Intelligence, Policy, and the War in Iraq

April 4th, 2006 by Andy in The Politics of Intelligence

The Bush Administration Politicized the Intelligence Process?

No surpirse here, to anyone paying any attention to this issue over the past few years. This is something USTV has been discussing and informing people on since the inception of the program.

Paul R. Pillar, former career in the Central Intelligence Agency who served as National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia from 2000 to 2005 elaborates in this article in “Foreign Affairs”.

The Bush administration deviated from the professional standard not only in using policy to drive intelligence, but also in aggressively using intelligence to win public support for its decision to go to war. This meant selectively adducing data - “cherry-picking” - rather than using the intelligence community’s own analytic judgments. In fact, key portions of the administration’s case explicitly rejected those judgments. In an August 2002 speech, for example, Vice President Dick Cheney observed that “intelligence is an uncertain business” and noted how intelligence analysts had underestimated how close Iraq had been to developing a nuclear weapon before the 1991 Persian Gulf War. His conclusion - at odds with that of the intelligence community - was that “many of us are convinced that Saddam will acquire nuclear weapons fairly soon.”

Read The Full Article Here

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