from PBS Website
Amid revelations about faulty prewar intelligence and a scandal surrounding the indictment of the vice president's chief of staff and presidential adviser, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, FRONTLINE goes behind the headlines to investigate the internal war that was waged between the intelligence community and Richard Bruce Cheney, the most powerful vice president in the nation's history.
He warned the
public that the government would have to operate on the "dark side."
more than 40 interviews and thousands of documents, the film provides a
step-by-step examination of what happened inside the councils of war.
Cheney's primary ally in this effort was Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
In the initial stages of the war on terror, Tenet's CIA was rising to prominence as the lead agency in the Afghanistan war.
But when Tenet
insisted in his personal meetings with the president that there was no
connection between Al Qaeda and Iraq, Cheney and Rumsfeld initiated a secret
program to re-examine the evidence and marginalize the agency and Tenet.
Through interviews with DoD staffers who sifted through mountains of raw
intelligence, FRONTLINE details how questionable intelligence was "stovepiped"
to the vice president and presented to the public.
program also recounts the vice president's unprecedented visits to the CIA,
where he questioned mid-level analysts on their conclusions. CIA officers
who were there at the time say the message was clear: Cheney wanted evidence
that Iraq was a threat.
Pillar also reveals that he regrets participating in writing a subsequent public "white paper" on Iraqi WMD.
For the first time, FRONTLINE tells of George Tenet's personal struggle in the run-up to the Iraq war through the accounts of his closest advisers.
Tenet chose to stay, but after the failure to find Iraqi WMD, the tension between the agency and Cheney's allies grew to the point that some in the administration believed the CIA had launched a covert war to undermine the president.
In response, Cheney's office waged a campaign to distance itself from the prewar intelligence the vice president had helped to cultivate. Under pressure, Tenet resigned.
Cheney's chief of staff, Scooter Libby, would later admit to leaking key sections of the NIE - authorized, he says, by Cheney.
Libby also stated that the vice president told him that President Bush had declassified the material. Insiders tell FRONTLINE that the leak was part of the battle between the vice president and the CIA - a battle that many believe has destroyed the CIA.
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