“The Way of the World,” to be published Tuesday
author Ron Suskind
According to Suskind, the administration had been in contact with the director of the Iraqi intelligence service in the last years of Hussein’s regime, Tahir Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti.
“The White House had concocted a fake letter from Habbush to Saddam, backdated to July 1, 2001,” Suskind writes. “It said that 9/11 ringleader Mohammad Atta had actually trained for his mission in Iraq – thus showing, finally, that there was an operational link between Saddam and al Qaeda, something the Vice President’s Office had been pressing CIA to prove since 9/11 as a justification to invade Iraq. There is no link.”
The White House flatly denied Suskind’s account. Tony Fratto, deputy White House press secretary, told Politico: “The allegation that the White House directed anyone to forge a document from Habbush to Saddam is just absurd.”
The White House plans to push back hard. Fratto added: "Ron Suskind makes a living from gutter journalism. He is about selling books and making wild allegations that no one can verify, including the numerous bipartisan commissions that have reported on pre-war intelligence."
Before “The Way of the World: A Story of Truth and Hope in an Age of Extremism,” Suskind wrote two New York Times bestsellers critical of the Bush administration – “The Price of Loyalty” (2004), which featured extensive comments by former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, and “The One Percent Doctrine” (2006).
That's a serious accusation. I'm curious to see what the White House really does in response. Does the Congress dare reference this book? The Democrats have been referencing the books written by past Administration officials pretty often. For me, it would take Congressional hearing to validate these forgery claims.
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