Thursday, December 15

Who had the Intelligence?

From SusanG on Dailykos:


Seems like it was just yesterday, Bush was saying:

Some of the most irresponsible comments - about manipulating intelligence - have come from politicians who saw the same intelligence I
saw and then voted to authorize the use of force against Saddam Hussein, These charges are pure politics."

Whoops! It was yesterday! Ha ha ha ha ha! What a difference a day makes, eh? Because today from Knight Ridder, we have:

WASHINGTON - President Bush and top administration officials have access to a much broader range of intelligence reports than members of Congress do, a nonpartisan congressional research agency said in a report Thursday, raising questions about recent assertions by the president. ...The Congressional Research Service, by contrast, said: "The president, and a small number of presidentially designated Cabinet-level officials, including the vice president ... have access to a far greater overall volume of intelligence and to more sensitive intelligence information, including information regarding intelligence sources and methods." ...The CRS report identified nine key U.S. intelligence "products" that aren't generally shared with Congress. These include the President's Daily Brief, a compilation of analyses that's given only to the president and a handful of top aides, and a daily digest on terrorism-related matters.

Surprisingly, the White House refused to comment on the issue.
We can only hope some fightin' Dems come out tomorrow with plenty to say.

I'm pretty sure they will.

Here are more details directly from the Congressional Research Service Report requested by Sen. Feinstein (D-CA). The report found that:

The executive branch generally does not routinely share with Congress four general types of intelligence information:

  • the identities of intelligence sources;
  • the "methods" employed by the Intelligence Community in collecting and analyzing intelligence;
  • "raw" intelligence, which can be unevaluated or "lightly" evaluated intelligence, (18) which in the case of human intelligence (19) sometimes is provided by a single source, but which also could consist of intelligence derived from multiple sources when signals (20) and imagery (21) collection methods are employed; and,
  • certain written intelligence products tailored to the specific needs of the President and other high-level executive branch policymakers. Included in the last category is the President's Daily Brief (PDB), a written intelligence product which is briefed daily to the President, and which consists of six to eight relatively short articles or briefs covering a broad array of topics. (22) The PDB emphasizes current intelligence (23) and is viewed as highly sensitive, in part, because it can contain intelligence source and operational information. Its dissemination is thus limited to the President and a small number of presidentially-designated senior administration policymakers. (24)

The report further broke down the intelligence information excluded from Congress into Nine Areas:

  • The President's Daily Brief (PDB) is a written intelligence product which is briefed daily to the President orally by a small cadre of senior Intelligence Community analysts. As previously mentioned, it consists of six to eight relatively short articles or briefs covering a broad array of topics (48) and is viewed as a current intelligence product, in that it focuses on the events of the past day or two, or on issues expected to arise over the next few days. (49) The PDB is viewed as highly sensitive, in part, because it can contain sensitive intelligence source and operational information. Thus its dissemination is limited to the President and a small number of presidentially-designated senior administration policymakers.
  • Presidential Daily Brief Memoranda are products containing responses to questions posed by the President and any of the small number of designated senior policymakers who receive the PDB. After briefing the handful of designated policymakers, members of the analytic briefing team return to CIA each morning, and task Intelligence Community personnel to provide answers to the various inquiries posed during the each briefing session.
  • Senior Executive Memoranda are tailored analytic products that also can be produced in response to policymaker questions arising from PDB briefings. (50)
  • National Terrorism Brief (NTB) is prepared by the National Counterterrorism Center, is appended to the daily PDB, and is briefed to the President by the DNI.
  • The Director's Daily Report is prepared by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and is used by the FBI Director to verbally brief the President. (51)
  • Red Cell analyses are products that are speculative in nature and sometimes take a position at odds with the conventional wisdom. (52)
  • Raw intelligence is unevaluated intelligence.
  • TDs (Telephonic Disseminations) are raw intelligence reports disseminated by the CIA's Directorate of Operations. TDs are slightly finished intelligence, in that they contain some commentary as to the credibility of the source providing the intelligence.
  • Chief of Station (COS) Reports are reports prepared by the CIA's chief representative in a particular country and contain the COS's views of the current situation. The COS can share his reports with the resident ambassador for comment, but is under no obligation to incorporate any comments by the ambassador into his final report.

Vyan

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