"Weapons of Mass Deception"


Top US defence adviser to resign

Douglas Feith, a top policy adviser to US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and a driving force behind the Pentagon's Iraq policy, has resigned.

The Pentagon says Mr Feith - its number three civilian official - is stepping down for personal and family reasons.

He has been one of the most controversial members of President George W Bush's administration.

Critics say the office he oversaw misrepresented intelligence on Iraq before the war.

They claim the Office of Special Plans fed policy-makers uncorroborated pre-war intelligence on Saddam Hussein's Iraq, particularly on suspected ties with the al-Qaeda network - a charge Mr Feith and the Pentagon have always denied.

Controversial Pentagon Official Is Stepping Down
Douglas J. Feith, the Pentagon's top policy official who became a lightning rod for issues including intelligence on Iraq and information warfare, said Wednesday that he would resign this summer.

Mr. Feith, who as under secretary of defense for policy represents the department at high-level government meetings on national security, becomes the most senior Pentagon official to announce his departure in President Bush's second term.

Last fall, Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, the ranking Democrat on the Armed Services Committee, said that Mr. Feith had repeatedly described the ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda as far more significant and extensive than United States intelligence agencies had.

Mr. Feith's office was responsible for creating the short-lived Office of Strategic Influence, which proposed providing news items, possibly even false ones, to foreign media organizations as part of an effort to influence public sentiment and policy makers. Mr. Rumsfeld closed the office after its plans were publicized and created a furor on Capitol Hill.

Feith to quit Pentagon position
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's top policy adviser said yesterday that he has told Mr. Rumsfeld that he will leave his Pentagon position this summer.

Mr. Feith would be the highest-ranked Pentagon official to leave the administration. The No. 2 official, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, said recently that he plans to stay on.
Mr. Rumsfeld told reporters on Capitol Hill that he had wanted Mr. Feith to stay longer and is sorry to lose him.

In his four years at the Pentagon, Mr. Feith oversaw the Office of Special Plans, which critics said fed policy-makers uncorroborated prewar intelligence on Saddam Hussein's Iraq, especially on possible ties with the al Qaeda terror network.
Army Gen. Tommy Franks, the retired chief of U.S. Central Command, raised eyebrows in Washington when he took a shot at Mr. Feith in his autobiography, "American Soldier."
Gen. Franks, who wrote the war plans for the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, wrote that Mr. Feith was "getting a reputation around here as the dumbest f--ing guy on the planet."

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Milton Frihetsson, 13:18


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