The National Intelligence Council was formed in 1973 to serve, according to an N.I.E. definition, as "a bridge between the intelligence and policy communities, a source of deep substantive expertise on critical national security issues, and as a focal point for intelligence community collaboration. The NIC's goal is to provide policymakers with the best, unvarnished, and unbiased information--regardless of whether analytic judgments conform to U.S. policy."
National Intelligence Estimates are not necessarily accurate. A 2002 N.I.E. estimate concluded that Iraq was likely developing weapons of mass destruction. The estimate was used as the Bush Administration's justification for invading Iraq in 2003. The estimate proved wrong. In 2005, an N.I.E. report concluded that Iran was likely developing nuclear weapons. The N.I.E. reversed itself in December 2007, saying Iran halted its nuclear-weapons program in 2003.