NB: This is a central theme of "Bush vs. the Beltway."

The WSJ also makes clear an important point regarding what went wrong in
Iraq.   The CIA (not OSD) "anticipated that the Iraqi police and regular
army could be relied upon to provide order in Iraq after the invasion."
Indeed, the mantra of the CIA and State Dep't Arabists was that only Iraqis
inside Iraq had legitimacy.  So the US made virtually no effort before the
war to prepare an Iraqi force that would be loyal to the US and the new
regime, with the consequences we see today.

Wall Street Journal
The CIA's Insurgency
The agency's political disinformation campaign.
Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Congratulations to Porter Goss for being confirmed last week as the new
Director of Central Intelligence. We hope he appreciates that he now has two
insurgencies to defeat: the one that the CIA is struggling to help put down
in Iraq, and the other inside Langley against the Bush Administration.

We wish we were exaggerating. It's become obvious over the past couple of
years that large swaths of the CIA oppose U.S. anti-terror policy,
especially toward Iraq. But rather than keep this dispute in-house, the
dissenters have taken their objections to the public, albeit usually through
calculated and anonymous leaks that are always spun to make the agency look
good and the Bush Administration look bad.

Their latest improvised explosive political device blew up yesterday on the
front page of the New York Times, in a story proclaiming that the agency had
warned back in January 2003 of a possible insurgency in Iraq. This highly
selective leak (more on that below) was conveniently timed for two days
before the first Presidential debate.

This follows Joe Wilson, whose CIA-employee wife nominated the anti-Bush
partisan to assess intelligence on Iraq. Then there's the book by
"Anonymous," a current CIA employee who has been appearing everywhere to
trash U.S. policy, with the approval of agency higher-ups. And now we have
one Paul R. Pillar, who has broken his own cover as the author of a
classified National Intelligence Estimate this summer outlining pessimistic
possibilities for the future of Iraq.

That document was also leaked to the New York Times earlier this month, and
on Monday columnist Robert Novak reported that it had been prepared at the
direction of Mr. Pillar, the National Intelligence Officer for the Near East
and South Asia. Mr. Novak reported that Mr. Pillar identified himself as
such during an off-the-record gathering last week and, while denying he
leaked the document, accused the Bush Administration of ignoring the CIA's
prewar speculation about the consequences of war with Iraq. Others have
since confirmed the thrust of the Novak report.

Keep in mind that none of these CIA officials were ever elected to anything,
and that they are employed to provide accurate information to officials who
present their policy choices for voter judgment. Yet what the CIA insurgents
are essentially doing here, with their leaks and insubordination, is
engaging in a policy debate. Given the timing of the latest leaks so close
to an election, they are now clearly trying to defeat President Bush and
elect John Kerry. Yet somehow the White House stands accused of
"politicizing" intelligence?

None of this is surprising in the case of Mr. Pillar, who is also trying to
protect his own lousy track record in misjudging the terrorist threat.
Around September 11, he had the misfortune to write a book that rejected the
"war" metaphor for counterterrorism, comparing it instead to "the effort by
public health authorities to control communicable diseases."

In a public lecture last year at Johns Hopkins University, he sought to
downplay Saddam Hussein's connections to terrorism. And his corner of the
CIA has long claimed that the "secular" Baathists in Iraq would never do
business with the fundamentalist al Qaeda. Tell that to Abu Musab al Zarqawi
and the Baathists now cooperating in Fallujah.

Yesterday's CIA leak, of the January 2003 memo, also turns out to be what
the spooks call "disinformation." We're told that its ballyhooed warning of
an insurgency is not among the document's key findings and occurs only in
the very last sentence of its 38 pages. We're also told there is not a
single mention of Zarqawi, the dominant terrorist now in Iraq, or of "the
Party of Return," the name the Baath Party remnants began circulating soon
after the fall of Saddam.

The document's after-thought sentence reads: "In addition, rogue ex-regime
elements could forge an alliance with existing terrorist organizations or
act independently to wage guerrilla warfare against the new government or
coalition forces." We highlight that phrase about "existing terrorist"
groups because critics of the war like to claim that there were no
terrorists in Iraq before the war; now we know that in January 2003 even the
CIA said there were.

Notably, too, the leakers of this document somehow overlooked the many
predictions it made that did not come true. Those include: sectarian
violence, seizure of the oil fields in the north by Kurds and in the South
by Shiites, a humanitarian and refugee crisis, and the possible use by
Saddam of "chemical or biological weapons against his own people and
coalition forces." Worst of all, the document anticipated that the Iraqi
police and regular army could be relied upon to provide order in Iraq after
the invasion. Deputy Director John McLaughlin personally assured Mr. Bush on
this one--which we now know to be a mistake as large as predicting that
finding Saddam's WMD would be a "slam dunk."

Our point here isn't to assail everyone at the CIA, which includes thousands
of patriots doing their best to protect America. But clearly at senior rungs
of the agency there is a culture that has deep policy attachments that have
been offended by Mr. Bush, and these officials want him defeated. American
voters need to understand this amid this election season. As for Mr. Goss,
his task is to tell the Pillars of Langley to shut up--or quit and run for
office themselves.

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