See, it’s not just the president that is the problem. It’s the entire administration and all the top level people in the federal governemnt that he has put in place. As you may or may not know, there was a report sent up to the White House a couple of years ago that basicly said that the Insurgency in Iraq was local, was partially formed becasue of the occupation and would lead to civil war. But, that news wasn’t going to go well when the report went to George Tenet so it was suggested that the report be changed to make it more palatable. Thankfully Wayne White prevailed and got the correct version out (he’s not at the State Dept. any more):
Wayne White, a veteran State Department intelligence analyst, wrote recently that when it became clear that the National Intelligence Estimate would forecast grim prospects for tamping down the insurgency, a senior official “exclaimed rhetorically, `How can I take this upstairs?’ (to then-CIA Director George Tenet)”
White argued forcefully in inter-agency deliberations for a more pessimistic description of the insurgency, and his views eventually prevailed. White is now an adjunct scholar at the Washington-based Middle East Institute.
But did the report change any minds in the White House?
“The mindset downtown was that people were willing to accept that things were pretty bad, but not that they were going to get worse, so our analyses tended to get dismissed as `nay-saying and hand-wringing,’ to quote the president’s press spokesman,” he said.
The result, he said, was that top political and military officials focused on ways of dealing with foreign jihadists and disaffected Saddam loyalists, rather than with other pressing problems, such as growing Iraqi anger at the U.S.-led occupation and the deteriorating economic and security situation.
A former senior U.S. official who participated in the process said that analysts at the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the State Department’s intelligence bureau all agreed that the insurgency posed a growing threat to stability in Iraq and to U.S. hopes for forming a new government and rebuilding the economy.
“This was stuff the White House and the Pentagon did not want to hear,” the former official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “They were constantly grumbling that the people who were writing these kind of downbeat assessments `needed to get on the team,’ `were not team players’ and were `sitting up there (at CIA headquarters) in Langley sucking their thumbs.'”
Great stuff and a great report all right here.