Well, the 601 page summary of the $10 million 14-month study on the intelligence failures surrounding Iraq is now published. Wow, what a bonanza of information. For our $10 million, we find out that the data on arms in Iraq was flawed. We know that. When we got over there, we didn’t find any.
Without a doubt, organizations just organically respond to please the boss, and please the boss the intelligence agencies did, and after $10 million we still know no more about the knuckle-headed assessments on Saddam?s phantom WMD?s. This study intentionally skirts how the $40 billion-a-year intelligence was molded and manufactured to fit the schemes of those running the White House and Pentagon.
As the commission’s co-chairman, Laurence Silberman, put it: "Our executive order did not direct us to deal with the use of intelligence by policy makers, and all of us were agreed that that was not part of our inquiry."
This is the fourth investigation that has not answered the basic question: How did the White House and Pentagon spin the information and why has no one gotten in trouble for it? I?m not sure about you, but when I lied and hid stuff from parent?s as a kid, I got punished.
When the "values" president and his aides do it, they’re rewarded. Condoleezza Rice was promoted to secretary of state. Stephen Hadley, Condi’s old deputy, was promoted to national security adviser. Bob Joseph, a national security aide who helped shovel the uranium hooey into the State of the Union address, is becoming an under secretary of state. Paul Wolfowitz, who painted the takeover of Iraq as such a cakewalk that our troops went in without the proper armor or backup, will run the World Bank. George Tenet, who ran the C.I.A. when Al Qaeda attacked and when Saddam’s mushroom cloud gained credibility, got the Medal of Freedom.
Then the president appoints a compliant Democrat and a complicit conservative judge to head an inquiry set up to let the president off the hook.
However, I offer myself to come to the rescue. I propose a whole new investigation which I will lead. I think I can pull off said investigation for a mere $5 million because I think its clear what happened. Dick Cheney and the neocons had a fever to sack Saddam. Mr. Cheney and Rummy persuaded W., "the Man," that it was the manly thing to do. Everybody feigned a 9/11 connection. Ahmad Chalabi conned his neocon pals, thinking he could run Iraq if he gave the Bush administration the smoking gun it needed to sell the war.
Suddenly Curveball appeared, the relative of an aide to Mr. Chalabi, to become the lone C.I.A. source with the news that Iraq was cooking up biological agents in mobile facilities hidden from arms inspectors and Western spies. Curveball’s obviously sketchy assertions ended up in Mr. Tenet’s October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate and Colin Powell’s U.N. speech in February 2003, laying the groundwork for an invasion of Iraq.
Curveball’s information was used to justify the war even though it was clear Curveball was a goofball. As the commission report notes, a Defense Department employee at the C.I.A. met with him and "was concerned by Curveball’s apparent ‘hangover’ during their meeting". But Curveball’s crazy assertions had traction because they were what the White House wanted to hear.
Oops, did I just give away the findings of my exhaustive $5 million investigation? Crap, I hate when I do that.