Bad intelligence

By Joseph Farah

The Senate Intelligence Committee has issued a report telling us what we all already knew – that U.S. intelligence agencies have let us down.

I thought we all knew that on Sept. 11.

Is it really a shock that the most profound failure of U.S. intelligence since Pearl Harbor wasn’t fixed a year later, two years later or even three?

It’s not shocking to me.

But the report is being exploited to the max by politically desperate adversaries of the Bush administration.

Instead, what should be happening is all Americans – everyone who loves this country, who cherishes their freedom, who values the lives of their children – should be uniting as we did after Sept. 11 to fix the system that let us down.

I don’t expect that to happen – not in a political season. But it does make the world a more dangerous place if we go no further than finger-pointing.

Ironically, those pointing the fingers are most to blame for the problem. Those charging they were misled by not getting accurate information are the very people who discounted the need for good intelligence during the Cold War and after.

U.S. intelligence agencies were dismantled and discounted beginning in the early 1970s. President Clinton met exactly once with his James Woolsey, his own Central Intelligence Agency director during his first term in office. John Kerry told Larry King last week he didn’t have time for a national security briefing on the latest terror threat while he spent hours at a fund-raiser headlined by Whoopi Goldberg. Evidently talking to Larry King was more important than knowing what was going on.

And what about the Senate Intelligence Committee itself? Isn’t that the committee charged with overseeing U.S. intelligence agencies? By finding that they were not doing their job, they are indicting themselves for ineptitude, too.

There’s plenty of blame to go around.

But, unless Americans want to see more Sept. 11s, it’s time to go beyond the blame game. It’s time to fix the system.

There’s also plenty of disinformation being spread by the blame-gamers.

They seem to be suggesting the following:

  • That we were wrong overthrowing Saddam Hussein.

  • That Saddam Hussein didn’t have any weapons of mass destruction.

  • That Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction program was not a serious threat to the U.S.

  • That Saddam Hussein was not directly tied to the very people who attacked us Sept. 11.

All of those conclusions are dead wrong – 100 percent provably in error. We’re drawing the wrong conclusions yet again based on faulty intelligence.

In his brand new book, “The Secret History of the Iraq War,” the man I consider to be among America’s foremost intelligence experts – Yossef Bodansky, former director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare – writes that, in the fall of 2002, Saddam Hussein supplied operational weapons of mass destruction to Osama bin Laden’s terrorists.

He also concludes that Iraq’s intelligence services provided extensive military assistance to al-Qaida beginning n the early 1990s.

He also, once again, shows that Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, as well as most of its program to develop more, had left the country prior to our invasion.

America is going to be attacked again by al-Qaida and other terrorist groups.

Why are we wringing our hands and fighting among ourselves fully knowing that this attack is an inevitability?

Why aren’t we focused like a laser beam on the only objective that really counts – heading off the next deadly assault?