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Security Politics

NBC's Andrea Mitchell reports that the Iraqi war documents were posted online in the first place because of pressure on the intelligence community from conservative lawmakers who said the experts weren't doing enough to prove that Saddam Hussein really had WMD.  In a November 2005 letter to intel chief John Negroponte, the chairs of the House and Senate intelligence committees wrote, "...the sheer volume of materials that we have obtained is overwhelming our intelligence community's ability to properly categorize and translate the contents, analyze and review the information, verify authenticity, and report to users the knowledge generated.  Many, if not most, of the literally millions of pages of documents are unclassified and could be worked by people who do not have security clearances."  The letter also said there needed to be "safeguards" to prevent forgeries, Mitchell reports. 

Another New York Times article reports that buried within the military spending bill Bush signed into law is a provision firing the US inspector general in Iraq -- who has sent US occupation officials to jail on bribery charges, exposed poor construction work by firms like Halliburton, and discovered that the military didn't properly track weapons it shipped to Iraqi security forces.  "The termination language was inserted into the bill by Congressional staff members working for Duncan Hunter, the California Republican who is the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and who declared on Monday that he plans to run for president in 2008."