July 14, 2003
It’s hard to understand the mindset of someone who would write something like this. To be sure, policymakers are the ones who direct intelligence agencies, but that’s not what’s at issue here. The question is, once they’ve been directed, and once they’ve come back with a judgment, and once they’ve thrashed everything out time and again and nonetheless stuck to their guns on that judgment97should policymakers then override them? Because that’s what happened in this case.UPDATE: Or, in the words of Busy, Busy, Busy’s Shorter Wall Street Journal Editorial, “The task of America’s intelligence agencies is not to provide policy makers with reliable data but to fabricate evidence in support of administration policies which the public would reject if it knew the truth.” [02:26 PM]
It’s almost beyond belief that the WSJ pretends that it’s the Bush administration critics who are politicizing intelligence in this case. That is, it would be beyond belief to anyone who’s unfamiliar with the daily assaults on intellectual honesty that make up the WSJ editorial page. After all, today’s editorial finishes up with this:Especially after 9/11 and in a world of WMD, the U.S. needs intelligence analysts willing to question their own assumptions, as well as policy makers willing to help them do it.How much plainer can they be? Policymakers unhappy with the truth need to be willing to “help” intelligence analysts question their assumptions. The Orwellian overtones are hard to miss.