I, and I am sure some of you also, have been watching the latest Presidential world tour fan dance, regarding the recent NIE and some of its broader implications, to wit:
that the causes for a new preemptive war on Iran being pressed by the Bush administration as punishment for Iran's perfidiously daring to exist are somewhat specious in nature.
And as this Newsweek article references, President Junior is suitably apologetic toward those who headbob wholeheartedly with his premise of Iran being the Big Electric Satan of our times that "...he can't control what the intelligence community says, but that [the NIE's] conclusions don't reflect his own views".
Let's let that linger in the air for a moment, like the atmosphere of a freshly flatus-filled elevator.
'He can't control what the intelligence community says...'
...Well, of course, and there are probably a few salient reasons for that - not least of which is that in order to conduct international affairs successfully and expediently, an administration must have access to truthful intelligence analyzed by professionals, not fictive 'blow out the candles and make a wish' doctrinal reinforcement.
Additionally, if this intelligence community was under his complete control...And nobody is saying that at certain key points in the narrative (at minimum in the case of the Vice-President) it wasn't at least manipulated somewhat...
It would no longer be an 'intelligence community', but an arm of the propaganda wing of government.
And "...the conclusions don't reflect his own views"?
Well, of course, redux.
After all, to him it's just some sort of reality-based plot to make him negotiate with himself...How can one stay the course when inconvenient truths impose themselves on predetermined fictions, I ask you?
I envy George Bush his talent for self-deception. Living is much harder without such a gift.
Fred Kaplan at Slate brings up the irony factor a notch.
In decades past, the CIA has often lost credibility as a result of its own failures and scandals.
Now President Bush is splashing doubt not just on the CIA, but on all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, simply because their judgments are out of synch with his policies.
There are two further ironies.
First, this NIE is the product of reforms that President Bush himself signed into law—the creation of a director of national intelligence and various other procedural changes—designed to keep intelligence analysis free of political interference.
Second, the NIE contains plenty of passages that could legitimately justify a less-than-optimistic appraisal of Iran's intentions and capabilities.
More at the link.