Roger L. Simon

Best Tasted Cold... But Not Bad Lukewarm

Brother Ledeen takes on Hersh, Marshall and Jay Rockefeller — among other assorted prevaricators — in the best explication so far of the Senate Intell Committee Report. [Make the full disclosure. He’s your friend.-ed. They know that already.]

Then Rockefeller went on to lament that the report didn’t really explain “the environment of intense pressure in which the intelligence officials were asked to render judgments,” implying that administration officials bullied the analysts into saying what the president wanted to hear. Not so. The report explained that there was certainly pressure, but that pressure came from the real situation – from the knowledge that error might lead to the death of many Americans – not from policymakers demanding that intelligence officials get the analysis just right.

In fact, for those few people who actually read the report, there’s a pretty big story around page 357, on which we learn that Chairman Roberts got upset at the many anonymous leaks alleging pressure to “cook” the intelligence in the run-up to the war. So he, along with his House counterpart, Porter Goss, “made a public call for officials to come forward and contact the Committee if they had information” about such pressure. Roberts issued that call at least nine different times, but “the Committee was not presented with any evidence that intelligence analysts changed their judgments as a result of political pressure…or that anyone even attempted to coerce, influence or pressure analysts to do so…”

So Rockefeller should either put up or shut up. If the report is wrong, he put his signature on a lie. If it’s right, he should stop talking as if he lived in an alternate sauna…I mean universe.

Read it all, of course. It should be noted that Ledeen was rumored to be the author of the (now irrelevant) Niger forgery. As a friend of Michael’s I can promise you one thing, if he were, he would have done a better job. (And if Josh Marshall were a decent man, he would get out of the blogosphere dog house, admit he was wrong on that sleazebag Wilson and apologize for sliming the Ledeen family a la Krugman. Simone Ledeen was in the line of fire, Josh. How about you?)