Published: Friday August 18, 2006
The Bush administration continues to bypass standard intelligence channels and use what some believe to be propaganda tactics to create a compelling case for war with Iran, US foreign policy experts and former US intelligence officials tell RAW STORY.
One former senior intelligence official is particularly concerned by private briefings that Vice President Dick Cheney is getting from former Office of Special Plans (OSP) Director, Abram Shulsky.
"Vice President Cheney is relying on personal briefings from Shulsky for current intelligence on Iran," said this intelligence official.
Shulsky, a leading Neoconservative and member of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), headed the shadowy and secretive Department of Defense's OSP in the lead-up to the Iraq war -- helping to locate intelligence that would support the Bush administration's case for war with Iraq.
In an earlier report by Raw Story on an OSP spin-off dubbed the Iranian Directorate (ID), Lt. Col. Barry E. Venable -- a spokesman for the Pentagon -- confirmed that Shulsky was consulting for this new initiative as well.
"Mr. Shulsky continues in his position as Senior Advisor to the USD, focusing on Mid-East regional issues and the [global war on terror]," stated Venable.
Several foreign policy experts, who wish to remain anonymous, have expressed serious concern that much like the OSP, the ID is manipulating, cherry picking, and perhaps even -- as some suspect -- cooking intelligence to lead the U.S. into another conflict, this time with Iran.
"Cheney distrusts the information being disseminated by CIA on Iran," said one former senior intelligence official. "The reports assembled by the Iranian Directorate at the Pentagon differ significantly from the analysis produced by the Intelligence Community. The Pentagon Iranian Directorate relies on thin and unsupported reporting from foreign sources."
In the build-up to the Iraq war, Cheney relied on intelligence almost exclusively from the OSP, which leveled allegations that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. This was later debunked, but no OSP or DOD officials were held accountable for what many believe was a "deliberate effort" to mislead the nation into war.
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