Who is the Spin Meister behind the falsified NIE?

I know it’s not possible to say that a single document means the difference between war and peace, but the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE)on Iraq of October 2002 is about as close to it as you can get. Produced by the CIA at the request of the senate, it summarized the intelligence community’s knowledge and opinions of Iraq’s WMD programs.

Then it disappeared into some bureaucratic black hole, mysteriously merged with another CIA document being produced for another reason, and emerged in public months later as a “declassified version of the NIE”. I high recommend reading this LA Times story about the discrepancies between the two documents.

At the very minimum, it was an ectremely selective and entirely self-serving declassification. Statements of of doubt, qualification and dissent were simply omitted.

And here is one example of a mysterious addition to the original document.

To the statement:

was added the phrase:

No one so far is willing to own up to being responsible for the public version. According to the Times story, the second document was also a CIA paper, being prepared as a “white paper” for public releaase at the request of the National Security Council.

Prick Cheney?

It was not so much falsified as it was ‘enhanced’.

You gotta love this from the OP’s cite:

Style 1, Substance 0.

I wonder how far these “selective declassification” edit can go?

Start with the following sentence: “It is unlikely that Syria is producing nuclear weapons.”

So easily that could chage to “Syria is producing nuclear weapons.”


“It is likely that Syria is producing nuclear weapons.”

It all depends what you allow to “remain classified”.

The term they used in those old Saturday Night Live skits was “artistic embellishment”.