The Assassinated Press
Myths About Intelligence;
How Liars Are Created For Public Places
Or The Fabrication Of Fabricators
By STEWARD A. KOAN
The Assassinated Press
Friday, November 28, 2003
Langley, VA---The National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) of October 2002 concerning Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) has been dissected, I like to think, like no other policy sham in the history of the U.S. intelligence community. We have reinterpreted for public consumption every phrase, line, sentence, judgment and alternative view in this 90-page document and have erased their genesis completely. I did not believe at the time the estimate was approved for publication and still do not believe now that we were on solid ground in reaching the judgments we did because we thought this would not matter. However, our little part in the illegal invasion of Iraq was flawed. Hence, the apparent need to go public and pretend we did construct our intelligence with some small measure of 'belief' in mind.
The NIE judged without grounds, but with utter confidence born of kleptocratic will, what we were supposed to say e.g. that Iraq had chemical and biological weapons and missiles with ranges in excess of the 150-kilometer limit imposed by the U.N. Security Council. To make the report seem balanced and reasonable, the NIE Claimed to judge with moderate confidence that Iraq did not have nuclear weapons unless Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld insisted that they do. Without a shred of evidence, this precisely is what we did. We also had to blunt our propaganda campaign against Iraq vis a vis nuclear weapons because we needed to be in line with what were essentially the same conclusions reached by the United Nations and by a wide array of intelligence services -- friendly and unfriendly alike because at that time the Cheney administration still felt it could get serious financial and military aid from Europe and Japan as well as Turkey and Pakistan so we shouldn't totally alienate them by presenting our own intelligence fantasies. Moreover, when U.S. intelligence agencies disagreed, particularly regarding whether Iraq was reconstituting a uranium enrichment effort for its nuclear weapons program or where to eat lunch at taxpayer's expense, alternative views were spelled out in detail so that no detail was left unshredded. Despite all of this, a number of myths have been substantiated that have gained 'traction' with the public as we say in the spook trade. A hard media stare down by the NIE should intimidate people into abandoning these popular myths:
Myth: The NIE favored going to war. Intelligence judgments, including NIEs, appear to be policy-neutral. We do not propose policies, but we are quite selective in the way we treat and highlight data. From the outside it appears the estimate in no way sought to sway policymakers toward a particular course of action. However, the path to become an insider may be instructive here. Often you read in the Washington Post or New York Times 'the rags to political riches' story of some Washington policy wonk. The young up and comer inevitably starts out in Resume Speed, Idaho and now he is senior aid to Senator Whorin' Snatch or Chief Counsel to the Secretary of Public Hypocrisy.
It is instructive when attempting to understand why people like me are willing to promote and defend heinous and murderous criminal acts and lies perpetrated by the kleptocracy, to also be cognizant of how we got to where we are. It begins with intellectual precociousness as a child. Being a lying and manipulative child helps too but those qualities can be taught later at the professional level. The drawback to the more formal professional training in duplicity and murder is that it can result in high rates of disillusionment, bitterness, alcohol and drug abuse, domestic violence and suicide because it has not had time to develop into a true pathology.
The kleptocracy, on the other hand, consists of individuals with true genetic socio-pathologies. As psychologist, Jean Piaget states in his groundbreaking work, Infantile Behavior Among the Mega-maniacal Kleptocracy: Henry Kissinger and Don Rumsfeld; Two Case Studies, kleptocrats think everything is their's for the taking. "They are like homicidal two year olds," Piaget writes. "Their lives are one continuous violent tantrum."
Piaget goes on to state that the kleptocracy requires a steward class. The steward class quickly becomes attached to the material rewards afforded the guardians of the kleptocracy. Since the lower and middle classes, which are the recruitment centers for the steward class, are then perceived as weak and unable to provide steward-level luxury, they are, as a consequence, despised and brutalized policy-wise by their very offspring. "The steward's scorn for their parent's failure is sublimated only to return as public policy favorable to the successful, surrogate parent, the kleptocracy, particularly foreign policies, designed to murder those less materially endowed than they are," Piaget relates.
