Friday, February 10, 2006

Politics Over Security I: Cheney Made 'Em Do It

I was going to resist the temptation to bite off more than Kiko’s House readers might want to chew by limiting blogging today to my lengthy post on President Bush’s disgraceful display of politics over national security in Los Angeles yesterday. (See below.)

Then along comes an appropriate bookend to that sordid tale, as well as confirmation of what anyone with two brain cells to rub together has known all along:

Vice President Cheney authorized Scooter Libby and other White House bigs to disclose classified information to journalists to defend the Bush administration’s use of faulty prewar intelligence in making the case for invading Iraq. That rat f*ck became known as the Plame-Wilson CIA leak investigation.

Murray Waas, who has been out ahead of the pack on the story practically from Day One, has all the dirt here.

* * * *

Dovetailing nicely with the dish on Cheney is a blockbuster article published online today by the august journal Foreign Affairs in which a former high-ranking CIA officer says the relationship between U.S. intelligence and policymaking is "broken."

Paul R. Pillar, the CIA's national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia from 2000 to 2005, writes:

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.

. . . [The Bush 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.

Although Pillar was the officer responsible for coordinating intelligence assessments on Iraq, he writes that:

The first request I received from any administration policymaker for any such assessment was not until a year into the war.

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