Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University

Intelligence Malfunctions  2.16.04

"Two improbable events competed for our attention over the last few weeks. It probably goes by another name in Texas, but President Bush’s naming of a stacked commission to consider the possibility of an ‘intelligence failure’ had the look of that old Lenin Two-Step: ‘one step back, two steps forward’..." Read | Discuss
Clippings  2.18.04
Hypocrite Season
Matt Taibbi @ New York Press
"In the wake of this new 'Let’s Shaft Bush' movement in the pages of the major dailies and news mags, I thought it would be instructive to go back and look at what some of these newly WMD-obsessed journalists were writing a year ago..." 2.18.04 Read | Discuss
'NY Times' Fails to Acknowledge Its Role in WMD Hype
William E. Jackson Jr. @ Editor&Publisher
"... strangely missing from the paper of record was any indictment of the national press, starting with the Times, for its obvious role in gravely misleading the institutions of government and the public..." 2.18.04 Read | Discuss
IVINS: Gun Battle
Molly Ivins @ AlterNet
"A British citizen named Katharine Gun faces two years in prison for revealing that the U.S. National Security Agency tried – and succeeded – in getting the Brits to help us with illegal spying operations at the United Nations..." 2.18.04 Read | Discuss
Interview of Bush Reveals Dangerous Assumptions Behind U.S. Foreign Policy
Stephen Zunes @ Common Dreams
"President Bush made a number of assertions that were patently false, or – at the very least – misleading. The failure of Mr. Russert to challenge these statements ... make it all the more imperative that such assertions not be allowed to go unquestioned..." 2.18.04 Read | Discuss
Seeking The Root Of The Truth
Patrisia Gonzales and Roberto Rodriguez @ CommonDreams
"The truth can't be uncovered unless the commission is legitimately constituted and asks the right questions. Nor can it operate from that place of denial. It must be able to investigate the administration's purported use/abuse of intelligence and the war's legitimacy itself..." 2.15.04 Read | Discuss
Study of Rhetoric On Iraq Is Urged - Kay: Panel Should Check for Distortion
Walter Pincus @ Washington Post
“David Kay, the former chief U.S. arms inspector in Iraq, said ... new commission on intelligence should study how the president and his senior policymakers used the information they received from intelligence agencies” 2.11.04 Read | Discuss
O'Reilly eats words on WMD claims
Thomas M. DeFrank and Corky Siemaszko @ NY Daily News
"Fox News flamethrower Bill O'Reilly shocked fans and foes alike yesterday by apologizing ... 'I think all Americans should be concerned about this, for their families and themselves, that our intelligence isn't as good as it should be'..." 2.11.04 Read | Discuss
Reading Satellite Photos, Then and Now
Douglas Jhel @ New York Times
“What a difference a year makes... Last Feb. 5, before the hushed chamber of the United Nations Security Council, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell unveiled this photograph and others as key pillars in an indictment of Saddam Hussein's regime..." 2.8.04 Read | Discuss
There was no failure of intelligence
Sidney Blumenthal @ The Guardian
"Kay's testimony was the catalyst for this u-turn, but only one of his claims is correct: that he was wrong. The truth is that much of the intelligence community did not fail, but presented correct assessments and warnings, that were overridden and suppressed..." 2.5.04 Read | Discuss
Intelligence Chief's Bombshell
Brian Jones comments @ The Independent
"...'There was a lack of substantive evidence... We were told there was intelligence we could not see'... We were overruled, says former intelligence chief, and the result was a dossier that was misleading about Iraqi WMD..." 2.4.04 Read | Discuss
Intelligence Chief's Bombshell: We were overruled on dossier
Paul Waugh @ The Independent
“The intelligence official whose revelations stunned the Hutton inquiry has suggested that not a single defence intelligence expert backed Tony Blair's most contentious claims on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction...” 2.4.04 Read | Discuss
War and Its Discontents
The Connection @ WBUR, Boston's NPR
"The only thing more elusive than Iraq's weapons of mass destruction may be a straight answer about who knew what when. Blame has a way of ricocheting around like a little blue racquet ball..." 2.3.04 Read | Discuss
For Bush, a Tactical Retreat on Iraq
Dana Milbank @ Washington Post
“In deciding to back an independent review of the intelligence regarding Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, President Bush is implicitly conceding what he cannot publicly say: that something appears to be seriously wrong with the allegations he used to take the nation to war in Iraq..." 2.2.04 Read | Discuss
Weapons of Misperception
Interview with Kenneth Pollack @ The Atlantic Monthly
"Kenneth M. Pollack, the author of 'Spies, Lies, and Weapons: What Went Wrong,' explains how the road to war with Iraq was paved with misleading and manipulated intelligence..." 1.13.04 Read | Discuss
Is National Intelligence an Oxymoron?
Robert Steele @ Wired News
"In the Age of Information, the traditional concept of 'national intelligence' (spies, satellites, secrets) can either be relegated to the tarpits where old mammoths die, or it can be reinvented to adapt to the realities of an era in which everyone is a producer and a consumer of 'intelligence'..." 4.1.94 Read | Discuss

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Artifacts  2.11.04

Iraq and Weapons of Mass Destruction
The National Security Archives @ George Washington University
“The National Security Archive is today publishing an expanded collection of core documents relating to the Iraq WMD debate...taken from U.S. and British sources that have become available in recent months...” 2.11.04 Read | Discuss
WMD in Iraq: Evidence and Implications
Joseph Cirincione, Jessica T. Mathews, George Perkovich @ Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
"This new report attempts to summarize and clarify the complex story of weapons of mass destruction and the Iraq war..." 1.1.04 Read | Discuss
Spies, Lies, and Weapons: What Went Wrong
Kenneth W. Pollack @ The Atlanic Monthly
"How could we have been so far off in our estimates of Saddam Hussein's weapons programs? A leading Iraq expert and intelligence analyst in the Clinton Administration gives a detailed account of how and why we erred..." 1.1.04
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Intelligence Failures in the Iraq War
Anthony H. Cordesman, Arleigh A. Burke @ Center for Strategic and International Studies
“The current debate over US and British policy statements regarding Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction is disguising a much more serious set of intelligence problems that will exist long after the current political furor is over. The following analysis provides an updated summary of these issues...” 7.16.03 Read | Discuss