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Wednesday, June 15, 2005 

On the use of "bad intelligence"

The Bush administration has repeatedly hidden behind what it terms "bad intelligence" for its ill-fated decision to invade Iraq. As those of us who didn't buy what the administration was pushing in the lead-up to war, this is just the latest in a long series of misrepresentations and finger pointing. Indeed, while the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence arrived at the (shocking!) conclusion that pre-war predictions about Saddam's WMD capability were well off the mark, the fact remains that that committee has yet to complete its mission by addressing the issue of how the intel was used.

What we do know at this point, however, is how it was used to secure Congressional approval for the use of force against Saddam's Iraq.

Senator Bob Graham, in his book, recounts a Sept 5, 2002 meeting he and Senators Durbin and Levin had with then CIA director George Tenet and his staff. Though the administration had long before decided on invasion, to the senators' amazement no National Intelligence Estimate for Iraq had yet been produced. Graham, Durbin and Levin demanded to see one, and three weeks later Tenet produced a 90-page document rife with caveats and qualifications (though these were buried in footnotes) about what we knew--or didn't know--about WMD in Iraq.

That report was classified, and as such was available only to those on the House and Senate intelligence committees. Graham pressed for it to be declassified, and got what he asked for on Oct 4--one week before Congress was to vote on the use of force. However, this declassified version was more like a marketing brochure: 20 pages in length, slickly produced with splashy grahics and maps, and devoid of any of the caveats contained in the original. Graham described it later as "a vivid and terrifying case for war."

This piece of propaganda--let's call it what it is--was the only information on WMD our senators and representatives had on which to base their decision on the use of force. And they had one week to make up their mind.

Bush has since made the claim that Congress had access to the same intel that the administration did, but that clearly is a lie. What Congress had was what the administration was willing to give them, namely a promotional piece whose lies of omission outweighed what was included by a factor of four.

The Senate committee on intelligence needs to finish the job it started and determine just what was left out of that 20-page brochure.

 posted by ukiyo1  # 5:21 PM  
According to the DSM on 6/23/02 C told the PM that: "... Bush had made up his mind to take military action ... the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. ... But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran [which were known to lack significant WMD capability]." Since then the Senate Committee on Intelligence has issued a report that concluded that U.S. intelligence genuine believed that Saddam had a stockpile of WMDs and that they were not led to that conclusion by the Bush administration. It appears that facts and intelligence was not all that was fixed. Either the Senate committee was in collusion, or is incompetent, or was misled by compliant intelligence officials who fell on their swords to cover for their masters' misdeeds.
I've watched C-SPAN's coverage of our House & Senate floor many times recently, and if one witnessed (months back) the outrage of Democrat Congressional members as they'd hold up huge stacks of bills they had to vote on and only had 45 minutes, if that, to look it over - bills that affect each and everyone of us, including our children and grandchildren. How anyone can hold our Democrat congressional members accountable is beyond me when I witness it day after day.

And watching every Republican vote right in line (until recent times, thank God), while the Democrats are to blame for everything is just sad. Democrats do not hold power over any level of government. How anyone can blame Democrats now is cornered; merely clinging on to the hope that some Americans still live under total hypocracy.

Americans: We Need To Wake-Up & Re-Unite Ourselves, here. Forget our party affiliations. Forget about blue vs red. Forget about the south vs north. And remember that we're all in this together, regardless.

Bush & his coherts "lied" in the worse way and I hold the 6 corporate owned media firms accountable for helping to cover all this up to their American viewers.
Before America invaded Iraq it was a happy place. They had flowering meadows and rainbow skies, and rivers made of chocolate, where the children danced and laughed and played with gumdrop smiles
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