John Bolton and the IC’s New Sourcing Rules

John Bolton–and crazy nutters like him–are complaining that the NIE must be wrong because it was written by people who used to be at State.

Well, I think it’s potentially wrong, but I would also say, many of the people who wrote this are former State Dept employees who during their career at the State Dept never gave much attention to the threat of the Iranian program. Now they are writing as (fingers quote) ‘members of the intelligence community’ the same opinions that they’ve had four and five years ago.

Bolton’s talking about Thomas Fingar, who held one of the top two positions at INR through the period when Bolton was fighting with INR at State. And he’s talking about Christian Westermann, whom Bolton tried to have fired because Westermann wouldn’t approve a Bolton speech on Cuba that made completely undocumented claims.

That in and of itself should warn you that Bolton is rehashing old State Department fights. But when you look at the nature of Bolton’s previous dispute with Westermann, it gets more interesting.

Part of Bolton’s (and his deputy Fred Fleitz’s) complaint with Westermann is that Westermann insisted on sourcing the claims about Cuba Bolton wanted to make for the officers who would declassify it. Westermann describes doing so to be helpful.

Because I attached that memo. And then I just said that, would you please put this through the process. And there is a suspense that is contained in the memo, and then I provided some additional references for the paragraph, serial numbers and things like that to assist them in sorting out what Fred said was the source documentation for the paragraph. And then I wrote INR does not concur with the suggested language and I wrote INR suggests an alternative paragraph, and then I wrote what I thought might work. [my emphasis]

Yet Fleitz depicts this as a serious breach of protocol.

FREDERICK FLEITZ: Westerman had asked some unreasonable requests for the language that I had asked, especially when he had asked for the source documents behind published IC publications, that was an extraordinarily unreasonable thing to ask, so I was suspicious about what would happen when he sent the language to the Agency. [my emphasis]

…Because god forbid an analyst actually know the substance and quality of a claim when he’s assessing it.

Well, as it has it, new rules on sourcing are one of the things that contributed to the new conclusions in the NIE.

Drawing lessons from the intelligence debacle over supposed Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell required agencies to consult more sources and to say to a larger intelligence community audience precisely what they know and how they know it — and to acknowledge, to a degree previously unheard of, what they do not know. [my emphasis]

Just one reminder about the Iraq NIE, to illustrate why this is important: One of the four Iraqi defectors who contributed to the NIE’s claims on mobile bioweapons labs had been discredited as a fabricator in May 2002, five months before his story was used in the NIE. But apparently, they sourced their material to him–speaking as an anonymous source–for a Vanity Fair article! Had Tenet required analysts working on that NIE to cite their sources, such a colossal error might have been avoided ("Once I found out this guy had been discredited as a fake, I used a popular, anonymously sourced, news article instead so I could still use the claim" probably wouldn’t cut it.)

Secrecy News has a copy of what I assume are these new sourcing guidelines. If you’re a research wonk at all, they’re worth reading at some length for their sheer common sense. Things like:

2. Source reference citations shall be included as endnotes in disseminated analytic products. These endnotes shall be provided for all significant, substantive reporting or other information upon which the product’s analytic judgments, assessments, estimates, alternative hypotheses and views, or confidence levels depend. … When the information cited might be dynamic or temporary (e.g., data base, file name, or Uniform Resource Locator (URL)), the originator shall record and retain a copy of the relevant data in an official record keeping system as a document of record, preferably in digital form.


4. Analytic assessments or other finished intelligence should not be cited as evidence for assertions of facts or as the sole or principal basis for analytic judgments, unless the original, underlying reporting is inaccessible.

You know–the same thing I used to teach 18-year olds in Freshman Comp: show your work and rely on primary sources.

John Bolton and his crowd have a history of taking "facts" from the ether and using those "facts" to start wars. I can well imagine that he’s pissed those State Department analysts (who, of course, were the only ones right on Iraq) are screwing up his campaign on Iran by actually checking his "facts."

  1. MadDog says:

    Shorter John Bolton: “Sheesh, it ain’t fun no more constructing our own reality if we gotta use facts.”

