David Brooks Propagates Iraq ‘Intelligence Failure’ Myth for Good Reason

David Brooks in the New York Times repeats the myth that there was an “intelligence failure” leading up to the Iraq war. He writes:

From the current vantage point, the decision to go to war was a clear misjudgment, made by President George W. Bush and supported by 72 percent of the American public who were polled at the time. I supported it, too.

What can be learned?

The first obvious lesson is that we should look at intelligence products with a more skeptical eye. There’s a fable going around now that the intelligence about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction was all cooked by political pressure, that there was a big political conspiracy to lie us into war.

That doesn’t gibe with the facts. Anybody conversant with the Robb-Silberman report from 2005 knows that this was a case of human fallibility. This exhaustive, bipartisan commission found “a major intelligence failure”: “The failure was not merely that the Intelligence Community’s assessments were wrong. There were also serious shortcomings in the way these assessments were made and communicated to policy makers.”

Nonsense. There was no “intelligence failure”. There was an organized campaign of deception. They lied. David Brooks, of course, was all gung-ho about invading Iraq at the time, and among the liars claiming Iraq had WMDs, despite the complete lack of any credible supporting evidence.

For more, read my piece, “The Lies that Led to the Iraq War and the Persistent Myth of ‘Intelligence Failure’“.

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