Why doesn't anybody believe George anymore?!
(Another one from the 'Fool Me Once' File?)
By Brad Friedman on 10/29/2004, 12:59pm PT  

Even the CIA won't play along with the White House anymore. The New York Times reported yesterday on the diplomatic "no thank you" the CIA took on rubber-stamping a White House-proposed report they hoped to release this summer subtly titled: "America Is Safer Without Saddam Hussein"

In an internal memorandum sent to the White House in August, the C.I.A. declined to take a position on whether overthrowing Saddam Hussein had made America "safer," the officials said.
...
But in that memorandum, administration officials acknowledged, the agency proposed "factual corrections" to assertions included in a draft fact sheet prepared by the White House titled "America Is Safer Without Saddam Hussein."

The assertions to which the C.I.A. recommended changes were included under headings that described Mr. Hussein as "a major obstacle" to political reform in the Middle East and said he "maintained ties to terrorists and terrorist organizations."
...
They reflected what counterterrorism officials say is a continuing debate among intelligence officials, with some senior analysts within the C.I.A.'s Counterterrorism Center arguing that the invasion of Iraq has helped to fuel Islamic terrorism by inflaming anti-American sentiment.
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In an interview, a White House official said the question of whether the invasion of Iraq had made Americans safer was "not an intelligence judgment."

Say what?! What sort of judgement is it? An "emotional" one? A "political" one? Well, if it's up to this White House, I guess... Anyway, the report goes on...

Among the "factual corrections" contained in the document were a recommendation that Mr. Hussein be described as "an obstacle" to reform in the Middle East rather than "a major obstacle," as he had been called by the White House.
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The White House fact sheet was never released, but a copy was obtained by The New York Times. A White House spokesman, Sean McCormack, said the decision not to release it had nothing to do with the C.I.A.'s comments.

heheh...