    Source you ask? Why me, MadDog!

  2. bmaz says:

    This statement just issued by the Office of John Bolton:

    “Wheeler too verbose, not credible and cannot be trusted after being totally discredited by the supreme expert in the field, MadDog”.

    • MadDog says:

      This statement just issued by the Office of John Bolton:

      “Wheeler too verbose, not credible and cannot be trusted after being totally discredited by the supreme expert in the field, MadDog”.


        • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

          Shamelessly OT:

          Not a MildKitten (whatever that is..? Wildcat, I suppose?)

          Although I was reminded last week that my favorite team’s original college cheer (early 1900’s) was:
          “Farmers! Hayseeds! Pumpkins! Squash!
          W.A.C.**! By gosh!”

          (My heart actually belongs to the WSU Cougs, for several odd reasons. WSU is a land grant institution, and was originally the ‘Washington Agricultural College and School of Science.’ Humble beginnings; unpretentious place

          In the only game I’ve seen this year, Romeen Abdollmohammadi kicked the needed extra points, and Devin Frischknecht ran for the necessary yardage to pull out a win for the Wazzu Cougs. But heaven forbid John Bolton hear about it — he might think Wazzu football is some kind of Islamafascist conspiracy, rather than a microcosm of Americana.

  3. perris says:

    what bothers me the most is that points bolton makes are even considered for debate

    the answer to anything he says is this;

    “the man is a pnac maniac who will say and do whatever it takes to create yet more unrest in the middle east so he and his friends can steal more treasure from yet another country

    he’s been wrong on everything and he continues with that perfect record”

    this man just needs to be shut down

  4. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    Bush prefers strategery.
    Bolton prefers sorc-ery.

    Those of us who insist on citations and sourcing are probably just acting from weakness and fear. If only we had ‘faith’, we wouldn’t need no citations.

    Maybe Bolton’s kind of a Citations Nazi…? (”No citations for you!”)

  5. SadieSue says:

    Bolton’s talking about Thomas Fingar, who held one of the top two positions at INR through the period when Bolton was fighting with INR at State. And he’s talking about Christian Westermann, whom Bolton tried to have fired because Westermann wouldn’t approve a Bolton speech on Cuba that made completely undocumented claims.

    And I’m guessing this won’t be pointed out in the trad media reports. ug.

  6. bigbrother says:

    Perris; Shck Doctrine
    1. Destabilize foriegn governments
    2. Destroy their infrastructure and create civil unrest
    3. Privatize their public services with the “Corporation”
    4. Spend the public treaury to create enrichment for the enemies of our government so America is dependent on the “Corporation”
    5. Coopt all government regulatory
    6. Pack the courts and renderthe rule of law and the Constitution moot
    7. Steal all private data and sell it as a capital source.
    Last but not least buy the media thereby controlling media content
    8. Criminalize the American population legally and morally.

  7. FormerFed says:

    Oh my goodness – an ASU person!!!! All us ‘Cats people can say is “Sure glad football season is over”!

    Bolton is a real nutcase – remember the story of him chasing the woman down the hall in a hotel (I think Moscow) because she disagreed with him. And as I recall, he was a contractor at the time.

    • bmaz says:

      Yeah, but it is hoops season now, so buck up. The Cats could kill the Devils in hoops with Olson AND half the team missing. And I am not heartened by their early season inconsistency either; they have a great team and will likely be really coming on by the start of March instead of starting out fast and peetering out.

  8. selise says:

    ot – bmaz, i think i recall you and lhp opining about what a great show max headroom was. if you want a dvd of the series, let me know (never released, but i have it ripped from old vhs recordings).

    sorry for the ot, but i figured it would be allowed since the conversation has devolved into, i think, a discussion of some kind of sports teams. *g*

    • bmaz says:

      Selise – Heh heh. I am afraid that every now and then I am a walking, talking, human thread virus; so I will take the heat for all infractions. I try to perform other community service to make penance for my infractions. That would be way cool. I have looked around over the years and could never find anything. Does the message (contact) page at your site go directly to you? If so, I will send you a message. Thanks.

