From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
The blame game begins...

February 3, 2004 9:08 AM

Bush is appointing an "independent" commission to investigate the intelligence used to lead us into war. It's not really independent because he's appointing everyone himself, but he'll at least have to pretend to make it bipartisan. Gary Hart's name is being thrown around -- if he makes it on there will be at least one rational perspective.

The commission won't be done until after the election. Tony Blair's just announced inquiry, to be lead by Lord Butler, will report by summer. "The British government has learned..."

It's strange to hear the revisionist history (although, I can't say I'm surprised -- witness "weapons of mass destruction related program activities") now going on -- it's all the CIA's fault for providing the bad intelligence that forced the hand of our peace-loving president to invade another country. Seymour Hersh's May 2003 New Yorker piece on Paul Wolfowitz's Office of Special Plans thoroughly debunks this. It's clear the hawks weren't getting the interpretation of the intelligence they wanted, so they "cherry-picked" what made their case, and trumpeted it to the world.

Funny thing though, turns out all that intelligence the CIA skipped over that the OSP carefully dug up was all bogus. Maybe that's why the CIA skipped over it?

Slacktivist has a rough timeline of how the CIA was first blamed for under-representing the threat Saddam posed and is now being blamed for over-representing the threat:


Sept. 2002: The CIA is underrepresenting the threat posed by Iraq.

Oct. 2002: The CIA needs to stop claiming that the White House is overstating the threat posed by Iraq.

Early 2003: In the battle between the White House and the CIA, the White House is right and the CIA is wrong: Iraq poses a far more serious threat than the CIA will admit.

Late 2003: Everyone agreed all along about the nature of the threat posed by Iraq. There never was a battle over the intelligence between the CIA and the White House.

Early 2004: The CIA overrepresented the threat posed by Iraq, overwhelming the White House in the battle over the intelligence.


As I was doing research on Uncovered, I found a lot of kvetching from the former CIA analysts you see in the film throughout the 80's and 90's complaining about how the CIA was no longer in the business of dealing in "secret" information, but in analyzing "public" information. The difference between an analyst (someone who interprets satellite imagery from Langley) and an operative (someone on the ground under deep cover).

Clinton was largely responsible for getting us out of the secret intelligence business, and many blame him for the situation we're currently facing -- not enough solid intelligence on the ground to fight terrorism. This interview with former CIA operative, Robert Baer, sheds some light on this.

More from the archive in Intelligence.

The blame game begins... (02.03.2004)

Next Entry: Censure, and move on.... (02.03.2004)
Previous Entry: Murdoch's TV news operation, pre-Fox News Channel (02.02.2004)

Jim Gilliam
Jim Gilliam

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