Thursday, November 10, 2005

If it is Wrong, Is it Still Intelligence?

What a tangled web the W, Rove and Co has woven into a blindfold over all our eyes (points to those who can identify the lyric I bent this sentence from). So, we are hosting Iraqi dignitaries as diplomatic emesaries, even though they may have sold us a bill of goods we didn't wan to own. What great fun:
Q Can I just do one follow on the intelligence? You said the prewar intelligence was clear. It was also wrong.

MR. HADLEY: Which clear?

Q You said the prewar intelligence was clear.

MR. HADLEY: Right.

Q It was also wrong, wasn't it?

MR. HADLEY: I said it was, I believe, a strong case -- a strong case was what I said in answer to the earlier question. And a lot of it --

Q You said the intelligence was clear.

MR. HADLEY: -- and a lot of it turned out to be wrong.

Q A lot of it turned out to be wrong.

MR. HADLEY: We know that.

Q Why -- I'm sorry, I didn't --

MR. HADLEY: Is there a follow-up? Can this be the last follow-up?

Q This will be the last follow-up.


Q If that's the case and you're talking about lessons learned, then why is it that Ahmed Chalabi, who was thought by this government to be one of the main pedlars of intelligence that turned out to be flat wrong, why is he now welcomed at the highest levels of this administration?

MR. HADLEY: He, as you know, saw many senior officials. He did not meet with the President. He was received here because of what he is. He is the -- one of the deputy prime ministers of Iraq. He came here representing the Iraqi government. And we are representing -- we are receiving a number of officials from the Iraqi government -- I'll give you an example. In terms of the recent months, we have seen Ali Alawi, Massoud Barzani, Hashim Hasani, Prime Minister Jaafari, Mowaffak Rubai, Barham Salih, Jalal Talabani, the President -- we're seeing a lot of Iraqi government officials.

He is one. And we're seeing a lot of them because this is a critical time in Iraq going into the elections, and it is very important that these elections produce an outcome, that it reflects the will of the Iraqi people, that results in a government -- that is broadly based, drawing from all elements of the Iraqi society, that gets stood up quickly and is a strong government that can take the kinds of difficult, economic and security decisions that the new government is going to have.

I will say on the specific intelligence, this, as you know, is something that was looked at very hard in a number of the studies I've talked about. And their judgment is that intelligence that came from the INC had a minimal impact on any judgments of the intelligence community in preparing the intelligence that went forward to the President and to others.

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