Jay Reding.com

Bush To Declassify NIE

Calling the media’s bluff, President Bush has announced that he will declassify the National Intelligence Estimate concerning Iraq, portions of which were leaked to the press by anonymous intelligence community sources. The full text of the NIE is rumored to be much more “fair and balanced” than the material that was leaked.

Once again, the media gets caught spinning, and the intelligence community gets caught trying to leak classified information to influence elections. Sooner or later this madness comes to an end, and President Bush and DNI Negroponte need to follow through by ensuring that the CIA’s secrets remain secret.

26 responses to “Bush To Declassify NIE”

  1. Justin says:

    Do you think Bush will excise all the information that would make his policies look bad, like he did back in 2002?

    If so can you really call this version “the full text”?

  2. Jay Reding says:

    Do you think Bush will excise all the information that would make his policies look bad, like he did back in 2002?

    Except for the part where that didn’t happen

  3. Seth says:

    Jay–
    Kennedy still hiding that 800 pound gorrilla that’s sitting next to Klobuchar?

  4. Jay Reding says:

    Nice try at changing the topic, but that’s a discussion for another time.

  5. Mark says:

    Somehow I don’t think there will ever be a “good time” for Jay to discuss that “weak candidate” tossing Mark Kennedy around like a rag doll at every juncture of the campaign.

  6. Jay Reding says:

    Not unless something changes. Kennedy is still far behind, and can’t seem to make up the distance. Klobuchar’s still a weak candidate and an empty suit, it’s just that Kennedy isn’t dynamic enough right now to beat the anti-GOP sentiment nationally. The race will probably still be much closer than the current polls show, but there just isn’t anything interesting going on. (Yes, there’s the mini-scandal about the Kennedy campaign ads stolen by a DFL hack, but that sort of inside baseball isn’t going to swing the election much at all.)

    So far the only person who has remotely impressed me in this campaign has been Robert Fitzgerald, who creamed both Kennedy and Klobuchar in the last debate I saw. I can’t stand his position on Iraq and some of his national security positions, but at least he he seems to be somewhat clueful on the issues. Then again, he has an ice-cream cone’s chance in hell of winning, so it ultimately doesn’t matter.

  7. Mark says:

    “Klobuchar’s still a weak candidate and an empty suit”

    A lunatic assessment that just proves that Jay Reding is the kind of guy who is unwilling to admit he was wrong about anything. EVER! Kennedy has gotten urinated on by Klobuchar every step of the way. She is polished, on message, and prosecutorial in her campaign methodology. She’s an excellent candidate, and your failure to even acknowledge that, lest you have to admit to being wrong about ANYTHING, says alot about your character.

    “beat the anti-GOP sentiment nationally.”

    It’s more the anti-GOP sentiment in Minnesota than nationally. I have no doubt that Tennessee, Virginia, and probably even Ohio will ultimately be swooned back into GOP fold come November. Minnesota is one of the only places where I detect a serious “anti-GOP sentiment” in play, making that Kennedy’s disappointment as a candidate all the more devastating at a time when the last thing Minnesotans want is another Senate who votes with Bush more than 90% of the time.

    “The race will probably still be much closer than the current polls show”

    You’re right about that. The center-left in Minnesota has a horrible track record of “making a point” against the Democrats if they perceive the Dems are comfortably ahead in their given race. This happened in 2000 when Gore and Dayton both underperformed expectations at the hands of “third-party” supporters, and also in 2002’s Secretary of State and Auditor’s races where the Green and Independences parties defeated Democrats more than Mary Kiffmeyer and Pat Anderson (Awada) did. The combination of independent voter malaise, the sense of inevitable Klobuchar victory, Kennedy’s likelihood of shoring up his exurban base who will come out to support Pawlenty, and the potential insurgency of Fitzgerald that you mentioned will all contribute to making this a five-point race. My prediction right now…Klobuchar 49, Kennedy 44, All Others 7

  8. Justin says:

    Posting the redacted report doesn’t exactly undermine my point.

  9. Jay Reding says:

    A lunatic assessment that just proves that Jay Reding is the kind of guy who is unwilling to admit he was wrong about anything. EVER! Kennedy has gotten urinated on by Klobuchar every step of the way. She is polished, on message, and prosecutorial in her campaign methodology. She’s an excellent candidate, and your failure to even acknowledge that, lest you have to admit to being wrong about ANYTHING, says alot about your character.

