WASHINGTON - After pundits have commented about the muted reaction to author Ron Suskind's explosive allegations last week, the House Judiciary Committee said today it will "review" the reports of White House and CIA misconduct.
Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) didn't mention anything about hearings or subpoenas in his press release this afternoon. But the committee chairman did say he instructed his staff to look into the report that former CIA Director George Tenet in late 2003 ordered agents to concoct a letter showing false evidence linking Saddam to 9/11.
"Mr. Suskind reports that the Bush Administration, in its pursuit of war, created and promoted forged documents about Iraq," Conyers said in the press release. "I am particularly troubled that the decision to disseminate this fabricated intelligence is alleged to have come from the highest reaches of the administration."
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After Suskind's new book was released last week, the White House promptly denied the accusation and two of Suskind's key CIA sources criticized the report, claiming Suskind misrepresented their remarks. Suskind responded by releasing a partial transcript of one taped interview with a key CIA source.
While that allegedly forged letter got all the press attention last week, Conyers indicated he would review several other questions raised in the book, "The Way of the World: A Story of Truth and Hope in an Age of Extremism."
A number of issues raised in Mr. Suskind's book to be reviewed include:
- The origin of the allegedly forged document that formed the basis for Bush's 2003 State of the Union assertion that Iraq sought yellowcake uranium from Niger;
- The role of this document in creating the false impression that 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta had a working relationship with Iraq;
- The relationship between this document and other reported examples of the Bush Administration considering other deceptive schemes to justify or provoke war with Iraq, such as the reported consideration of painting a U.S. aircraft with UN colors in order to provoke Iraq into military confrontation;
- Allegations that the Bush Administration deliberately ignored information from Iraq's chief intelligence officer that Iraq possessed no WMDs;
- The payment of $5 million to Iraq's chief intelligence officer and his secret settlement in Jordan, beyond the reach of investigators;
- The September 2007 detainment and interrogation of Mr. Suskind's research assistant, Greg Jackson, by federal agents in Manhattan. Jackson's notes were also confiscated.
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