A new book claims that the White House ordered the forgery of a handwritten letter between the head of Iraqi intelligence and Saddam Hussein in order to legitimize the invasion of Iraq.
Politico reports: “Suskind writes in ‘The Way of the World,’ to be published Tuesday, that the alleged forgery – adamantly denied by the White House – was designed to portray a false link between Hussein’s regime and al Qaeda as a justification for the Iraq war. The author also claims that the Bush administration had information from a top Iraqi intelligence official ‘that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq – intelligence they received in plenty of time to stop an invasion.’… According to Suskind, the administration had been in contact with the director of the Iraqi intelligence service in the last years of Hussein’s regime, Tahir Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti. ‘The White House had concocted a fake letter from Habbush to Saddam, backdated to July 1, 2001,’ Suskind writes. ‘It said that 9/11 ringleader Mohammad Atta had actually trained for his mission in Iraq – thus showing, finally, that there was an operational link between Saddam and al Qaeda, something the Vice President’s Office had been pressing CIA to prove since 9/11 as a justification to invade Iraq. There is no link.’ The White House flatly denied Suskind’s account. Tony Fratto, deputy White House press secretary, told Politico: ‘The allegation that the White House directed anyone to forge a document from Habbush to Saddam is just absurd.’ The White House plans to push back hard…”