Friday, April 01, 2005

Weapons of Mass Deception

Yesterday, the president-appointed "Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction" released what I presume to be its first and last study on the faulty intelligence used to justify the Iraq invasion. The report was very blunt, stating the following:

The intelligence community was dead wrong in almost all of its pre-war judgments about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. [...] The bad news is that we still know disturbingly little about the weapons programs and even less about the intentions of many of our most dangerous adversaries.

Now, to some, this might be news. But to me, I can't help but feel this is just another smokescreen to protect the administration. This is just another situation where no one among the president's advisors wants to take the fall for the rash, unjustified behavior that led us to war. Why isn't the media pointing out the obvious hypocrisy here? The president's advisors have admitted that they had planned to attack Iraq at least one year before 9/11 and pushed for Iraq before the logical target of Afghanistan immediately after 9/11 (read the condensed Plan of Attack Woodward's book) . So, who cares about the intelligence? The administration was in the process of planning the Iraq invasion long before the intelligence was there.

But to add insult to injury, Bush had to get his pictures with the commission, congratulate them and make an insipid speech that boiled down to this (paraphrasing):

See! See! It wasn't my administration's fault! These guys over here prove it. Now let's get these bad intelligence boys in line. The president and pentagon should control the flow of intelligence, not some independent agencies. The president should be the filter for intelligence, not intelligent professionals!

And that is the problem with this whole thing. Though the intelligence agencies are need of serious reform, if the administration had not pushed so hard for justifying a war they had already decided to prosecute, I have little doubt better intelligence would come through the proper channels. But hey, that's why Rummy has his own intelligence agency: he tells them what he wants to hear and they rubberstamp it!

Is there any individuality or independence left in our government?


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