The Secret’s Out – Now What?

Yesterday, London’s Sunday Times published the text of another SECRET UK EYES ONLY briefing document prepared for senior British officials. This one was dated July 21, 2002, two days before British intelligence chief Richard Dearlove gave Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top national security advisers a briefing based on discussions with American counterparts in … Continue reading “The Secret’s Out – Now What?”

Bolton Confirmation Would Shatter Intelligence Analysts’ Morale

Few have more at stake in the expected Senate approval of John Bolton to be U.S. representative at the UN than the remnant of demoralized intelligence analysts trained and still willing to speak truth to power. What would be the point in continuing, they ask, when – like so many other policymakers – Bolton reserves … Continue reading “Bolton Confirmation Would Shatter Intelligence Analysts’ Morale”

John Bolton’s Yellowcake

What role did John Bolton play in the Bush administration’s efforts to manufacture the intelligence needed to justify the invasion of Iraq? As it turns out, a hidden but important role. Remember the “yellowcake from Niger"? Briefly reported last week in Steve Clemons’ The Washington Note was that a Congressional subcommittee, citing a State Department … Continue reading “John Bolton’s Yellowcake”

The War for Intel Independence

President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney are framing the trials of John Bolton, their nominee for ambassador to the United Nations, as a partisan political squabble. It is much more than that. It is rather a matter of life and death for the endangered species of intelligence analysts determined to "tell it … Continue reading “The War for Intel Independence”

Paying the Price for Getting It Right

Many have asked how it could be that a comparatively small group of intelligence analysts in the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) was able to get it right on several key Iraq-related issues, while larger agencies like CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency – with, literally, a cast of thousands – got … Continue reading “Paying the Price for Getting It Right”

Honest Intelligence Needed

The latest commission looking into intelligence failures on Iraq reports a certain consistency in the performance of the intelligence community. We are informed that we also “know disturbingly little about the weapons programs” of other countries – such as Iran. One might think this would counsel caution for a Pentagon planning to “take out” Iran’s … Continue reading “Honest Intelligence Needed”

Cheney’s Other Trick NIE?

Hats off to journalist Dafna Linzer and Sunday’s Washington Post for exposing a familiar but fallacious syllogism favored by senior Bush administration officials: Iran has a lot of oil. Ergo, Iran does not need nuclear energy for civil purposes. Ergo, Iran’s nuclear development program must be for weapons. Linzer and her researcher, Robert Thomason, remind … Continue reading “Cheney’s Other Trick NIE?”

The Intelligence Made
Them Do It

Let’s review now. It was bad intelligence that made President George W. Bush invade Iraq, right? No, you say, and you are correct; that is just White House spin. The “intelligence” was conjured up many months after President George W. Bush’s decision to attack. Now, two years and thousands of lives later, the story is … Continue reading “The Intelligence Made
Them Do It”

Who Now Will Read to the President in the Morning?

Senate skids have been greased for John Negroponte to be confirmed as the first director of national intelligence. Never mind that he deliberately misled Congress about serious human rights abuses in Honduras where he was ambassador from 1981 to 1985. That dissembling enabled the White House to circumvent the congressional restrictions that would have denied … Continue reading “Who Now Will Read to the President in the Morning?”