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Qtec
02-10-2006, 08:28 AM
Ex-CIA Official Faults Use of Data on Iraq
Intelligence 'Misused' to Justify War, He Says

By Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 10, 2006; A01



The former CIA official who coordinated U.S. intelligence on the Middle East until last year has accused the Bush administration of "cherry-picking" intelligence on Iraq to justify a decision it had already reached to go to war, and of ignoring warnings that the country could easily fall into violence and chaos after an invasion to overthrow Saddam Hussein.

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.

"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 policymakers and intelligence officers, and that [b]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.

Pillar, retired after 28 years at the CIA, was an influential behind-the-scenes player and was considered the agency's leading counterterrorism analyst. By the end of his career, he was responsible for coordinating assessments on Iraq from all 15 agencies in the intelligence community. He is now a professor in security studies at Georgetown University.




A LONG line of public officials have indicated the exact same thing......

Q........... /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

eg8r
02-10-2006, 08:47 AM
[ QUOTE ]
The former CIA official who coordinated U.S. intelligence on the Middle East until last year... <hr /></blockquote> What happened last year? Why is he no longer in that position? Was he removed from his position? Did he leave on good terms?

Most of the people who have spoken out against the President seem to be disgruntled ex-employees. Is this guy following suit?

eg8r

Sid_Vicious
02-10-2006, 10:46 AM
And the plot thickens. Hope this is just the start of other dominoes to fall for Bush...sid

wolfdancer
02-10-2006, 12:34 PM
eg8r.....I'm sure that he is a disgruntled ex-employee, which could lead to all kinds of suppositions:
Did he resign, or was he let go...because of his beliefs??
And if they are non-factual, then someone in authority should dispute them.
And I believe they will....but first things first.. they are still formulating a response to Colin Powell's allegations from a couple of years ago. He'll just have to get in line with the rest of the disgruntled employees.

wolfdancer
02-10-2006, 04:24 PM
Paul R. Pillar, the CIA's national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia from 2000 to 2005, called the relationship between U.S. intelligence and policymaking "broken."

"In the wake of the Iraq war, it has become clear that official intelligence analysis was not relied on in making even the most significant national security decisions, that intelligence was misused publicly to justify decisions already made," Pillar wrote.

Although the Clinton administration and other countries' governments also believed that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was amassing weapons of mass destruction, they supported sanctions and weapons inspections as means to contain the threat, he said.

The Bush administration's decision to go to war indicates other motivations, Pillar wrote, namely a power shake-up in the Middle East and a hastened "spread of more liberal politics and economics in the region."

The Bush administration "used intelligence not to inform decision-making, but to justify a decision already made," Pillar wrote. "It went to war without requesting -- and evidently without being influenced by -- any strategic-level intelligence assessments on any aspect of Iraq."

Though Pillar himself was responsible for coordinating intelligence assessments on Iraq, "the first request I received from any administration policymaker for any such assessment was not until a year into the war," he wrote.
Pillar: Intelligence was right


Pillar said much of the intelligence on Iraq proved to have been correct.

Prior to the March 2003 invasion, the intelligence community concluded that the road to democracy in Iraq would be "long, difficult and turbulent" and forecast power struggles between Shiites and Sunnis, Pillar said.

Intelligence experts also predicted that an occupying force would be attacked "unless it established security and put Iraq on the road to prosperity" immediately after the fall of Hussein, he wrote.

As to whether Iraq pursued nuclear weapons, intelligence reports had concluded Iraq was years away from developing them and was unlikely to use such weapons against the United States unless cornered, Pillar said.

The biggest discrepancy between public statements by the Bush administration and judgments by the intelligence community centered on the relationship between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda, he said.

"The enormous attention devoted to this subject did not reflect any judgment by intelligence officials that there was or was likely to be anything like the 'alliance' the administration said existed."

Rather, "the administration wanted to hitch the Iraq expedition to the 'war on terror' and the threat the American public feared most, thereby capitalizing on the country's militant post-9/11 mood," Pillar wrote.

Gayle in MD
02-10-2006, 05:10 PM
Hey Q, and Wolfdancer,
Isn't it sad that as more and more information comes out from aids (Libby) and intelligence people (Pillar), and even ex-Lobbyists (Abramoff) and FEMA Officials (Brown) all alluding to the lies, incompetence and all round pompus, arrogant, lack honor and integrity of this administration, the right, continues to grab at straws which they think will discredit the whistle blowers? Some people can't see what is right in front of their faces. Ignorance is bliss!

New definition for truth tellers, "Disgruntled former employees" AH HA HA HA.

Gayle in Md.

eg8r
02-13-2006, 06:11 AM
[ QUOTE ]
And the plot thickens. Hope this is just the start of other dominoes to fall for Bush...sid <hr /></blockquote> Haven't you been reading Gayle's rants for the past few years? According to her, the polls have been showing Bush's dominoes falling for years. This is just another turn in the line. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

eg8r