And pressure the CIA they did.
This story is nicely documented on pages 54-55 of Congressman John Conyers' report, "The Constitution in Crisis; The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Torture, Retribution, and Coverups in the Iraq War."
A former CIA analyst described the intense pressure brought to bear on the CIA by the Bush Administration in these terms: "The analysts at the C.I.A. were beaten down defending their assessments. And they blame George Tenet" -- the CIA director "for not protecting them. I've never seen a government like this."
No, from Dick Cheney, who with his sidekick I. Lewis Libby visited CIA headquarters about a dozen times to personally ensure that CIA analysts knew precisely what their instructions were -- what conclusions their analysis should yield. And this all went on with their always-eager-to-please-the-boss boss, George Tenet, standing directly behind the vice president.
Veteran CIA analyst Ray McGovern was asked if this were unusual: "No; not unusual; unprecedented! Never in my 27 years at CIA, from Kennedy to George H. W. Bush, did a sitting vice president come to CIA headquarters on a working visit," said Ray. "That was not the way we did business. We would go down to brief the vice president in his office.
Ray McGovern testified at a hearing hosted by Congressman John Conyers on June 16, 2005. "Sham Dunk: Cooking Intelligence for the President," an 18-page chapter in Ray's "Neo-CONNED Again!" exposes in detail the "intelligence-made-me-do-it" myth: http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/?q=node/168
Mel Goodman, a 24-year veteran of the CIA, who lectures at the State Department's Foreign Service Institute, has recounted what his students from the intelligence agencies told him about the political pressure they faced regarding Iraq:
"I get into the issue of politicization . . . [t]hey [the students] don't say much during the question period, but afterwards people come up to me, D.I.A. and C.I.A. analysts who have had this pressure. I've gotten stories from D.I.A. people being called into a supervisor's office and told they might lose their job if they didn't revise a paper. 'This is not what the administration is looking for. You've got to find W.M.D.'s, which are out there.'"
Here's how The Washington Post described the pressure on intelligence officials from a barrage of high-ranking members of the Bush Administration:
"Former and current intelligence officials said they felt a continual drumbeat, not only from Cheney and Libby, but also from Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz, Feith, and less so from CIA Director George J. Tenet, to find information or write reports in a way that would help the administration make the case that going into Iraq was urgent. 'They were the browbeaters,' said a former defense intelligence official who attended some of the meetings in which Wolfowitz and others pressed for a different approach to the assessments they were receiving. 'In interagency meetings,' he said, 'Wolfowitz treated the analysts' work with contempt.'"
On October 8, 2002, Knight Ridder reported that various military officials, intelligence employees, and diplomats in the Bush Administration charged "that the administration squelches dissenting views and that intelligence analysts are under intense pressure to produce reports supporting the White House's argument that Hussein poses such an immediate threat to the United States that preemptive military action is necessary."
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