22 May 2004

moral clarity, intellectual obscurity

According to Newsday:

The Defense Intelligence Agency has concluded that a U.S.-funded arm of Ahmed Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress has been used for years by Iranian intelligence to pass disinformation to the United States and to collect highly sensitive American secrets, according to intelligence sources.

It would somewhat weaken the concept of the axis of evil if Iran was manipulating the Bush adminsitration to get rid of Saddam. Perhaps. Somewhat. Maybe.

Tip via Talking Points Memo. And to think that using Chalabi was a brilliant step in the ever more brilliant career of strategic intelligence.

The New Yorker reports :

They call themselves, self-mockingly, the Cabal -- a small cluster of policy advisers and analysts now based in the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans. In the past year, according to former and present Bush Administration officials, their operation, which was conceived by Paul Wolfowitz, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, has brought about a crucial change of direction in the American intelligence community. These advisers and analysts, who began their work in the days after September 11, 2001, have produced a skein of intelligence reviews that have helped to shape public opinion and American policy toward Iraq. They relied on data gathered by other intelligence agencies and also on information provided by the Iraqi National Congress, or I.N.C., the exile group headed by Ahmad Chalabi. By last fall, the operation rivalled both the C.I.A. and the Pentagon's own Defense Intelligence Agency, the D.I.A., as President Bush's main source of intelligence regarding Iraq's possible possession of weapons of mass destruction and connection with Al Qaeda. As of last week, no such weapons had been found. And although many people, within the Administration and outside it, profess confidence that something will turn up, the integrity of much of that intelligence is now in question.

Perhaps these genius intellectuals should go back to the boring art of fact-checking. Perhaps, if one member of the axis of evil could use the Cabal's intellectual prejudices to get them to attack another member of the axis of evil then the whole axis was not all that, well, axial.

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