As President Bush arrives in Saudi Arabia today, America's Arab and Israeli allies have been buzzing about the recent sea change in Washington's perception of Iran. The December report by the U.S.'s top spy office stating Iran had abandoned its effort to build nuclear weapons was one of the biggest U-turns in the recent history of U.S. intelligence.
Behind the scenes in Washington, it marked a reversal of a different sort: After years in which Bush appointees and White House staff won out on foreign-policy matters, career staffers in the intelligence world had scored a big victory…
In the case of the Iran report, the about-face was made possible in part by a 2004 restructuring that gave intelligence chiefs more autonomy. New procedures for vetting and authenticating reports also helped insulate analysts from White House involvement.
"White House involvement" is, of course, a common journalistic term of art for "fucking it up" or "getting it wrong".
Really. That's what it means.
Mr. Fingar was tasked with implementing many of the reforms called for by Congress. This included putting new safeguards into the system to authenticate reports' sources and to prevent intelligence being cherry-picked to support previously developed theories…
The result was that the White House was essentially locked out of the process. This marked a big change from the years leading up to the Iraq war…
See? I told you.
We, Americans, are going to spend billions of dollars and maybe dozens of years erasing each and every awful stain The Accidental President has left upon us--fiscally, socially, morally, institutionally, Constitutionally and internationally.
It's so awful what this guy did to our country.
On the other hand, it's good to see some people have already started.