(Crossposted from Stayin' Alive)
Jeb Bush tells Faux News that he would have invaded Iraq in 2003 had he been president, based on the intelligence available at the time.
That's what they all say. Except the "intelligence" was fake, as we all actually know. Paul Pillar, who was National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia from 2000 to 2005 is probably the right person to ask
The most serious problem with U.S. intelligence today is that its relationship with the policymaking process is broken and badly needs repair. In the wake of the Iraq war, it has become clear that official intelligence analysis was not relied on in making even the most significant national security decisions, that intelligence was misused publicly to justify decisions already made, that damaging ill will developed between policymakers and intelligence officers, and that the intelligence community's own work was politicized. As the national intelligence officer responsible for the Middle East from 2000 to 2005, I witnessed all of these disturbing developments. . . .Will the corporate media call out Bush on this Big Lie? No, because they were complicit.
The administration used intelligence not to inform decision-making, but to justify a decision already made. It went to war without requesting -- and evidently without being influenced by -- any strategic-level intelligence assessments on any aspect of Iraq. . . .
Official intelligence on Iraqi weapons programs was flawed, but even with its flaws, it was not what led to the war. On the issue that mattered most, the intelligence community judged that Iraq probably was several years away from developing a nuclear weapon. The October 2002 NIE also judged that Saddam was unlikely to use WMD against the United States unless his regime was placed in mortal danger.