Thursday, December 06, 2007

National Intelligence Estimates: Nearly Worthless

When I wrote about the recent NIE that declared that Iran had given up their nuclear weapons program in 2003, I asked whether the report could have been a CYA job. It is beginning to look like I was being generous with that thought. Instead, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Sun have taken a closer look at this NIE (summary at Power Line) and found that it is more likely a venue through which some are trying to push their agendas. This NIE raises serious questions about the value and reliability of any NIE, and it also illuminates the short comings of bureaucracies.

There is no way to fix State and CIA other than to completely tear them down and build all new, smaller and more efficient institutions. I'd love to see a presidential candidate latch onto the larger bureaucracy issue because it is a subject the American people seem to understand well and detest. In that way, a president would have the popular strength to fix some things within the State Department and the CIA. Unfortunately, even that would only be a temporary band aid for the ills of both.

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