The new chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Friday sharply criticized the Bush administration’s increasingly combative stance toward Iran, saying that White House efforts to portray it as a growing threat are uncomfortably reminiscent of rhetoric about Iraq before the American invasion of 2003.
Mr. Rockefeller was biting in his criticism of how President Bush has dealt with the threat of Islamic radicalism since the Sept. 11 attacks, saying he believed that the campaign against international terrorism was “still a mystery” to the president.Rockefeller's working on that infamously delayed report by his formerly Republican-controlled Intelligence Committee on White House manipulation of intelligence in the run up to the war. He has this to say:
“I don’t think he understands the world,” Mr. Rockefeller said. “I don’t think he’s particularly curious about the world. I don’t think he reads like he says he does.”
He added, “Every time he’s read something he tells you about it, I think.”
He said that the committee was nearing completion on one part of that investigation, concerning whether the White House ignored prewar C.I.A. assessments that Iraq could disintegrate into chaos.
That report, Mr. Rockefeller said, could be released within months and was “not going to make for pleasant reading at the White House.”