Someone else to smear
Paul R. Pillar, who was the national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia from 2000 to 2005, acknowledges the U.S. intelligence agencies' mistakes in concluding that Hussein's government possessed weapons of mass destruction. But he said those misjudgments did not drive the administration's decision to invade.Clearly this political hack has just been hiding his leanings as he served in the CIA under five presidents.
"Official intelligence on Iraqi weapons programs was flawed, but even with its flaws, it was not what led to the war," Pillar wrote in the upcoming issue of the journal Foreign Affairs. Instead, he asserted, 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," Pillar wrote.
Pillar's critique is one of the most severe indictments of White House actions by a former Bush official since Richard C. Clarke, a former National Security Council staff member, went public with his criticism of the administration's handling of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and its failure to deal with the terrorist threat beforehand.
It is also the first time that such a senior intelligence officer has so directly and publicly condemned the administration's handling of intelligence.
And, while he's at it, the Bushies are going to have to attack the whole intelligence community (again), since they're killing his "we stopped a terror attack" buzz.
White House officials, who were unwilling to publicly disclose details of the alleged plot as recently as last fall, said they decided in the past three weeks to declassify the case so that Bush could have an example to provide the public.So, this was most likely "spitballing" they put an end to.
But several U.S. intelligence officials played down the relative importance of the alleged plot and attributed the timing of Bush's speech to politics. The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to publicly criticize the White House, said there is deep disagreement within the intelligence community over the seriousness of the Library Tower scheme and whether it was ever much more than talk.
On a related note, the administration also stopped my last-minute attempt to join the USA's Winter Olympics team; they kept Sean Hannity from making an honest assessment of the situation in Iraq; and they cockblocked Waukeegan Illinois 15-year-old Tim J. Bondenhoffer, who (I'm told) was a this close to "making it" with Jennifer Aniston (if he could get some money and a plane ticket and track her down).
Update: Pillar's full article.
The administration used intelligence not to inform decision-making, but to justify a decision already made. It went to war without requesting -- and evidently without being influenced by -- any strategic-level intelligence assessments on any aspect of Iraq.In two sentences, Pillar shows how we got to Iraq and why we fucked up so badly once we were there.