      • selise says:

        directly to me, yes.

        that was why i offered. i also looked for a long time and was finally able to get these, but only with through a big hassle. now though, having one copy – it is easy to make more.

  9. Hugh says:

    It says a lot about the rot in our nation’s media that they would ask John Bolton’s opinion on anything. A spokesman for the Flat Earth Society would have more credibility.

    Bolton btw is the one who lobbied for more aggressive surveillance of ElBaradei than that which the NSA was carrying out in the 2005 effort to scotch his re-appointment to IAEA.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      Now that is an interesting little nugget of info.
      This is Bolton, the guy who kicked everyone below him while kissing a** to all those he deemed as higher in social status?
      Classic authoritarian, as near as I can fathom.

      Which does underscore the question — why does ANYONE allow him on as a guest?

  10. Neil says:

    Its most dramatic conclusion — that Iran shut down its nuclear weapons program in 2003 in response to international pressure — is based on a single, unvetted source who provided information to a foreign intelligence service and has not been interviewed directly by the United States.

    Newsmax sources in Tehran believe that Washington has fallen for “a deliberate disinformation campaign” cooked up by the Revolutionary Guards, who laundered fake information and fed it to the United States through Revolutionary Guards intelligence officers posing as senior diplomats in Europe.

    Isn’t the NIE the consensus of all 16 intellegence agnecies?

    • perris says:

      it is indeed a consensus

      bolton has taken his cue from the rest of the maniacs in the pnac

      that cue is;

      “say whatever it is that will make you look right, say it with authority, and when they prove your wrong claim it’s just their opinion that you are wrong”

      works every time

    • Hugh says:

      Isn’t the NIE the consensus of all 16 intelligence agencies?

      Yes, which is what makes the current findings so powerful. As for the article you cite, this about Newsmax from wiki:

      Christopher W. Ruddy started up on September 16, 1998, supported by a group of conservative investors, including the family of the late CIA Director William J. Casey. Later Richard Mellon Scaife, his former employer at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and a supporter of conservative causes, invested in the fledging company. One of the initial board members was author James Dale Davidson who edited a financial newsletter that had shared Ruddy’s interest in the Vincent Foster case. Davidson’s co-editor, Lord Rees-Mogg, former editor of the The Times and Vice Chair of the BBC, later became chairman of Newsmax Media

      Newsmax and Bolton represent efforts by the right to cast doubt on the NIE’s conclusions because *gasp* they don’t agree with neocon war rhetoric.

    • bmaz says:

      Hoo boy! Coming from a neocon source, this really cracks me up:

      “…is based on a single, unvetted source who provided information to a foreign intelligence service and has not been interviewed directly by the United States.”

      Funny, this same exact status was just hunky dory (Curveball) as a basis to make an unilateral, unprovoked blitzkreig attack on a middle eastern country, but is not sufficient to try diplomacy with another. Talk about Bolton, why does anybody pay attention to ANY of these dopes? Jeebus.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      Neil, and also Hugh and a few other comments here… one of the things that I found most enlightening in Joe Conason’s “It CAN Happen Here” was his explanation of how intertwined the neocons, especially Ledeen, are with some questionable Iranians. He traces it back 30 years, and it’s chilling.

      I dimly recall someone in the early 1980s claiming that Reagan’s campaign had cut a deal with the Iranians to keep the US hostages until after the US election. In other words, a black op on US citizens.
      Given that former CIA Dir GHWB was the Veep, it seemed plausible.
      Then came Iran-Contra. Another black op on US citizens.
      How dreadfully have some of these neocons utterly compromised themselves with Iranians? Because the neocon psychology is oddly fixated on Iran, in a way that seems almost vindictive and irrationally intense.

      Inside a House of Mirrors, no one can be trusted.

      Did these neocons (some, at least, like Ledeen) so utterly compromise themselves with Iranian agents that it created a psychological House of Mirrors ? That would make a person paranoid. What else am I missing here…?

