Many years after it would have done any good, the Washington Post has published an article detailing the intelligence predictions from before the ill-advised war in Iraq:
Months before the invasion of Iraq, U.S. intelligence agencies predicted that it would be likely to spark violent sectarian divides and provide al-Qaeda with new opportunities in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a report released yesterday by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Analysts warned that war in Iraq also could provoke Iran to assert its regional influence and “probably would result in a surge of political Islam and increased funding for terrorist groups” in the Muslim world.
The intelligence assessments, made in January 2003 and widely circulated within the Bush administration before the war, said that establishing democracy in Iraq would be “a long, difficult and probably turbulent challenge.” The assessments noted that Iraqi political culture was “largely bereft of the social underpinnings” to support democratic development. [The Washington Post]
I’m not going to rehash how brilliantly intelligent I and a lot of others were when we came to the same conclusions before the war. No, instead, I have two questions.
First, with this revelation as well as the news that the White House and Defense Secretary altered, obscured, or ignored intelligence reports that showed no weapons of mass destruction, is the White House now going to stop blaming “faulty” intelligence for its mistakes?
Second, and very disturbing, is this thought: we know that the president was warned, in specific terms, about Osama bin Laden and plots to fly planes into buildings in the months prior to the attack. We know that the intelligence community told him that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction. And we know that the administration was told in stark terms what would happen if they invaded Iraq. Bush did nothing to stop the September 11 attacks; he used WMD as a pretext to invade Iraq; he went to war under the banner of a “war on terror” even though he was warned that the result would be an increase in terrorism and a surge of Islamic violence.
So, what is the real reason he made these decisions against all the intelligence and evidence he was shown? What is the real agenda of the Bush White House?