• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every persons position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!
  • Welcome to our archives. No new posts are allowed here.

CIA Counterterrorism Chief Backs Downing Street Memos

danarhea

Slayer of the DP Newsbot
DP Veteran
Joined
Aug 27, 2005
Messages
43,603
Reaction score
26,254
Location
Houston, TX
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
Another nail in the coffin of the cover story to invade Iraq.

Paul Pillar, who was the CIA's national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia from 2000-2005, and former Deputy Director of Counter Terrorism, has the following to say in the March/April Issue of the publication Foreign Affairs:

The administration used intelligence not to inform decision-making, but to justify a decision already made.
Which incidentally, is exactly what the Downing Street Memos show. Now bear in mind, this is not what someone in Britain is alledging. This is what our own guy, who was a central figure in the Bush era CIA, is saying.

Pillar also alledges that the Bush administration not only cherry picked and exaggerated intelligence, but engaged in a campaign of fear mongering with the Senate, not allowing them to see pertinant information. On top of that, Pillar is also claiming that some of the evidence used by the administration never existed, and was fabricated by the administration.

Does anyone remember Lyndon Johnson and the Tonkin Gulf Resolution? Deja Vu.

Article is here.

And here.

And here.
 
Joined
Sep 10, 2005
Messages
845
Reaction score
305
Location
Ohio
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
Being a partisan liberal who's been against most of Bush's policies since the start, I've long since become acclimatized to standing off to the side and gawking incredulously :shock: at how much benefit of the doubt the country is willing to give this administration. Indubitably, Pillar will being discounted along with everyone else who dares question this president's immaculacy. Bush will be dead of old age long before the evidence of his malfeasance starts breaking the backs of the camel's that count.
:damn
 

aps

Passionate
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 25, 2005
Messages
15,675
Reaction score
2,979
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Liberal
Befuddled_Stoner said:
Being a partisan liberal who's been against most of Bush's policies since the start, I've long since become acclimatized to standing off to the side and gawking incredulously :shock: at how much benefit of the doubt the country is willing to give this administration. Indubitably, Pillar will being discounted along with everyone else who dares question this president's immaculacy. Bush will be dead of old age long before the evidence of his malfeasance starts breaking the backs of the camel's that count.
:damn
*sigh* I totally agree. I don't get this blind loyalty that people have for Bush. Do you people who never seem to find fault with this president have feelings of disappointment with the people in your life? If so, why not the president? I just don't get it.
 

cnredd

Major General Big Lug
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 5, 2005
Messages
8,682
Reaction score
262
Location
Philadelphia,PA
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Conservative
aps said:
*sigh* I totally agree. I don't get this blind loyalty that people have for Bush. Do you people who never seem to find fault with this president have feelings of disappointment with the people in your life? If so, why not the president? I just don't get it.
I've already discussed this previously...

I go into further detail here...

What's the big deal?...:shrug:
 

aps

Passionate
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 25, 2005
Messages
15,675
Reaction score
2,979
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Liberal
cnredd said:
I've already discussed this previously...

I go into further detail here...

What's the big deal?...:shrug:
Are those posts supposed to be your expressing disappointment with the administration? Ummm, based on my reading, I see it as the complete opposite. Sure you acknowledge that Bush used old intelligence to get us into Iraq, but then you justify his actions. Thus, on the whole, your posts are complimenting him. When I mentioned expressing disappointment, I was talking about simply expressing disappointment without coming up with excuses.

Andrew Sullivan who is a conservative, said that Brent Bozell called him a liberal because he (Sullivan) was critical of Bush. Huh? Am I a conservative if I criticize Bill Clinton? If I criticize Harry Reid? Sullivan has endorsed every republican president, yet because he has the audacity to criticize this president, some jerk calls him a liberal. This is where my frustration lies. You can support the president without supporting every single thing he does.

Your posts are justifications for why we went into Iraq. Sorry, I don't see that as your expressing any sort of disappointment with the president.
 

BWG

DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 29, 2005
Messages
4,373
Reaction score
1,602
Location
South Coast
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
aps, maybe this will explain it a little better..

