CIA Problems

CIA PROBLEMS….In his Georgetown speech last week George Tenet admitted to only one CIA mistake in the runup to war. Apparently that wasn’t quite true, however, and now there are going to be some changes in how field information is passed along to analysts:

The changes were ordered after an internal CIA review revealed several occasions when CIA analysts mistakenly believed that Iraq weapons data had been confirmed by multiple sources, when in fact it had come from a single source, said Jami A. Miscik, deputy director for intelligence, in a speech yesterday to the agency’s analysts. The misunderstanding arose because CIA operatives had given analysts ambiguous information.

In other cases, Miscik said, analysts believed they were looking at information that came from a reliable source who had direct knowledge, but subsequent review showed the agent with the good reputation was actually supplying information from other parties “about whom we know little.”

In addition, it turns out that the Presidential Daily Brief used to contain helpful graphics but that practice ended when George Bush took office. Now they’re thinking about putting them back in.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation