Since the Iran NIE was released, conservatives have desperately tried to discredit it. Former Vice President Cheney aide David Wurmser questioned “how much it can really be banked on.” John Bolton called for congressional investigations into the “politicized” intelligence community.
Some conservatives in Congress are following these calls, proposing a “second look” into the NIE in the form of a commission “based on similar review panels convened in the mid-1970s to reconsider the intelligence agencies’ analysis of the Soviet Union.” “We just see politics injected into this,” claimed Sen. John Ensign’s (R-NV) office.
Today, White House Press Secretary Dana Perino rejected the partisan witch-hunt into the intelligence community. “They assessed all of the intelligence,” she declared. “I think that they should be supported”:
PERINO: The bottom line for the president on the NIE was that the 16 intelligence communities — community — came together. They assessed all of the intelligence. … And I just don’t know if there’s need to have a second look at it. [...]
QUESTION: So is it safe, then, to draw from that that the president is fully confident in the information contained in the NIE?
PERINO: The NIE — the president accepted the results of the NIE.
Similarly, Cheney recently said, “I don’t have any reason to question the — what the community has produced, with respect to the NIE on Iran.”
In doubting the NIE, these hawks in Congress are ignoring the fact that the intelligence was heavily vetted and well-sourced. The process was overseen by DNI Mike McConnell, who was hand-picked by Bush for the job.
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