Tuesday, April 05, 2005

WSJ on Robb-Silberman Report

OpinionJournal - Featured Article: "Among the many valuable conclusions of the Robb-Silberman report on U.S. intelligence, the most important is probably this: Policy makers need to be more assertive, not less. To put it another way, Vice President Dick Cheney should have asked more questions of the CIA during the run-up to war in Iraq, not fewer.
We realize this ruins the Aesop's fable that has developed about Iraq, and about the intelligence process more broadly. That story holds that CIA analysts are the final arbiters of intelligence truth, and that elected leaders must accept what they conclude as holy writ or else they will be 'politicizing' intelligence.

Regarding Iraq, this fable holds that the problem was that Mr. Cheney and the Pentagon created a separate intelligence 'stovepipe' that ignored CIA professionals, or, even worse, pounded them into concluding against all evidence that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

The Robb-Silberman panel does the enormous service of exposing all of this as both false regarding Iraq, and dangerous if it colors the future. "

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