Those familiar with information provided to Fitzgerald say that shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, [Cheney staffer Donald] Wurmser was handpicked by Harold Rhode, a Foreign Affairs Specialist in the Office of Net Assessment, a Pentagon "think tank," and Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith to head a top secret Pentagon "cell" whose job was to comb through CIA intelligence documents and find evidence that Iraq posed an imminent threat to the United States and its neighbors in the Middle East so a case could be made to launch a preemptive military strike. Wurmser largely invented evidence that Iraq had close ties to Al-Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden, sources knowledgeable about his work told RAW STORY.
Although the CIA documents that Wurmser and his staff pored over never showed Iraq as being an immediate threat, Wurmser was dead set on finding and presenting evidence to Vice President Dick Cheney that suggested as much even if the veracity of such intelligence was questionable, sources close the probe said. Wurmser had met with now discredited Iraqi exiles who were part of the Iraqi National Congress, headed by Ahmed Chalabi, the infamous single source of Judith Miller's explosive columns published in the New York Times that said Iraq was acquiring nuclear bomb components, who is now the Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq, they added.
Incidentally, I'm on vacation this week, so the updates here may be fewer and further between than usual. I'll certainly pop in if indictments are announced this week, as expected, and meantime keep an eye on Raw Story and firedoglake.