  11. perris says:

    man I would love to be on a TEEvee show with bolton

    everytime he made one of his bizzare claims I would chuckle

    I would say;

    “you’re still at it, aren’t you, you and the rest of the maniacs in the pnac still think you can just make up whatever you want, say it with authority and people might actually still believe you.

    you’ve been wrong on every assessment, your agenda is a failure, you have deliberately created unrest in the middle east for the sole purpose of stealing treasure and you want to steal even more treasure.

    the problem is everyone knows they can bank on the opposite from anyting you say…the world at large has always been on to you and now Americans are on to you as well.

    aren’t you embarrassed to be as wrong as krystol?

    what kind of man has as little shame as you have, being wrong time after time, to come back and be wrong yet again.”

    or something like that

  12. perris says:

    Talk about Bolton, why does anybody pay attention to ANY of these dopes? Jeebus.

    bush has made it his legacy that he will find the very least qualified for every position

    if a person can be worse then bush will use that person instead

    bolton fits that bill perfectly

    their only purpose is the destruction of government, these are people that actually run on the platform that government is the problem

    if there is a succesful program they will destroy it, underfund it, hire enemies of the program

    if there is surplus they will give that to their friends who are so wealthy they cannot possibly spend it

    if there is debt they see a waterhole to create more debt

    it’s what they want to do, destroy the government that our forefathers set up for the PEOPLE and by the people

    they want government for the wealthy and by the wealthy

    it’s what they have wanted for generations

  13. dogheaven says:

    Dear Marcy, let me be off topic and congratulate you on this eye pleasing place. I feel like I am following you around the Internets like a girl who hopes her guide know the way up a very poorly marked trail.
    To Neil at 24. Your wiki quote looks like a whos who of who to not want influencing your news items.

    The sad thing is it is going to be easy for the current NIE to be dicredited in the public point of view, due to confusion about its misuse for the Iraq build up.

  14. EvilParallelUniverse says:

    I posted this the other day – but seemingly on an orphan – but it still holds true and you (or anyone else) shouldn’t be surprised that Zach Scruggs was indicted.

    Evil Parallel Universe November 30th, 2007 at 2:30 pm 3
    I’m not sure why you think it mystifying that Zach Scruggs was indicted. From the gov’t’s point of view, he is clearly an alleged co-conspirator, and there is nothing mystifying about his being indicted – in fact, it’s par for the course for the gov’t to indict anyone and everyone who it can tie in, even in what you might consider unsubstantial ways to the alleged conspiracy. Why? They might actually think he is part of the conspiracy and think they can convict, or they want leverage to get him to testify against family/friends – or perhaps both – either way, it â€works†for the prosecution.

    The guy who delivers papers allegedly not knowing what he was delivering, or one conversation he overhead or was part of, makes him a part of the alleged conspiracy – they’re the predicate acts in furtherance of the alleged conspiracy. Now, if he were simply an employee of the firm (a secretary say), then the gov’t most likely would look upon the predicate acts differently. But he wasn’t, so they don’t.

    In white collar crime simply being there at the right â€level†is more often than not enough to not only get you indicted as part of a conspiracy, but get you convicted.

    Rather than being mytifying, his indictment is par for the course for a conspiracy prosecution.

    I will add, that if you look at the indictment and trial related to this…..from.html, one of those convicted was a “Zach Scruggs” – delivered documents relating to the alleged $100+ million bank and tax conspiracies and had one conversation. Two overt acts allegedly in furtherance of – and the guy was convicted. And the gov’t does that all the time, and juries buy into all the time. Again, par for the course.

    • bmaz says:

      I left a somewhat detailed response on the Scruggs thread, two threads down. Heh, figured I had done enough thread busting with sports and Max Headroom already. Come back here and the whole kitNkaboodle has gone Scruggs. Go figure……..

  15. EvilParallelUniverse says:

    Or not. It’s the one on Digby regarding the US Policy of kidnapping white collar criminals.

