Day By Day

Saturday, February 11, 2006

The War on the Bureaucracy, Continued....

Ho hum! Another disgruntled former CIA bureaucrat lashes out at the administration. WaPo writes in a WaPo front pager:

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.

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.

Read it here.

This is standard practice for "former" bureaucrats -- slime the administration to get even for career blockage and at the same time absolve yourself and your agency of any responsibility for anything that might ever have gone wrong. Remember, you are always, repeat always, the virtuous truth-teller. It's never, ever the "professionals'" fault; it is always those idiot politicians and their appointees who are to blame.

Oh, and by the way, he has a book coming out.



Stephen Hayes, over at the Weekly Standard, puts Pillar's comments in the context of the CIA's assault on the Bush administration.

Think about that: A senior, unelected CIA official--Paul Pillar--was given agency approval to anonymously attack Bush administration policies less than two months before the November 2, 2004, presidential election. That Pillar was among the most strident of these frequent critics--usually in off-the-record speeches to gatherings of foreign policy experts and business leaders--was well known to his colleagues in the intelligence community and to Bush administration policymakers. His was not an isolated case; CIA officials routinely trashed Bush administration policy decisions, often with official approval, in the months leading up to the Iraq War and again before the election. Pillar, who had complained to a CIA spokesman that someone had violated the ground rules by providing his name to Novak, simply got caught.

According to the Washington Post, Pillar's forthcoming critique will be "the first time that such a senior intelligence officer has so directly and publicly condemned the administration's handling of intelligence." Nonsense. In recent weeks, Pillar has trashed Bush administration policies to the Los Angeles Times and reporters for the Knight-Ridder newspaper chain. And before that, Pillar put many of these condemnations in a book. The relevant sections were published more than two years ago. Not exactly breaking news.

Read the whole thing here.

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