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Why should George W. Bush have been "angry" to learn in late 2007 of the "high-confidence" unanimous judgment of all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies that Iran had stopped working on a nuclear weapon four years earlier? Seems to me he might have said "Hot Dog!" rather than curse under his breath.
Nowhere in his memoir, Decision Points, is Bush's bizarre relationship with truth so manifest as when he describes his dismay at learning that the intelligence community had redeemed itself for its lies about Iraq by preparing an honest National Intelligence Estimate on Iran. As the Bush-book makes abundantly clear, that NIE rammed an iron rod through the wheels of the juggernaut rolling toward war.
Nowhere is Bush's abiding conviction clearer, now as then, that his role as "decider" include the option to create his own reality.
The Fawning Corporate Media (FCM) has missed that part of the book. And hundreds of Dallas "sheriffs," assembled to ensure decorum at the Bush library groundbreaking last week, kept us hoi polloi well out of presidential earshot.
But someone should ask Bush why he was not relieved, rather than angered, to learn from U.S. intelligence that Iran had had no active nuclear weapons program since 2003. And would someone dare ask why Bush thought Israel should have been "furious with the United States over the NIE?"
It seems likely that Bush actually dictated this part of the book himself. For, in setting down his reaction to the NIE on Iran, he unwittingly confirmed an insight that Dr. Justin Frank, M.D., who teaches psychiatry at George Washington University Hospital, gave us veteran intelligence officers into how Bush comes at reality -- or doesn't.
"His pathology is a patchwork of false beliefs and incomplete information woven into what he asserts is the whole truth...He lies -- not just to us, but to himself as well...What makes lying so easy for Bush is his contempt -- for language, for law, and for anybody who dares question him....So his words mean nothing. That is very important for people to understand." [See Consortiumnews.com's " Dangers of a Cornered Bush."]
Not Enough Sycophants
When the NIE on Iran came out in late 2007, Bush may have pined for his sycophant-in-chief, former CIA Director George Tenet and his co-conspirator deputy, John McLaughlin, who had shepherded the bogus Iraq-WMD analysis through the process in 2002 but had resigned in 2004 when their role in the deceptions became so obvious that it shamed even them.
Tenet and his CIA cronies had been expert at preparing estimates-to-go -- to go to war, that is. They had proved themselves worthy rivals of the other CIA, the Culinary Institute of America, in cooking intelligence to the White House menu.
On Iraq, they had distinguished themselves by their willingness to conjure up "intelligence" that Senate Intelligence Committee chair Jay Rockefeller described as "uncorroborated, unconfirmed, and nonexistent," after a five-year review by his panel. (That finding was no news to any attentive observer, despite Herculean -- and largely successful -- efforts by the FCM to promote drinking the White House Kool-Aid.)
What is surprising in the case of Iran is the candor with which George W. Bush explains his chagrin at learning of the unanimous judgment of the intelligence community that Iran had not been working on a nuclear weapon since late 2003. [There is even new doubt about reports that the Iranians were working on a nuclear warhead before 2003. See Consortiumnews.com's "Iranian Nuke Documents May Be Fake."]
The Estimate's findings were certainly not what the Israelis and their neoconservative allies in Washington had been telling the White House -- and not what President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney were dutifully proclaiming to the rest of us.
Shocked at Honesty
Bush lets it all hang out in Decision Points. He complains bitterly that the NIE "tied my hands on the military side." He notes that the Estimate opened with this "eye-popping" finding of the intelligence community:
"We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program."