"In its report on Thursday, the acting inspector general, Thomas F. Gimble, found that the work done by the Pentagon team, which was assembled by Douglas J. Feith, a former under secretary of defense for policy, was “not fully supported by the available intelligence.”" NY Times
A damaging document like the Department of Defense Inspector General report on the misdeeds of the Office of Special Plans could not have been released without the express and personal permission of the Secretary of Defense.
That means that Bob Gates himself released the report in the certain knowledge that it would cause a furor in the media, in the Congress and in the White House. At the same time a rebuttal of the IG’s report has been prepared in the Pentagon. This would be a normal precaution on the part of DoD hedging against the "blowback" that the bureaucracy knew would occur as soon as the IG report became public.
Nevertheless, it is becoming clear that Mr. Gates is "dragging his feet" over making a propaganda case against Iran on the basis of the available evidence of Iranian interference in American operations in Iraq as well as its insistence on continuation of its nuclear program. Gates is widely quoted as believing that everyone should calm down about Iran, and that the evidence of Iranian intractability has been overstated.
A book of "evidence" of Iranian malfeasance has been prepared for public release as part of the "information operation" (propaganda). Those who have seen it (including Gates) think it is "weak."
For Gates to "drag his feet" in the midst of "the Year of Iran" (attributed to John Hannah – the VP’s Middle East man) is a major problem for the Cheney/Bush Administration’s goals in regard to Iran.
It will not be politically possible for Bush to fire Gates. He will have to live with having chosen him. How far will the drift toward disagreement over this proceed? pl