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Cooking the Books and Politicizing Intelligence
By Larry C. Johnson, NoQuarter.typepad.com
Like a passenger who just leaped from the Titanic into the icy waters of the North Atlantic, George Bush is frantically looking for a rescue boat. Understandably he keeps pointing at the dinghy nearby—i.e. last year’s report issued by former Senator Chuck Robb and Judge Laurence Silbermann under the title , Final Report on Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction. However, that boat don’t float too good and Bush’s credibility will continue, along with his Presidency, to sink beneath the weight of lies used to bamboozle America into a preemptive war.
Hopefully most Americans will take time to read the report and understand the limitations of the Robb and Silbermann effort. While I agree with the Commission’s conclusion that analysts made mistakes, the Robb and Silbermann report clearly demonstrates that none of the intelligence analysis from the CIA suggested that Iraq's pursuit of weapons of mass destruction had reached a critical point requiring a preemptive strike.
Unfortunately Robb and Silbermann want Americans to accept the nonsense that politics played no role in the intelligence analysis. They ask America to accept the sorry picture of a President and legislators who, apparently, were willing idiots being spoon-fed wrong information by incompetent analysts. If we accept this fairy tale we will have learned nothing from the fiasco in Iraq.
Consider what is presented in the Chapter on the Iraq failure (which Robb and Silbermann concede is the most important issue). According to the report the analysts said,
The pre-war estimate of Iraq’s nuclear program, as reflected in the October 2002 NIE Iraq’s Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction, was that, in the view of most agencies, Baghdad was “reconstituting its nuclear weapons program