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Inside Intel
A Conversation
w/ Sandra Brito

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Sandy BritoInside Intel

A conversation with Sandra Brito /
Former Foreign Service Officer

Sandra Brito was recently driven to a difficult decision - after almost 14 years as a US foreign service officer under three presidents: she retired rather than serve further under the Bush administration.  We discuss her experience in multiple assignments within the State Department including intelligence analyst and briefer and her experience of the Bush regime as it fixed the intelligence around the policy.

US Department of State

Oh! what a tangled web we weave
When first we practice to deceive!

Often attributed to Shakespeare, but actually by Sir Walter Scott, author of Ivanhoe & Rob Roy, this couplet perfectly summarizes the Bush regime and the dilemma in which he has placed the United States - including his now declared intent to saddle any subsequent president, the American people, and most tragically, Iraq, with an"enduring commitment" to endless war.  RFS

As a state department employee with a TS/SCI - Top Secret/Specially Compartmented Information - clearance, Sandra Brito was admitted to the Joint Military Intellligence College, now known as the National Defence Intellligence College where she received her Master's Degree in strategic intelligence as well as a certificate in Middle East Studies.

We discuss the structure and function of the State Department's INR, the Bureau of Intelligence and Research and how she, as an INR analyst, was privy to TS/SCI information which her agency, INR, found to be insufficient and dubious as proof of Iraq's alleged WMD program and accused association with Al-Qaeda.  Among 17 intelligence agencies, INR provided the only dissenting opinion to the October 2002 NIE / National Intelligence Estimate which falsely claimed an Iraqi threat of WMDs.  This NIE formed the basis of the Bush regime's justification to attack Iraq.

Aside from her own direct experience as INR analyst, her interactions with other intelligence agencies and experienced and respected members of the intelligence community revealed the widespread and serious misgivings about the inappropriate pressures from the Bush regime to cherry pick and distort intelligence such that - as later confirmed in the Downing Street Minutes - "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

The exploitation of 911 by the Bush administration was not only a public relations assault on the American psyche to instill fear (see Naomi Klein's article and short video - The Shock Doctrine), but an unprecedented ripping of the curtain between the Oval Office and the intelligence community.

At every level and across multiple agencies, the Bush regime - and most infamously, Dick Cheney - pressured the intelligence community to find evidence supporting their premeditated rush to war against Iraq.  When that evidence was not forthcoming, the findings of the agencies were cherry picked and manipulated to augment what thin gruel there was and finally, false evidence - such as the forged documents claiming Sadaam's purchase of yellow cake from Niger - was created: a professional analyst's worst nightmare scenario.  But even these manipulations were not enough.  Donald Rumsfeld established the Office of Special Plans as a custom intelligence agency within the Defense Department with the singular mission to further pursue and create false findings. A litany of Cheney's involvement in thes lies and distortions are detailed in HR 333 - Dennis Kucinich's Articles of Impeachment.

Sandra Brito views the function of intelligence is to speak truth to powerRay McGovern, retired CIA analyst, presidential intelligence briefer, and member of VIPS / Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (the "CIA in exile") is among many that concur in this view.  What we have now is power demanding lies from intelligence.  The result is a disaster for the world, for Iraq, the Middle East, for America, and for the intelligence agencies themselves as they are forced to abandon their role of providing the unvarnished truth to enable informed decision making and are now instead participants in a criminal war of aggression that is eroding United States security and marching the country in lockstep down the path to a police state.

Click here to watch or here to listen.

Click here for
US State Dept Bureau of Intelligence and Research - only US intelligence agency to dissent from the 2002 NIE
Click here for
United States Intelligence Community member agencies
Click here for
NIE 2002 / Nationl Intelligence Estimate - uh, redacted.
Click here for 
The Downing Street Memo Here's  the 
smoking gun - "...the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

Click here for 
Seymour Hersh's New Yorker article on Rumsfeld's "Office of Special Plans"
Click here for 
Iraq & WMDs at the National Security Archive at George Washington University - an award winning library of declassified documents obtained by FOIA / Freedom of Information Act 
Click here for 
PBS/Frontline video on 
John O'Neill Senior FBI agent that warned about 911... and was ignored

Click here for The Cato Institute on 
Total Information Awareness