"What becomes clear, despite the Jack Webb just-the-facts-ma'm language of the reports themselves, is the degree to which the intelligence process itself became a very small dog attached to a very large propaganda tail. If the pressure on the analysts to conform to the party line wasn't as direct or heavyhanded as sometimes claimed (and most regime's critics generally concede that it wasn't) it may have been because it wasn't necessary. There were so many other ways to achieve the desired propaganda objective.* frankrich:
The easiest way, it seems, was simply to grab the most dramatic and terrifying bits of raw intelligence (mobile bioweapons labs! Ultralight aircraft with germ sprayers attached! Hijackers R Us!) as soon as they appeared in the pipeline, and then studiously ignore the inevitable disclaimers or fabrication notices issued later by the agencies as they learned more about the sources and their claims. If our spooks pushed back on a story (as they did with the Niger uranium hoax) a foreign service might be willing to fill in the blank. Or one of Judy Miller's stories. There were White House "fact" sheets based on much less.
Some of the analysts and bureaucrats interviewed by the committee practically tie themselves in knots trying to write all this off as strictly SNAFU -- even when it led to the most spectacular propaganda success of the entire marketing campaign: Colin Powell's fantasy-filled presentation to the U.N. Security Council."
" At the National Cathedral prayer service on Sept. 14, 2001, President Bush found just the apt phrase to describe this phenomenon: “Today we feel what Franklin Roosevelt called ‘the warm courage of national unity.’ This is the unity of every faith and every background. It has joined together political parties in both houses of Congress.” What’s more, he added, “this unity against terror is now extending across the world.”
The destruction of that unity, both in this nation and in the world, is as much a cause for mourning on the fifth anniversary as the attack itself. As we can’t forget the dead of 9/11, we can’t forget how the only good thing that came out of that horror, that unity, was smothered in its cradle."
* tagline of the day: "Keep Osama free and happy. Vote Republican."