Head of CIA’s WMD division believed Iraq had nothing, told underlings to give Bush “the intelligence to allow him to go war”

I’ve been looking through The Italian Letter by Peter Eiser and Knut Royce. There’s some amazing stuff in it about Alan Foley, the head of the CIA’s Weapons Intelligence Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Center (WINPAC). WINPAC led the CIA’s analysis of Iraq’s purported WMD, and so Foley is at the very center of what happened.

But what’s even more amazing is how little attention the material about Foley has gotten. The book came out several months ago, but according to Google, this is the first time the below sections have appeared online.

Here’s what Foley believed before the war (p. 125):

There were strong indications that Foley all along was toeing a line he did not believe. Several days after Bush’s State of the Union speech, Foley briefed student officers at the National Defense University at Fort McNair in Washington, DC. After the briefing, Melvin Goodman, who had retired from the CIA and was then on the university’s faculty, brought Foley into the secure communications area of the Fort McNair compound. Goodman thanked Foley for addressing the students and asked him what weapons of mass destruction he believed would be found after the invasion. “Not much, if anything,” Goodman recalled that Foley responded. Foley declined to be interviewed for this book.

So why, then, would WINPAC report that Iraq had WMD? Here’s the answer (p. 119):

One day in December 2002, Foley called his senior production managers to his office. He had a clear message for the men and women who controlled the output of the center’s analysts: “If the president wants to go to war, our job is to find the intelligence to allow him to do so.” The directive was not quite an order to cook the books, but it was a strong suggestion that cherry-picking and slanting not only would be tolerated, but might even be rewarded.

Interestingly, this event has appeared in other books, although not with Foley’s name attached. Details are here.

Any serious congressional strategy to end this war would include nationally televised hearings about this and all the other lies that got us into Iraq. The seriousness of the Democrats can be judged by such hearings’ non-existence.