Lawrence Wilkerson, Carl Ford, Paul Pillar Headline Senate DPC Hearing


I will be on a plane to Muscat, Oman on Monday — for a foreign policy/national security conference on the Middle East — but those of you who can should attend this hearing, which hopefully will air on C-Span.
The Senate Democratic Policy Committee is organizing on Monday a “special oversight hearing” on pre-war intelligence on Iraq. These types of special hearings — which are not official Congressional hearings but still potentially significant — should have been used far more frequently by the minority party on matters related to the Iraq War.
Former State Department Chief of Staff Lawrence Wilkerson will hit off first, but other luminaries include former National Intelligence Officer for the Middle East Paul Pillar and former State Department Intelligence & Research (INR) czar Carl Ford.
The entire lineup is impressive:

Lawrence Wilkerson, Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, 2001-2005
Paul Pillar, CIA official responsible for coordinating intelligence on Iraq, 2000-2005
Carl Ford, Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research, 2001-2003
Wayne White, State Department principal Iraq analyst, 2003-2005
Rod Barton, Senior Advisor to the Iraq Survey Group, 2003-2004
Michael Smith, reporter for the Sunday Times of London, and the first to report the existence of the so-called “Downing Street Memo”
Joseph Cirincione, co-author of WMD in Iraq: Evidence and Implications; Center for American Progress

I look forward to hearing the results of this mock hearing — which all of you should tune into.
One interesting set of questions to pose to Col. Willkerson, Ford and Pillar is what they know — in detail — not only about pre-war intelligence lapses but about Vice President Cheney’s views on genuine, hardcore torture.
On Wednesday evening, an event was hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations at the swank screening room of the Motion Picture Association of America for the DVD release of Eugene Jarecki’s film, “Why We Fight.” The Washington Note helped organize and sponsor the first screening of this film when it first came out which featured a discussion with film director Eugene Jarecki, Lawrence Wilkerson and others.
I was supposed to attend the CFR screening Wednesday but had a bad cold which kept me home — but the session that followed the screening featured a discussion between Jarecki, Susan Eisenhower, Richard Perle, and Col. Lawrence Wilkerson. From reports of others there back to TWN, Perle criticized the film as being slanted and as making far too much of Cheney’s Haliburton linkages and Haliburton’s unethical and illegal overcharging the U.S. government for services in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But the big moment came in Perle’s response to a question about Cheney and torture. Richard Perle stated that those who believed that Vice President Cheney was an advocate of torture were seriously misinformed and wrong. Lawrence Wilkerson in a pointed rebuke of Perle stated that Cheney was an advocate of torture and that Wilkerson had the documents to “prove it”.
That is an important exchange — and I am hopeful that Wilkerson will soon publish a long article and/or book informed by the very important documentation that he has in hand.
More soon.
— Steve Clemons


14 comments on “Lawrence Wilkerson, Carl Ford, Paul Pillar Headline Senate DPC Hearing

  1. Nell says:

    Speaking of torture advocates, Jane Mayer has a profile of Addington in the new New Yorker (print only for now). He wouldn’t talk, but she interviewed lots of those in contact with him.


  2. septimosegunda says:

    i don’t know why, but i’ve not been able to gain acces to your home page since last sunday. a blank page comes up. hope you get this problem fixed soon, so i can get to read your interesting blog once again. thank you


  3. Nell says:

    If Dick Cheney is not an advocate of torture, then why was he the point man fighting the McCain anti-torture amendment to the defense bill last fall?
    Why did Addington take a hardline position in favor of the administration being able to do anything they feel like doing, if that is not his boss’s view? Of course it is; Addington isn’t an “overzealous staffer” — he’s speaking for Cheney.


  4. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Its interesting to see Feith mentioned here. The fact that he was partnered up with that slimey Salem Chalabi speaks volumes about his character and credibility. Funny how all discussions about any aspect of this Administration and its cohorts always ends up with cast of despicably criminal and devious characters. I realize the last few decades has had its fair share of scumbags masquerading as Statesmen, but this Administration really takes the trophy for being the absolute scummiest in history.
    Incidentally, whatever happened to the Chalabi clan??? I would google them up, but I have no stomach for the stench of raw sewage. It smells too close to the odor now wafting out of the Oval Office.


