Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Betrayal of America? The Bureaucratic Shadow Warriors

Kenneth Timmerman, the author Shadow Warriors, is interviewed over at FrontPageMag:

FP: Kenneth Timmerman, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

Timmerman: Thanks, Jamie. It’s always a pleasure to appear alongside other founding members of the Vast Right-wing Conspiracy.

FP: My pleasure as well.

What inspired you to write this book?

Timmerman: In the beginning were the leaks. I was curious how highly-classified intelligence information was winding up on the front pages of the NY Times and in other leftist media. Two stories, in particular, caught my attention initially: the leak of the CIA “secret prisons,” and the smearing of Ahmad Chalabi, to which I will return below.

I knew quite a bit about both stories, and knew that the way they were being reported was incredibly selective and politically motivated. I wanted to track them back to the source.

What I discovered was a vast, underground network of government officials, former intelligence officers, members of Congress and their staffs, who were in bed with a complacent, anti-Bush media. They were eager to publish anything that did damage to this president, even if it put the lives of our intelligence officers or of our front-line troops in jeopardy.

FP: So tell us about the underground resistance movement against President Bush.

Timmerman: It certainly comes as no surprise to readers of this page to discover that a segment of the Democrat party never accepted the legitimacy of the 2000 presidential election, and sought in every possible way to delegitimize George W. Bush.

What I discovered, however, was that this political “pay-back” went far beyond the realm of domestic politics, and that legions of “shadow warriors” purposefully burrowed into the bureaucracy with the sole purpose of undermining the president and his policies.

The sabotage was so intense, for example, that CIA officers actually stood by and watched as a key moderate Iraqi cleric was hacked to death in front of their eyes on the steps of a Shiite shrine in Najaf by the pro-Iranian radical, Muqtada al-Sadr, in April 2003. The death of Majid al-Khoie, who was brought back to Iraq by the Bush administration just after the overthrow of Saddam, was a tremendous setback to our efforts to help the Iraqi Shiite community to distance itself from Iran and organize itself around moderate, pro-Western leaders.

For the shadow warriors, the failure of the liberation of Iraq was not “collateral damage.” It was the actual goal of their efforts. Within just weeks of the liberation, as I reveal in the book, a retired State Department officer who briefly served in Iraq devised the mantra “Bush lied, people died.” The Left has never tired of repeating it.

FP: Your thoughts on the politicization of intelligence by Senate Democrats?

Timmerman: The end result of the extraordinary cherry-picking of intelligence by Senate Democrats that I describe in detail in the book is to devalue intelligence and to make it suspect.

As you know, I follow events in Iran quite closely. You will not be surprised to learn that I am skeptical of the latest National Intelligence Estimate that concluded with “high confidence” that Iran stopped nuclear weapons work in late 2003.

What I find truly disturbing, however, is the widespread skepticism that has greeted this NIE by ordinary Americans and by intelligence specialists alike. No one trusts the intelligence community to come to an unbiased conclusion any longer. This NIE is far worse than the much disputed October 2002 estimate of Iraqi WMD programs, which failed to properly weigh conflicting information but never recommended a policy to the President or to Congress. (No, Rosie, there was no ‘rush to war.’) This NIE explicitly advocates policy – something the intelligence community is not supposed to do – and gives the impression that the intelligence information it chose to credit was pre-cooked in support of a political conclusion.
Read the whole thing.

I've just learned of this book, and Timmerman. He's got an interesting biography.