In order to be considered a "liberal," only one thing is required – a failure to pledge blind loyalty to George W. Bush.

What it takes to make someone a "conservative" is -- a willingness to support Bush's actions because they are the actions of George Bush.


LOL..;)
 

aps

Passionate
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 25, 2005
Messages
15,675
Reaction score
2,979
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Liberal
BWG said:
aps, maybe this will explain it a little better..

In order to be considered a "liberal," only one thing is required – a failure to pledge blind loyalty to George W. Bush.

What it takes to make someone a "conservative" is -- a willingness to support Bush's actions because they are the actions of George Bush.


LOL..;)
Did you read the same article I did--from Glenn Greenwald? :cool:
 

BWG

DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 29, 2005
Messages
4,373
Reaction score
1,602
Location
South Coast
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
aps said:
Did you read the same article I did--from Glenn Greenwald? :cool:
Is that where I got it? I usually try to give credit where credit is due. I made a note of it, but it was tagged onto something else, unrelated, and I didn't make note of it's origins. My apologies to Mr. Greenwald. :smile:
 

aps

Passionate
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 25, 2005
Messages
15,675
Reaction score
2,979
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Liberal
BWG said:
Is that where I got it? I usually try to give credit where credit is due. I made a note of it, but it was tagged onto something else, unrelated, and I didn't make note of it's origins. My apologies to Mr. Greenwald. :smile:
I hope you didn't see my comment as telling you to give him the credit. I just wanted to know if we read the same article. I take it you read his blog? The one that discussed the blind loyalty was particularly interesting. Since he's criticized the president and has made not-so-positive comments about Michelle Malkin, he's been labeled a "liberal." Okaaaaaaaaay.
 

danarhea

Slayer of the DP Newsbot
DP Veteran
Joined
Aug 27, 2005
Messages
43,603
Reaction score
26,254
Location
Houston, TX
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
aps said:
I hope you didn't see my comment as telling you to give him the credit. I just wanted to know if we read the same article. I take it you read his blog? The one that discussed the blind loyalty was particularly interesting. Since he's criticized the president and has made not-so-positive comments about Michelle Malkin, he's been labeled a "liberal." Okaaaaaaaaay.
You hit upon the key to their spin. "Whoever disagrees with the administration, they must be Liberal."
 

oldreliable67

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 3, 2005
Messages
4,641
Reaction score
1,102
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Paul Pillar's actions are really puzzling. He was arguably a central player in the CIA's analysis of the ME in general and Iraq in particular. Innumerable investigations have demonstrated that all of the intelligence within his responsibility was in agreement that Iraq posed a serious danger and that it had an active program, even if interrupted, for acquiring WMD. Over the course of many years and thousands of pages of intelligence analysis, who could have been more directly involved in reaching the wrong conclusions about what was going on in Iraq than Pillar?

If he suddenly changed his mind about all that work he had done, and if he really did think the intelligence didn't support the case for war, why did Pillar not draft some type of memoranda for senior govt folks and put down on paper what he thought was really going on in Iraq? Why did he not share that analysis with members of Congress?

As the person in charge of assessing Iraq, if he really believed that Iraq posed no threat to the US, are we not owed an explanation of why none of the consequences of going to war were important enough for him to do something about it when it mattered?

Pillar has made no bones about his own political views against the Bush administration, including discussions with think-tank audiences long before he left the agency. Increasingly, CIA officers have discarded their roles as 'subject matter experts' and injected themselves into the political realm. How can policy makers rely on experts for unbiased opinions and conclusions and whose opinions are sought in confidence, if CIA officers and analysts are going to use the media or leaks to influence the outcome according to their political leanings?

Maybe there is a reason that Cheney and others were so critical of the CIA intelligence product and created those intel units in the DoD.
 

