RealNews

Memo Exacerbates Defense-CIA Strains

Clues on Al Qaeda-Hussein Ties at Issue. A leaked top-secret memo that Undersecretary of Defense Douglas J. Feith sent the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence last month listing and analyzing raw intelligence reports on alleged connections between Iraq and al Qaeda has reopened a long-simmering behind-the-scenes battle between Pentagon and CIA officials. At issue is whether Defense Department analysts, who Feith organized in October 2001, have uncovered evidence that may have been missed or ignored by CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies that proved a closer operational relationship between Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network and Saddam Hussein’s government than believed. The memo was put together in response to a request by the Senate committee chairman and vice chairman after Feith had told them in a closed hearing last July that intelligence reports discovered by his analysts “on the relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda were not reflected in finished intelligence products” put out by the CIA and other agencies, according to senior administration officials and congressional sources. Full Story

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