    Please tell me you’re a paid shill, because that level of sycophancy is ridiculous.

    Klobuchar is a terrible candidate. She’s boring, she’s not a polished speaker, and rote recitation of the same tired talking points is hardly a sign of a dynamic campaigner. Her only advantage is that she’s going up against a candidate who isn’t doing any better than she is.

    My prediction right now…Klobuchar 49, Kennedy 44, All Others 7

    Well, at least your predictions are in the ballpark…

  10. Jay Reding says:

    Posting the redacted report doesn’t exactly undermine my point.

    The section that was declassified was the unedited conclusions of the full NIE – the rest contains information on sources and methods that can’t be declassified without complete review.

    Not that it matters, when one always assumes bad faith regardless of it being justified or not.

  11. Justin says:

    When the Bush administration falsely claims to have released the whole text, but in fact holds back the portions most damaging to their credibility until after the elections, bad faith need not be assumed, it can be trivially observed.

  12. Erica says:

    The CIA is interested in influencing elections in favor of the Democrats? Why?

  13. Mark says:

    “Klobuchar is a terrible candidate”

    I’ve heard alot of people, friend and foe of Klobuchar, who have opined on the quality of her candidacy. You are the first and last person I’ve ever met who doesn’t see her as very strong. And those who didn’t think she was strong early on because of her minimal recognition have all come around by now…..except you. Could it be that the problem is you Jay and not the rest of the world?

  14. Jay Reding says:

    The CIA is interested in influencing elections in favor of the Democrats? Why?

    It’s mainly due to the fact that the CIA is mainly staffed by the same people who work for any part of the federal bureaucracy – and who tend to be overwhelmingly Democratic. There’s been a culture of politicization at the CIA since the end of the Cold War (and arguably before). This isn’t the first time that the CIA has tried to shape policy, but hopefully it will be the last.

    When the Bush administration falsely claims to have released the whole text

    They have not done so. They have released the full conclusions of the NIE, and have not claimed that they’re anything else.

    but in fact holds back the portions most damaging to their credibility until after the elections, bad faith need not be assumed, it can be trivially observed.

    Which assumes (falsely) that there’s something in the NIE that contradicts its own conclusions.

  15. Justin says:

    “It’s mainly due to the fact that the CIA is mainly staffed by the same people who work for any part of the federal bureaucracy – and who tend to be overwhelmingly Democratic.”

    That doesn’t make any sense, in the light of six years-worth of Republican appointments to CIA positions.

  16. Jay Reding says:

    That doesn’t make any sense, in the light of six years-worth of Republican appointments to CIA positions.

    Most position with the CIA are not appointed positions, outside of the Director.

  17. Justin says:

    Even so. Spook work attracts a certain type, and that type isn’t, in my experience, very liberal.

    Honestly this whole thing seems like typical Republican paranoia on your part. No matter how much power is concentrated in Republican hands (and no matter how poorly they seem to be able to use it for anything but getting more power), there’s always some hidden Democrats that need to be expunged. If it isn’t mythological “activist judges”, it’s the treasonous Dems that run the intel shops. (There’s always a Goldstein somewhere, right?)

    If you’re so sure that the NIE means good news for Bush, why would a Dem want it out there? If you’re right about your analysis – which of course is nonsense, but bear with me for a minute – then it’s much more logical to suggest that a Republican leaked.

  18. Eracus says:

    Justin, don’t be naive. There hasn’t been any real “spook work” at the CIA since the Church Committee made it a crime back in the 70s. And if you don’t think the Dems run State and the CIA, then how do you explain the last 3 years of Joe Wilson, Valerie Plame, and Patrick Fitzgerald? The entire affair has proved to be nothing but a fabrication orchestrated between State and the CIA to discredit and undermine the President. So really, just how much power is concentrated in Republican hands when it is abundantly clear they can’t, even with a two-term President, control their own foreign policy and national security apparatus? They can’t even keep their own intelligence estimates classified.

  19. Jay Reding says:

    Even so. Spook work attracts a certain type, and that type isn’t, in my experience, very liberal.

    The CIA tends to recruit from the larger International Relations programs like Columbia, Johns Hopkins, etc. Those tend to attract more liberal candidates than conservative ones. (Most conservatives seem to prefer to go into business and make money than go into government work.) I’d also imagine that many of the conservatives who want to get into intelligence get into military intelligence rather than the CIA.

