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Politicizing Intelligence on Syria

12:00 AM, Mar 11, 2012 • By ELLIOTT ABRAMS
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He also said we are now—in mid March 2012—considering non-lethal aid to that opposition. Consider this: Suppose the administration had not sat on its thumbs and had started delivering non-lethal aid one or two or six months ago. By now, we would in fact know a great deal more about the opposition: Who is real and who has no military capacity, who can get things into Syria and who can’t, who is corrupt and who is effective. The ignorance behind which Panetta hides is in large part a self-inflicted wound. 

Fourteen months after the rebellion in Syria began, that we know so little about the opposition is not so much an intelligence failure as a deliberate policy. So is the use of the intelligence community for orchestrated briefings designed to justify inaction by making Assad’s military sound like the Wehrmacht. That’s the politicization of intelligence, and the House and Senate Intelligence Committees would do well to find out who ordered that briefing, and ask the Director of Central Intelligence and the Director of National Intelligence why they permitted it.

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