Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Oh No....Another Intelligence Failure

Once again there has been a serious intelligence failure in Washington. Just as cherry picked information regarding Iraqi WMD's and Saddam's links to Osama bin Lader turned out to be false, so to was the information regarding the Iraqi insurgency that the Bush Administration passed on to the American people.

Knight Ridder has the story, which documents the willful and egregious misinformation spread by President Bush and his cronies and their complete and utter failure to heed warnings of the clear and present danger that the Iraqi insurgency posed to American soldiers and to the stablity of the region itself.

Among the warnings, Knight Ridder has learned, was a major study, called a National Intelligence Estimate, completed in October 2003 that concluded that the insurgency was fueled by local conditions - not foreign terrorists- and drew strength from deep grievances, including the presence of U.S. troops.


Robert Hutchings, the chairman of the National Intelligence Council from 2003 to 2005, said the October 2003 study was part of a "steady stream" of dozens of intelligence reports warning Bush and his top lieutenants that the insurgency was intensifying and expanding.

"Frankly, senior officials simply weren't ready to pay attention to analysis that didn't conform to their own optimistic scenarios," Hutchings

Somehow the Bush Administration has gotten a complete pass for failing to comprehend a briefing that suggested that Osama bin Laden was pursuing a strategy of attacks on the United States. Somehow the Bush Administration has gotten a partial pass for totally skewing the pre-invasion intelligence to fit their desire to attack Iraq at all costs, without provocation or rationale.

Now we discover that within months of the invasion of Iraq, a variety of intelligence agencies were concerned that the Bush Administration was clueless regarding the nature and potency of the emerging insurgency.

A former senior U.S. official who participated in the process said that analysts at the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the State Department's intelligence bureau all agreed that the insurgency posed a growing threat to stability in Iraq and to U.S. hopes for forming a new government and rebuilding the economy.

The Bush Administration didn't just have a different perspective on the information being developed by intelligence agencies. They simply didn't want to hear anything that might contradict or question their assessments that things were getting better in Iraq.

"This was stuff the White House and the Pentagon did not want to hear," the former official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. "They were constantly grumbling that the people who were writing these kind of downbeat assessments `needed to get on the team,' `were not team players' and were `sitting up there (at CIA headquarters) in Langley sucking their thumbs.'"

Tell me again why our best young men and women are being sacrificed in Iraq?