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Might the idea that intel ought to have been much, much better not be an expression of the unconstrained vision of the annointed? Times staff writer Paul Richter contributed to this report.posted by Dave Munger on January 29, 2004 PM I didn't suggest it was worse than anyone else's, frankly, nor do I care. WASHINGTON Determined to capture or kill Osama bin Laden after two years of fruitless searching, U. troops are mustering for a spring offensive along Afghanistan's border with Pakistan, Defense Department and other officials said Wednesday. Fruitless in that we haven't landed Bin Laden or produced his corpse, perhaps.We can't fix anyone else's, we can only improve our own. The new operation comes as the Bush administration debates whether to press Pakistan harder to allow the U. In terms of capturing bad guys, blowing up materiel, and gathering intel and refining our techniques for gathering it... Two administration officials said some senior Pentagon officials were pushing for an aggressive hunt for Al Qaeda inside Pakistan, while some officials at the State Department and in the National Security Council argued that Musharraf's already fragile regime, under growing pressure from Islamic hard-liners, would be further destabilized if he allowed foreign troops to operate on Pakistani soil.

Then there is the story about the limits of authority (and judgement) of officers. Successive Presidents of both parties failing to act decisively with summary bureaucratic executions. And it would be a colossal example of leadership to do so. Truman was able to recognize that disestablishing the OSS was a bad idea - and he stood up the CIA. Bush and his aides have gone from talking about weapons to talking about weapons programs, and then, in the State of the Union address, "weapons of mass destruction-related program activities." It is time to stop refining the spin and make a serious attempt to find out where and how American intelligence went wrong. No matter how he and his aides try to change the subject to how tyrannical Saddam Hussein was, it was the presence of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons in Iraq that Mr.

Then there is the takedown of a commenter who just got on her wrong side. The intel community protecting itself by using the fact that any investigation is going to jeopardize sources as a reason to forestall any objective examination of the problem at all. The public also needs to know, as authoritatively as possible, whether the administration made ambiguous intelligence seem certain for political reasons or, worse, whether analysts were pressured to exaggerate their intelligence. Bush gave as his justification for rushing into a war without real international backing. Kay said yesterday that he had seen no evidence of politically twisted intelligence reporting before the war.

Jen Martinez is always a good visit - but she's got her gatling's on full speed today. It was painful yesterday morning to watch John Warner, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, trying to drag some positive nuggets from David Kay, the former chief weapons inspector. Kay said he had found no evidence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and concluded that none would be found, Mr. Kay said he had accounted for "only" 85 percent of Iraq's military programs. Bush and his aides vilified in the months leading up to the war.

First, there's the note from the Vietnam Era POW regarding John Kerry. President - the ability to admit to failure and to fix the problem is a defining characteristic of leadership. American intelligence was wrong in concluding that weapons existed, and that robust programs to develop more were continuing. Kay has repeatedly told the administration just that. Rather than addressing the alarming failures of American intelligence, Mr.

We can't get to much much better without at least trying. As fundamentalist factions continue to gain support in Pakistan, Bush administration officials fear another attempt or a coup could lead to a new regime more hostile to American interests and more supportive of the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Simple reality is, the Pak government doesn't rule all of Pakistan. officials stressed Wednesday that no military operations would be carried out inside Pakistan without Musharraf's approval. "There is no room for any foreign elements coming and assisting us, we don't need any assistance." One U. official said Pakistan was by far the most important country in the U. "There's an obvious ability now to refocus human assets on a far grander scale," the U. Regarding Pakistan: We should just give them back to India.

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