"Dead Wrong" Intelligence

Billings, Montana.

“We were not authorized to investigate how policymakers used the intelligence assessments they received from the Intelligence Community.”

— WMD Commission Report (Page 8)

The presidential Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction released its findings on March 31, and the jury is no longer undecided. The intelligence community was “dead wrong” in almost all of its prewar claims leading up to the Iraq invasion. Unfortunately President Bush was spared any blame even though it was his corrupt administration that decided what was or was not valid intel. And that is where the report itself is dead wrong: the Iraq calamity is more Bush’s than any government agency.

Many of the failures that the United States encountered when selling the war on Iraq “are still too common” claims the report. The US government still knows “disturbingly little” about global weapons threats, “and even less about the intentions of many of our most dangerous adversaries.”

Certainly the document indicates that the Bush Administration has absolutely no credibility when they talk about the threats posed by Iran and North Korea, especially when it claims to be relying on government agencies for intelligence gathering. Unfortunately all the intel regarding suspected weapons programs remained classified and were not released to the public.

The 500-page report, although substantiating many of the claims the antiwar movement was making two years ago, fails to point fingers at specific individuals, primarily any neocons in the Bush Administration. That’s what happens when the government polices itself. The real culprit gets excused. However the report did stress that those who analyzed the data were not skeptical enough.

No kidding? Glad we have finally cleared that up. But it wasn’t simply U.S. intel failures, it was the Bush Administration in their determination to justify a war on Iraq — that ignored counter WMD information.

Perhaps the most notable portion of the document, which will soon be filed into the over-packed cabinets of bureaucratic waste, states that the intelligence community lacks any kind of expertise regarding Islamic extremism. Essentially the U.S. government doesn’t know its ass from a hole in the ground when it comes to the Middle East. Yet Bush still wants us to believe he is winning the War on Terror?

Of course it hasn’t fazed the neocons. President Bush has just continued to levy blame at the intelligence community while shielding his own administration from the hazing. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in a written statement following the release of the report averred, “I have asked that DoD officials responsible for intelligence activities review the report with care, undertake a systematic review of the commission’s recommendations, and make suggestions to me for improvements.” I’ve got a suggestion: Fire his ass.

The failures leading up to the Iraq war were not simply glitches in U.S. intelligence — they were catastrophic lies spread by the Bush gang that cost the lives of tens of thousands of people. The Administration used the pretext of WMD in order to justify invading Iraq. Certainly there were reports that indicate many intelligence officials knew the WMD threat was inflated, yet the Bushites ignored their concerns and went forward with his own bloody agenda anyway.

With that said, I’d like to hear Bush tell an Iraqi parent who lost her child to a U.S. bombing raid that the U.S. intelligence leading up to the war was “dead wrong.”

I wonder how that would go over.

JOSHUA FRANK is the author of the forthcoming book, Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush, to be published by Common Courage Press. You can pre-order a copy at discounted rate at www.BrickBurner.org. Josh can be reached at: Joshua@BrickBurner.org.








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JOSHUA FRANK is managing editor of CounterPunch. His most recent book is Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, co-edited with Jeffrey St. Clair and published by AK Press. He can be reached at joshua@counterpunch.org. You can troll him on Twitter @joshua__frank

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