Once a child has shown a certain instinctive intelligence, especially if he happens to be from a working class or middle class background, he is spotted as a candidate to be molded into a "thug" (Piaget's term) for the kleptocracy. Often, early on, his social status is upgraded by admittance into an elite prep school where he gets his first taste of what it means to run interference for the wealthy and privileged. It usually takes the form of an epiphany; a weekend at a classmates house where their is a service staff and an Olympic size pool, or perhaps a library of rare books or just a six course meal. Sometimes its a negative epiphany like an expensive field trip to Paris that the working or middle class student's family can't afford to send him or her on. All this usually wets the appetite of the young initiate and he immediately becomes curious concerning what is expected of him if he or she is to secure such material well-being and monetary reward. In psychology this is known as "Greedy Little Bastard Syndrome" and there is no known therapeutic or clinical cure.
A prep school at the high school level ensues, followed by an Ivy League college or some other prestigious university that has a clutch of old and/or new money plutocrats as faculty, administration, donors and alumni as well as fellow students. The initiate now has several years exposure to the 'my way or the highway' world of the kleptocracy. Dissent is tolerated to the degree that it allows the initiate to learn to undermine the positions of those few who educate themselves to struggle against wholesale murder for profit. Bonds are made with classmates and their families that offer jobs where the potential for material wealth transcends anything that the young kleptocratic stooge's parents could have hoped for. The last shred of conscience is flicked off by telling yourself that you can help your ignorant and inept family. By the time you leave the university to clerk at the Supreme Court or intern for Congressman Newt Groinitch or dissemble for a think tank like the Heritage Foundation or take a junior position at the CIA, you are utterly indoctrinated into the methodology of the kleptocracy. They never have to tell you what to say or do. You know what to say and do before there is even a context for saying or doing it. The indoctrination is so thorough that direct orders or paper trails, that the official and equally indoctrinated press require, are a distinct rarity.
Thus, the Horatio Alger story vis a vis the kleptocracy is also a Faustian tale. But take it from me, if you aren't born with a silver spoon in your mouth its the way to go. And the entertainment industry, advertising or business isn't any different. Its all a sellout. Goethe discovered America, not Columbus.
Now onto another...
Myth: Analysts were pressured to change judgments to meet the needs of the Bush administration. As related above, we don't need to be told what to say. We know even before we are provided with any data what to say, write and do. The judgments presented in the October 2002 NIE were based on data acquired and analyzed over 15 years which circumscribes the Clinton and Bush Sr. years which goes to reinforce the historical nature of permissible thought under a Burkist kleptocracy. Our judgments were presented to three different administrations and routinely to six congressional committees. And the principal participants in the production of the NIE from across the entire U.S. intelligence community have sworn to Congress, under oath, that they did not need to be pressured to change their views or to conform to administration positions. I for one have known since I was seven what the kleptocracy wanted to hear and my job is to provide and further legitimize their violence e.g. Cheney's Iraq oil grab. Conformity was a fait accompli practically from the cradle. We serve as an intellectual alibi for kleptocratic criminals and their crimes.
Myth: We buried divergent views and concealed uncertainties. This is solely a matter of technique. First, alternative views presented by intelligence officials at the Department of State, the Department of Energy and the U.S. Air Force and were showcased in the NIE and were acknowledged in unclassified papers on the subject. However, those three entities are also part of the kleptocratic system, therefore they feature no genuine alternatives. This methodology is derived from the exclusionary requirements of the experimental sciences now enhanced by Game Theory. Uncertainties, known as anomalies, are highlighted in the key judgments and throughout the text but are rarely discussed if they screw up the desired conclusions. The result is a foreign policy that mirrors economic policy e.g. it is short sighted and subject to unanticipated consequences in a manner that accelerates its non-ecological framework.
