January 28, 2004

Kay Watch

We will have a lot on David Kay's various reports and testimony, the impact on U.S. credibility (in relation to intelligence matters) with our allies going forward, and the need for change in our intelligence-gathering capabilities. But, for now, let's be sure to note this part of Kay's testimony on the Hill today:

"I had innumerable analysts who came to me in apology that the world that we were finding was not the world that they had thought existed and that they had estimated," he said. "And never, not in a single case, was the explanation, `I was pressured to do this.' "

"Almost in a perverse way," he added, "I wish it had been undue influence, because we know how to correct that. We get rid of the people who in fact were exercising that. The fact that it wasn't tells me that we've got a much more fundamental problem of understanding what went wrong."

How does this jive with images of Dick Cheney playing the heavy and breathing down the necks of hapless Agency intel analysts at Langley?

Ken Pollack, for one, seems to believe some of that went on. But I wonder if, much like the hyped up charges lobbed at the Blair government in recent months, this charge will prove to be just as bogus.

The real issue is that a variety of sovereign nations' intelligence services believed Saddam had WMD.

Believed it on the merits of their analysis--not because Doug Feith, Richard Perle and Dick Cheney were holding a gun to their head and demanding they get the 'right' results.

Posted by Gregory at January 28, 2004 11:59 PM
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