Intelligence cherry-picked for ideological purposes; the claims of a single, unreliable source treated as fact and stovepiped straight up to the White House; a National Intelligence Estimate riddled with dubious claims; efforts made to connect an enemy regime with international terrorism. Echoing the prelude to the Iraq War, these are, in fact, a sampling of the allegations directed at Robert Gates 15 years ago, when the Senate Intelligence Committee considered Gates’ nomination to be the director of Central Intelligence.
Back then, the Senate hearings on Gates ? who is now President Bush’s nominee for secretary of defense, and who is expected to be confirmed as early as next week ? were lively, controversial, and went on for a full month. Senators heard from a variety of witnesses, including a handful of Gates’ former colleagues at the CIA, who painted a damaging portrait of the nominee. – motherj