I’m just dipping into Ron Suskind’s grippy investigative epic, The One Percent Doctrine. Especially following this week’s Frontline investigation that exposed the Vice President as the nation’s chief cherry picker of politically advantageous intelligence, I found this anecdote eye-popping, if sadly unsurprising:
In mid November 2004, a few weeks after the President’s reelection… Cheney wanted a portion of a particular CIA report declassified and made public. [CIA analytical chief Jami] Miscik knew the report —it was about the complex, often catalytic connections between the war in Iraq and the wider war against terrorism. The item the Vice President wanted declassified was a small part that might lead one to believe that the war was helping the broader campaign against violent Jihadists. The report, she knew, concluded nothing of the sort…To reliease that small segment would be willfully misleading.
As Suskind describes it, Miscik stood her ground. Despite being told, directly, that “Saying no to the Vice President is the wrong answer,” she replied: “Actually, sometimes saying no to the Vice President is what we get paid for.”
“She fired off a memo to [CIA Director] Porter Goss, saying —she later recalled —that “this was just the sort of thing that had gotten us into trouble time and again, over the past few years. Telling only half the story, the half that makes us look good, and keeping the rest classified.”
Goss ultimately backed Miscik’s decision, Suskind relates, but the decision was fatal to her career: “a few weeks after that, she was gone.”