Declassified US intelligence has revealed that the Bush administration relied on a false report of Al-Qaeda’s alleged meeting with an Iraqi intelligence agent, to build a case for invading Iraq after the 9/11 attacks, Senator Carl Levin has announced.
“Levin will introduce a letter he received from CIA Director John Brennan, declassifying for the first time some details of a March 2003 CIA cable, warning the Bush administration against references to the allegation that Mohammad Atta, the leader of the 9/11 hijackers, had met before the attacks in Prague, Czech Republic, with an Iraqi intelligence officer,” a statement, released on the senator’s website Thursday, said.
According to Levin, CIA field officers in the cable said there was not a single US counterterrorism or FBI expert who had said they had any evidence or even «knew» that Atta was in Prague in April, 2001.
In a Senate floor speech prepared for delivery and posted on Levin’s website Thursday, the senator asks Brennan to declassify the entire cable to expose the Bush administration’s campaign to «create an impression in the public mind that [Iraqi President] Saddam [Hussein] was in league with the al Qaeda terrorists who attacked us on 9/11» in order to justify the United States» invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Levin also made clear the reason why it was so critical to release this information.
“The American people should know the full story — not just so we can understand the decisions in 2002 and 2003 that took us to war, but as a warning to future leaders against the misuse of intelligence and the abuse of power,” Levin said in the Senate speech.
On March 6, 2003, two weeks before the invasion, Bush held a prime-time televised press conference making the case for war against Saddam
Hussein. According to Levin, in September 2003, polls indicated that 70 percent of Americans believed Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and an overwhelming percentage of those people supported the US war in Iraq.