From Information Clearing House:
Cooking intelligence – again
By Gordon Prather
Four years ago, President Bush ordered Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet to prepare a National Intelligence Estimate to be used to "justify" to Congress the pre-emptive war against Iraq we now know he had already decided to launch.
Two years later, the Senate Intelligence Committee concluded that:
Most of the major key judgments in the Intelligence Community's October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate – "Iraq's Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction" – either overstated, or were not supported by, the underlying intelligence reporting.
In particular, the assessment that Iraq "is reconstituting its nuclear program" was "not supported by the intelligence provided to the committee."
The committee noted that prior to 1999 our intelligence community had been heavily dependent upon information obtained from United Nations inspectors.
True, in December 1998, President Clinton had warned all U.N. inspectors to get out of Iraq or risk getting killed during Operation Desert Fox.
However, after Clinton quit bombing, International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors had been allowed back into Iraq (in 2000, 2001 and 2002) to inspect all the surviving nuclear-related sites in Iraq – including Kuwaitha, where our "intelligence" had suggested the Iraqis might be doing something untoward – and found nothing untoward.
But Tenet's 2002 NIE didn't even mention those IAEA inspections, much less the subsequent "null" reports made to the UN Security Council.
Well, obviously the Cheney Cabal didn't want Congress to know – at least officially – that by 1994 all Saddam's nuclear programs had been verifiably destroyed and that he had made no attempt whatsoever to reconstitute them.
Inexplicably, the Senate Intelligence Committee did not even mention – much less decry – the failure of the intelligence community to base the 2002 NIE "assessments" of Saddam's nuclear program on those IAEA "null" reports.
There were, however, cries of anguish from those sent to Iraq on a fool's errand by Tenet. Never again produce an NIE that completely ignores the "best