Why on earth is an otherwise decent paper like the LA Times giving column space to Danielle Pletka, vice president of foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute (a.k.a. neo-conservative central)?
Pletka's article, It's no secret: The CIA plays politics, is an attempt to belittle anti-war criticism from disgruntled CIA informants (like Michael Scheuer, Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame, and now Paul Pillar) as petty agency politics (never mind the fact that these guys are walking away from the CIA!).
Hope you still have those barf bags handy...
But in the case of Iraq, at least two bipartisan commissions have concluded that there was no such pressure to change conclusions on Saddam Hussein's ties to terrorists or his WMD program. In this case at least, much of the politics was inside the CIA....Got that? Bush's own hand-crafted reports said the intelligence was never fixed, therefore it never was. The more CIA people who say the intelligence was fixed, the more proof that it wasn't!
Although Pillar and other self-proclaimed apolitical ex-spooks and bureaucrats now insist that the leakers were merely educating the public, it should be clear from the sheer volume of senior intelligence officials quoted regularly in the nation's newspapers that there was — and is — a specific agenda.
It gets worse. Pletka talks about "inaccurate warnings" of civil war in Iraq, and "the ridiculous and premature assertion that Iraq will have no value as a 'democratic exemplar.'" Does she seriously believe that Iraq, in its present state, is any kind of Democratic beacon? Does she honestly doubt that Shia-versus-Sunni civil war still looms dangerously close these days?
It doesn't really matter what Pletka thinks. What matters is that this is yet another deliberate neo-con attempt to further confuse the US public. It's classic Orwellian nonsense, straight from the Karl Rove copybook: the best form of defence is always attack. Therefore, anyone against the war must wish Saddam was still in power...
these CIA-sourced handwringers suggest that things would be better had we not invaded at all.... and it's the CIA whistle-blowers themselves who are to blame for the faulty intelligence:
...the American people should be certain that their democratically elected leaders are making decisions based on unbiased intelligence. They won't get that from today's CIA.What a load of hogwash!!!
The LA Times should be ashamed for printing such rubbish.
Anything published by a neo-conservative these days should be clearly labelled as such, as a warning to readers. Following on from Francis Fukuyama's recent NYT piece, this Pletka article suggests the discredited neo-conservatives are involved in one last desperate effort to clear their names (and hold on to power) before history, and the US public, writes them off forever.
Oh, the ignominy!