Groupthink: George W. Bush and Central Intelligence Agency

884 WordsDec 16, 20094 Pages
Writing Assignment #1 Groupthink is described as a mode of thinking in which group member’s premature striving for agreement somehow overrides their ability to realistically appraise alternative courses of action. After having watched “Bush’s War” I feel groupthink did in part play a significant role in the decision making process leading up to the war on Iraq. Members of cohesive, like-minded groups that share and cling to the same assumptions and beliefs while disregarding opinions and information to the contrary are more susceptible to groupthink. This kind of group cohesiveness was apparent within the Bush Administration where several key members steadfastly held onto the same assumption and course of action without logically…show more content…
Added to this Vice President Dick Cheney and his chief of staff, Lewis (Scooter) Libby made deliberate visits to the CIA to ‘check’ on how the NIE was coming along. A lot of areas were asked to be looked over several times to discover the connection that suited the group’s view. Hence the CIA was under intense political pressure from both Congress and the Administration. Vincent Cannistraro, a former CIA officer, confirms that direct pressure was applied with the statement, “…so you start looking very hard for anything at all that will support the answer that the Vice President wants, that the Defense Department wants.” Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and the other neoconservatives all believed they were operating on a view that is true and so they went out of their way to prove that it is indeed true. Any deviation from this truth resulted in direct pressure, making it clear that dissent against the group consensus was unacceptable. The final outcome was a very flawed National Intelligence Estimate When groups exhibit groupthink the end result is disastrous decision making. This was evident concerning the decision regarding postwar Iraq with all the looting. The self-censoring of doubts presented a false picture and only served to maintain a false unity that gave an illusion of unanimity. Placing direct pressure resulted in an estimate filled with data that was not iron clad. Instead of narrowing down on one course of action, as in

More about Groupthink: George W. Bush and Central Intelligence Agency

Open Document