Douglas Jay Feith

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Douglas Jay Feith served as the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, the third ranking civilian position at the Pentagon, from July 2001 until his resignation effective August 8, 2005. [1]

Feith, a staunch neo-conservative, previously served on the White House National Security staff under Richard Allen during Ronald Reagan's first term in office. He was dismissed when Judge William Clark replaced Allen. Allegations of improperly handling classified materials were made but Feith was not prosecuted. During Reagan's second term in office, Feith was part of Richard N. Perle's Pentagon team.

Controversial Tenure as Undersecretary of Defense

Counter Terrorism Evaluation Group

Shortly after the events of September 11, 2001, Feith created the Counter Terrorism Evaluation Group (CPEG), which was disbanded in February 2004. In April 2004, the "Group" was under investigation by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence as to whether it "exaggerated the threat posed by Iraq to justify the war." [2][3]

Attempts to Link Iraq with Al Queda

In August 2002, Feith and DIA analyst Chris Carney discussed Iraq's alleged ties to al-Qaeda to the CIA. CIA analysts immediately recognized that Feith's allegations came from discredited sources. The information will nevertheless be included in speeches by George W. Bush and in CIA director George J. Tenet's Congressional testimony. Feith distributed a classified memo to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence based on this information, and the memo was later leaked to the Weekly Standard, a neoconservative magazine.

Called for Regime Change in Iraq Five Years Before 9/11 Attack

Douglas Feith, along with Richard Perle and other noted neo-cons, called for the removal of Saddam Hussein in a 1996 round table report A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm. [4] The removal was considered a means for foiling Syria's regional ambitions.

This report was prepared more that five years before the attack on the World Trade Center. The report describes regime change in Iraq as an important Israeli strategic objective.

For more information, see Study Group on a New Israeli Strategy Toward 2000.

Allegations of Leaking Classified Material

The title of Laura Rozen's May 18, 2004, The American Prospect Online article states the case clearly in "Ye of Little Feith. Why one of Doug Feith's underlings thinks he might go to jail."

"'He was very arrogant,' Karen Kwiatkowski, Feith's former deputy, says, describing what it was like to work with him. 'He doesn't utilize a wide variety of inputs. He seeks information that confirms what he already thinks. And he may go to jail for leaking classified information to The Weekly Standard.' (As she explains, an article appeared in The Weekly Standard that included a leaked memo written by Feith alleging ties between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda.)
"It seems unlikely that Feith will face time for the leaked memo. But he may well be forced to look for a new job soon. As he knows all too well, regime change isn't pretty."

WMDs as the principal rationale for the war in Iraq

Feith and Paul Wolfowitz "are blamed for persuading President Bush that an invasion would be relatively easy."—Julian Borger, Guardian Unlimited (UK), May 20, 2004.

Controversial polices regarding Iraq's military prisons

Urged Bush administration to abandon the Geneva Conventions

Creation of Office of Special Plans

A supplementary annex of the committee's review of the intelligence leading to war in Iraq says about Feith: A Senior Pentagon policy maker created an unofficial "Iraqi intelligence cell" in the summer of 2002 to circumvent the CIA and secretly brief the White House on links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qa'eda. [5]

Relationship with Iraqi exile Ahmed Chalabi

A History of Internationalism


In 1989, Feith registered International Advisors, Inc. (IAI) as a foreign agent representing the government of Turkey. The brainchild of Richard N. Perle, IAI's stated purpose was to "promote the objective of U.S.-Turkey defense industrial cooperation."

Douglas Feith was not only the CEO of IAI but also its only stockholder. Feith earned $60,000 per year and his law firm, Feith and Zell, was the recipient from IAI of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In 1992, Feith joined with Perle and other neo-cons opposing President George H.W. Bush's stern policy on Israel in forming the Committee on U.S. Interests in the Middle East.


Feith and Perle reportedly teamed up once again as consultants for Bosnia. They both worked for and advised the Bosnians during the Dayton peace talks. They were not, however, registered then as foreign agents with the U.S. Department of Justice.

Above paragraphs from the Arab American Institute's Washington Watch.


"Doug Feith was most recently Managing Attorney with Feith and Zell, P.C., in Washington, D.C. He served from 1984 to 1986 as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Negotiations Policy and was Special Counsel to Assistant Secretary of Defense Richard N. Perle from 1982 to 1984. Doug is a graduate of Harvard College and Georgetown University Law Center." [6]

Feith has supported lobbying efforts aimed at persuading the United States to drop out of treaties and arms control agreements. Wrote one journalist in The Nation, “Largely ignored or derided at the time, a 1995 [Center for Security Policy (CSP)] memo co-written by Douglas Feith holding that the United States should withdraw from the ABM [antiballistic missile] treaty has essentially become policy, as have other CSP reports opposing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the Chemical Weapons Convention and the International Criminal Court.”

Source: Center for Security Policy 98-D139

Feith’s private business dealings have also raised eyebrows in Washington. In 1999, his firm Feith & Zell formed an alliance with the Israel-based Zell, Goldberg & Co., which resulted in the creation of the Fandz International Law Group. According to Fandz’s web site, the law group “has recently established a task force dealing with issues and opportunities relating to the recently ended war with Iraq. ... and is assisting regional construction and logistics firms to collaborate with contractors from the United States and other coalition countries in implementing infrastructure and other reconstruction projects in Iraq.” Remarked Washington Post columnist Al Kamen, “Interested parties can reach [Fandz] through its Web site, at Hmmm. Rings a bell. Oh, yes, that was the Web site of the Washington law firm of Feith & Zell, P.C., as in Douglas Feith [the] undersecretary of defense for policy and head of -- what else? -- reconstruction matters in Iraq. It would be impossible indeed to overestimate how perfect ZGC would be in ‘assisting American companies in their relations with the United States government in connection with Iraqi reconstruction projects.’”


Contact Information

Resources and articles

Related SourceWatch articles


Articles by Douglas J. Feith

External articles





  • Sen. Levin, a ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Senate Select Committee on Intelligence releases a report on the role of the office of the Pentagon's number three official Douglas Feith in alleged extracurricular intelligence analysis and advocacy.