What Did The CIA 'Advise'?

Annie

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Very interesting post on Powerline:

June 10, 2007
What Did the CIA Tell President Bush About Iraq?

Earlier today, Scott discussed a recent article by Paul Pillar, in which Pillar defended the CIA’s performance on Iraq. Pillar, who was largely responsible for Iraq intelligence, wrote about the Senate Intelligence Committee’s release of two reports that were authored by the National Intelligence Council, under Pillar’s direction, in January 2003: Principal Challenges in Post-Saddam Iraq and Regional Consequences of Regime Change in Iraq. Pillar begins with an admission that the intelligence community was wrong about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. The thrust of his argument, however, is that the existence of WMDs did not mandate the overthrow of Saddam, and that, if the administration had paid proper heed to the intelligence community’s other reports, it would not have invaded Iraq.

This, then, raises the question: what did the CIA and other intelligence agencies predict would happen if we invaded Iraq? Did they foresee the events that have in fact unfolded over the last four years, or not?

This question is of great interest in its own right, but it also fits into a broader inquiry. Most people, I think, believe that post-war Iraq has been more or less a disaster. Many of those who supported the war in 2003 now say that the concept was good, but the execution has been bungled. Pillar argues, however, that a review of the pre-war intelligence assessments yields a different conclusion:

The story of these pre-war assessments has other implications that are at least as important, however, including ones for current debate over Iraq policy. The assessments support the proposition that the expedition in Iraq always was a fool’s errand rather than a good idea spoiled by poor execution, implying that the continued search for a winning strategy is likely to be fruitless.

Pillar argues that what we have seen since 2003 is not far off from what his agency predicted before the war began—that we have done, on the whole, about as well as could be expected. Pillar thinks this means that the war was a mistake; the alternative interpretation is that we are not actually doing so badly in Iraq, and the problem is largely one of expectation and perception. Over the coming days, I want to look more closely at what was foreseen before the war was launched, what reasonably should have been foreseen, and how the reality that we now confront stacks up in comparison.

For now, though, let’s consider the narrower question: how accurately did the intelligence community foresee what would happen in Iraq after Saddam’s fall?

...
 

Truthmatters

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Interesting read Kathy thanks.

Its seems to me the CIA are not the "deciders" but Bush and team are.

They have to present a comprehensive report including the pros and cons.

A couple of theings in this piece struck me such as.

"Iraq itself still might not be one of al Qa'ida's favored locations for attacks, given the group's greater operational presence elsewhere."

It seems Bush KNEW AQ was not in Iraq because he was told by the CIA yet the admin tried to and successfully convinced 70% of America they were.
 
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Annie

Annie

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Interesting read Kathy thanks.

Its seems to me the CIA are not the "deciders" but Bush and team are.

They have to present a comprehensive report including the pros and cons.

A couple of theings in this piece struck me such as.

"Iraq itself still might not be one of al Qa'ida's favored locations for attacks, given the group's greater operational presence elsewhere."

It seems Bush KNEW AQ was not in Iraq because he was told by the CIA yet the admin tried to and successfully convinced 70% of America they were.
Seems to me that the 'deciders' must take the advisement under consideration. Of course they could ignore it, that would be reasonable?
 

Truthmatters

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That is what got us into this problem.

You see presidenting is hard.

You have to take it all into consideration.

The people we have in charge now "fixed the intell around the policy" instead of wieghting everything the CIA said along with many other sources.

Bush is an incurious man and that is the worst kind of man to be president.
 
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Annie

Annie

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That is what got us into this problem.

You see presidenting is hard.

You have to take it all into consideration.

The people we have in charge now "fixed the intell around the policy" instead of wieghting everything the CIA said along with many other sources.

Bush is an incurious man and that is the worst kind of man to be president.
So you are arguing that the president should read briefings and go with his own take, regardless of advice given?
 

Truthmatters

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I think he/she should take in all the info they can find and then make a careful ,thoughtful , broad spectrum decision weighting all the factors.

That has not been the case in the Bush admin.

Face it if Bush read this report he would have known the differance between the two muslim sects in Iraq and he didnt.
 
