Office of Special Plans
The Office of Special Plans (OSP) was created by Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld to help create a case to invade Iraq. OSP evolved from the Northern Gulf Affairs Office, which fell under the Pentagon's Near East and South Asia policy office. It was renamed and expanded to the Office of Special Plans in October 2002 to to handle prewar and postwar planning.
Air Force Lt. Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski, who worked in the Pentagon until her retirement, was with the Office of Special Plans: 'What I saw was aberrant, pervasive and contrary to good order and discipline,' Kwiatkowski wrote recently. 'If one is seeking the answers to why peculiar bits of 'intelligence' found sanctity in a presidential speech, or why the post-Saddam occupation has been distinguished by confusion and false steps, one need look no further than the process inside the Office of the Secretary of
Defense.' She described the activities of Rumsfeld's Office of Special Plans as, 'A subversion of constitutional limits on executive power and a co-optation through deceit of a large segment of the Congress.
In July 2003, "due to ever increasing criticism about the role OSP has played in the gathering of intelligence and the conclusions made to justify the war with Iraq, the Pentagon changed the name of OSP back to its original name, Northern Gulf Affairs Office.
The spies who pushed for war
Julian Borger reports on the shadow right wing intelligence network set up in Washington to second-guess the CIA and deliver a justification for toppling Saddam Hussein by force
Thursday July 17, 2003
As the CIA director, George Tenet, arrived at the Senate yesterday to give secret testimony on the Niger uranium affair, it was becoming increasingly clear in Washington that the scandal was only a small, well-documented symptom of a complete breakdown in US intelligence that helped steer America into war.
It represents the Bush administration's second catastrophic intelligence failure. But the CIA and FBI's inability to prevent the September 11 attacks was largely due to internal institutional weaknesses.
This time the implications are far more damaging for the White House, which stands accused of politicising and contaminating its own source of intelligence.
According to former Bush officials, all defence and intelligence sources, senior administration figures created a shadow agency of Pentagon analysts staffed mainly by ideological amateurs to compete with the CIA and its military counterpart, the Defence Intelligence Agency.
The agency, called the Office of Special Plans (OSP), was set up by the defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, to second-guess CIA information and operated under the patronage of hardline conservatives in the top rungs of the administration, the Pentagon and at the White House, including Vice-President Dick Cheney.
The ideologically driven network functioned like a shadow government, much of it off the official payroll and beyond congressional oversight. But it proved powerful enough to prevail in a struggle with the State Department and the CIA by establishing a justification for war.