Most likely, the Pentagon didn’t read the CIA report
While the USA is very active with its preparation for a war against Iraq, it still hopes to receive some assistance in Iraq itself. The White House already several times openly and insinuatingly said that a coup or an attempt at Saddam Hussein’s life would considerably improve the situation and partially settle the problem. However, recently, the CIA issued a report saying that there are few hopes for a blow delivered from inside the country. CIA analysts reached the conclusion that Saddam is strongly holding onto power and the Iraqi security services and army are on alert to smash any domestic opposition.
In April 2002, the CIA issued answers to questions put forth by a Senate special committee. Two weeks ago, more details of the report were published. American journalist Bill Gertz thinks that the report turned out to be very annoying for the White House. The CIA thinks that there is hardly a man in Iraq who can organize a coup or assassinate the Iraqi leader. The US Intelligence report says that Iraqi officials and military men pin their hopes of the future on Saddam Hussein only. This result has been achieved through official propaganda mostly, which successfully convinced Iraqi people that Saddam Hussein is the main condition for the survival of Iraq and for preservation of its territorial integrity.
Bill Gertz from the Washington Times wrote that Saddam Hussein managed to create a strong system for protection against domestic enemies, a system based upon his special personal protection. Saddam doesn’t even rely upon the Republican Guard or the largest military units.
The CIA report stresses that the future of the Iraqi government mostly depends upon the when Saddam quits the political scene. However, analysts are sure that it will be extremely problematic for any new government to establish stability in the country. They say that a new centrist government that might take over after today’s regime will have to establish a less centralized rule than under Saddam. Despite the CIA report, the US administration announced that it would welcome any method of removing Saddam from the political scene. White House spokesman Ari Fleisher called upon the Iraqi people to settle the problem; he added that "a bullet is cheaper than a war.”
Bill Gertz said that the Bush administration is already “taking secret efforts” to mobilize opposition groups inside Iraq. US Intelligence officers are working in the northern parts of the country. On October 14, President George W. Bush declared once again that he doesn’t really want a war against Iraq, and he stressed that it would be more preferable to organize a coup in the country and overthrow Saddam. Although preparation for a war campaign is underway, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers said on October 22 that the Pentagon plans to train and equip the Iraqi opposition. Most likely, the Pentagon didn’t read the CIA report.