While I doubt Rice's answer will get much "mainstream" media play, it is persuasive. She said, "There are intelligence reports and conflicting intelligence reports all the time. That's why we have an intelligence system that brings those together into a unified assessment by the intelligence community ... That particular report I don't remember seeing. But there are often conflicting intelligence reports."
In "Bankrupt," I quote CIA Director George Tenet affirming that intelligence is an inexact science and that there were definitely dissenting opinions on matters contained in the National Intelligence Estimate. But the agencies made the best judgments they could based on the best intelligence information available, and the president not only had a right, but a duty to rely on the considered judgment of our intelligence experts.
Secretary Rice said the best intelligence pointed to strong ties between Saddam and Al Qaeda "going back for a decade." I cite in "Bankrupt" a good deal of that evidence, and it is powerful.
Chairman Roberts said that these latest reports offer little new information, reiterating that our intelligence was flawed.
But to admit our intelligence was flawed is a far cry from saying that those who relied on it were lying.
The Bush administration was not guilty of cherry picking data to support its case for war. It is the Democrats who are now cherry picking information designed to discredit the president who correctly relied on our intelligence agencies concerning the Saddam/Al Qaeda connection and Iraqi WMD. As Chairman Roberts said, "Instead of focusing on the implementation of reforms and on current and future threats, Intelligence Committee Democrats remain obsessed with looking backwards On behalf of national security, the Committee needs to and must extricate itself from what has become a time-consuming and unnecessary effort and return to forward-looking oversight on the nations Intelligence Community.
As we just passed the fifth anniversary of 9/11, it is time for Democrats to put the security interests of their country over the political interests of their party. But all signs are they will do anything to win in November, even if it means continuing to undermine national security and the war.
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