“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.
Many of the failures that the United States encountered when selling the war on Iraq “are still too common” says 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 report indicates that the Bush Administration has absolutely no credibility when they talk about the threats posed by Iran and North Korea. Unfortunately all the intel regarding suspected weapons programs remained classified and were not released to the public.
The war in Afghanistan, claims the report, has revealed that al Qaeda’s biological weapons program may be further along than previously suggested. But was such information worth the death and destruction that resulted in its gathering? Not likely. If anything the failure of apprehending bin Laden, despite destroying a government (if it really is destroyed) and killing thousands of civilians along the way, shows that al Qaeda is much more elusive than the Bushites and their Democratic allies initially anticipated. Looks like the skeptics were right all along.
The report, although substantiating many of the claims the antiwar movement was making two years ago, fails to point fingers at specific individuals, primarily the Bush Administration. That’s what happens when the government polices itself. The real culprit gets excused. Sure U.S. intelligence failures are systemic. U.S. spies blew it big time, for much of the information they gathered prior to the Iraq war was “either worthless or misleading.” The report also stressed 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 Republican good ol’ boys. GW has just continued to levy blame at the intelligence community while protecting his own administration from the hazing. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in a written statement following the release of the report stated, “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 errors made 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. And certainly there are reports that indicate many intelligence officials knew the WMD threat was inflated, yet Bush ignored their concerns and went forward with his own bloody agenda.
With that said, I’d like to hear GW tell an Iraqi mother 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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