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Monday, May 26, 2003
Memorial Day

Several stories, this Memorial Day morning, concerning faulty or exaggerated intelligence reports on Iraqi WMD prior to the Iraq II War of alQaeda Distraction have drawn my attention.
The first is a rather straightforward Reuters summation of comments made on the Sunday talking head programs that ends with the new and improved Administration spin as voiced by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Porter Goss, a Florida Republican:

…No doubts whatsoever that the administration worked on the basis of the intelligence that was given to them. "What I don't know is how good that intelligence was, and it is our job to find out."

A check of the insightful Josh Marshall’s TPM blog makes it quite clear that Congressman and former CIA officer Porter Goss is being a tad disingenuous:

…If there was a failure it was not an intelligence failure, but a political one -- one among administration political appointees and those at the very highest level of the intelligence apparatus…the word from folks at the Pentagon or from hawks close to the Office of the Vice President has been that the career people at CIA and the other intelligence agencies were either too cautious in their estimates or were intentionally low-balling their figures in order to undermine the arguments for a war they did not themselves support…the politicals would not believe what the career intelligence types were telling them.

Howie Kurtz, in another of his post-Jayson efforts to chip away at the Gray Lady’s façade, reveals another tantalizing aspect of Cheney/Rumfeld pre-Iraq II web spinning in this morning's Washington Post:

…Intriguing questions about the paper's coverage of the search for dangerous weapons thought to be hidden by Saddam Hussein. An internal e-mail by Judith Miller, the paper's top reporter on bioterrorism, acknowledges that her main source for such articles has been Ahmad Chalabi, a controversial exile leader who is close to top Pentagon officials…According to the New Yorker's Seymour Hersh, Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress was a key source of information about weapons for the Pentagon's own intelligence unit -- information sometimes disputed by the CIA. Chalabi may have been feeding the Times, and other news organizations, the same disputed information.

Hummmm, as they say, very interesting to say the least on a day when we remember our war dead.

Lets end this post with a little cosmic majesty courtesy of the National Geographic Society and NASA's Mars Global Surveyor with the first picture taken of Earth and its lunar companion from another planet.

Photos:, Reuters and NASA
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