How often have we learned about doctored intelligence, “dodgy dossiers,” and fixing the facts to the policy?
Sixteen years ago, the bogus evidence of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and the infamous Downing Street memo, showed how the deceptions of intelligence agencies drove the fiasco of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Last week it happened in Colombia. When the country’s president sought to rally world support for “regime change” in neighboring Venezuela, his military intelligence service tried the same trick, and got caught.
Last week, during the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Colombian President Iván Duque unveiled a dossier of evidence that purportedly proved beyond doubt Venezuela’s collusion with Colombian paramilitaries. Duque told the United Nations gathering that the collusion was supervised by no other than the President of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro. But within hours of Duque’s speech, reporters who scrutinized the dossier found that much of the photographic evidence in it had been downloaded from the Internet.Moreover, the photographs were not taken in Venezuela, as Duque claimed in his speech, but in Colombia.
On Monday General Oswaldo Peña, Colombia’s military intelligence chief, resigned over the fake dossier.
General Peña directed the Comando Conjunto de Inteligencia (Joint Intelligene Command) of the Colombian Armed Forces, which was seen as the primary spy agency behind the information contained in the dossier. In his resignation letter, General Peña wrote that “as a general of the [Colombian] Republic” he was fully aware that he needed to take responsibility for his activities and the activities of his subordinates.