Monday, November 14, 2005

The Irony is that they called it Intelligence

Kevin Drum posts about the Intelligence leading up to the Iraq war and how dissent against this intelligence was suppressed. Whether or not it was intentionally suppressed remains to be seen.

But IMHO whether the suppression of dissenting voices was intentional or not is irrellevent. The evidence as shown in Kevin's post points to a deep seated problem within the White House and the surrounding Intelligence community. This problem is the same problem that is has been studied and identified as being responsible for the Challenger Disaster as well as The Bay of Pigs Invasion during the Kennedy administration. It is called Group Think, and has already been identified as a problem within the Intelligence Community at large.

The question that should be asked is how much of the suppression of intelligence and groupthink leading up to the Iraq war was a symptom of attitudes within the White House. Regardless of intentionality intelligence was suppressed and I think there should be a push from outside the White House to show that not only are they making actual improvements to the intelligence community but also to the culture within the White House.

Unfortunately recent events such as the lack of Federal response to Hurricane Katrina did little to alleviate my fears about the level of incompetancy within this administration. So maybe it isn't REALLY their job, but when one of my coworkers doesn't do their job, I do it for them for the good of the company. (And then I point out to my boss that it wasn't really my job.....) And lets not even mention the Harriet Miers debacle. (Though some would argue it was a political move, and it may well have been.)

When it comes down to it, the President is an employee of the citizens of the United States, and he has a responsibility to show that he is doing his job to the best of his ability. We should not be criticized for criticizing him. We hired him to do a job, and he should take pride in doing it well, and showing us what a good job he's doing. And if he isn't doing a good job, well, he should thank his lucky stars it is a contract position.


Averroes said...

SSCI report (July 2004) on intelligence before the war in Iraq made many conclusions about how and why an intelligence failure occurred. Here is one:

"Conclusion 3. The Intelligence Community (IC) suffered from a collective presumption that Iraq had an active and growing weapons of mass destruction (WNW) program. This "group think" dynamic led Intelligence Community analysts, collectors and managers to both interpret ambiguous evidence as conclusively indicative of a WMD program as well as ignore or minimize evidence that Iraq did not have active and expanding weapons of mass destruction programs. This presumption was so strong that formalized IC mechanisms established to challenge assumptions and group think were not utilized."

How odd that Drum is just reporting this!

And yes, we should not be criticized for critizing the president. But we SHOULD be criticizing the president when the [problem lies elsewhere. We should demand that any criticism of the president be backed up with evidence and be on target.

I could reel off 20 criticisms of the president and his policy. But the ones usually made are often without merit.

Anonymous said...

i D0N'T GET iT...