The NY Times previews the upcoming Senate Intelligence Committe report on pre-war intelligence. Although the headline and the first few paragraphs are spent deploring the non-coverage of the White House use of the intelligence, eventually the Times gets to this:
The unanimous report by the panel will say there is no evidence that intelligence officials were subjected to pressure to reach particular conclusions about Iraq. That issue had been an early focus of Democrats, but none of the more than 200 intelligence officials interviewed by the panel made such a claim, and the Democrats have recently focused criticism on the question of whether the intelligence was misused.
More than 200 witnesses, any of whom would have been given a career-long shoulder ride by the Democrats simply for uttering the magic words, and no one admitted to being pressured to produce cooked intelligence? That will come as a shock to some, and we are sure the Times will want to highlight this information.
And no, we are not surprised. And if I could trust my memory, I would say that similar stories have come out from various earlier investigations.
UPDATE: It was IceCold in January when Dana Priest wrote this:
No Evidence CIA Slanted Iraq Data
Probers Say Analysts Remained Consistent
By Dana Priest
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, January 31, 2004; Page A01
Congressional and CIA investigations into the prewar intelligence on Iraq's weapons and links to terrorism have found no evidence that CIA analysts colored their judgment because of perceived or actual political pressure from White House officials, according to intelligence officials and congressional officials from both parties.
IIRC, David Kay told Congress something similar at the end of January; he certainly did with James Risen of the NY Times. An excerpt:
...Dr. Kay said he was convinced that the analysts were not pressed by the Bush administration to make certain their prewar intelligence reports conformed to a White House agenda on Iraq.
Last year, some C.I.A. analysts said they had felt pressed to find links between Iraq and Al Qaeda to suit the administration. While Dr. Kay said he has no knowledge about that issue, he did not believe that pressure was placed on analysts regarding the weapons programs.
"All the analysts I have talked to said they never felt pressured on W.M.D.," he said. "Everyone believed that they had W.M.D."
And a Dem rebuttal (is this sufficiently deeply buried?) can be found a day later in the NY Times:
Mr. Roberts said the committee had found no evidence that intelligence analysts were subjected to overt political pressure to tailor their findings — a conclusion that was not embraced totally by committee Democrats, who offered their own statements asserting that that issue had not been satisfactory resolved.
Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, for example, said, "In my view, this remains an open question and needs more scrutiny." And Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, another Democratic committee member, said that while "nobody came before the committee and said, `Look, I had my brains beaten in to change my analysis,' " it was nevertheless true that "policymakers made it very clear what information they were looking for."