Saturday, October 23, 2004

Senator Levin Releases Report on Pre-War Intelligence

It's Taken far to long to document what most of us in the Reality-Based Community have known since before the invasion of Iraq. Bush and Co. Lied!

Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), the Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) released a report today of an inquiry he initiated on June 27, 2003 and conducted by the SASC Minority Staff. The report focuses on 1) the establishment of a non-Intelligence Community source of intelligence analysis in the office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith, and 2) the extent to which policy makers utilized that alternative source rather than the analyses produced by the Intelligence Community with regard to the issue of any relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda before the Iraq war.

The report demonstrates how intelligence relating to the Iraq-al Qaeda relationship was exaggerated by high ranking officials in the Department of Defense to support the Administration’s decision to invade Iraq when the intelligence assessments of the Intelligence Community did not make a sufficiently compelling case. The Intelligence Community’s analysis of the Iraq-al Qaeda relationship as a relatively weak one was as definitive as reliable reporting would permit, and their conclusions were subsequently supported by the 9/11 Commission and the Report of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on the U.S. Intelligence Community’s Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq.

Senator Levin believes that the professional objectivity and independence required in the assessment of the Iraq-al Qaeda relationship were compromised to support the policy goal of removing Saddam Hussein. He hopes that this report will help to bring about corrective legislation, including better Congressional oversight of intelligence assessments, which was strongly recommended by the 9/11 Commission and is a pending issue in the Intelligence reform bills before Congress.

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