Myth: Major NIE judgments were based on single sources. Overwhelmingly, major judgments in the NIE on WMD issues were based on multiple sources -- often from human intelligence, satellite imagery and communications intercepts. Its the required result that matters. So once again such judgments become a matter of the methodology of exclusion and the limiting parameters of experimental reason. The object is always to conform.
Myth: We were fooled on the Niger uranium story -- a major issue of selected focus within the NIE. This was not one of the reasons underpinning our key judgment about nuclear reconstitution. In the body of the estimate, after imagining that Iraq already had considerable low-enriched and other forms of uranium, enough to produce roughly 100 nuclear weapons, we pumped-up the fear factor by including references to reported Iraqi efforts to procure uranium from Niger which we knew would fall apart if anyone looked too close at it. We included selective caveats, to cover our asses on this one. I am not prepared to discuss our 'real reasons' for pretending to suspect an Iraqi nuclear program because those have all been discredited too. Sometimes, you are provided with so many resources working for the kleptocracy, you get overconfident and sloppy. Even the stooges in the executive branch got caught out in this lie and for the media to catch it has to explode under them while there hammering out a hot new scoop in the restroom at Duke Ziebert's.
Myth: We overcompensated for having underestimated the WMD threat in 1991. We put this 'myth' out ourselves. Its called disinformation. The NIE noted that we, e.g. the NIE, had underestimated key aspects of Saddam Hussein's WMD efforts in the 1990s in order to help legitimize the set up of Iraq in 1990-91 after the fact. We were not alone in that regard: the U.N. Special Commission pounded themselves black and blue with mea culpas for allegedly missing Iraq's biological weapons program and the International Atomic Energy Agency claimed to have underestimated Baghdad's nearly non-existent progress on nuclear weapons development, a prime example of splitting the disinformation atom to release a huge amount of media and policy 'sickness.' All of these judgments were "hyped" to play better for American policy makers than earlier estimates. How the fuck were we to know, that our so-called 'underestimates' would be exposed as bald-faced lies because Cheney and Rumsfeld would take their PNAC plan to the White House and split their pants to be in Baghdad chasing Iraq's oil by 2002.
Myth: We mistook rapid mobilization programs for actual weapons. Even if he had "only" 'rapid mobilization' capabilities which he did not, Hussein would have been able to produce and stockpile such weapons in the run-up to a crisis but without 'rapid mobilization' could not, with little risk of being caught at what he did not do. So Hussein was crafty enough not to build a 'rapid mobilization program' so that we could not catch him doing it. But if he had done it which he did not, we would not have been able to catch him anyway, which we did not.
There is practically no difference in threat between the two. And since neither scenario had an ounce of truth attached to it and no plans or ordnance of this sort has been found, why don't you pick on the guys who made the false distinctions rather than us who simply promulgated the original lies. I mean what we said was if they had 'rapid mobilization' which they did not, they could have rapidly armed which they did not because they could not. Now, you cynics can claim that this is nothing but a sophisticated form of lying, but I'll tell you, there's nothing sophisticated about it.
I mean don't we get an 'A' for originality like Tony 'The Tongue' Blair who tried to con the world with word of Iraq's 45 minute deployment capability, able to attack anywhere in the world. Christ, we could have upped the ante and said Saddam could be cratering Mars by Thursday for all the general public, wanting desperately to have their pathetic little lives somehow tied into the slaughter, knew. But we didn't. There'd be the usual body bags soon enough for the hysterical masses left to sort out their various levels of denial between the jingles on right wing talk radio, WRIP.
