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Monday, June 04, 2007

Walter Pincus on CIA Perfect Storm Memo

Walter Pincus at the Washington Post had a fascinating article yesterday regarding a CIA "Perfect Storm" document from August of 2002. The report, whose official title was "The Perfect Storm: Planning for Negative Consequences of Invading Iraq" was written seven months before the start of the war and five months before Ryan Crocker and William Burns created a State Department memo using the same "Perfect Storm" construction.

the CIA paper...cautioned about outcomes such as declining European confidence in U.S. leadership, Hussein's survival and retreat with regime loyalists, Iran working to install a friendly regime "tolerant of Iranian policies," Afghanistan tipping into civil strife because U.S. forces were not replaced by United Nations peacekeepers and troops from other countries, and violent demonstrations in Pakistan because of its support of Washington.

Before the war, while the Bush administration was putting a spotlight on the CIA's intelligence on Hussein's weapons of mass destruction, which turned out to be wrong, it either buried or ignored the agency's more accurate assessments of the problems that could emerge in the aftermath of regime change in Iraq, the Senate report said.

Pincus, who is perhaps the real senior statesperson of the Washington press, also add this significant section at the end of the piece:

In the "Perfect Storm" paper, CIA analysts offered what they described as "near-term tactical moves" that the administration could make to minimize the worst-case scenarios that the report presented. Among them were taking "concrete diplomatic steps toward Arab-Israeli peace" and providing "back-channel assurances to Tehran on the duration and extent of U.S. force deployments" -- actions that were not taken.

What is the connection between the CIA six-page "Perfect Storm" document....relegated to the back of a briefing book presented to the Administration in the lead up to the war and the Crocker/Burns six-page document of the same name? We don't know.

What is becoming clear is that the administration had ample warning about exactly what was coming in post-invasion Iraq.



  • Yes the question is why did Powell ignore the memo? Probably because he knew what the Neo-cons and Cheney were up to, and was overruled. Why did he soil his reputation by lying to the American people in his infamous speech to the UN?
    John Weiss, Coumbia MD,

    By Anonymous John Weiss, at 2:00 PM  

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