  16. emptywheel says:


    I hear you–they’re going to do what they need to do. But it’s remarkable that they’re pulling it with people they know will throw everything at them. Not that that’s right–that they shoudl treat talented lawyers any differently. But still.

  17. EvilParallelUniverse says:

    You should really go read the case file in the US v. Tollman case referenced in the Digby post- it’s SDNY 2003/2004 – it was a mega trial. Those people (who were the founders of Days Inn) had more resources – certainly money – than Scruggs had to fight the gov’t – I would say not even close – and they spared no money on the defense as far as I can tell. It’s not how the gov’t “thinks” about this stuff. The power to indict is, IMO, more powerful than what anyone can bring in terms of defense.

    BTW – What’s your email?

  18. EvilParallelUniverse says:

    Actually, since the seniour Tollman was in England, the first name on the header is probably Hundley, so US v Hundley.

  19. Hugh says:

    Re the Tollman case, from my scandals list:

    286. In November 2007 in a British appeals court, a lawyer representing the US Alun Jones QC [How much more Welsh could you get than this?] responded to a query that the US has the right to kidnap British citizens if they are wanted under US law. This applies not just to terrorism cases but any offense. It also is applicable to a citizen of any country regardless of whether or not the US has an extradition treaty with it. The case in the UK revolves around members of the Tollman family who are fighting extradition to the US for bank fraud and tax evasion. In 2005, US officials tried to have Gavin Tollman arrested in Canada and driven to the US border where he was to be turned over to US authorities. A Canadian judge ordered his release citing the failure of US officials to follow normal extradition procedures.

  20. EvilParallelUniverse says:

    Hugh – I don’t know your email, but suffice to say (and please trust me) – the entire case is a fascinating white collar prosecution. It was a $100+ million bank and tax fraud conspiracies (one of each) with underlying counts supporting the conspiracies. As to why the US is so gung ho to get Stanley Tollman to the US? Beats me. $100 million is a fair amount of money though, but still.

    There was a trial – a “mega trial” that lasted over two months, in the SDNY, and everyone who was there – though not Tollman Sr. – was convicted. The case is still on appeal, with no decision yet, which is weird b/c the decision I believe was back in Feb of 04

  21. Loo Hoo. says:

    Did you guys know that Bolton had a penthouse at the Waldorf Astoria while in his recess appointed position at the UN? My daughter and I visited NYC for the first time and were doing some checking things out. Took the elevator past the regular rooms to where people live, got off on the top floor, and were greeted by Bolton’s security. It was clearly marked at the security desk, right outside Bolton’s room, who lived there.

    Our tax dollars…

  22. Neil says:

    Pomona inquired about having Gonzo speak but the $35K honorarium plus first-class accomodation requirement was too rich for their taste. I guess you can get used to it working for BushCo.

    • bmaz says:

      You forgot the best part. They did a quick canvas of the campus community and found NO ONE that was interested in attending.

  23. radiofreewill says:

    The ‘new’ sourcing guidelines make it clear that Fabrications, like the Niger Trip Summary Report and that ‘oddball’ DIA Memo, are not to be relied upon in the future, when wrongly invading an innocent, sovereign, foreign nation is on the line.

  24. Neil says:

    That’s right Bmaz, the price and the apparent lack of interest. This part’s good too:

    “Even if the point was to invite Gonzales to campus to answer for his actions as Attorney General, let’s face it, he’s not on the lecture circuit to disclose hitherto unknown information and apologize to the public for his conduct,” she [Pomona Professor of Politics Heather Williams] wrote in an email. “Honesty was not his m.o. when he assumed office and he stumbled and dodged through one Senate hearing after another, and it’s certainly not going to be his meal ticket now. Call me old fashioned, but I think there’s something really gross about a celebrity lecture circuit that rewards people for misconduct, scandal, and even felony crimes.”

  25. spoonful says:

    You mean there is actually intelligence somewhere in the deep dark depths of Bushco? Took awhile . . .

  26. Rayne says:

    hey EW — I thought hekebolos had an interesting proposition.

    But maybe it wasn’t Dubya’s work.

