Tuesday, December 28, 2004
New York Times Covers Up Coverup
The New York Times reports that the Director of Analysis Branch at the C.I.A. Is Being Removed
Ms. Miscik has headed analysis at the agency since 2002, a period in which prewar assessments of Iraq and its illicit weapons, which drew heavily on C.I.A. analysis, proved to be mistaken. Even before taking charge of the C.I.A., Mr. Goss, who was a (partisan Republican) congressman, and his closest associates had been openly critical of the directorate of intelligence...What the Times reports is perfectly reasonable. However, the New York Times fails miserably to add some much needed context. For example, why is there no mention of the fact that this occured while George Tenet was in charge? Why did Mr. Tenet deserve a Medal of Freedom for doing such a great job if his immediate subordinates should have been fired for doing a poor job?
Among those who have criticized the C.I.A.'s analytical unit for its mistakes on Iraq and that country's supposed unconventional weapons, the Senate Intelligence Committee issued a scathing report last summer, and a C.I.A. panel, the Iraq W.M.D. Review Group, completed a 10-month internal review last May.
That review...concluded that the assertion that Iraq possessed illicit weapons had been reasonable based on the information available at the time. But the August document also showed that the review found a pattern of "imprecise language," "insufficient follow-up" and "sourcing problems," including "numerous cases" in which analysts "misrepresented the meaning" of intelligence reports about Iraq's weapons.
Source: New York Times (Notation added)
Additionally, the CIA's distortions took place at the time when Mr. Cheney sent a picked band of political pals under Douglas Feith to distort intelligence regarding Iraq - something all the CIA analysts and their superiors knew. Why didn't the Times article mention Doug Feith's Pentagon-based distortion operation?
Fury over Pentagon cell that briefed White House on Iraq's 'imaginary' al-Qaeda links
By Julian Coman in Washington
A Senior Pentagon policy maker created an unofficial "Iraqi intelligence cell" in the summer of 2002 to circumvent the CIA and secretly brief the White House on links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qa'eda, according to the Senate intelligence committee.
The cell appears to have been set up by Mr Feith as an adjunct to the Office of Special Plans, a Pentagon intelligence-gathering operation established in the wake of 9/11 with the authority of Paul Wolfowitz. Its focus quickly became the al-Qa'eda-Saddam link.
On occasion, without informing the then head of the CIA, George Tenet, the group gave counter-briefings in the White House. Sen Jay Rockefeller, the most senior Democrat on the committee, said that Mr Feith's cell may even have undertaken "unlawful" intelligence-gathering initiatives.
This piece of the puzzle makes it quite clear the CIA was competing in a race to the bottom with Mr. Feith's special Intelligence-distortion group to make the case for war with Iraq at the ideal time for influencing the mid-term elections.
Interestingly, neither Mr Wolfowitz not Mr. Feith face any punishment for their far worse distortion of intelligence.