Washington > How Pair’s Finding on Terror Led to Clash on Shaping Intelligence” href=”http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/28/politics/28INTE.html?hp”>How Pair’s Finding on Terror Led to Clash on Shaping Intelligence
WASHINGTON, April 27 — Soon after the Sept. 11 attacks, a two-man intelligence team set up shop in a windowless, cipher-locked room at the Pentagon, searching for evidence of links between terrorist groups and host countries.
The men culled classified material, much of it uncorroborated data from the C.I.A. “We discovered tons of raw intelligence,” said Michael Maloof, one of the pair. “We were stunned that we couldn’t find any mention of it in the C.I.A.’s finished reports.”
They recorded and annotated their evidence on butcher paper hung like a mural around their small office. By the end of the year, as the rubble was being cleared from the World Trade Center and United States forces were fighting in Afghanistan, the men had constructed a startling new picture of global terrorism.
Old ethnic, religious and political divides between terrorist groups were breaking down, the two men warned, posing an ominous new threat. They saw alliances among a wide range of Islamic terrorists, and theorized about a convergence of Sunni and Shiite extremist groups and secular Arab governments. Their conclusions, delivered to senior Bush administration officials, connected Iraq and Al Qaeda, Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.
The problem, as the NYT sees it, is that these analysts came to conclusions different from the Times. The NYT has a lot invested in their world view and will allow no challenges to it.
Some intelligence experts charge that the unit had a secret agenda to justify a war with Iraq and was staffed with people who were handpicked by conservative Pentagon policy makers to arrive at preordained conclusions about Iraq and Al Qaeda.
“I don’t have any problem with them bringing in a couple of people to take another look at the intelligence and challenge the assessments,” said Patrick Lang, a former Middle East analyst for the D.I.A. “But the problem is that they brought in people who were not intelligence professionals, people brought in because they thought like them. They knew what answers they were going to get.”
I see, they were not members of the Brotherhood of Intelligence Professionals, Local 345, and they dared to contradict good Union brothers, Is that it?
They also committed one of the most grievous crimes possible in a bureaucracy. They thought “outside the box”. This has the potential of making some career intelligence bureaucrats look bad.
The man making these charges has been out of the intelligence business for over ten years. I can’t seem to find his exact dates of service, all the news stories just say 80’s and early nineties.
Well, I was in the Army from 1967 to 1989 and I wouldn’t dream of characterizing myself as an expert on todays military. This guy have been out of his business almost as long, plus he is hearing the story from the “good old boy” network that is going to spin things to make themselves look as good as possible.
I googled his name with DIA and found 564 hits. They all seem to be since 9/11 and all criticizing Bush. Why wasn’t he an “expert” before that?