Center for American Progress

Senate Intel Report Whitewashes Deceptions on Iraq
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Senate Intel Report Whitewashes Deceptions on Iraq

The Senate Intelligence Committee's central charge that the CIA grossly exaggerated the threat posed by Saddam Hussein ignores the critical misinformation, exaggeration, and deception perpetrated by the Bush administration in its rush to war. While critical reforms in the intelligence community are clearly needed, the report fails to examine the administration's use of now discredited sources such as Ahmed Chalabi and fails to look how the administration manufactured links between al Qaeda and Iraq as a rationale for war.

  • The Senate report is a blatant attempt to absolve the Bush administration of responsibility for hyping the WMD threat from Iraq. After imploring the public and world community to support rapid military action to stop Saddam Hussein from developing and using weapons of mass destruction, the Bush administration has failed to find nuclear, biological or chemical weapons in Iraq despite spending $600 million and deploying hundreds of experts on the ground. This rapid push for war based on false pretense and phony data was not the sole work of the CIA – President Bush and his entire national security team are to blame as well.
  • Blaming the CIA is the easy way out. Despite clear evidence of White House exaggerations and outright duplicity on Iraqi WMD, no one in the administration has take responsibility for the intelligence failures. No one has been held accountable for mistakes. While there is clearly need for major reforms in the intelligence community, the Senate's report presents only half the truth.
  • The Senate report fails to answer critical questions about intelligence failures prior to the invasion of Iraq. The Committee's report fails to discuss the politicization of intelligence by the administration and its allies; the role of administration officials outside the CIA in producing phony intelligence; or the use of favored Iraqi exiles like Ahmed Chalabi. It fails to mention the Office of Special Plans in the Pentagon, Under Secretary of Defense Doug Feith's tightly controlled intelligence unit which had a direct pipeline to Vice President Cheney. Nor does it examine the administration's claims of links between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein which have already been rebuked by the 9/11 commission.

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