Monday, Jan 22, 2007, 12:37 am
Bush Intent on Sacrificing More American Lives, and No Stinking Intel Is Gonna Get In His Way
Not wanting facts to get in the way of a mind made up, the Bush White House determined its "surge" escalation policy in advance of preparing the National Intelligence Estimate upon which strategies should responsibly be based. Ken Silverstein at Harpers reports that after it became known that intelligence czar John Negroponte had blocked a new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iraq before the elections, the Senate passed an amendment demanding that one be prepared. An NIE is considered “the most authoritative written judgment concerning a national security issue.” And the new one still ain't ready.
The situation came to a head last week, during a closed-door session of the Senate Armed Services Committee. This committee expected to be briefed on the long-awaited NIE by an official from the National Intelligence Council (NIC), which coordinates NIEs by gathering input from all of the nation's various intelligence agencies. But the NIC official turned up empty-handed and told the committee that the intelligence community hadn't been able to complete the NIE because it had been dealing with the many demands placed upon it by the Bush Administration to help prepare the new military strategy on Iraq. He then said that not all of the relevant agencies had contributed to the NIE, which has made it impossible to put together a finished product.via David Kurtz at TPM
Apparently these “dog ate my homework” alibis were badly received by both the Democrats and the Republicans on the Committee, and those in attendance now believe that senior intelligence officials are stalling because an NIE will be bleak enough to present a significant political liability.