The Pentagon has finished reading Allison Hantschel's book on the Douglas Feith, The Office of Special Plans, and intelligence cooking.
They also, apparently, have completed their review of Seymour Hersch's breakout reporting in "Selective Intelligence" and "The Stovepipe."
Their conclusion? Seymour, Allison, and all the bloggers featured in her book (plus plenty of others) all have been exactly right for the past several years: When the White House wanted justification to wage war in Iraq, they set up Douglas Feith and his Office of Special Plans in the basement of the Pentagon in order to find the best intelligence to make that case, and if the available intelligence was too reserved, sexed it up, as Andrew Gilligan once said (I know, I know, that got him fired--you have to have been wrong all along to keep your job and get good promotions).
The inspector general at the Pentagon, Thomas F. Gimble, charged with discovering whether Douglas Feith did anything illegal or unauthorized, has discovered that Feith's actions were neither.
In the "Evaluation Response" section of the declassified section of the report, we get this conclusion:
We believe that the continuing collaboration between the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence will significantly reduce the opportunity for the inappropriate conduct of intelligence activities outside of intelligence channels. As a result, we are not making any recommendations.Very comforting words, to be sure, but guard your wallet when you hear we used to have a problem, but we fixed that and we need not worry any longer.
No, Douglas Feith has done no crime here, fulfulling his important duty of justifying an invasion that our own Oregon Republican Senator Gordon Smith has questioned the legality of. His only crime would be a crime against humanity, I suppose--but those kinds of crimes are so hard to pin down and can't we just move on? Everything was done by the book.
A man who takes Alexander Pope along for beach reading, Douglas Feith knows how to do things by the book.