. ‘They bear responsibility.’ (Italics added).
“I was stunned but said nothing. Eighteen hours earlier, I had scanned passenger manifests for the four hijacked airplanes that showed beyond a doubt that al-Qa’ida was behind the attacks. Over the months and years to follow, we would carefully examine the potential of a collaborative role for state sponsors. The intelligence then and now, however, showed no evidence of Iraqi complicity.”
The idea that George W. Bush’s neocon advisers–Perle included–convinced him that the U.S. should invade Iraq received some attention after the Iraqi war started. But to my knowledge, no one, either in politics or the media, pressed the case too hard, lest they discover that those who wanted to invade Iraq had, not America’s interest, but Israel’s interest in mind.