Sunday :: Feb 1, 2004

Why Bush's "Blame The CIA" Defense Implicates The White House

by Steve

Itís important to remember in this White House CYA exercise that any effort to hang this all on the CIA and the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) falls back on the White House as well. Why? Because as we noted back in October, the CIA admitted that the NIE was a ďcut and pasteĒ job, prepared quickly in response to Democratic Senator Dick Durbinís request. Usually such NIEís take months to prepare and are developed deliberatively, where the conclusions are subjected to criticisms from competing analysts. But the NIE supporting the WMD case for war was done in three weeks, and the White House, in their ramp up for war during the midterm elections never asked for an NIE, probably because they didnít want their hyped-up case to be exposed just before the vote on the war resolution and the midterm elections.

Nevertheless, even this rushed NIE contained the caveats from the intelligence community about suspect WMD claims, as Newsweek noted today. But worse yet, what Congress was given before the war resolution votes wasnít the NIE itself, but a White Paper summary of the NIE, approved by Rice and the White House and scrubbed of the caveats.

So blaming the intelligence community as the scapegoat and saying that it isnít the White Houseís fault that the NIE was so off base actually implicates rather than exonerates 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Steve :: 11:06 AM :: Comments (12) :: Digg It!