U.S. Senate to issue report on prewar intelligence about Iraq

U.S. Senate to issue report on prewar intelligence about Iraq
September 7th, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: U.S. Senate to issue report on prewar intelligence about Iraq

U.S. Senate to issue report on prewar intelligence about Iraq
Media: The Associated Press
Date: 07 September 2006

WASHINGTON_The Senate intelligence committee will issue a report Friday, two
years in the making, that Democrats on the panel say will prove that misuse
of intelligence played a role in the Bush administration's decision to go to
war in Iraq.

"Ultimately, I think you will find that administration officials made
repeated prewar statements that were not supported by underlying
intelligence," said Sen. Jay Rockefeller, the committee's top Democrat.

The 400-page study to be released by the Senate Select Committee on
Intelligence will examine how intelligence analysts and officials used
information provided by the Iraqi National Congress, a group opposed to
President Saddam Hussein that had financial backing from the United States.

It will also compare prewar assessments of Saddam's weapons of mass
destruction program with the postwar discovery that no such program existed.

The report, expected to reiterate the overestimation of the WMD threat and
the questionable reliance of intelligence agencies on Iraqi National
Congress leader Ahmad Chalabi, comes out in the same week that President
George W. Bush is emphasizing the importance of the Iraq campaign to his
worldwide campaign against terror.

Republican members of the intelligence committee would not comment on the
report Thursday, but Democrats, who have been pushing for its release, said
it backed up their argument that Bush's case for war in Iraq was misleading.

Rockefeller said the report reveals that "the administration pursued a
deceptive strategy abusing intelligence reporting that the intelligence
community had already warned was uncorroborated, unreliable and in some
critical circumstances fabricated."

Democrats have argued that Chalabi, in his campaign to topple Saddam, fed
U.S. intelligence agencies information that exaggerated the threat posed by
Iraq's WMD capabilities. Republicans have countered that Chalabi's influence
was limited.

The panel issued Phase I of the report, identifying failures in
intelligence-gathering, in July 2004.

Democrats, dissatisfied with the scope of that study, pushed for a second
study that would delve into how senior policymakers used intelligence to
steer the country toward war.

Last November, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid temporarily shut down
Senate operations, demanding a closed-door session to discuss the report and
the delay in its release.

The information to be released Friday includes only two of the less
controversial parts of the five studies under that Phase II. Rockefeller
said a third part, on the prewar intelligence assessment of postwar Iraq,
might be issued this month.

Partisan differences have delayed release of any analysis on the more
politically sensitive issue of how administration officials used
intelligence. "We continue our work on the remaining part of our Phase II
inquiry," said the committee's Republican chairman, Sen. Pat Roberts.

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