A Los Angeles Times op—ed by Jonathant ("Why I hate George Bush") Chait again repeats the canard about Bush bullying intelligence analysts into suppressing contrary information. Nobody bullied intelligence analysts into suppressing contrary information, and they didn't pass on information they knew was false. It has been thoroughly investigated already. Everybody got it?
The Wall Street Journal just yesterday debunked ($link) these charges but is now accepted wisdom propagated among Democratic activists. As the WSJ noted:
In July 2004, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a bipartisan 500—page report that found numerous failures of intelligence gathering and analysis. As for the Bush Administration's role, "The Committee did not find any evidence that Administration officials attempted to coerce, influence or pressure analysts to change their judgments related to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction," (our emphasis).
The Butler Report, published by the British in July 2004, similarly found no evidence of "deliberate distortion," although it too found much to criticize in the quality of prewar intelligence.
The March 2005 Robb—Silberman report on WMD intelligence was equally categorical, finding "no evidence of political pressure to influence the Intelligence Community's pre—war assessments of Iraq's weapons programs. ... analysts universally asserted that in no instance did political pressure cause them to skew or alter any of their analytical judgments. We conclude that it was the paucity of intelligence and poor analytical tradecraft, rather than political pressure, that produced the inaccurate pre—war intelligence assessments."
Finally, last Friday, there was Mr. Fitzgerald: "This indictment's not about the propriety of the war, and people who believe fervently in the war effort, people who oppose it, people who are —— have mixed feelings about it should not look to this indictment for any resolution of how they feel or any vindication of how they feel."
Ed Lasky 11 04 05