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In the U.S. battle with Libya, Americans are witnessing the consequence of gutting U.S. Intelligence during the Iraqi War, when President Bush drove out CIA officers and Assets who criticized his War policy. In my case, I got slapped with the Patriot Act and thrown in prison on a Texas Military Base, while Republican leaders reinvented the entire story of my work on 9/11 and Iraqi Pre-War Intelligence. It was not pretty.
The consequences for intelligence gathering and policymaking are not pretty, either. Last week President Obama demonstrated the most stunning ignorance by declaring that Libya—of all countries— has some link to terrorism. Obama was trying to justify NATO’s War against Gadhaffi’s government. However his argument exposed whopping gaps in the intelligence base from which his Administration has been drawing.
This time it’s not Obama’s fault. When Assets got forced out by Bush and Cheney, a lot of deep knowledge got shoved out the door with us.