Yesterday, the final nail was placed in the coffin of the White House myth that Congress saw the same prewar intelligence as President Bush. A Congressional Research Service report found that the Bush administration had access “to a far greater overall volume of intelligence and to more sensitive intelligence information, including information regarding intelligence sources and methods.”
But today, when asked about the CRS report, Scott McClellan pushed the same spin on “same intelligence”:
MCCLELLAN: We provide the Congress a lot of intelligence information, and they did have access to the same intelligence that we saw prior to making the decision to go into Iraq.
In fact, even the White House admits this isn’t true. As McClellan went on to acknowledge a moment later, Congress did not have access to the Presidential Daily Briefs (the intel summaries President Bush receives each morning). The White House says this fact is irrelevant, however, because those briefs were found to be even “more alarmist” and “less nuanced” than the intelligence Congress had:
MCCLELLAN: I saw there’s a reference to the Presidential Daily Brief, where the Silberman-Robb commission already addressed that issue and said that, if anything, that the Presidential Daily Brief was less nuanced than the intelligence that members of Congress saw and that we saw as well.
McClellan is ignoring the elephant in the room: the CRS report states that the discrepancies in intelligence access went far beyond the PDBs, and included “the identities of intelligence sources,” the “methods” used to gather and analyze intelligence, and the “raw” intelligence. Congress never had access to any of this information.
Poor Scottie, clinging to the “same intelligence” myth like a security blanket. Let it go, Scottie. You’ll be okay.