John Prados has a very interesting bit over at TomPaine.com on John Bolton’s role in making sure the fix was in for the Bush League to invade Iraq.
But the truly important issue remains the one few have focused upon: Bolton’s role in making sure that the “intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy,” as British intelligence chief Sir Richard Dearlove told Tony Blair at a July 2002 meeting of the British Cabinet. Contrary to the mainstream narrative, Bolton’s was no private war with U.S. intelligence. Rather, his actions were crucial in creating the highly charged atmosphere in which the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies bit the bullet, ignored the gaps in their data and told Bush, Cheney, and the rest of the warhawks what they wanted to hear.
To a considerable extent, Bolton was one of Bush’s primary fixers.
More juicy bits below …
Cutting through the palaver about how that unit was intended merely to find bits of data overlooked in conventional intelligence reporting, in fact the staff explicitly crafted a frontal attack on CIA’s terrorism data, rearranging it so as to maximize the impression there existed some alliance between Saddam and Osama bin Laden. That exercise came to a head at a meeting at CIA headquarters in August 2002.
Which brings us to John Bolton. Over the months culminating in July 2002 Bolton tried to have two different analysts fired for refusing to accede to intelligence claims he wanted to make in behalf of the administration.
It is no longer possible to argue that the Iraqi intelligence estimates of 2002 were not affected by politicization. And John Bolton helped create the chilling climate in which that Iraq NIE had to be written. This was no mere intelligence failure. Sir Richard Dearlove had that exactly right, at the time. The intelligence was fixed and Bolton was a prime fixer.
This is the guy President Bush wants to represent the US at the United Nations: a man who not only lied but demanded lies from others, and did his best to get them — including a UN official — fired when they wouldn’t back his story. Read John Prados’ whole story at TomPaine.com.
(A tip o’ the hat to diane101, for the link.)