Groupthink?

Dan Drezner ought to know better than to say this:

Conservatives are outraged that the intel community suffered from such groupthink. Liberals like Josh Marshall are outraged because their groupthink that Bush team browbeat the intelligence analysts found no support in the report.

This makes it sound like the political pressure theory is just something Josh cooked up sitting in his armchair at the R Street Starbucks but there are some serious issues to grapple with here.

The political pressure meme is supported by original reporting in anti-war liberal magazines like The American Prospect, The Nation, and Mother Jones by Jason Vest, Bob Dreyfuss, Laura Rozen and others, while pro-war liberal magazines like The New Yorker and The New Republic have printed original reporting on this subject by Seymor Hersh, John Judis, Spencer Ackerman and others. Perhaps these people are all wrong — being misled by their sources, say — but it’s not some crazy idea they made up one morning.

It’s a theory that’s supported, moreover, by reporting and commentary before the war from pro-war conservatives like Jom Hoagland, David Frum, and Richard Perle all of whom were known to assert that the CIA was underestimating the Iraqi threat and that administration appointees in the Pentagon were doing the lord’s work trying to pressure them into upping the paranoia level.

We also know that persons intimately associated with the political appointees in question have for years (i.e., long before the Iraq War was an issue) the general proposition that America’s intelligence community underestimates the threat from foreign dictatorships and that one ought to exercise political pressure on the CIA to get it to provide a better picture of these things. That is the thesis of “Leo Strauss and the World of Intelligence (by which we do not mean Nous)” among other writings.

Moreover, after the release of the report the relevant Democratic Senators seemed to indicate that they think the Committee’s report is misleading and incomplete and Pat Roberts promises a follow-up inquiry, conveniently times for after the election, will take a deeper look at these questions. I think there’s a bit more going on here than groupthink.