Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Bolton Still Whining For NIE Do-Over

By Cernig

Via Memeorandum, I see that John Bolton is still whining because the last National Intelligence Estimate on Iran didn't produce the excuses for war he wanted. Today, the WSJ gives Bolton a platform to call for the wahmbulance - John wants a do-over. Nevermind that administration officials from Cheney on down have said they're just fine with the NIE. Bolton also wants the intelligence community purged of all those who won't toe the neocon party line. He says he wants the intelligence community to just shut up about policy: "Mr. McConnell should commit the intelligence community to stick to its knitting -- intelligence -- and return its policy enthusiasts to agencies where policy is made." But does anyone seriously think, in an administration that has made politicizing federal agencies into high art, that the neocon policymakers in the IC would be ousted along with those who might oppose them? Naaaah - not even Old Walrus-face beieves that crock of s**t - after all, politicizing intelligence is something he's had long experience at.

Faithfully, other neocons are jumping on Bolton's Bandwagon yet again. One has even spotted the obvious - that any reversal on the NIE now would mean McConnell's resignation or firing as DNI - and has a replacement in mind. If you guessed John Bolton then it wasn't exactly rocket science to figure out.

But I've a better idea. If the Bush administration, in lame-duck mode, really thinks it needs a new DNI then I suggest Zalmay Khalilzhad. He's a neocon of long standing. He knows the enemies of America well - in some cases he's had dinner with them and escorted them to parties. And he has the massive advantage of not being named John Bolton.

Update Via Think Progress comes news that DNI McConnell but back at Bolton for attempting to get the DNI fired.
Today during a Senate threat assessment hearing, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) asked Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell about Bolton’s assertions. McConnell replied:

MCCONNELL: Sir, I’ll start by saying that the integrity and the professionalism in this NIE is probably the highest in our history in terms of objectivity and quality of the analysis and challenging the assumptions and conducting red teams on the process, conducting a counter intelligence assessment about “were we being misled” and so on. So I would start by saying that the article you refer to is a gross misrepresentation of the professionalism of this community.
Stick that in your moustache, John.

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