Friday, July 21, 2006


"Sir? A small PR problem. You're on fire, but if we can keep it out of the newspapers, it shouldn't be a problem."

Via talk show phenom Johnny Wendell: Sources: Negroponte Blocks CIA Analysis of Iraq “Civil War” (Ken Silverstein, Harper's, 7/21/06) I reported in May that despite the deteriorating situation in Iraq, no National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) has been produced on that country since the summer of 2004. The last NIE...was rejected by the Bush Administration being too negative, though its grim assessment subsequently proved to be highly accurate. The situation has gotten even darker since my initial story ... and I've learned from two sources that some senior figures at the CIA, along with a number of Iraq analysts, have been pushing to produce a new NIE. They've been stonewalled, however, by John Negroponte, the administration's Director of National Intelligence, who knows that any honest take on the situation would produce an NIE even more pessimistic than the 2004 version. That could create problems on the Hill and, if it is leaked as the last one was, with the public as well.
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