Friday, February 10, 2006

CIA Official Chimes In

Pummeled by two blow back testimonies by former FEMA director Brown and Cheney's former chief of staff Scotter Libby, the White House takes a third hit today as former CIA official, Paul R. Pillar, who was charged with Middle East intelligence for the agency, wrote that the White House cherry-picked intelligence in their drive for an Iraq invasion:
Official intelligence on Iraqi weapons programs was flawed, but even with its flaws, it was not what led to the war. The administration went to war without requesting -- and evidently without being influenced by -- any strategic-level intelligence assessments on any aspect of Iraq.

It has become clear that official intelligence was not relied on in making even the most significant national security decisions, that intelligence was misused publicly to justify decisions already made, that damaging ill will developed between [Bush] policymakers and intelligence officers, and that the intelligence community's own work was politicized.

The Bush administration repeatedly called on the intelligence community to uncover more material that would contribute to the case for war. Feeding the administration's voracious appetite for material on the Saddam-al Qaeda link consumed an enormous amount of time and attention.
Hmm. that sounds familiar, doesn't it? Pillar is pretty much confirming the content of the Downing Street Memos, which were very nearly ignored and/or downplayed by the media in the US. Of course, not much has come of them in the UK, either. But let's reveiew one of those "controversial" statements that occurred in the DSM:
the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.
Which is a more colloquial of way saying that "intelligence was misused to justify decisions already made." Remember when Bush accolytes were explaining away this phrase as not meaning what it so obviously meant? Well, now we have statement by the "agency's leading counterterrorism analyst," in plain words, that the White House did exactly what many others have been claiming for so long.

How much more needs to come out about this before Americans are finally willing to believe that the Bush admininstration wanted this stinking war? I still find it amazing that Bush has a 40% approval rating. This is frighteningly high, considering what has been coming out lately.


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