Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 13, 2003
By: Kevin Drum

BAD BLOOD....A couple of posts ago I wondered aloud about the fact that the White House was seemingly unaware of bad news in Iraq that the CIA was aware of: was it because, as Nancy Pelosi puts it, the White House was in the dark or because it was in denial?

My guess was "denial," but a well-placed reader suggests "in the dark" but with a twist:

The one thing you're leaving out is that relations between the CIA and the WH are at historic lows (blaming Tenet for the Niger stuff; the Plame leak, etc). The CIA may very well have kept this stuff from the Pentagon AND the WH....You would not believe the amount of loathing for the WH that the last half-year (or more) has engendered at the CIA.

The CIA is holding back intelligence? That hardly seems believable no matter how much they loathe the White House staff, but my reader suggests it's really true:

Ah, but the really interesting thing is that Bremer had the report before the Pentagon and the WH did. No?

They're not holding back actionable intelligence, just prognostication reports.

If this is really true, it represents a breakdown in intelligence gathering and an associated breakdown in national security of truly epic proportions. This goes way beyond bureaucratic infighting if we're fighting a war and the CIA, the Pentagon, and the White House are literally not talking to each other.

I don't know if this is true, but my source is at least credible. So I thought I'd throw it out.

Kevin Drum 12:35 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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