In late January 2003, as Secretary of State Colin Powell prepared to argue the Bush administration's case against Iraq at the United Nations, veteran CIA officer Tyler Drumheller sat down with a classified draft of Powell's speech to look for errors. He found a whopper: a claim about mobile biological labs built by Iraq for germ warfare.So, we have yet another example of the Administration deliberately ignoring the facts that don't agree with their predetermined conclusion. They ignore the facts so that, when caught, they can conveniently claim ignorance of the facts that cast their assertions in doubt. As with the aluminum tubes, the reconstituted nuclear program, the tons of operational chemical and biological agents, the Al Qaeda connections, the "mobile chemical weapons trailers" that we found out were mobile outhouses, and now with more of the intelligence Powell used in his infamous U.N. presentation, the Administration presented evidence it had been told was unreliable or flat-out false.
Drumheller instantly recognized the source, an Iraqi defector suspected of being mentally unstable and a liar. The CIA officer took his pen, he recounted in an interview, and crossed out the whole paragraph.
A few days later, the lines were back in the speech. Powell stood before the U.N. Security Council on Feb. 5 and said: "We have first-hand descriptions of biological weapons factories on wheels and on rails."
If this happened once or twice, you might reasonably say that knowledge is not perfect within a bureaucracy, and even without rampant incompetence or malfeasance communication up and down the chain might falter on a few occasions. But this is not once or twice, this is a pattern. This is a concerted attempt to use the only excuse available to them - "sure, we were told at one time that this intelligence wasn't worthy, but then we weren't reminded later so it found its way back in." It's an excuse based on ignorance within the "Unitary executive", and this highest of accountability-phobic arguments is all they have left to offer as an explanation for the litany of falsehoods that took us to war.
No, at this point it is much more likely that we were actively mislead to achieve a preordained policy goal. It wasn't that everyone agreed that Saddam had WMDs, it was that everyone we agreed to listen to said he had WMD, and the dissenters were Bush haters that couldn't get over the 2000 election loss - even in the CIA, of all places, that most liberal of Washington institutions. Oy. Our nation's sterling image and honorable military stand in tatters because of this disastrous and dishonest war.