US intelligence agencies would not have published the NIE with ‘high confidence’ unless they were quite sure, a US analyst has said.
Bush is now trying his best to twist and warp the published report so that it complements rather than contradicts his dire warnings about Iran, Joel Brinkley, a professor of journalism at Stanford University, says.
“Still, even by historical standards, President Bush has been unusually averse to admitting error. But Bush’s reaction to the considered view of his own intelligence agencies sets a new standard. He and his aides quite obviously wish the intelligence community had kept its views to itself,” he added in an article published by the San Francisco Chronicle.
“By some accounts, the administration was building a case to attack Iran. At the very least, it was trying to convince China and Russia to accept a more stringent United Nations Security Council resolution. Now, of course, the odds of passing that resolution are slim,” Brinkley said.
US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates noted in his speech, with obvious displeasure, that the intelligence agencies decide on their own what to report and when to make it public, he added.
“That wasn’t always so. During the buildup to the Iraq invasion, the White House pressured the agencies to produce ‘intelligence’ to support his case for war. The agencies complied. Quite obviously Bush and his aides remain wistful for those days,” the article concluded.