Most democracies accept intelligence agencies must operate in the shadows, or at least a rare dose of acceptable opaqueness in an otherwise transparent system.1 They also agree the information which is derived to protect a nation is based on the shared belief intelligence agencies work with the best available information to provide informed political decisions. These intelligence agencies and their analyses, however, are threatened when politicians attempt to “fix intelligence and facts to fit” their preconceived notions. This goes for trying to either slant the information or politicize the information for further political or financial gain.
With North Korea’s recent missile tests and Iran’s P5+1 Treaty, some warn this is exactly what Donald Trump is doing. They also maintain former President George W. Bush may have paved the way. Speaking to reporters during a state visit with Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe, Trump declared even though intelligence agencies had provided factual evidence about the dangers of recent missile launches by North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, his gut instincts told him otherwise. Meanwhile, Abe wasn’t amused – and neither were South Korea, China and Russia. This goes for other countries in close proximity to Dear Leader Kim’s repeated ballistic missile tests.