Former State Department Chief of Staff Col. Lawrence Wilkerson continues to hammer the White House over torture and detainee abuse revelations — but is also suggesting that as he learns more from various sources, his original views that the White House was not involved in duplicity regarding Iraq WMD intelligence is evolving.
In a very important BBC interview this morning, Wilkerson speculated that the White House did cherry-pick and try to manufacture intelligence estimates that matched its biases.
From an AP report on CNN:
“You begin to speculate, you begin to wonder — Was this intelligence spun? Was it politicized? Was it cherry-picked? Did in fact the American people get fooled? I’m beginning to have my concerns,” Lawrence Wilkerson, chief of staff for former Secretary of State Colin Powell, said in an interview broadcast Tuesday.
And more commentary on WMD Intel:
Wilkerson said he had believed that intelligence supported the view that Iraq had or was seeking to build weapons of mass destruction, and when none were found he accepted the argument that the administration had simply been fooled.
Lately, however, he said he had been troubled by disclosures that an informant known as Curveball, who supplied information about alleged mobile biological laboratories, was not reliable, and new information casting doubt on statements made by Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, an al Qaeda military instructor, claiming support from Iraq.
Al-Libi’s information, Wilkerson said, “led Colin Powell to say at the U.N. on 5 February 2003 that there were some pretty substantive contacts between al Qaeda and Baghdad.”
It now appears, Wilkerson said, that al-Libi’s statement “were obtained through interrogation techniques other than those authorized by Geneva (Conventions).”
“More important than that, we know that there was a Defense Intelligence Agency dissent on that testimony even before Colin Powell made his presentation,” Wilkerson said. “We never heard about that.”
Wilkerson is getting real traction in his criticism of White House war planning.
Hopefully, his leadership will inspire others inside the administration to find ways to make public what they know.
— Steve Clemons