I find the recent attacks on the US "intelligence community" to be rather cunning. Here is the basic outline:
- Dubya Cheney & Co. start off their administration talking about how to justify a war with Iraq.
- The WTC is attacked--if you believe some conspiracy theorists' claims, with the full knowledge of the US government.
- With Afghanistan as a "successful" test, the administration starts egging the CIA and other intelligence agencies to find evidence that Saddam Hussein posed a threat to the US.
- No evidence is found, and yet the administration claims that incontrovertible proof has been found of WMDs in Iraq. War ensues.
- When an exhaustive search fails to find any proof that Iraq could produce WMDs, let alone launch an attack with them, where does the blame fall? Not on the administration's heads--on the intelligence agencies!
It's almost too clever, really. Even if Tenet et al. claim they never stated there was a threat, that's OK, because as we well know, the intelligence community is a bunch of total incompetents, so you can't trust them either way. No wonder they screwed up 9/11 so badly!
Except I think the incompetency isn't coming from the intelligence agencies at all. It takes a certain kind of willful ignorance to make that sort of argument work--and if enough people are also willfully ignorant, they'll fall for the argument. There's plenty of signs that many have fallen for it.
But not nearly enough, Rove. Not nearly enough.