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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Senate Panel Finds Iraq Intelligence Exaggerations

Surprise, surprise. Now what?

I have taken the liberty of adding all the links to the various reports referred to in this article for the convenience of my readers.

Senate Panel Finds Iraq Intelligence Exaggerations

WASHINGTON — In a report long delayed by partisan squabbling, the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday accused President Bush and Vice President Cheney of taking the country to war in Iraq by exaggerating evidence of links between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda in the emotional aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

“The president and his advisers undertook a relentless public campaign in the aftermath of the attacks to use the war against Al Qaeda as a justification for overthrowing Saddam Hussein,” Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV, the committee’s Democratic chairman, said in a statement accompanying the 171-page report.

The committee’s report cited some instances in which public statements by senior administration officials were not supported by the intelligence available at the time, such as suggestions that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda were operating in a kind of partnership, that the Baghdad regime had provided the terrorist network with weapons training, and that one of the Sept. 11 hijackers had met an Iraqi intelligence operative in Prague in 2001.

But the report found that on several key issues, including Iraq’s alleged nuclear, biological and chemical weapons programs, public statements from Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney and other top officials before the war were generally “substantiated” by the best estimates of the intelligence agencies, though the statements did not always reflect the agencies’ uncertainty about the evidence. All the weapons claims were disproved after invading troops found no unconventional arsenal and little effort to build one.

Republicans on the committee sharply dissented from some of its findings and attached a detailed minority report that listed pre-war statements by Mr. Rockefeller and other Democrats describing the threat posed by Iraq.

“The report released today was a waste of committee time and resources that should have been spent overseeing the intelligence community,” said the minority report, signed by Sen. Christopher S. Bond of Missouri, the committee’s top Republican, and three Republican colleagues.

A second committee report, also made public on Thursday, detailed a series of clandestine meetings between Pentagon officials and Iranian dissidents in Rome and Paris in 2001 and 2003. It accused Steven Hadley, now the national security advisor, and Paul Wolfowitz, the former deputy defense secretary, of failing to properly inform the intelligence agencies and the State Department about the meetings.

The two reports are the final parts of the committee’s so-called “phase two” investigation of pre-war intelligence on Iraq and related issues. The first phase of the inquiry, completed in July 2004, identified grave faults in the intelligence agencies’ collection and analysis of the threat posed by Saddam Hussein.

In order to complete that initial 2004 report (HERE), committee members agreed to put off several of the more politically volatile topics. Sen. Pat Roberts, the Kansas Republican who was then chairman, nonetheless declared nearly four years ago that the phase two effort was “a priority. I made my commitment and it will get done.”

But a lengthy standoff ensued. Democrats accused Republicans of dodging their demands to complete the inquiry in order to protect the Bush administration from damaging revelations. Republicans insisted that they were not dragging their feet and asserted that the findings might well turn out to embarrass Congressional Democrats.

In September 2006, the committee issued reports on two parts of the phase two study, one on how pre-war assessments of Iraq’s weapons programs and links to terrorism compared with post-war findings (HERE) and another on the intelligence agencies’ use of information from the Iraqi National Congress (HERE), the controversial opposition group to Saddam Hussein.

In May 2007, the committee, now led by Democrats, put out a third part of the phase two review, this one examining pre-war predictions by the intelligence agencies about post-war Iraq.


But it would take another year to complete the most delicate part of the planned inquiry, the look at pre-war public statements by executive branch officials. In the end, the Republicans chose to issue their own dissenting report, aimed at showing that some Democrats who have been eager to attack the administration had themselves made bellicose comments about Saddam Hussein and the threat he posed.

The Senate Intelligence Committee, once seen as a relative refuge from the political maneuvering and brawling that characterizes many other committees, has been mired in partisan dispute for most of the last five years. Thursday’s reports and the polarized comments accompanying them are unlikely to improve relations between Mr. Rockefeller and Mr. Bond and their party colleagues on the committee.


Furthermore from the Senate Intelligence Committee Website:

The Committee’s report cites several conclusions in which the Administration’s public statements were NOT supported by the intelligence. They include:
Ø Statements and implications by the President and Secretary of State suggesting that Iraq and al-Qa’ida had a partnership, or that Iraq had provided al-Qa’ida with weapons training, were not substantiated by the intelligence.
Ø Statements by the President and the Vice President indicating that Saddam Hussein was prepared to give weapons of mass destruction to terrorist groups for attacks against the United States were contradicted by available intelligence information.
Ø Statements by President Bush and Vice President Cheney regarding the postwar situation in Iraq, in terms of the political, security, and economic, did not reflect the concerns and uncertainties expressed in the intelligence products.
Ø Statements by the President and Vice President prior to the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate regarding Iraq’s chemical weapons production capability and activities did not reflect the intelligence community’s uncertainties as to whether such production was ongoing.
Ø The Secretary of Defense’s statement that the Iraqi government operated underground WMD facilities that were not vulnerable to conventional airstrikes because they were underground and deeply buried was not substantiated by available intelligence information.


Phase II Report on Public Statements

Phase II Report on DoD Policy Office

To ADD: I recently recieved a comment that was quite long and full of false information concerning the war in Iraq. Here are just a few of those statements given:

1. Bush did NOT lie. His 16 word statement is entirely factual: "The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa ." REF: And contrary

FACT: The so called "information" this commenter is referring to has been thoroughly disputed

View the FORGED documents HERE

2. The war was entirely legal. Why? 1. Saddam's violation of the Armistice of 1991 which allowed him to stay in power. 2. Saddam's violations of the No Fly zone 3. Saddam's bypassing of the sanctions and the later Oil for Food Scandal 4. Saddam's connections to international terror; his funding of and permitting his territory to be used for training and deployments 5. Saddam's violations of 17 UNSC resolutions, including 1441, the ultimatum resolution 6. International agreement to the party-faulty intel that Saddam's regime was a growing threat. Accordingly, REF: Most of the ignorant blather one hears in the media is utter nonsense because the propaganda has been paid for...but NOT by the party you'd think. The following has been thoroughly vetted and researched. You will not be able to refute, never mind negate it:

FACT: The Nuremberg Principles:

Principle VI

The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law:

(a) Crimes against peace:
(i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;
(ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).


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