Binary_Digit

DP Veteran
Joined
May 21, 2005
Messages
4,792
Reaction score
2,365
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
"Though Pillar himself was responsible for coordinating intelligence assessments on Iraq, "the first request I received from any administration policymaker for any such assessment was not until a year into the war," he wrote."

http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/02/10/iraq.intelligence/

I can't say why he didn't provide any assessment until after he was asked to, but I think that answers your question OR.
 

aps

Passionate
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 25, 2005
Messages
15,675
Reaction score
2,979
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Liberal
oldreliable67 said:
Paul Pillar's actions are really puzzling. He was arguably a central player in the CIA's analysis of the ME in general and Iraq in particular. Innumerable investigations have demonstrated that all of the intelligence within his responsibility was in agreement that Iraq posed a serious danger and that it had an active program, even if interrupted, for acquiring WMD. Over the course of many years and thousands of pages of intelligence analysis, who could have been more directly involved in reaching the wrong conclusions about what was going on in Iraq than Pillar?

If he suddenly changed his mind about all that work he had done, and if he really did think the intelligence didn't support the case for war, why did Pillar not draft some type of memoranda for senior govt folks and put down on paper what he thought was really going on in Iraq? Why did he not share that analysis with members of Congress?

As the person in charge of assessing Iraq, if he really believed that Iraq posed no threat to the US, are we not owed an explanation of why none of the consequences of going to war were important enough for him to do something about it when it mattered?

Pillar has made no bones about his own political views against the Bush administration, including discussions with think-tank audiences long before he left the agency. Increasingly, CIA officers have discarded their roles as 'subject matter experts' and injected themselves into the political realm. How can policy makers rely on experts for unbiased opinions and conclusions and whose opinions are sought in confidence, if CIA officers and analysts are going to use the media or leaks to influence the outcome according to their political leanings?

Maybe there is a reason that Cheney and others were so critical of the CIA intelligence product and created those intel units in the DoD.
I might think he was doing this because he is a partisan hack; however, when multiple people who had knowledge of the intelligence state similar findings, it's hard to dismiss. There's Paul O'Neill and Richard Clarke. Also, there was a documentary called Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War. Greenwald is clearly anti-Bush, but I find it hard to believe that every single person he interviewed were willing to exaggerate the facts to make the president look bad.

Here's the list of experts he spoke with:
David Albright
Milton Bearden
Bill Christison
Philip Coyle
Patrick Eddington
Graham Fuller
Robert Baer
Rand Beers
David Corn
John Dean
Chas Freeman
Mel Goodman
Karen Kwiatkowski
David MacMichael
Scott Ritter
Stansfield Turner
Thomas E. White
Mary Ann Wright

Here is a description of it.

http://www.buzzflash.com/interviews/03/11/int03031.html
 

Stinger

DP Veteran
Joined
May 3, 2005
Messages
15,097
Reaction score
537
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Very Conservative
Binary_Digit said:
"Though Pillar himself was responsible for coordinating intelligence assessments on Iraq, "the first request I received from any administration policymaker for any such assessment was not until a year into the war," he wrote."

http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/02/10/iraq.intelligence/

I can't say why he didn't provide any assessment until after he was asked to, but I think that answers your question OR.
I heard this guy opposed the first Gulf War to evict Saddam from Kuwait and has opposed any action since. He also sounds like a crybaby for not being asked things directly. In view of what we know now it seems his assessments weren't very good.
 

oldreliable67

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 3, 2005
Messages
4,641
Reaction score
1,102
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Keeping it simple: according to the CNN article cited above, Paul Pillar was "the CIA's national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia from 2000 to 2005...". If he felt so strongly about the state of intel and the way it was being used, he had years, repeat, years of opportunity to come forward, to make his feelings known to the appropriate Congressional types, etc. Why didn't he?

Given the list of people that aps has posted, as juxtaposed with the conclusions on the quality of the intel about Iraq, can one conclude anything other than the people at the CIA were pissed because they were ineffectual and bumbling and the Congress and the administration realized it? And now they are seeking their revenge for being correctly identified as bumbling and ineffectual?

It seems more and more that there is or was a war between the administration and Congress and the CIA analyst community. We know how ineffectual Tenent turned out to be (despite getting that medal - what a joke!) Goss has seen many senior people leave since he arrived. Despite the moans and groans in the press that such has hurt the quality of our intel, I am wondering if maybe it isn't the only thing that can be done to improve it.