  5. JohnStuart says:

    My neigbor, Richard Perle, who lives a few houses down the street from me, has a charming piece in today’s WashPost explaining that ouor president has “blinked” on Iran because of his reliance upon Condi Rice, who, in Perle’s construction of the situation “is now in the midst of — and increasingly represents — a diplomatic establishment that is driven to accommodate its allies even when (or, it seems, especially when) such allies counsel the appeasement of our adversaries.”
    Richard is always at his most “charming” when he is recently back from his second home in the South of France. There is something in the air of the Luberon that seems to sharpen his cricital instincts.
    Thank goodness that the Vice President doesn’t join Richard in these getaways to le Vaucluse et Luberon. I’m not sure the nation could deal with a Cheney with any additional octane.


  6. km4 says:

    Correction to post above: Sen. Henry Jackson of Washington in the late 70s.


  7. linda says:

    for whatever his contribution to the discussion afterwards, i find it beyond ironic that richard perle was a participant on a panel discussion of “why we fight;” he might be better suited to the sequel “how we profiteer.”


  8. km4 says:

    Richard Perle is a deluded loon of the first order ( like his buddy Cheney and other completle deluded loons like Bolton ) in his maniacal desire for an American Empire thinking the US ought to reinvent the Middle East while putting plenty of $$$ in their pockets along the way.
    It’s amazing that Perle is still listened to and even more amusing about debating a person of such extraordinary Dissociative Disorders.
    A brief history of Perle includes investigations by the F.B.I. about alledged passing of Top Secret info to Israel when he worked for Sen. Henry Jackson of Oregon in the late 70s. Also as Chairman of the Defense Policy Board he was forced out for a conflict of interest with Israeli arms dealers. He also co-authored policy papers for Israeli think tanks about abandoning the Oslo Accords and walking away from any two-stae solution with the Palestinians. Latelly he’s involved in the Hollinger International scandal where he was asleep when Lord Black looted the company. His legal defense bill for the Hollinger mess is over $5,000,000 which is about equals to Lord Blacks and 40 times more than Henry Kissingers legal bill who was on Hollingers Board of Directors. It is suspected that the size of the legal defense refects some padding for his possible subpoena along with Douglas Feith, Maloof, Wolfowitz and other Zionists in the Pentagon in the run-up to the Iraqi war. Somebody cooked intelligence. Perle et al have chef’s hats.


  9. karenk says:

    I’m more concerned with the recent Congressional debate over withdrawal of our troops from Iraq, which was lost by the Democrats. Apparently, enough people(US soldiers and innocent Iraqi’s) haven’t died yet for the Republicans. Their clever “cut and run” phrase can literally be used for years. And I suppose it’s an easy phrase to use considering the fact that none of their kids are serving in the military or have to go back on their second and third tour of duty. As far as I’ve read, the Iraqi’s seem to want us to start to leave now. My fear is we’ll never leave entirely, which will inflame them and spawn more terrorism against Americans.


  10. Steve Clemons says:

    POA — just for the record, I frequently find your comments refreshing.
    best, steve clemons


  11. RWH says:

    POA, it does me good to hear someone with a vocabulary to support his righteous indignation. I know Steve has taken you to the woodshed in the past for your choice of words but your honest passion is refreshing.


  12. Pissed Off American says:

    Gee, how many questions will be asked that “Phase Two” was to have answered??? These types of “hearings” tell us just how far our nation has fallen. It is a pseudo “hearing”, just like the pseudo “debate” that we were just insulted with. Like I said on the thread below, we already know what these lying bastards are, and we know, too, the crimes they have committed. And we can hold toothless hearings and pseudo debates ’til hell freezes over yet still be no closer to removing them from power, or seeing them held accountable. Only a blathering idiot can fail to see that the intelligence was fabricated, manipulated, lied about and manufactured in the lead up to this illegal abnd disastrous clusterfuck unfolding in Iraq. And we sure as hell don’t need another con-job debate, committee, or hearing to make us aware of that fact. Maybe the people participating in this “hearing” would serve us better if they climbed on the nearest public soapbox and DEMANDED that that lying piece of shit Roberts produce Phase Two as promised, or demand to know what kind of back room deal that fucking coward Reid cut that bought him off.


  13. Maude says:

    Not only that, but Bush would also be in violation.
    There are mentions of Bush wanting to be the war president and saying that before 2000.
    IS there any documentation on Bush stating that he wanted to invade Iraq before 9/11?


  14. parrot says:

    If Cheney advocated torture he was conspiring to violate US law…and US international treaty obligations.


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