Intelligence Community Uncrossing Fingers?
May 28, 2003 10:11 AM   Subscribe

Intelligence expert does new kind of spin (as in the 180 degree kind). Intelligence expert (and former National Security Advisor) Kenneth Pollack appeared on NPR [scroll to 3rd entry for full audio] to retract statements that he made on the same show in November. Pollack seems to be the first major wonk to call change his mind not on a single, tangible intelligence claim, but on the broader rationale for war in Iraq, and on the reliability of American intelligence in general.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly (10 comments total)
The word "call," what the hell is it doing there?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 10:14 AM on May 28, 2003

As I said, that was not me making that claim; that was me parroting the claims of so-called experts.

I haven't read the book but this guy comes out looking pretty gullible. "Well gee, I was just going by what the CIA analysts told me. It wasn't my fault." Dude, you were catastrophically wrong. Take some responsibility.
posted by euphorb at 10:43 AM on May 28, 2003

Pollack is taking reponsibility.
That is what the retractions are about.
Now if we can get "the adults in charge" to act responsiby and start being honest with the public and admit to lies and deception or at the very least to being wrong.
Too much to ask?
Let's check it out with the PNAC.
posted by nofundy at 11:14 AM on May 28, 2003

FYI, this review of Pollack's The Threatening Storm makes a compelling argument that Pollack wasn't justifying the war at all because his "justification" was actually highly conditional. Of course, those who used it as war kindling didn't read--or ignored--the end of the book.

That's the argument, anyway. Now I read more.
posted by micropublishery at 11:53 AM on May 28, 2003

Oh wow! I wish I were an intelligence expert! Or mayhaps just a professional expert!
posted by Satapher at 12:26 PM on May 28, 2003

I figure that some number of people let talking heads do their thinking for them, and he has been a very prominent one. I saw him on the News Hour, various cable channels, and that silly Ted Turner miniseries "Avoiding Armegeddon." Yeah, he was desperately wrong about soemthing extremely important, but he seems to be doing something to address the fact that a bullshit story appears on page one, but the correction on page G37.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 12:32 PM on May 28, 2003

The author of Black Hawk Down is becoming increasingly skeptical (I don't think he's an official "expert", but he is a talented observer of military events.)
posted by homunculus at 1:11 PM on May 28, 2003

I don't understand how intelligent people can continue to fall for the US' misinformation. Scientifically speaking, what is happening here? The results are not confirming the hypothesis (that they had weapons). It would be logical to then rethink the hypothesis, but noooooo, instead, people (like postroad) continually try to make every scant shred of pseudoevidence fit.

Pollack supported the war, for what he felt were logical reasons. When these reasons turned out to be demostrably untrue, he rethought his analysis. If only the rest of the US would learn from his example and fucking grow up. So what if you got tricked by the stupidest man to ever assume the presidency? He was, in all likelihood, tricked by doctored intelligence to begin with.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 2:14 PM on May 28, 2003

dude, I'm not Postroad, but I think his post, earlier today (er, yesterday) was being snarky, not trying to grasp the "there are still WsMD to be found" straw. I'm pretty sure he isn't too fond of the administration - enough with the personal jabs, eh?
posted by notsnot at 12:04 AM on May 29, 2003

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