Please, make it stop
The former CIA official who coordinated U.S. intelligence on the Middle East until last year has accused the Bush administration of 'cherry-picking' intelligence on Iraq to justify a decision it had already reached to go to war, and of ignoring warnings that the country could easily fall into violence and chaos after an invasion to overthrow Saddam Hussein.Someone, please make it stop! Impeach the war criminals, please. Could congress please do its $%#@! job and investigate the constant stream of claims, whether in the form of books from the likes of Richard Clarke, to articles such as this, and to memos leaked from 10 Downing Street that the criminals in the White House mislead us into an unnecessary war of aggression against another country. No matter how bad Saddam Hussein was, he represented no threat to us then or at any point in the future.
Paul R. Pillar, who was the national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia from 2000 to 2005, acknowledges the U.S. intelligence agencies' mistakes in concluding that Hussein's government possessed weapons of mass destruction. But he said those misjudgments did not drive the administration's decision to invade.
'Official intelligence on Iraqi weapons programs was flawed, but even with its flaws, it was not what led to the war,' Pillar wrote in the upcoming issue of the journal Foreign Affairs. Instead, he asserted, the administration 'went to war without requesting -- and evidently without being influenced by -- any strategic-level intelligence assessments on any aspect of Iraq.'
'It has become clear that official intelligence was not relied on in making even the most significant national security decisions, that intelligence was misused publicly to justify decisions already made, that damaging ill will developed between [Bush] policymakers and intelligence officers, and that the intelligence community's own work was politicized,' Pillar wrote.
Pillar's critique is one of the most severe indictments of White House actions by a former Bush official since Richard C. Clarke, a former National Security Council staff member, went public with his criticism of the administration's handling of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and its failure to deal with the terrorist threat beforehand.
It is also the first time that such a senior intelligence officer has so directly and publicly condemned the administration's handling of intelligence.
Pillar wrote that the prewar intelligence asserted Hussein's "weapons capacities," but he said the "broad view" within the United States and overseas "was that Saddam was being kept 'in his box' " by U.N. sanctions, and that the best way to deal with him was through "an aggressive inspections program to supplement sanctions already in place."
"If the entire body of official intelligence analysis on Iraq had a policy implication," Pillar wrote, "it was to avoid war -- or, if war was going to be launched, to prepare for a messy aftermath."
Pillar describes for the first time that the intelligence community did assessments before the invasion that, he wrote, indicated a postwar Iraq "would not provide fertile ground for democracy" and would need "a Marshall Plan-type effort" to restore its economy despite its oil revenue. It also foresaw Sunnis and Shiites fighting for power.
Pillar wrote that the intelligence community "anticipated that a foreign occupying force would itself be the target of resentment and attacks -- including guerrilla warfare -- unless it established security and put Iraq on the road to prosperity in the first few weeks or months after the fall of Saddam."
In an interview, Pillar said the prewar assessments "were not crystal-balling, but in them we were laying out the challenges that would face us depending on decisions that were made."
Pillar wrote that the first request he received from a Bush policymaker for an assessment of post-invasion Iraq was "not until a year into the war."
That assessment, completed in August 2004, warned that the insurgency in Iraq could evolve into a guerrilla war or civil war. It was leaked to the media in September in the midst of the presidential campaign, and Bush, who had told voters that the mission in Iraq was going well, described the assessment to reporters as "just guessing."
It has to be clear to anyone with two brain cells that the war has presented more of a threat to America than Saddam ever dreamed of posing, because it has sapped our precious resources, debilitated the military and damaged our relationships with other nations around the globe. We are a pariah amongst nations where we were once respected.
All the evidence points in one direction. The president, and likely the vice-president, are guilty of crimes against humanity and against their nation.
They must be impeached.
I want my country back.