11 Jun

KEY POINTS Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Phase II investigation report on pre-war Iraq Intel

                                       

The recent “report” from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has a number of conclusions and amendments. Often, when these reports are released, many people don’t have the time or tenacity to read the entire report. Instead, they literally jump to the conclusions and argue their political talking points from there. I’ve taken the time to go through this latest “report,” cut out the conclusions, and added any amendments to those conclusions whenever possible. Readers are encouraged to read the actual report (particularly the “Additional Views” and “Amendments” sections). It appears that there are at least 150 examples in this report where Democrats have deliberately misled the American people. Examples range from false quotes, blaming Bush Administration officials for making statements not supported by intelligence when the intelligence report cited came out months or even years after the statement in question, misleading wording, and much more. It’s for this reason that the amendments are added to the following Key points/conclusions of the report. By including the amendments and putting them right next to the conclusion that is misleading, readers will see first hand that the report is fictional, distorted, inept, and written with incredibly poor ethical standards of fact-checking to say nothing of the political bias.

REPORT ON WHETHER PUBLIC STATEMENTS REGARDING IRAQ
BY U.S. GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS WERE SUBSTANTIATED
BY INTELLIGENCE INFORMATION

NUCLEAR

Conclusions

(U) Conclusion 1: Statements by the President, Vice President, Secretary of State and the National Security Advisor regarding a possible Iraqi nuclear weapons program were generally substantiated by intelligence community estimates, but did not convey the substantial disagreements that existed in the intelligence community. Prior to the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate, some intelligence agencies assessed that the Iraqi government was reconstituting a nuclear weapons program, while others disagreed or expressed doubts about the evidence. The Estimate itself expressed the majority view that the program was being reconstituted, but included clear dissenting views from the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, which argued that reconstitution was not underway, and the Department of Energy, which argued that aluminum tubes sought by Iraq were probably not intended for a nuclear program.

Amendment 42 – strike the conclusion as drafted and insert All policymaker statements reviewed in this section were substantiated by the available intelligence.

Comment -It is impossible for us to properly analyze the claims in this conclusion without knowing which specific statements the report is referencing. Also, it is incorrect to say that “others” disagreed or expressed doubts about the evidence of a reconstituted nuclear program. At most, only one agency expressed any doubt about the reconstitution judgment and not in any document published outside its own agency prior to publication of the NIE. Although not stated definitely we believe that the statements this conclusion is referencing were made prior to the publication of the NIE, so the inclusion of INR’s dissent referenced in the NIE is irrelevant and unfair to those speakers. Additionally, it is misleading to discuss DOE’s dissent on the aluminum tubes but not include the fact that DOE agreed that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear program.

Postwar Findings

(U) Postwar findings revealed that Iraq ended its nuclear weapons program in 1991, and that Iraq’s ability to reconstitute a nuclear weapons program progressively declined after that date. The Iraq Survey Group (ISG) found no evidence that Saddam Hussein ever attempted to restart a nuclear weapons program, although the Group did find that he took steps to retain the intellectual capital generated during the program. That intellectual capital decayed between 1991 and 2003, however, and the ISG found no evidence that the relevant scientists were involved in renewed weapons work.

(U) Postwar findings confirmed that the high-strength aluminum tubes sought by Iraq had been intended for a conventional rocket program, and found no evidence that other dual-use technologies (magnets, high-speed balancing machines, and machine tools) were intended for use in a nuclear weapons program. Various ongoing activities at former nuclear sites were apparently unrelated to any weapons program, and construction observed at the al-Tahadi high voltage and electromagnetic facility also had no apparent connection to any nuclear weapons program.

(U) Postwar surveys found no evidence that Iraq sought uranium from any foreign sources after 1991

Amendment 43 – strike the postwar findings section

Comment – None of the postwar findings has citations so we cannot check their accuracy. Even with citations, we do not believe that postwar findings are in any way relevant to whether policymakers statements made prior to the war were substantiated by intelligence available at the time. This information was already reported in another Phase II report, is unnecessary, and is likely to confuse readers who may think statements are unsubstantiated if they turned out to be wrong

BIOLOGICAL

Conclusions

(U) Conclusion 2: Statements in the major speeches analyzed, as well additional statements, regarding Iraq’s possession of biological agent, weapons, production capability, and use of mobile biological laboratories were substantiated by intelligence information. Intelligence assessments from the late I990s through early 2003 consistently stated that Iraq retained biological warfare agent and the capability to produce more. Assessments on the mobile facilities included the production capabilities of those labs, both in terms of type of agent and in amount. Prior to the October 2002 NIE, some intelligence assessments left open the question as to whether Iraq possessed biological weapons or that it was actively producing them, though other assessments did not present such uncertainties. Policymakers did not discuss intelligence gaps in Iraq’s biological weapons programs, which were explicit in the October 2002 NIE.

