Outgoing Inspector Says Iraq Likely Had No Banned Arms
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. intelligence agencies need to explain why their research indicated Iraq possessed banned weapons before the American-led invasion, says the outgoing top U.S. inspector, who now believes Saddam Hussein had no such arms.
“I don’t think they exist,” David Kay said Sunday. “The fact that we found so far the weapons do not exist — we’ve got to deal with that difference and understand why.”
Kay’s remarks on National Public Radio reignited criticism from Democrats, who ignored his cautions that the failure to find weapons of mass destruction was “not a political issue.”
“It’s an issue of the capabilities of one’s intelligence service to collect valid, truthful information,” Kay said. Asked whether President Bush owed the nation an explanation for the gap between his warnings and Kay’s findings, Kay said: “I actually think the intelligence community owes the president, rather than the president owing the American people.”
It’s time for a shakeup at the CIA. They have not been effective for a long time. It probably started with the Church investigations in the 70’s, but is now come to the point where they are utterly useless. They missed the Iranian Revolution, misread Soviet capabilities if not their intentions throughout the Cold War, did not see the Soviet collapse coming, were unable to warn against the first WTC bombing, Kobhar Towers, the African Embassy bombings, the USS Cole and Sept 11. Before Gulf War I they warned of a well trained Iraqi Army in impregnable defensive positions and have issued assessments saying Iraq had and were trying to develop WMD since that war.
It is tempting to point the finger at the Clinton Administration for their ill-conceived “only play with nice boys” directive and the attitudes that came with that. But while they were part of the problem, so was everyone else.
I think the problem lies at the feet of Congress. Their culture of politically expedient leaks and micro-management has corroded the intelligence services to the point where they have been little more than clipping services. They read the newspapers and trade journals and repackage what they read into intelligence estimates that carry the stamp of authenticity, but contain nothing but rumors dressed as facts and gossip as reliable sources. Just the fact that they sent Joseph Wilson to Niger to “drink mint tea and talk with locals” is enough to confirm their status as light-weights. A politically active partisan selected because of family connections within the Agency? Come on, where’s the professionalism?
It appears that President Bush has to deal with one more problem that has been shoved off for years. I don’t know how this is going to be done. It is going to require good judgment and cooperation from members of both parties. The Democrats, in their quest to regain power, are not about to allow any chance to hurt Bush politically slip through their fingers.
There will probably be hearings, where members can harrumph and point fingers at the other party. But that is political theater, not problem solving. It may be that that is what we will get. The media will get their sound-bites and headlines, the politicians will get their fondest dreams, 45 seconds on the network news, and then everything will go back to the way they are now.
The original OSS was a club. A group of elites brought together by William Donovan. The later CIA was run by members of this elite and some others, cowboys and professors. It did its work out of sight and did mostly credible work. But the people there now are political first, last and always. It has become just another bloated bureaucracy with all that entails. The ‘take no risks” management, the “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” mindset, the “don’t rock the boat” careerism that thinks the highest goal is to last until retirement.
That’s got to go, and I don’t know if there is anyone that is capable of doing it, right now. We’ll just have to wait and see.