Bless David Kay’s heart. The man who, after all is a former senior official in the Bush Administration has decided to take on Condi Rice as the incompetent Bush intelligence operative that she really is (see Former Iraq Arms Inspector Faults Prewar Intelligence). He’s trying to slay a might powerful Bush dragon and I say more power to him. Here are some of the kind things he had to say about her and her NSC cohorts:
[Kay]told Congress on Wednesday that the National Security Council led by Condoleezza Rice had botched intelligence information before the war and was “the dog that did not bark” over Iraq’s weapons program.
In uncharacteristically caustic remarks about his former colleagues, the weapons inspector, David Kay, said the National Security Council had failed to protect President Bush from faulty prewar intelligence and had left Secretary of State Colin L. Powell “hanging out in the wind” when he tried to gather intelligence before the war about Iraq’s weapons programs.
“Where was the N.S.C?” Dr. Kay asked, suggesting that the president had come to depend too heavily on information supplied by Ms. Rice, Mr. Bush’s national security adviser, and that the president needed to reach out to others for national security information.
“Every president who has been successful, at least that I know of, in the history of this republic, has developed both informal and formal means of getting checks on whether people who tell him things are in fact telling him the whole truth,” Dr. Kay told the Senate intelligence committee at a hearing called to discuss the findings of the Sept. 11 commission.
“I think this is particularly crucial and difficult to do in the intelligence area,” he continued. “The recent history has been a reliance on the N.S.C. system to do it. I quite frankly think that has not served this president very well.”
Dr. Kay added: “The dog that did not bark in the case of Iraq’s W.M.D. weapons program, quite frankly, in my view, is the National Security Council.”
Another interesting point he raises is that no one from the NSC or CIA has been held accountable for these serious intelligence lapses. As long as no one is at fault, Kay says, how can the vaunted national intelligence director recommended by the 9/11 Commission hope to make any real change in our intelligence system?
See an earlier post I wrote about Kay’s NYT interview after resigning as head of the Iraq survey group seeking WMD.