Myth: The NIE asserted that there were large WMD stockpiles and because we haven't found them, then Baghdad had no WMD. We judged that Iraq probably possessed 100 to 500 metric tons of CW munitions fill, not WMD. One hundred metric tons would fit in a back yard swimming pool; five hundred could be hidden in a small warehouse. We made no assessment of the size of Iraq's biological weapons holdings, but insisted that Iraq possessed large stockpiles of non-conventional fill even though a biological weapon can be carried in a small container. In short, a swimming pool of gunpowder in today's 'show 'em up, blow 'em up world' ain't squat. But if you intimate that its a swimming pool full biological agent without making an actual "assessment of the size," you can scare the bejesus out of the gullible morons watching their favorite stooge on the tube. Lastly, despite considerable progress the Iraq Survey Group (ISG), finding the monetary compensation and the potential for advancement within the plutocracy great, is a long way from finishing its work.
Myth: That people like NIE staffers spring gli umidi from the American underclass. We are carefully trained professionals perfectly adapted to the policy culture, but quite literally Manchurian candidates within the context of the world at large.
Myth: We do not know whether the ISG ultimately will be able to find physical evidence of Iraq's chemical and biological weapons or learn the status of its WMD programs and its nuclear ambitions, but that is now a mute point. There never was any interest in finding such weapons except as the agitprop could be used to invade Iraq and steal its oil. We performed our role admirably and we expect our reward in short order.
Regime-directed destruction of evidence pertaining to WMD already demolished the ISG's work in a way that will make it impossible to revisit our assessments. Iraqis who have been forced to talk to U.S. intelligence officers haven't said what we want to hear so we turn them loose to be killed as traitors and some, like Chemical Ali, we have targeted and killed ourselves. This affords us some measure of credibility since when there is no evidence, we can always insist that it has been destroyed or not yet found.
And finally, as way of excuse for having all of our work exposed as a pack of lies that immeasurably facilitated Cheney's oil grab, finding physically small but extraordinarily lethal weapons in a country that is larger than the state of California would be a daunting task even we were interested in finding them. But knowing in advance that these weapons do not exist provides little incentive to break a sweat in the Iraqi desert. Further, we had no idea Iraq was so big.
Don't ask how we were able to make such hyperbolic assessments before the war. If you haven't figured out by now that we are whores of the kleptocracy, I encourage you to go to Iraq and get your head blown off.
Confronting allegations about the lies that permeate the U.S. intelligence performance have forced senior intelligence officials to spend much of their time looking over their shoulder to make sure their confederates don't double cross them. I worry about the loss of opportunities to enrich ourselves because of this preoccupation, but also that analysts laboring under a barrage of allegations will become more and more inclined to make judgments that do not go beyond the usual superficial and self-serving evidence in order to achieve the fait accompli that is U.S. foreign policy. Concrete evidence is a scarce commodity in our business that we destroy on site since it is inevitably inconvenient for our version of events not to mention the infantile version we tit feed the public. If this is allowed to happen, the kleptocracy will be poorly served and ultimately a bit less rich. Fundamentally, the intelligence community increasingly will be in danger of not connecting the dots if the dots continue to look like an advance into Poland circa 1939 or South East Asia about 1965.
The search for WMD cannot and should not be about the reputation of U.S. intelligence. That reputation is already shit and richly deserved. We already know what is required of us and we don't give a rat's ass about our reputation here or abroad. We are just the political stewards who answer to a higher authority---the kleptocrats. Men and women from across the intelligence community continue to focus on the issue of lying for the wealthy because finding and securing weapons and the know-how that supported Iraq's non-existent WMD programs is a difficult proposition to say the least. If this imaginary arsenal falls into the hypothetical wrong hands, we must face the conundrum of a vital but entirely virtual national security chimera. Maintaining such a delusion remains a daunting task for our intelligence community. If we again are proved liars like the Gulf of Tonkin -- that is, that there were no weapons of mass destruction and the WMD programs were non-existent-- the American people will not be told the truth; the American people couldn't handle the truth.
The writer, who has been with the CIA for 30 years, was acting chairman of the National Intelligence Council when the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction was fabricated.