I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby was just a
liar and a hatchet man for Vice President Cheney in the White House. Douglas
Feith was inside the Pentagon. Lying to cover up the reason for the war is one
thing; responsibility for the disastrous occupation policies is another.
In 2003 Antiwar.com published "All
Roads Lead to Feith" by the brilliant investigative reporter Jim Lobe. It
should be passed out to every member of Congress.
Douglas Feith was the author
of the orders to disband the entire Iraqi army and destroy the civilian
government infrastructure. I was a student in Germany after the Second World
War. Even after ousting the the Nazis, America did not dismiss every school
teacher and village administrator, but that's what the U.S. government did in
Iraq. Under Saddam, government officials had to join the Ba'ath Party; after
his removal, all Ba'athists were fired. Critical oversight was given to Shi'ite
Ahmed Chalabi, a liar promoted by the neocons, and his friends.
America needs comprehensive congressional hearings on the matter. Why did Feith
give such orders? Did Rumsfeld or Cheney know about them? Was Feith trying to
provoke a Shi'ite-Sunni civil war? What other disasters did Feith have a hand
Feith's actions are comprehensible if one connects them to his Likud loyalties.
Was it the intentional policy of a faction inside Israel to wreck Iraq? One
should never assume stupidity. There are often clever people behind apparently
Feith was a card-carrying member, so to speak, of the neocon-Likud-Netanyahu
Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm." This document
urged Israel to end the Oslo Peace Accords, stop peace negotiations with the
Palestinians, attack Syria, eliminate Saddam, and vastly widen the illegal settlements
on the West Bank. (See "Losing
Feith" for further details.)
Now Feith's machinations have been exposed before a congressional committee.
report by the acting Pentagon inspector general affirms that Feith manipulated
intelligence to invent al-Qaeda-Saddam connections, a core argument for the
American invasion of Iraq. But much more needs to be learned about Feith's role
in the postwar disaster so that America does not again fall victim to liars
with hidden agendas. A comprehensive
report by former CIA officer Phil Giraldi in the March 12 issue of The
American Conservative even questions whether Feith is a war criminal under
the Nuremberg Judgments. Germans in equivalent positions were hanged for the
crime of lying to start a war.
Some key facts about Douglas Feith:
He was the key channel providing distorted intelligence on Iraq from the
CIA to the Bush administration.
His former law partner, Marc Zell, represented the Israeli settlers on the
West Bank whose brutality so inflames the whole Muslim world.
Their law firm, Feith and Zell, was also hired by Northrop
Grumman and other military contractors, presumably to use their connections
inside Israel's government to procure contracts. One also wonders if more farsighted
executives in the military-industrial complex did not see Feith and Zell as
helping to push endless wars. After all, that helps business.
There are reports that Feith was involved in the Bremer decision to shut down
Iraq's major government industries in order to "privatize" the economy.
This was obviously another nation-wrecking measure, throwing thousands instantly
out of work.
Polls in Israel show that most Israelis want to trade the West Bank for peace.
A recent Gallup Poll
shows that most
Jewish Americans have strongly opposed the Iraq war, despite the Israel
Lobby's enthusiasm for it. Feith was not merely sympathetic to Israeli concerns;
he acted on behalf of an extreme faction inside the Israeli government that
wanted to expand Israeli territory and weaken the Muslim world by throwing it
into chaos. This all demands an investigation with congressional subpoena power.