CIA Can Take Care of Itself
Allies of the Bush administration walk a fine line when they accuse the CIA of misleading us into war in Iraq. Normally, this sort of self-serving blame shifting would be just more depressing evidence of the administration's refusal to accept responsibility for anything. Dealing with the CIA, though, I am fully confident that there will be no acquiescence by the Agency: these charges will be answered, either formally, or through leaks. In fact, the more the administration blames the CIA, the more hope I have that the truth will come out.
The Senate Committee on Intelligence is expected to release a long delayed report on Friday, blaming the CIA for intelligence failures concerning Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction related program activities.
The blogosphere has already mocked the charges. James Risen, the NYT reporter that broke the story, should have remembered some of his earlier "context."
My favorite story line is that the CIA was duped by defectors despite the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency warnings:
Defectors also duped the CIA, which continued to believe one Iraqi claiming knowledge of Saddam's biological weapons, even after it had been warned by the Defence Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon that he was almost certainly peddling false information.That one should produce some fine rebuttals from the CIA. Chalabi and his band of dog-wagging defectors were creatures of the DoD.
The ridiculousness of the Senate Report is highlighted by the White House floating John Lehman, of the 9-11 Commission, as a replacement for George Tenet as DCI. Lehman is the strongest defender on the Commission of the exact claims now being blamed on the CIA.