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Gingrich Called CIA's 2007 Iran NIE a "Coup d'Etat"

May 21, 2009

Yesterday, I detailed the legion of leading Republicans and their acolytes in the right-wing echo who less than two years ago insisted that the CIA was an "anti-Bush cabal" seeking to "undermine" the President. Leading the calls for Speaker Nancy Pelosi to step down over her claim the CIA "misled" Congress is her disgraced predecessor, Newt Gingrich. As it turns out, Gingrich himself didn't merely calls the agency's 2007 Iran National Intelligence Estimate "misleading." Newt labeled it a "coup d'etat."
This week, Gingrich took to the pages of Human Events to insist that Pelosi had "disqualified herself" and must yield the Speaker's gavel. But back in December 2007, he accused the CIA of "misleading" the nation - and worse - over its conclusions in the recent NIE that Tehran had suspended it nuclear program four years earlier:

"[The NIE] is so professionally unworthy, so intellectually indefensible and so fundamentally misleading that it is damaging to our national security.
The NIE appears to be a deliberate attempt to undermine the policies of President Bush by members of his own government by suggesting that Iran no longer poses a serious threat to U.S. national security because we apparently have credible reports that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003."

Just two month later, Gingrich ratcheted up his incendiary rhetoric. The Benedict Arnolds of the American intelligence community, he declared to the cheering right-wing faithful at the February 2008 CPAC conference, had essentially committed treason:

"Any of you who have listened to Ambassador John Bolton know that we have a vast portion of the State Department deeply committed to defeating the policies of President Bush. We have a large proportion of the Intelligence community deeply committed to defeating the policies of President Bush. The fact that he is the elected Commander in Chief of the American people, the fact that the laws have been passed by the elected legislators of the American people, seems to be no matter to this bureaucratic elite, which arrogates to itself the right to do things that are stunningly destructive.
The National Intelligence Estimate on Iran can only be understood as a bureaucratic coup d'état, deliberately designed to undermine the policies of the United States, on behalf of some weird goal."

In his diatribe in Human Events, Newt Gingrich engaged is this frothing-at-the-mouth act of projection:

"To test how much damage Speaker Pelosi has done to the defense of our nation, ask yourself this: If you were a young man or woman just starting out today, would you put on a uniform or become an intelligence officer to defend America, knowing that tomorrow a politician like Nancy Pelosi could decide you were a criminal?"

Substitute "Newt Gingrich" for Pelosi and "traitor" for criminal, and you'd have a test Newt and his rabid right-wing allies would have long since failed.
UPDATE: Undeterred, Gingrich's Republican allies in the House plan to press ahead with a call "for a bipartisan investigation of Speaker Pelosi with regards to allegations the CIA lied to her."

One comment on “Gingrich Called CIA's 2007 Iran NIE a "Coup d'Etat"”

  1. Nothing like some good old Newtonian hypocrisy from the twice-divorced Catholic.


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Jon Perr
Jon Perr is a technology marketing consultant and product strategist who writes about American politics and public policy.

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