Wednesday, October 27, 2004
i've long wondered how such poor intelligence became the basis of decision-making. i had assumed it was a poor intelligence system. hersh has debunked that assumption.
against the advice of CIA, DIA and the state department, neocons like john bolton and douglas feith intentionally cirumvented intelligence "scrubbing" mechanisms designed to keep bad intel from getting to decision makers. this practice is known as "stovepiping".
bolton, feith and their lot stovepiped uncriticized intel to the cabinet level, ostensibly to "get what they hadn't been seeing". they assumed that they could evaluate for themselves which intel was good and which was dubious. that incredible arrogance has since been shown to be completely wrongheaded, of course, as they used plainly fraudulent info (niger/yellowcake) as well as much other simply disreputable info to make decisions.
the question that may be asked is "was that intentional -- were they interested in simply cherry-picking any intel, valid or not, that fit their preconceived ideology?"
the answer to that is a resounding yes, imo -- but even if you don't want to think that, the incredible arrogance of these men that allowed them to circumvent a mechanism that had been developed over 50 years to keep bad information from becoming the basis of policy is reason enough to remove them from office. such irresponsibility has no place in good government -- and that is the position of intelligence professionals in CIA, DIA, and state, as well as flag officers of the military.
UPDATE: please note hersh's article in the new yorker regarding stovepiping.