    Maybe it was Poppy…

    The flaw in hekebolos’ theory is that Dubya has been led around by the nose by a small middle eastern country that tried to sell him on something in September (keeping in mind that nobody introduces a new product in August).

    • MadDog says:

      One could easily imagine that Junya hisself ordered the release of the NIE so that he could avoid losing what his own life history told him was gonna be another of his big messes, and also then to give him cover with the rabid neocons like Podhoretz, Kristol, Gaffney, Perle.

      And Deadeye got a twofer by “appearing” to bend to Condi “Still technically a virgin” Rice’s desire to “let’s do diplomacy, is next Friday good for you?”.

      Deadeye told her that he’d trade one Iran NIE for DoS employment for poor ol’ Wolfie, and Condi fell for it.

  27. pseudonymousinnc says:

    Someone ought to ask whether Walrus Bolton Oshry Geller III still has a security clearance. Because, let’s face it, now that he’s no more than a wingnut at-large, he should have no more insider intel (a thing he so, so loves) than any of us.

  28. KenMuldrew says:

    Rayne wrote:

    Maybe it was Poppy…

    If that’s the case, then the 2nd entry in the timeline should read, “December 2006, Poppy breaks down in tears, having seen the NIE (and actually read it, unlike his son), with the realization that junior is going to make an even bigger mess of the world.”

    • Rayne says:

      Need to go back and read EW’s timeline more carefully. Perhaps the authors of the NIE had already communicated enough info to the right folks that Gates was seated where and when he was, in order to put the breaks on this now.

      Doesn’t quite explain all the nits around the incident in the desert in September, but it could explain why we didn’t take the bait.

      And maybe Wolfie ended up with an offer back in DoS because DeadEye realized he’d lost too many pieces on the chess board, now that it’s apparent he may have lost any sway at all with Gates. It LOOKS in mainstream U.S. media like Iraq is improving, and Cheney’s most recent comments (see Tbogg this morning) align with this illusion…but that could be DeadEye playing catch up. If hekebolos’ theory is correct, Gates may have made this entire trade possible — a stand down of Shiites in exchange for extreme caution in ramping up against Iran — and that wouldn’t have been in DeadEye’s playbook. And now DeadEye is forced to pule, “Sour grapes…”

  29. Phoenix Woman says:

    So Bolton tore his gaze away from Pam Oshry’s breasts to attempt coherent speech?

    Somebody really needs to just smack the taste out of his mouth. Except he splatters.

  30. Neil says:

    PW, Bolten made a joke at the beginning of his speach that he used to frequent parties at Smith during his college days. He was one of just 3 who graduated Summa in Yale ‘70. Who is this Pam Oshry?

  31. Neil says:

    New Thinking for the US Role in Asia Posted by Heather Hurlburt
    “Jeff Laurenti and Matt Homer of the Century Foundation have a good brief analysis of how the Australian elections deal the final blow to VP Cheney’s vision of an Indo-Austro-Japanese-US alliance to contain China.”

  32. radiofreewill says:

    I wonder if ’sealed vs sealed’ is US v Bush for an IIPA Violation in the July 8th Secret Mission to Leak to Judy?

    We might find out soon enough, if Mukasey waves-off (”no precedent in the ‘public’ Law”) Bush’s assertion of privilege over Fitz’ non-Grand Jury Leak Investigation documents.

    Those files just might contain everything needed to make a prima facia case for Malfeasance, or Worse, against Bush, Cheney, Libby, Addington…

    It’s something Our Congress might just have to look into, while we live-blog the hell out of it here at FDL!

    And, who better to tell America about the dramatic back-story of the Secret Mission than our own EW?

    Maybe we’ll have a Fitzmas after all?

    • BayStateLibrul says:

      I’m wondering why Shuster and KO haven’t updated the story on the
      Fitzy/Waxman/White House triangulation…

  33. Neil says:

    rfw, i haven’t heard the reason BushCo stopped Fitz from turning over the files or who applied the pressure. Do we know if BushCo has sighted executive privilege? I don’t think so because Waxmen was careful to steer clear of grand jury secrecy and executive priv.