    Honestly this whole thing seems like typical Republican paranoia on your part. No matter how much power is concentrated in Republican hands (and no matter how poorly they seem to be able to use it for anything but getting more power), there’s always some hidden Democrats that need to be expunged. If it isn’t mythological “activist judges”, it’s the treasonous Dems that run the intel shops. (There’s always a Goldstein somewhere, right?)

    You clearly don’t understand how the federal bureaucracy works. The makeup of the White House has very little effect on the makeup of the federal bureaucracy other than with appointed positions, which are few and far between. Civil service rules make it virtually impossible to fire a federal employee, which is why a federal job is often equivalent to a lifetime appointment.

    If you’re so sure that the NIE means good news for Bush, why would a Dem want it out there? If you’re right about your analysis – which of course is nonsense, but bear with me for a minute – then it’s much more logical to suggest that a Republican leaked.

    No, it isn’t. That argument doesn’t make much sense at all unless one starts with blatantly ridiculous premises. The timing and nature of the leak was designed to hurt the Republicans as they were gaining on national security issues. In response, Bush released the full conclusions of the NIE. Nothing was cherry-picked from those conclusions, they were released in their entirety, good, bad, and indifferent.

    The Democrats want to try to attack Bush for not releasing the full document, knowing that doing so would compromise the national security of the United States. Bush isn’t so stupid as to release a document that is filled with information on sources and methods of intelligence without a full declassification review — which takes months. When Bush authorized Scooter Libby to talk about the 2002 NIE that was over a year later when the document was a week away from complete declassification. That isn’t true for this document.

    The Democrats know Bush can’t release the whole thing, and it’s idiotic for them to ask. But all they want to do is score cheap political points, and national security is the last thing on their mind.

  20. Erica says:

    Or instead, it was leaked by accident and this is a loony conspiracy theory. Just a thought.

  21. Jay Reding says:

    Or instead, it was leaked by accident and this is a loony conspiracy theory. Just a thought.

    Nope, the original story was credited to “anonymous sources” within in the intelligence community – it’s not like someone happened to find a copy of the thing on the DC Metro. Plus, only the conclusions that would be considered damaging to the Bush Administration were leaked.

    There’s no real room for doubt that this was a politically oriented leak, nor would it be the first time that this sort of thing has happened.

  22. Justin says:

    “And if you don’t think the Dems run State and the CIA, then how do you explain the last 3 years of Joe Wilson, Valerie Plame, and Patrick Fitzgerald? The entire affair has proved to be nothing but a fabrication orchestrated between State and the CIA to discredit and undermine the President. So really, just how much power is concentrated in Republican hands when it is abundantly clear they can’t, even with a two-term President, control their own foreign policy and national security apparatus?”

    Republican incompetence doesn’t substantiate an undermining Democrat conspiracy.

    “You clearly don’t understand how the federal bureaucracy works.”

    I think I understand it pretty well, being employed by it. There’s nothing in the rules that prevents me from being fired at the drop of a hat, I can assure you.

    “The Democrats want to try to attack Bush for not releasing the full document, knowing that doing so would compromise the national security of the United States. ”

    And mine is the argument that rests on ridiculous premises? Please. I realize that in the conservative echo-chamber it’s common knowledge that all Democrats hate America and want everybody to be killed by terrorists, but it just isn’t so.

    Please, Jay. Don’t insult our intelligence with this crap.

  23. Jay Reding says:

    Republican incompetence doesn’t substantiate an undermining Democrat conspiracy.

    Of course, it was Republican incompetence that caused Patrick Fitzgerald to waste millions of taxpayer dollars on a case he knew would lead nowhere.

    Your argument doesn’t even begin to make sense in relation to the facts.

    I think I understand it pretty well, being employed by it. There’s nothing in the rules that prevents me from being fired at the drop of a hat, I can assure you.

    It certainly is true for members of the Executive Branch bureaucracy (only about .15% of which are political appointees).

    And mine is the argument that rests on ridiculous premises? Please. I realize that in the conservative echo-chamber it’s common knowledge that all Democrats hate America and want everybody to be killed by terrorists, but it just isn’t so.

