Glenn Thrush & Josh Gerstein

Posted by Glenn Thrush & Josh Gerstein on February 04, 2011 in News Clips

Critics are openly questioning the quality of information and analysis given to President Barack Obama by U.S. intelligence agencies in the days leading to the dramatic uprising against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. And they are raising questions about the effectiveness of his efforts to force the 82-year-old strongman to step down.

Administration officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, admit that some mistakes were made and some signals were missed. And, even as they frantically try to negotiate Mubarak’s departure and avert more violence, they argue that their options and leverage would have been limited even had Obama been warned long in advance of the unrest that would sweep Egypt.

But on Thursday, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) pointedly challenged analysts over the quality of information Obama was given in the days leading up to the uprising.

“The president, the secretary of state and the Congress are making policy decisions on Egypt, and those policymakers deserve timely intelligence analysis,” Feinstein said.

“I have doubts whether the intelligence community lived up to its obligations in this area.”

And Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), another member of the panel, suggested there would be more questions to come. “The whole question of Egypt and what we knew when is critical … I am interested in when the president was told how serious this was,” he said.

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