  34. pseudonymousinnc says:

    Ironically, proving that he’s able either to demand a WaPo op-ed or be offered space by Fred Hiatt reduces Walrus Oshry XIV’s credibility even further.

  35. Leen says:

    I just don’t understand why anyone listens to anything Bolton says. Is he a contender for John Deans suggestion of the IMPEACHMENT OF LOWER LEVEL OFFICIALS? I guess if those NSA intercepts that Senators Kerry, Biden, Chaffee, Dodd and Kennedy were demanding at the John Bolton nomination hearing they might be able to put this guy in a head lock and take him out.

    The Generals Revenge/Sidney Blumenthal…..s_revenge/

    Staff members on the committee believe that Bolton was likely spying on Powell, his senior advisors, and other officials reporting to the secretary of state on diplomatic initiatives that Bolton opposed. If so, it is also possible that Bolton was sharing this top-secret information with his neoconservative allies in the Pentagon and the vice president’s office, with whom he was in daily contact and well known to be working in league against Powell. If the intercepts are ever released, they may disclose whether Bolton was a key figure in a counterintelligence operation run inside the Bush administration against the secretary of state, resembling the hunted character played by Will Smith in “Enemy of the State.” Both Republican and Democratic senators have demanded that the State Department, which holds the NSA intercepts, turn them over to the committee. But Rice so far has refused. What is she hiding by her coverup?

  36. jnardo says:

    Today’s op-ed [The Flaws In the Iran Report] by John Bolton was a trip in a time machine back to Bush’s early days when he imported his Administration from the ranks of the American Enterprise Institute and the Project for the New American Century. His attack on the C.I.A. and the State Department echos Laurie Mylroie’s 2003 epic, Bush vs. the Beltway: How the CIA & the State Department Tried to Stop the War on Terror – the same tired arguments. “Too much of the intelligence community is engaging in policy formulation rather than intelligence” analysis” or “…many involved in drafting and approving the NIE were not intelligence professionals but refugees from the State Department, brought into the new central bureaucracy of the director of national intelligence.” He leaves out the obvious – that his kind of neoconservative discounting of the Intelligence Community and our Diplomatic Corps is exactly what got us into our current mess in the first place. His comment “…this ‘intelligence’ torpedo has all but sunk those efforts, inadequate as they were. Ironically, the NIE opens the way for Iran to achieve its military nuclear ambitions in an essentially unmolested fashion, to the detriment of us all.” mirrors the exact logic that sent us to Iraq on a wild goose chase in the first place. Our Intelligence Community has made its mistakes in the past, most often when politicians like John Bolton or Dick Cheney interfere with its functioning. But the neoconservatives have only made mistakes – over and over. John Bolton’s op-ed is a study in their tragic flaw – they respect no opinion, no expertise, that contradicts their own narrow, paranoid framework.

  37. Leen says:

    I guess if those NSA intercepts that Senators Kerry, Biden, Chaffee, Dodd and Kennedy were demanding at the John Bolton nomination hearing they might be able to put Bolton in a much needed head lock and take him out. I watched those hearings and for a few minutes I thought that group of older gents might jump over the tables and release some whoop ass on Bolton.

    Was Bolton spying on Powell? Sure sounds like it. Why can’t they take this criminal out?

    “If the intercepts are ever released, they may disclose whether Bolton was a key figure in a counterintelligence operation run inside the Bush administration against the secretary of state, resembling the hunted character played by Will Smith in “Enemy of the State.” Both Republican and Democratic senators have demanded that the State Department, which holds the NSA intercepts, turn them over to the committee. But Rice so far has refused. What is she hiding by her coverup?”

  38. AZ Matt says:

    From Think Progress:

    The NIE’s conclusion that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program came about after intelligence agencies obtained notes last summer of Iranian military officials complaining “bitterly” about the “decision by their superiors in late 2003 to shut down” a central part of the program.

    and George fudged alot:

    In August, I think it was John — Mike McConnell came in and said, We have some new information. He didn’t tell me what the information was.

