People, this is bad

Look, I can criticize the Bush administration for policy, but this is beyond policy. Salon offers a quick recap of stories in various papers quoting a plethora of very peeved intelligence officials.

On Thursday, a senior CIA official told the Washington Post that Cheney and his staff “sent signals, intended or otherwise, that a certain output was desired from here.” There was the story about Powell, first reported by U.S. News & World Report, preparing for his testimony before the United Nations in February and so exasperated with dubious information provided to him that he threw the documents in the air and declared, “I’m not reading this. This is bullshit.” There’s the Time magazine story reporting that an Army intelligence officer said Defense Secretary Donald “Rumsfeld was deeply, almost pathologically distorting the intelligence.” On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal quoted a State Department intelligence official who said of the pre-war WMD information that “much of it wasn’t very solid, and the fragmentary information sometimes produced fierce internal disagreements about its meaning.” Then there was the individual from the Defense Intelligence Agency who told the New York Times that “the American people were manipulated.”

Look, you just don’t tell the CIA what is fact. They’re doing the intelligence gathering! Disagree, sure. Ignore? Maybe. But you don’t tell them what they can report. And when the issue is war, you don’t cover up the other side. I’m not saying this hasn’t been done before — it has. I’m just saying you don’t do it.