Simon, you're really up on this stuff. What is your impression of Pillar and what is going on?
 

aps

Passionate
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 25, 2005
Messages
15,675
Reaction score
2,979
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Liberal
oldreliable67 said:
Given the list of people that aps has posted, as juxtaposed with the conclusions on the quality of the intel about Iraq, can one conclude anything other than the people at the CIA were pissed because they were ineffectual and bumbling and the Congress and the administration realized it? And now they are seeking their revenge for being correctly identified as bumbling and ineffectual?
Oh yeah. It was a conspiracy at the CIA to make George Bush and his administration look like fools. How could I not see this?
 

Binary_Digit

DP Veteran
Joined
May 21, 2005
Messages
4,792
Reaction score
2,365
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
If I'm not mistaken, the Intelligence Community disagreed with quite a number of assumptions coming out of the Office of Special Planning and the Iraqi National Congress, but their opinions were disregarded. Who knows if Paul Pillar's voice was in there or not. If not, then I think he failed in his duties. And if it's true that he opposed the first Gulf War, then he failed there too, but I couldn't confirm or deny that on Google.
 

oldreliable67

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 3, 2005
Messages
4,641
Reaction score
1,102
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
aps said:
Oh yeah. It was a conspiracy at the CIA to make George Bush and his administration look like fools. How could I not see this?
You are reading something into my comments that was not indended at all. The controversy between the WH and the CIA has been relatively well known, but not very well commented on by either the blogosphere or the MSM (probably more in the bloggers world than the MSM, but still not very much).

What I'm trying to get at, and clearly not doing very well at it, is the reason why this conflict between the WH and the CIA exists. I doubt there was a conspiracy, though there may well have been; there are hints of a near palace revolt at the CIA. Is it because the CIA was criticized so heavily and this is their only way of striking back? Is it because Tenent was replaced by Goss and Goss is insisting on shaking things up - and is the impact of the shakeups resulting in such unhappiness that some at the CIA are out to get even with the WH (after all, it was the WH who put Goss at the CIA with, I think, a re-vamp mandate)?

aps, I'm not asking these questions in Repub vs Dem confrontation as you suggest. I'm asking 'cause the seeming constant stream of leakers/whistle blowers/etc when compared to the earlier criticisms of the capabilities/percieved failures of the pre-war intelligence suggest that maybe something fundamental is going that we don't know enough about.
 

danarhea

Slayer of the DP Newsbot
DP Veteran
Joined
Aug 27, 2005
Messages
43,603
Reaction score
26,254
Location
Houston, TX
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
oldreliable67 said:
You are reading something into my comments that was not indended at all. The controversy between the WH and the CIA has been relatively well known, but not very well commented on by either the blogosphere or the MSM (probably more in the bloggers world than the MSM, but still not very much).

What I'm trying to get at, and clearly not doing very well at it, is the reason why this conflict between the WH and the CIA exists. I doubt there was a conspiracy, though there may well have been; there are hints of a near palace revolt at the CIA. Is it because the CIA was criticized so heavily and this is their only way of striking back? Is it because Tenent was replaced by Goss and Goss is insisting on shaking things up - and is the impact of the shakeups resulting in such unhappiness that some at the CIA are out to get even with the WH (after all, it was the WH who put Goss at the CIA with, I think, a re-vamp mandate)?

aps, I'm not asking these questions in Repub vs Dem confrontation as you suggest. I'm asking 'cause the seeming constant stream of leakers/whistle blowers/etc when compared to the earlier criticisms of the capabilities/percieved failures of the pre-war intelligence suggest that maybe something fundamental is going that we don't know enough about.
You are onto something there. I believe that it was the administration's scapegoating of the CIA after 911 which led to the feud.
 

Conflict

Banned
Joined
Jul 30, 2005
Messages
745
Reaction score
0
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Centrist
We are witnessing an attritional war between several factions. What this has become is a war of semantics. You see it everyday in the form of politics... but alas meek minds blame it on democrats or republicans.

If you really believe that Bush is going to win this one... i've got a UFO to sell you. It comes fully equipped with a hydrogen based anti-gravity system, an inertia catalyst, a stellar laser projectile, and power windows ta' boot!
 
Top Bottom