and Military Choices Facing White House; Rising Pressure
Among Democrats for Iraq Withdrawal; Iraq Strategy
November 13, 2006 - 18:00 ET
DOBBS: On the eve of what many hope
will be a new political era in Washington, old charges
are rising and flying. Political manipulation of intelligence
during the Cold War. Those, the allegations being
made against Bob Gates, President Bush's nominee to
replace Rumsfeld as defense secretary. Jeanne Meserve
JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY
CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With flawed intelligence
on Iraq still a raw nerve, old questions about whether
Bob Gates has skewed intelligence for political purposes
may be creating new problems. SEN. CARL LEVIN (D),
MICHIGAN: For me, the important thing with Mr. Gates
is whether or not he is independent, whether or not
he is going to speak truth to power.
MESERVE: Accusations that Gates slanted
intelligence date back to the 1980s. On Mikhail Gorbachev's
Soviet Union and Nicaragua's Contra rebels, some accuse
Gates of distorting analysis to support the policy
goals of those he worked for, including then CIA Director
After an assassination attempt made
on Pope John Paul II, for example, a CIA study said
the Soviets were involved. But there was never proof.
MELVIN GOODMAN, FORMER CIA SOVIET
ANALYST: It was politicization. It was corrupt intelligence.
It was total spin.
MESERVE: Critics went public in 1991,
when Gates was nominated to be CIA director.
JENNIFER GLAUDEMANS, FORMER CIA SOVIET
ANALYST: Mr. Gates politicized intelligence analysis
and is responsible for an overall degradation of the
MESERVE: Gates rebutted, saying his
honest assessments were why the first President Bush
GATES: And I think one of the reasons
he appointed me to this job was that he knows I'm
going to tell him exactly what I think and exactly
what CIA thinks, and not shade it.
MESERVE: Though 31 senators voted
against Gates, he was confirmed.
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY
ADVISER: He took very much to heart the perception,
whether real or not, the perception that he was slanting
intelligence, and, in his performance as its director,
was meticulous in ensuring that he did not do so.
MESERVE: McLaughlin says he never
saw Gates skew intelligence. But Melvin Goodman believes
Gates is still what he calls a political wind sock,
adjusting his views to the political winds.
GOODMAN: Will he tell truth to power?
He never has before. Will he do it now? Well, look,
I don't know. I'm inclined to think that he can't,
and that he certainly won't.