Panetta Hearing, Part Deux: How To Produce Better Analyses
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) says she “has to live … every day” with her vote for the Iraq war, which was based on the “dead wrong” National Intelligence Estimate from 2002 on Iraq’s nonexistent WMDs.
“It’s really important to have analysts who are trained, who are aware of the country they’re getting information from, sources they’re getting information from, and analysts who are prepared to ask questions, to challenge the information provided, so they know that information comes from reliable sources,” Panetta replies. Interestingly, that’s something that CIA case officers have traditionally chafed at sharing, viewing it (to be a bit reductive) as a challenge to their credibility. “But very frankly you have to make waves. When you’re not asking questions, when you’re not challenging, that’s when we make mistakes,” Panetta continues, vowing to create “an atmosphere” where open debate occurs. We’ll see how that goes over at Langley.