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August 06, 2008

More details about the forgery Habbush and the case for war

Louis Bayard details Ron Suskind's claim that George Tenet ordered CIA officials Rob Richer and John Maguire to forge a letter from Iraqi security chief Habbush to Saddam Hussein.

The letter was a fictional smoking gun tying Iraq to 9/11.

It's generally accepted that the Habbush letter is a forgery.

The question remains, who forged it? Juan Cole suspects that Habbush forged the letter himself and that the CIA "authenticated" it in bad faith through its asset Ayad Allawi--whom journalist Con Coughlin contacted to vouchsafe the letter's authenticity after it was leaked to him.

What's novel and remarkable is that Suskind got Richer and Maguire to claim on the record that George Tenet ordered them to forge it.

Suskind believes the White House ordered the forgery in response to Joe Wilson's 2003 op-ed debunking many of the administration's lies about Saddam Hussein's alleged attempts to obtain uranium from Niger.

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Comments

Are Suskind's claims real or are they not? Does it even matter anymore? The wonderful thing about the Bush administration is that they have created such a vast landscape of lies and wreckage, that no specific bit of outrage can be readily attributed to them. Anything is possible and anything can be denied in the new, surreal, house-of-mirrors Bushworld. While their record as competent leaders or even competent criminals is abysmal, no one can doubt that they are masterful performance artists.

At this point its like the question of whether the serial killer had twenty-three, or a mere twenty-one victims. None of us could even come up with a comment on this story for three days.

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