5,697. 3/17/2004

Former UN chief weapons inspector Hans Blix was interviewed by CNN war correspondent Christiane Amanpour on March 17, 2004. “Amanpour pressed him…why did the U.S. invasion of Iraq seem in retrospect such a foreordained action? Partly it was because, despite the lack of evidence for remaining WMDs, the Bush administration continued to believe in them, Blix said. Although he places some of the blame on a failure of U.S. intelligence processes–the Pentagon relied too much on its own ‘silo’ of sources rather than more heavily vetted intelligence from the CIA and the State Department…the real problem was the lack of ‘critical thinking,’ he argued. ‘In academia, when you write your thesis, you have an opponent on the faculty and you must defend it. And in a court, there is cross-examination from the prosecutor,’ said Blix. But in the intelligence arena, because of the confidentiality of the subject matter, it is difficult to find those who will play devil’s advocate. The Bush Administration, he said, did not try. ‘They took away the question marks [in the reports] and put in exclamation points instead!’ ”

 – Bonnie Azab Powell, “U.N. Weapons Inspector Hans Blix Faults Bush Administration for Lack of ‘Critical Thinking’ in Iraq,” U.C. Berkeley News, March 18, 2004

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