Saturday, December 8, 2007

NIE Report "Bushwhacked" President

Later this weekend I will be putting out a special focus Israel News Launch on my website and to subscribers to Israel News on in order to bring out more information on the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report everyone is talking about.

My personal take is that this report has done far more damage to the security of the United States and Israel than most have comprehended. The reason I think so is because it has done more to undermine U.S. credibility in assessing what is going on in the Middle East than anything in recent memory.

It is a another sign of the lawlessness of our times when a sitting president has his knee caps shot out by the counter-agendas within the U.S. intelligence community. Instead of serving the elected leadership of the nation, these Washington foreign policy and intelligence "professionals" believe they have the right to capsize the boat our president is sailing.

Not everyone cares whether Israel is swallowed up by terrorist forces and they are just as short sighted as Neville Chamberlain was 60 years ago.

What does that have to do with intelligence assessments? A lot.

As the Wall Street Journal wrote last week in an article called High Confidence Games, "Our own 'confidence' is not heightened by the fact that the NIE's main authors include three former State Department officials with previous reputations as 'hyper-partisan anti-Bush officials,' according to one intelligence source. They are Tom Fingar, formerly of the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research; Vann Van Diepan, the National Intelligence Officer for WMD; and Kenneth Brill, the former U.S. Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)."

Another news source indicated that none of the three main authors have expertise in Middle Eastern affairs.

In the concluding statement of this article WSJ editors wrote, "Our intelligence services are supposed to inform the policies of elected officials, but increasingly their judgments seem to be setting policy. This is dangerous."

It sure is! It is called anarchy - lawlessness - and it is how nations implode at the governmental level.

The NIE, is the National Intelligence Estimate. Why estimate? Because it is rare to have solid concrete evidence about what other nations are doing within their own borders - especially true of those hostile to our nation. Intelligence estimates are made based on a much lower level collection of evidences that have been pieced together to form a best guess picture of reality.

The way it is supposed to work is that the intelligence agencies gather and piece together a best guess estimate then turn it over to the elected officials, who decide what it means for the direction of the nation, according to the policies of the elected leadership. What has been happening in Washington is intelligence leaks meant to sink the ship of the Bush administration. It's an old story of chaos when there is no recognition of leadership and "everyone does what is right in his own eyes."

This will not only sink an administration, it will sink a whole nation if it is allowed to continue. That is why I am with those who are saying there needs to be further investigation into the NIE report and its latest conclusions. President Bush should not just roll over in this "Bushwhacking" as a Jerusalem Post editorial rightly called it this week.

Israeli reports have it that the Israeli Military Intelligence chief Gabi Ashkenazi and Defense Minister Ehud Barak will be presenting "hard core evidence" on the Iranian nuclear program tomorrow when Admiral Michael Mullen, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff makes a rare visit to Israel on Sunday, 12/9. An Israeli defense official said of the NIE assessment, "The report clearly shows that we did not succeed in making our case over the past year....Mullen's visit is an opportunity to try and fix that."

Like I said, intel rarely consists of evidence so concrete that it is carved-in-stone fact. That is why intelligence must be interpreted and estimates given as to what the intel means. It is more than just guessing but it is not more than an educated guess. This is where policy comes into play and why the tug of war in Washington goes on between those who resist the policies of the Bush administration in the fight he is leading in Islamic terrorism and in U.S. policy in the Middle East.

In a Wall Street Journal article called Iran Curveball, editors wonder over the same thing I've been puzzled about in the past week, the editors writing, "What's amazing in this case is how the White House has allowed intelligence analysts to drive policy."

The president was surely blindsided in a major way. It is a back lash that even pulls the carpet out from under the foundation of a new start that was laid down for the Middle East in the Annapolis meetings. There will be unintended negative consequences always when rebellions like this are staged against the elected leaders.

That doesn't mean there can't be a turnaround. We can and should fight to negate the significance and the damage done by this NIE report.

John Bolton was immediately out in public speaking against the conclusions of the NIE report. We need to pay attention to him and to the many others now out there explaining what is really going on here.

I will be posting the the NIE Special Focus News Launch page on Sunday 12/9 afternoon at: or sign up to receive the news launch via email.

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