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Annie

Annie

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I think he/she should take in all the info they can find and then make a careful ,thoughtful , broad spectrum decision weighting all the factors.

That has not been the case in the Bush admin.

Face it if Bush read this report he would have known the differance between the two muslim sects in Iraq and he didnt.
Links please to any of this. Seriously, the first post made it clear, the problems between Sunnis and s'hia were made clear.

Like your posts here, I'll assume that since you disagree with the administration, you then classify it as careless, unthoughtful, and narrow. It would never occur to you that both it and you could be wrong?
 

Truthmatters

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At one point someone asked him the differance and he didnt know
 

Care4all

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perhaps a google could have solved your dilemma and saved you the name calling??? ;)

In his new book, The End of Iraq: How American Incompetence Created A War Without End, Galbraith, the son of the late economist John Kenneth Galbraith, claims that American leadership knew very little about the nature of Iraqi society and the problems it would face after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

A year after his “Axis of Evil” speech before the U.S. Congress, President Bush met with three Iraqi Americans, one of whom became postwar Iraq’s first representative to the United States. The three described what they thought would be the political situation after the fall of Saddam Hussein. During their conversation with the President, Galbraith claims, it became apparent to them that Bush was unfamiliar with the distinction between Sunnis and Shiites.

Galbraith reports that the three of them spent some time explaining to Bush that there are two different sects in Islam--to which the President allegedly responded, “I thought the Iraqis were Muslims!”
 

Gunny

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Interesting read Kathy thanks.

Its seems to me the CIA are not the "deciders" but Bush and team are.

They have to present a comprehensive report including the pros and cons.

A couple of theings in this piece struck me such as.

"Iraq itself still might not be one of al Qa'ida's favored locations for attacks, given the group's greater operational presence elsewhere."

It seems Bush KNEW AQ was not in Iraq because he was told by the CIA yet the admin tried to and successfully convinced 70% of America they were.
Let's try and wake up. Saying:

"Iraq itself still might not be one of al Qa'ida's favored locations for attacks, given the group's greater operational presence elsewhere."

is NOT saying:

"It seems Bush KNEW AQ was not in Iraq because he was told by the CIA ..."

Busted red-handed.
 

Gunny

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I think he/she should take in all the info they can find and then make a careful ,thoughtful , broad spectrum decision weighting all the factors.

That has not been the case in the Bush admin.

Face it if Bush read this report he would have known the differance between the two muslim sects in Iraq and he didnt.
Now you're presuming what Bush knew? Your deluded arrogance knows NO bounds.
 

CockySOB

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I'd rep ya for the last two posts Gunny, but I gotta spread it around and all.

ADDED: Make that the last three posts....
 

Care4all

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Well, I guess Galbraith's OPINION makes it so.:rolleyes:
No, I did not say this...I had to google it to see what TM was talking about and came up with that.... Galbraith was some prime minister at the time.... the full story goes in to it more than what I posted....

but yes, unless I see some evidence that is solid, it is a rumor.

There was another "rumor" with other sources that show and state that President Bush did not know it until January of 03, 2 months before the invaision and they give reasons as to why....they think such.....if you want to google it to see what that rumor says about.

Care
 
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Annie

Annie

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perhaps a google could have solved your dilemma and saved you the name calling??? ;)
Well THAT sure clears things up. :rolleyes:

In his new book, The End of Iraq: How American Incompetence Created A War Without End, Galbraith, the son of the late economist John Kenneth Galbraith, claims that American leadership knew very little about the nature of Iraqi society and the problems it would face after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

A year after his “Axis of Evil” speech before the U.S. Congress, President Bush met with three Iraqi Americans, one of whom became postwar Iraq’s first representative to the United States. The three described what they thought would be the political situation after the fall of Saddam Hussein. During their conversation with the President, Galbraith claims, it became apparent to them that Bush was unfamiliar with the distinction between Sunnis and Shiites.

Galbraith reports that the three of them spent some time explaining to Bush that there are two different sects in Islam--to which the President allegedly responded, “I thought the Iraqis were Muslims!”
 

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