Appointing a new Director of National Intelligence (DNI), which must oversee a number of 16 American intelligence agencies, seems to be one of the main concerns of anti-war activists in the United States because the country once declared a bloody war against Iraq based only on intelligence which then its producers failed provide reliable documents.
“Republican representative John Ratcliffe of Texas put on an Academy Award-level performance at his senate hearing this month to become the next national intelligence director. I don’t know him personally, but from his appearance, he said most of the things that were true without directly denying the president,” Jane Harman , president of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a Democratic representative from California and a ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, explained in his article published by The Hill.
“If confirmed as DNI, one of the things I explain to everyone is that I will provide truth that is not lacquered,” Ratcliffe said. “Are you talking about the president, are you talking about Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell, anyone’s views about what they want from intelligence will never have an impact on the intelligence I convey. Never.”
“Sounds right. After all, the work of the director of national intelligence is exactly as he explained. I was the lead co-author of the bill that created the position, which is similar to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The director of national intelligence oversees 16 intelligence services to ensure their analysis is accurate, reliable, and apolitical. This is a role that emerged from the failure of intelligence that led to 9/11 and the US invasion of Iraq, and it was intended to prevent others, “Harman went on to say.
Ratcliffe’s notes on sponsoring bipartisan bills to address cyber threats, including those that expand federal and other cyber threat detection and response capabilities that support cyber security education for local law enforcement officials, cannot be ignored. This is a promising indication that he is wise to the danger of miscalculation that often follows unexpected cyber attacks, and that only increases when our enemies become more competent.
But his close alliance with President Trump during the impeachment session cannot be ignored. That is why two important questions loomed above his testimony. First, does Ratcliffe mean what he says? Secondly, even if he does, can he really tell the truth to those in power and persevere in his work?
There is also a third sleep question. If Ratcliffe cannot speak truthfully to power and the intelligence community is forced to reach the wrong conclusions about the existence of bioweapon in a laboratory in Wuhan, will our country face further risk because we lose our capacity to work with China to further curb the spread of a pandemic this or future? Is it possible to provoke a new trade war, let alone a hot or cold war?
No one forgives the abnormal behavior of China in various situations which all make it more difficult to get the relationship back on the right track. But two mistakes don’t make it right, and our goal must be to solve the problem rather than make a new one.
Unfortunately this feels like deja vu again. I was in Congress when we were given conclusive evidence, or we thought, that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and was ready to use it. I chose war because I trusted intelligence at the time. But when we found out, the Bush administration resold the findings of the 2002 flawed National Intelligence (NIE) findings from the start. In the end, the 93-page document that concluded that it did not have “specific information” on “many key aspects” of Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction program was used to justify the war with innumerable costs in blood and property.
When intelligence is made hastily, especially to support the conclusions reached by lawmakers, you get a bad product. As Rand Corporation discovered from Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, “human intelligence is rare and unreliable” and “the size of the evidence in question has the effect of making the NIE more convincing and unpleasant. The basic case that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction seems to make more sense for analysts rather than the alternative he has destroyed. And analysts know that Saddam has a history of fraud, so evidence against Saddam’s ownership of WMD is often considered fraud. “
In other words, just because we believe Saddam has the ability and willingness to produce weapons of mass destruction, does not mean he does. The logic is no different in the case of China, and we risk selling too much intelligence at our own risk.
Perhaps that is why the Secretary of State and former CIA Director Mike Pompeo recently hedged his claim that there was “substantial evidence” that the corona virus originated from a laboratory in Wuhan. General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, both cited evidence that the coronavirus was not man-made, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence was released. public statements that rarely say the same thing. Meanwhile, our Five Eyes allies in Canada, Australia, Britain and New Zealand completely discredit the bioweapon theory.
Originating in the laboratory and being spread accidentally is a far different claim than intentionally releasing bioweapons. When news emerged about the time of infection – France now reported an infection in December involving a patient who had no connection to China – the theory from the origin of the Wuhan laboratory became increasingly insignificant. The interconnected ways in which we live and work can hold the key.
“There is no doubt that Beijing is covering the extent of its spread and how it began. But there is a difference between believing what China might do, and making dubious claims about what it does. Understanding this difference, regardless of political considerations, is the work of our next national intelligence director Should we believe in Ratcliffe? “The writer concludes.
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