Slanted Intelligence

SLANTED INTELLIGENCE….Is Robert Gates going to usher in a new era of truth-telling and independent analysis at the Pentagon? Jennifer Glaudemans, who worked as a CIA analyst during the Iran-Contra fiasco, says that Gates sure didn’t fit this bill back when he was the agency’s deputy director for intelligence:

When we received the draft NIE, we were shocked to find that our contribution on Soviet relations with Iran had been completely reversed. Rather than stating that the prospects for improved Soviet-Iranian relations were negligible, the document indicated that Moscow assessed those prospects as quite good….No one in my office believed this Cold War hyperbole. There was simply no evidence to support the notion that Moscow was optimistic about its prospects for improved relations with Iran.

….Despite overwhelming evidence, our analysis was suppressed. At a coordinating meeting, we were told that Gates wanted the language to stay in as it was, presumably to help justify “improving” our strained relations with Tehran through the Iran-Contra weapons sales.

….It was well known among analysts at the time that we would have a hard time getting Gates to sign off on analyses that did not fit his ideological preconceptions. All one had to do was look at his margin comments on controversial papers to know what was going on. Fortunately for him, classification and layers of bureaucracy kept those comments from public view. Today, however, many cases of politicized intelligence are a matter of public record. The National Security Archive, a not-for-profit organization, has posted many documents on its website that tell the story.

Read the whole thing for more. Glaudemans suggests that Gates had a consistent history of slanting intelligence to fit both his own views and that of his political masters. She suggests some pointed questioning from the Senate would be in order during his confirmation hearing.

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