Pressure

I’ve been trying to think of a clever way to say this, but my failure to do so should not prevent the obvious from being pointed out. When the President of the United States orders a review of intelligence regarding a country and then, while that process is underway, proceeds to have himself, his subordinates in the administration, and his administration’s allies in the press repeatedly make a public case for invading that country, that is political pressure on the intelligence analysts all by itself. You don’t need to call up John Doe in Langley and say, “look, the president really thinks it’s important that we invade Iraq, so analyses that tend to support his view will be rewarded, whereas those that would tend to embarass him will not.” The CIA isn’t populated by idiots.

And that’s leaving all the shenanigans by Feith, Scooter, et. al. out of things. And it isn’t to say that the CIA should be absolved of blame, either. They’re not supposed to give in to that sort of pressure, and it now looks clear that some of their WMD work had been off-base for years.