Recently, declassified CIA documents blame ‘analyst liabilities’ for mistakenly concluding that Saddam Hussein had chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons programs, the rationale for invading Iraq, but some say the situation was more sinister.
Based on documents declassified and acquired from the CIA through a formal “Mandatory Declassification Review” request, a report finds that the spy agency’s internal review ‘blames ‘analyst liabilities,’ such as neglecting to examine Iraq’s deceptive behavior ‘through an Iraqi prism,’ for the failure to correctly assess the country’s virtually non-existent WMD capabilities.”
According to the Christian Science Monitor, in other words, CIA officials, who critics say were being urged by hawks in the administration and think tank neoconservatives pressuring the White House to justify war, in turn pushed agency analysts to come up with conclusions that in hindsight were fundamentally (and in the end tragically) wrong.
However, not everyone buys the CIA’s ‘we screwed up’ explanation.
Writing in the online publication Foreign Policy Journal, Jeremy Hammond argues that “far from acknowledging the CIA’s true role, the document does not present any kind of serious analysis, but only politicized statements rehashing well-worn official claims designed to further the myth that there was an ‘intelligence failure’ leading up to the US invasion of Iraq in March of 2003.”
“There was an extremely successful disinformation campaign coordinated by the CIA in furtherance of the government’s policy of seeking regime change in Iraq,” he said.
“The narrative of ‘intelligence failure’ attempts to obfuscate the truth of the matter, which is that senior government officials repeatedly lied and willfully deceived the public by making claims unsupported by evidence and by deliberately withholding any information that contradicted their allegations,” he added.
According to the report, in order to preserve his domestic reputation as well as his international image as powerful and dangerous, Hussein and his top officials perpetuated the myth of WMD, which somehow the CIA failed to adequately detect.
“Seen in this light, it becomes evident that the recently released CIA document is anything but a ‘mea culpa.’ It is, on the contrary, just more of the same,” Hammond concluded.