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Deconstructing the Commission on Iraq Intelligence


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Deconstructing the Commission on Iraq Intelligence
Topic: Society 5:39 pm EST, Feb  8, 2004

"On the one hand, the commission is charged with looking at prewar intelligence assessments on Iraq, but apparently not at exaggerations of that intelligence by the Bush administration.

On the other hand, the commission is tasked to look at so many other areas that it will not be able to adequately focus on the paramount issue of the analysis, production and use of prewar intelligence on Iraq."


The commission's makeup seems to have been influenced more by a quest for political balance than for depth of knowledge about the challenges facing the turf-conscious intelligence agencies. That is in sharp contrast to the last major investigative panel that the administration appointed, to examine the disaster involving the space shuttle Columbia. That panel had specialists on composites and propulsion, organizational dynamics and safety, along with experts who spend their lives thinking about the future of the space program.

An equivalent panel in this case might have included experts in a variety of espionage specialties, in the difficulties of piercing secretive governments and terror groups, and in the way other nations have organized their intelligence agencies.

A few days ago, David Brooks highlighted the crucial link between selecting the commissioners and achieving the desired results.

I cannot help but feel disappointed.

Deconstructing the Commission on Iraq Intelligence

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