Groupthink: George W. Bush and Central Intelligence Agency Essay

898 Words 4 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
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The second example of a groupthink symptom that led to poor decision making concerning the invasion of Iraq is self-censorship. Self-censorship occurs when a member or members of the group decide themselves to hold back individual viewpoints that deviate from the apparent consensus of the group. George Tenet, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) did not believe there was a Saddam Hussein-Osama bin Laden link. He and the CIA did not find any conclusive evidence to support this claim. Tenet was also aware that the data presented in the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) was flawed and inconclusive yet he did not put up a serious fight to voice his concerns, especially when the opportunity arose before President Bush. During a meeting in the oval office Bush remarks whether this is all the evidence they have to wage war against Iraq, Tenet confirms that it is a “slam-dunk”. He knows very well that the data is not solid but out of fear of rocking the boat he purposely does not relay the correct information.
The appliance of direct pressure on members who appear to disagree is another effect of groupthink. Congress demanded a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Weapons of Mass Destruction from George Tenet and the

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