Bill Kristol, 11/14/2005: “After all, the bipartisan Silberman-Robb commission found no evidence of political manufacture and manipulation of intelligence.”
Silberman-Robb Commission Report, 3/31/05: “[W]e were not authorized to investigate how policymakers used the intelligence assessments they received from the Intelligence Community. Accordingly, while we interviewed a host of current and former policymakers during the course of our investigation, the purpose of those interviews was to learn about how the Intelligence Community reached and communicated its judgments about Iraq’s weapons programs–not to review how policymakers subsequently used that information.”
Bill … Bill, Bill, Bill …
Late Update: On the basis of many TPM Reader emails it seems that this canard is now part of the official talking points being churned out at ‘winger central command, with various folks spouting this line about the Robb-Silberman report on the airwaves over the last couple days. So, a couple requests. First, does anyone know of any reason not to take the report’s own words at face value? That is, that they were simpy not authorized to examine potential political manipulation of intelligence, only mistakes within the IC itself? Secondly, if you’ve seen someone in print or on the airwaves spouting this line and you have a link or a transcript, let us know. Send it in to the comments email address and we’ll put together a list.