The intelligence was right

The Bush administration has long tried to blame problems with our invasion of Iraq on the CIA for “faulty intelligence.”  In truth, the fact that the administration was cherry-picking just what they wanted to hear and even set up their own “intelligence group” within the Pentagon, the Office of Special Plans, is well-documented.  Again, thanks to Democrats being in control of Congress, we know learn what the CIA had to say that the Bush administration never wanted us to hear:

Months before the invasion of Iraq, U.S. intelligence agencies predicted that it would be likely to spark violent sectarian divides and provide al-Qaeda with new opportunities in Iraq and Afghanistan,
according to a report released yesterday by the Senate Select Committee
on Intelligence. Analysts warned that war in Iraq also could provoke Iran
to assert its regional influence and “probably would result in a surge
of political Islam and increased funding for terrorist groups” in the
Muslim world.

The intelligence assessments, made in January 2003
and widely circulated within the Bush administration before the war,
said that establishing democracy in Iraq would be “a long, difficult
and probably turbulent challenge.” The assessments noted that Iraqi
political culture was “largely bereft of the social underpinnings” to
support democratic development.

Read that again– it's remarkably prescient.  It is no surprise at all that Iraq has turned out into this fiasco.  In fact, the CIA basically predicted it.  I don't have much to add– I think this speaks for itself. 


About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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