Joel Bleifuss

Finally, the scandal of the Bush administration using cooked intelligence to con the American public into a war with Iraq is getting the attention it deserves. The CIA has said it will investigate the use of bad intelligence. And, intelligence community dissenters are speaking out more forcefully than ever.In an interview with All Things Considered, former CIA analyst Larry Johnson, a self-described Republican, said his former colleagues told him the CIA had concluded Iraq did not pose a threat to the United States, with regards to weapons of mass destruction, but that the CIA’s attempt to get their analysis considered by the administration was “thwarted” by the Pentagon’s Office of Special Plans (OSP). The OSP is the command center of a group of followers of political philosopher Leo Strauss, who—half-jokingly, but wholly in earnest—refer to themselves as the Cabal.Johnson, saying it appears “Bush is being misled deliberately” by the OSP, is calling for a congressional investigation. “These individuals that have been operating out of the Office of Special Plans at the Department of Defense, I think, represent a clear and present danger to the United States,” he says.

Joel Bleifuss, a former director of the Peace Studies Program at the University of Missouri-Columbia, is the editor & publisher of In These Times, where he has worked since October 1986.

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