CIA only partly to blame

by on February 2nd, 2004

The Bush administration is trying desperately to pass the buck for the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq onto the analysts at the CIA.

While it is true that the CIA believed there were WMDs in Iraq, their assessment of the threat that such arms posed was much less than what the Bush team made of it.

“President Bush said Monday he would appoint a presidential commission to review U.S. intelligence on the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.”

Perhaps the commission members could start by reading this study by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

The comprehensive study placed “a massive amount of data into side-by-side comparisons of pre-war intelligence, the official presentation of that intelligence, and what is now known about Iraq’s programs.”

Among the conclusions drawn are that not only was the intelligence inaccurate but it was misrepresented by administration officials:

· Intelligence community overestimated the chemical and biological weapons in Iraq.

· Intelligence community appears to have been unduly influenced by policymakers’ views.

· Officials misrepresented threat from Iraq’s WMD and ballistic missiles programs over and above intelligence findings.

These are the things that the “independent” commission should look into. It is not enough to fix the intelligence apparatus when we have an administration that refuses to believe anything that does not conform to its preconcieved notions.

Mike Thomas