Today’s NY Times story about the “enriched uranium from Niger” cock-up drove me nuts. First we’re reminded that Bush has already admitted his mistake:
“The White House later acknowledged that the charge, which played a part in the decision to invade Iraq in the belief that Baghdad was reconstituting its nuclear program, relied on faulty intelligence and should not have been included in the speech.”
Then we’re reminded that it really wasn’t his fault, because:
“The White House is not an intelligence-gathering operation. The president based his remarks in the State of the Union address on the intelligence that was presented to him by the intelligence community and cleared by the intelligence community.’”
But what we're NOT reminded of is these guys:
“According to former Bush officials, all defence and intelligence sources, senior administration figures created a shadow agency of Pentagon analysts staffed mainly by ideological amateurs to compete with the CIA and its military counterpart, the Defence Intelligence Agency.
The agency, called the Office of Special Plans (OSP), was set up by the defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, to second-guess CIA information and operated under the patronage of hardline conservatives in the top rungs of the administration, the Pentagon and at the White House, including Vice-President Dick Cheney.
The ideologically driven network functioned like a shadow government, much of it off the official payroll and beyond congressional oversight. But it proved powerful enough to prevail in a struggle with the State Department and the CIA by establishing a justification for war.”