Politicizing Intelligence: Why Wait for the Czar?

In a blatant attempt to subvert the whole point of the CIA’s Iraq Survey Group’s final report on Saddam’s weapons capability, acting Company Director and Cheney sock-puppet John McLaughlin has ordered the group to concentrate on speculations of what ‘might have been’.

WASHINGTON — Having failed to find banned weapons in Iraq, the CIA is preparing a final report on its search that will speculate on what the deposed regime’s capabilities might have looked like years from now if left unchecked, according to congressional and intelligence officials.The CIA plans for the report, due next month, to project as far as 2008 what Iraq might have achieved in its illegal weapons programs if the United States had not invaded the country last year, the officials said.

The new direction of the inquiry is seen by some officials as an attempt to obscure the fact that no banned weapons — or even evidence of active programs — have been found, and instead emphasize theories that Iraq may have been planning to revive its programs.

The change in focus has angered some intelligence officials and at least one key Democrat in Congress and has brought charges of political motivation.

Rep. Jane Harman (D-Venice) protested the decision in a sharply worded letter to acting CIA Director John E. McLaughlin last week. Trying to forecast Iraq’s weapons capabilities four years into the future would be, “by definition, highly speculative” and “inconsistent with the original mission of the Iraq Survey Group,” Harman wrote, according to a copy of the letter obtained by The Times.

Such an effort would be a significant departure for a survey group whose primary mission when it was established last year was to locate and destroy stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons that the CIA and other agencies believed were hidden across Iraq.

‘Significant departure’? It’s a complete reversal. McLaughlin’s going to give B/C’04 some cover if he has to reach into FantasyLand with both hands to do it. ‘If this/then that’ speculations can be helpful in intelligence analysis but only as guides for where and when to look for what. As after-the-fact ‘projections’, they’re pointless, nothing more than an exercise in re-writing history. No legitimate intelligence analysis would include such poppycock, and no legitimate intelligence official would ask for it. Two seconds’ worth of thought will tell you why:

Scenario 1: What if Saddam had secret plans to develop nuclear weapons in giant underground labs operated by Pakistani physicists and kidnapped Japanese engineers? Why, by 2008, if he sold every drop of oil in his reserves, he could have enough to RULE THE WORLD!

Scenario 2: What if Saddam had discovered a way to harness the energy of the sun by using thousands of trained Brazilian timors with magnifying glasses focusing on the window of the Oval Office? Why, by 2006 they could be burning a hole right through Bush’s skull!

Scenario 3: What if Saddam was capable of developing a race of mutant lizards who could shoot laser-beams from their eyeballs?

The problems are obvious. The real problem is that the report was supposed to focus on what was found, not what might have been found at some indefinable point in the future by some unknown or undreamt of means.

[S]ome officials familiar with the CIA’s plans for the final report said they thought it was politically motivated and designed to focus the public’s attention on hypothetical future threats.”The case made by the Bush White House was that [Iraq] was an imminent threat that must be dealt with today,” said a senior congressional official who spoke on condition of anonymity. “Coming out later and saying [Hussein] would have had the weapons in 2006 or 2008 … is basically a way to justify preemption.”

Bingo. A bullseye first shot out of the box.

It’s yet another Bush/Cheney scam, but that won’t stop the corporate media from wasting endless space and TV time pretending to take it seriously. What the hell–it’s NEWS!

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