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Wednesday, August 13, 2003
More faith-based intelligence
WorldNetDaily: $20,000 bonus to official who agreed on nuke claim : "A former Energy Department intelligence chief who agreed with the White House claim that Iraq had reconstituted its defunct nuclear-arms program was awarded a total of $20,500 in bonuses during the build-up to the war, WorldNetDaily has learned. "

What's hiding underneath that lead graf is claims that Rider overrode his in-house intelligence experts in deciding that the Dept. of Energy should sign onto the opinion that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear program in the NIE that was given to Congress before the October vote to authorize use of force against Iraq. The position was supported by 5 of the 6 agencies with input to the NIE; State was the only dissenter.

Rider was apparently drawing on his vast lack of knowledge of the intelligence community in making this decision, as his background is as a long-time human resources bureaucrat. His instinctive grasp of which horse to back, though, got him a $13,000 bonus from energy secretary Spencer Abraham when the NIE was produced. This was added to an earlier $7,500 bonus. The bonuses were allegedly for outstanding performance.

Yet despite Rider's alleged outstanding performance, Abraham didn't keep him in the top position. In February, he was replaced by CIA official John Russak. By July, Rider had been relocated to another department – energy assurance.
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