    Now the White House is revealing that wasn’t true. In fact, Bush did know what the information was. CNN reports:

    President Bush was told in August that Iran’s nuclear weapons program ‘may be suspended,’ the White House said Wednesday, which seemingly contradicts the account of the meeting given by Bush Tuesday.”

    The White House statement released by Dana Perino tonight also states McConnell told Bush “the new information might cause the intelligence community to change its assessment of Iran’s covert nuclear program.”

  39. Leen says:

    “John Bolton and his crowd have a history of taking “facts” from the ether and using those “facts” to start wars.” And that “crowd” (Bolton, Feith, Wurmser, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Hannah, Rhode, etc) are all still running free.

    Hello Senator Rockefeller where is the complete Phase II of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence? Is it true that Senator Rockefeller is not much different than Republican Senator Pat Roberts who did everything in his power to dilute and delay the completion of full report on the creation, cherry picking and dissemination of false WMD intelligence.

    Where is the completed Phase II of the SSCI?…..stonewall/

    “The Committee staff work on two other sections of the investigation is not finished: whether public statements were substantiated by intelligence information and the use of intelligence information provided by the Iraqi National Congress.”

  40. Muzzy says:

    I’m late to this days old NIE party but to me the source of much of the smokescreen and in particular, the aim of parsing of words by Bush and Dana Perino, seems to relate to how one arrives at the claim of what was ‘new intelligence’ by August. The ‘new intelligence’ appears to be that, after a brief period of reassessing Iran’s intent in announcing industrial scale production of nuclear fuel in April 2007, it was largely settled a few months later in August that the already established claims of pre-April NIE data still held – information that had been talked about high up for the better part of a year.

    Take this Perino quote today:

    “Director McConnell said that the new information might cause the intelligence community to change its assessment of Iran’s covert nuclear program, but the intelligence community was not prepared to draw any conclusions at that point in time, and it wouldn’t be right to speculate until they had time to examine and analyze the new data,” Perino said in a statement issued by the White House.”

    It’s as if she’s conveying that the coventional wisdom of the NIE had been all along that Iran WAS pursuing nukes and that August represented a time where questions were first raised about the other yet confirmed belief – that they were not. It’s a shrewd way to take an interruption in the flow of NIE intel from 4/07-8/07 and casting is as having been the predominantly supported judgement of the NIE all the while.

  41. radiofreewill says:

    Isn’t this August episode with McConnell and Bush concurrent with the ‘Rush Congress Out of Town Crisis’ at the time of the FISA Cave-in before the Recess?

    Did McConnell play Kabuki with Bush to trick the Congress into giving Bush ‘even more than he asked for’?

  42. radiofreewill says:

    This is what happens when the corrupted ‘wink and nod’ Republicans practice their Religion of ‘My President, Right or Wrong.’

    It’s not different than the sentiment embodied in ‘My Mother, Drunk or Sober.’

    But the Goopers don’t care, just as long as their Superiority Ideology is ‘Winning.’ In fact, they have proven to be world-class enablers, teaming-up with Bush and Cheney like barking guard dogs placed outside the chop shop.

    Power truly Corrupts people who Want to Believe their Own Myth of the World.

  43. JohnLopresti says:

    Some of the informed writers in the thread may have seen the AID public relations oversight person’s deposition for the Senate Foreign Relations committee concering the multiple day standoff with Bolton at the time of her 1994 work in Kyrgystan. The depo describes her work in Kyrgystan leading a project for a year, and a corporate oversight meeting convened in Moscow in which she participated, at which latter venue Bolton as attorney for one of the companies had interaction with her that was extraordinary in texture. The historical setting of the time when she worked on the Kyrgystan project was as the transition from Soviet Union to the Newly Independent States configuration was taking place. The depo opens with background; Bolton begins to appear around p28 of this >100pp document.
    This is perhaps divergent from the new IC rules in the post’s title, but provides a little context for the issue of institutional controls in government and contractor programs.