The Senate Democratic Policy Committee (DPC) will conduct a special oversight hearing on pre-war intelligence relating to Iraq on Monday, June 26, with former high-ranking State Department and Central Intelligence Agency officials involved in coordinating the pre-war intelligence testifying alongside a leading expert on weapons issues, Joseph Cirincione, Senior Vice President for National Security and International Policy at the Center for American Progress.
The Senate and House intelligence committees, which should be engaged in such critical oversight investigations, have either declined to hold hearings on what went wrong with America’s pre-war intelligence on Iraq or repeatedly delayed investigations into the matter. The Center for American Progress this month published a detailed report, “No Mere Oversight: Congressional Oversight of Intelligence is Broken,” that detailed the recent failures of the two intelligence committees to conduct proper oversight.
The United States cannot afford to wait any longer, as members of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee recognize. Says Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND), the chairman of the DPC: “If we’re going to get things right when it comes to Iran, North Korea, and other national security threats, we need to learn what went wrong in the case of Iraq. Clearly we need good intelligence, but that’s not the end of the discussion. We need to know what set of policies need to be in place as we go forward in order to fix what went wrong in the past.”
Cirincione, co-author of “WMD in Iraq: Evidence and Implications” and the author of “Bomb Scare: The History, Theory and Future of Nuclear Weapons” and “Deadly Arsenals: Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Threats,” will compare the intelligence that existed prior to the invasion of Iraq with public statements made by administration officials. Cirincione’s testimony will be published here after he appears before the Committee on Monday afternoon.
Other witnesses appearing at the hearing are: Lawrence Wilkerson, the former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell; Paul Pillar, the CIA official responsible for coordinating intelligence on Iraq; Carl Ford, former Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research; Wayne White, former State Department principal Iraq analyst; Rod Barton, former Senior Advisor to the Iraq Survey Group; and Michael Smith, reporter for London’s The Sunday Times, who first reported the existence of the so called “Downing Street Memo.”
View Joe Cirincione’s full testimony:
For more details on reports and analysis by the Center for American Progress on the war in Iraq, please see:
Strategic Redeployment 2.0: Read the executive summary and full report here (PDF)
For further details on why national security experts across the political spectrum consider America less safe today than at any time since 9/11, please see our research on the matter done in league with Foreign Policy magazine:
The Terrorism Index
For further details on how Congress can help ensure America is safer from terrorist assault by exercising its oversight of the U.S. Intelligence Community more effectively, please read our recent report:
No Mere Oversight: Congressional Oversight of Intelligence is Broken
Also read our Memo to the Community on Iraq, covering the flaws with the Bush administration’s Iraq policy and debunking conservative myths about the war (available on the Center for American Progress Action Fund):
Debating Iraq: Punches and Counterpunches