A U.S. watchdog agency has concluded a Pentagon office conducted intelligence work in the build-up to the Iraq war that was not illegal but was inappropriate, U.S. defense officials said on Thursday.

Democrats in Congress have alleged the unit, under former U.S. defense policy chief Douglas Feith, a strong advocate of deposing Saddam Hussein, twisted intelligence information to suggest links between Iraq and militants from al Qaeda.

The Pentagon inspector general’s report concluded the Office of Special Plans in Feith’s department had done nothing illegal or unauthorized but that some of its activities were “inappropriate,” two U.S. defense officials told Reuters.

The report found the office had produced “alternative intelligence estimates,” one official said.

The Pentagon took issue with that finding, believing Feith’s office had given a critique of intelligence information but not produced intelligence products, the official said.

Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity as the report has not been released. An unclassified summary is to be published on Friday morning, when the Senate Armed Services Committee is briefed on its findings.

Both officials said the report made no recommendations.

Top Bush administration officials cited alleged ties between Iraq and al Qaeda as a justification for the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

But the bipartisan commission which investigated the September 11 attacks on the United States in 2001 later reported that no collaborative relationship existed between the two.

The inspector general’s office declined to comment on its report ahead of the Senate briefing.

But the report was made available to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday afternoon and its chairman, a Democrat, was swift to speak out.

“The IG (inspector general) has concluded that this office was engaged in intelligence activities. The Senate Intelligence Committee was never informed of these activities,” Sen. John Rockefeller of West Virginia said in a statement.

“Whether these actions were authorized or not, it appears that they were not in compliance with the law.”

He said he would consult with the committee’s vice chairman, Republican Kit Bond of Missouri, to determine whether any further action was warranted.

(Additional reporting by Andrew Gray)

Copyright © 2007 Reuters Limited


  1. I hope all you bloggers are as busy writing to your congressperson and senators as you are on this forum. Of course Bush and Cheney should by rights and the law, be impeached – but that’s not going to happen, so we have to lean on Congress heavily to end this war – and the sooner the better.

  2. They can “expose” all they want but it will change nothing. In fact they are doing the same thing right now. Gates is coming out with a report of the “evidence” of Iran’s involvement and support of the shiite militias. One of the primary pieces of evidence they say is the serial numbers and markings on the new more powerful roadside bombs prove they came from Iran. Of course, they fail to mention how may bombs and other weapons and explosives have serial numbers and markings that prove they came from the USA.

    Another thing that has been lost in translation is the obvious fact that, if these new bombs capable of destroying an abrams tank are being used to kill American soldiers, it isn’t the sunni insurgents that are killing our guys, it’s the shiites. So, we’re getting hit from both sides. That officially places us in the position they have always said they would never allow us to be in. Caught in the crossfire of a civil war. And Bush’s answer for that is to send more troops (targets) into the middle of it. That way more American soldiers will die due to Iran’s involvement and justify his case for war with them.

    The only solution is to impeach Bush and Cheney – now! Nothing else will stop them.

  3. A 2002 Washington Post profile of Feith noted that he is “disliked by many people who work with him on a daily basis,” and in March 2003 the National Journal noted that “it is hard to overstate how utterly Feith is reviled in certain circles.” The latest manifestation of this is the juicy quote by Gen. Tommy Franks in Bob Woodward’s Plan of Attack, in which Franks calls Feith “the fucking stupidest guy on the face of the earth.”

  4. Don’t forget, in addition to the fact that Feith is a card carrying member of PNAC and generally a dishonest person remember this?

    Tommy Franks in Bob Woodward’s Plan of Attack, in which Franks calls Feith “the fucking stupidest guy on the face of the earth.”

  5. ….pentagon guys love fighting…that’s why they hired on in the first place. why would this surprise anyone ??

    and…..where’s Osama ?!?!?

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