For years, Rowan Scarborough has distinguished himself through his coverage of military affairs, first for the Washington Times and now for the Examiner. This week, the Examiner is publishing excerpts from Scarborough’s new book Sabotage, which tells the story of the CIA’s war against President Bush.
In the first installment, Scarborough describes the CIA’s war with the Defense Department, which began shortly after 9/11 when DoD (through veteran analyst Michael Maloof) asked the CIA to provide intelligence reports about al Qaeda’s links to other terrorist organizations and sponsors of terrorism. According to Scarborough, the CIA flatly refused to provide this material.
Only after Paul Wolfowitz intervened did the CIA disgorge its reports. When DoD used them to produce a 150-slide briefing on contacts among al Qaeda, Iraq and Iran, the CIA (in Scarborough’s telling) went ballistic. Soon, Democratic lawmakers like Carl Levin began charging that Douglas Feith (Defense Secretary Rumsfeld’s top civilian advisor) had set up an illegal organization. According to Scarborough, “Levin, using the friendly Washington Post and New York Times, launched a campaign against a ‘rogue’ intelligence cell inside the Defense Department.”
As unhappy as the CIA was with Feith’s foray into what it considered CIA turf, its own analysis of the connections between al Qaeda and Iraq was similar. As CIA Director Tenet told the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2002,