    You really need a refresher course in Logic 101. Let me spell it out for you then:

    A. The full NIE contains information on sources and methods that would compromise American national security.
    B. The full NIE cannot be released without extensive declassification review, which would take months.
    C. The Democrats are fully aware of A & B.
    D. The Democrats are nevertheless calling for a release knowing that Bush cannot do so because of A & B.
    E. Therefore, the Democrats are calling for the release purely for political gain.

    Please, Jay. Don’t insult our intelligence with this crap.

    Your intelligence does a good job of insulting itself…

  24. Justin says:

    “Of course, it was Republican incompetence that caused Patrick Fitzgerald to waste millions of taxpayer dollars on a case he knew would lead nowhere.”

    More Jayreding.com-brand bullshit. Total cost of the Fitzgerald investigation: $1.5 million. That’s not “millions.” And you have a pretty long row to hoe in terms of trying to prove that Fitzgerald “knew would lead nowhere.”

    “It certainly is true for members of the Executive Branch bureaucracy”

    Which I’m employed by, last I checked. I’m telling you – this is not the case. I can be fired at any time, just like any other job.

    “The Democrats are nevertheless calling for a release knowing that Bush cannot do so because of A & B.”

    Nobody, to my knowledge, had called for the release of the document without obscuring critical sources and intelligence that shouldn’t be released.

    And it hardly takes months to go through a document with a Sharpie and black out the proper names, etc. The Bush administration is stalling, it’s just that simple. They’re doing exactly what you said they had never done, above, and you’ve seamlessly shifted from denying that it ever happened or ever could happen to defending them for doing it. Astounding.

    “Your intelligence does a good job of insulting itself…”

    … what? What the fuck does that even mean?

    Seriously, who writes your material? I’ve heard better zingers from Alan Greenspan.

  25. Jay Reding says:

    More Jayreding.com-brand bullshit. Total cost of the Fitzgerald investigation: $1.5 million. That’s not “millions.” And you have a pretty long row to hoe in terms of trying to prove that Fitzgerald “knew would lead nowhere.”

    Except Fitzgerald isn’t finished yet, and the GAO reports are only updated semi-annually.

    Furthermore, that $1.5 million was spend on an investigation in which Fitzgerald already knew the name of the leaker and improbability of a crime. There never should have been an investigation in the first place.

    Nobody, to my knowledge, had called for the release of the document without obscuring critical sources and intelligence that shouldn’t be released.

    And it hardly takes months to go through a document with a Sharpie and black out the proper names, etc. The Bush administration is stalling, it’s just that simple. They’re doing exactly what you said they had never done, above, and you’ve seamlessly shifted from denying that it ever happened or ever could happen to defending them for doing it. Astounding.

    No, it takes the coordination of every group that had input into the NIE.

    Before you spout more ignorance, why don’t you try to do a modicum of research into what actually takes place in a declassification review. It’s a hell of a lot more complex than just sitting down with a Sharpie.

    President Bush released the complete conclusions. Nothing was edited from the material that was posted. Your point is still as offensively wrong as you are.

  26. Justin says:

    “Except Fitzgerald isn’t finished yet”

    It’s moved into trial stage. $1.5 million after three years. You really think that number is liable to get much higher in the near future?

    Moreover – that he isn’t done is irrelevant to your erroneous claim that “Fitzgerald wasted millions.” That’s wasted, past-tense. Future expenditures don’t make you less wrong.

    “Furthermore, that $1.5 million was spend on an investigation in which Fitzgerald already knew the name of the leaker and improbability of a crime. ”

    Lying to a grand jury is a crime. But everybody knows that Republicans aren’t subject to little ol’ things like laws, right? Hence the “George W Bush Suspension of Habeas Corpus” bill.

    “Before you spout more ignorance, why don’t you try to do a modicum of research into what actually takes place in a declassification review.”

    And a recent, thourough GAO analysis proved that, on average, it takes a simple NIE about two weeks to pass declassification review, a more in-depth one about four weeks, and it’s never taken more than eight weeks for even the most complex NIE to be declassified.

    Barring, of course, political foot-dragging. And why on Earth would the Bush administration want to drag their feet on this issue right now? What could possibly be on the horizion where they wouldn’t want a bunch of bad news about Iraq running through the press cycles?

    “Nothing was edited from the material that was posted. ”

    Oxymoron. Obviously, that which had been edited would not have been posted. Try again?