Amendment 58 – Strike Prior to the October 2002 NIE, some intelligence assessments left open the question as to whether Iraq possessed biological weapons or that it was actively producing them, though other assessments did not present such uncertainties. Policymakers did not discuss intelligence gaps in Iraq’s biological weapons programs, which were explicit in the October 2002 NIE.

Comments – We do not think that the report has given any examples of intelligence assessments prior to the 2002 NIE which “left open the question as to whether Iraq possessed biological weapons or that it was actively producing them” except the 2000 ICA, which was published more than two years before the policymakers’ statements were made and before any of them entered office. In addition, we do not believe there were any intelligence gaps articulated in the October 2002 NIE about Iraq’s BW program, with the possible exception of a lack of understanding of the specifics about the types of weapons and biological agents that analysts stated were in the possession of the Iraqi government. If the report drafters think there are such gaps they should be described in the report.

Postwar Intelligence

(U) The postwar review by the Iraq Survey Group (ISO) determined that Iraq was not conducting biological weapons production on research after 1996.60 The ISO determined that depending on its scale, Iraq could have re-established an elementary BW program within a few weeks to months of a decision to do so, but found no indications that Iraq was pursuing this. option.

(U) The ISO found “no evidence that Iraq possessed, or was developing BW agent production systems mounted on road vehicles or railway wagons.

(U) The Committee’s report, “Postwar Findings About Iraq’s WMD Programs and Links to Terrorism and How They Compare with Prewar Assessments” described the postwar findings on CURVE BALL. It noted that the ISO “harbors severe doubts about the source’s credibility.” The CIA and DIA issued a joint congressional notification in June 2004 noting that CURVE BALL was assessed to have fabricated his claimed access to a mobile BW production project and that his reporting had been recalled.

CHEMICAL

Conclusions

(U) Conclusion 3: Statements in the major speeches analyzed, as well additional statements, regarding Iraq’s possession of chemical weapons were substantiated by intelligence information. Intelligence assessments, including the December 2000 ICA stated that Iraq had retained up to 100 metric tons of its chemical weapons stockpile. The October 2002 NIE provided a range of 100 to 500 metric tons of chemical weapons.

(U) Conclusion 4: Statements by the President and Vice President prior to the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate regarding Iraq’s chemical weapons production capability and activities did not reflect the intelligence community’s uncertainties as to whether such production was ongoing. The intelligence community assessed that Saddam Hussein wanted to have chemical weapons production capability and that Iraq was seeking to hide such capability in its dual use chemical industry. Intelligence assessments, especially prior to the October 2002 NIE, clearly stated that analysts could not confirm that production was ongoing.

Amendment 68 – Strike the above conclusion and insert Conclusion 4: Statements by senior policymakers regarding Iraq’s chemical weapons production capability and activities were all substantiated by intelligence information.

Comment – We dispute several of the contentions in this conclusion. The intelligence community assessed both before and after the NIE that Iraq had a chemical weapons production capability, not just that Saddam wanted one. (See the CIA SEM Dec 2001 – “Iraq in the past several years has rebuilt a covert chemical weapons production capability by reconstructing dual-use industrial facilities and developing new chemical plants ….”) Most of the assessments which judged that actual production was ongoing were contemporaneous with the NIE or slightly prior (see Tenet’s testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee and SSCI below and the unclassified White Paper), but not all of them. More importantly, prior to the production of the NIE, no policymakers said that production was ongoing. If the report concludes that such statement is not substantiated, the report should clearly identify it so that it can be analyzed.

• We assess that Iraq retains a stockpile of at least 100 tons of agent … Moreover, Iraq is rebuilding former chemical weapons facilities, developing plants, and trying to procure chemical warfare-related items covertly … Based on these construction and procurement activities, we assess that Iraq has a covert chemical weapons production capability embedded in its civilian industry. Tenet testimony before SASC and SSCI, September 16, 2002.

• The main production building at Fallujah III chemical plant appears to have resumed operation, according to _ … The Intelligence Community suspects this site supports production of CW precursors as well as the biological warfare agent ricin, extracted from castor oil beans. INR, Iraq: Suspect CBW Production Facility Active, November 5,2001.

Postwar Findings

(U) The Committee reported on postwar findings on Iraq’s chemical weapons program in its September 2006 report, Postwar Findings about Iraq’s WMD Programs and Links to Terrorism and How They Compare with Prewar Assessments. The Committee found the following.

(U) Following the war, the Iraq Survey Group conducted its review of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction programs and found that there ”were no caches of CW munitions and no single rounds of CW munitions.” Additionally, “the ISO has high confidence that there are no CW present in the Iraqi inventory.,,81 Some pre-1991 chemical weapons munitions have been found since the end of the combat operations.

(U) The ISO found no credible evidence indicating Iraq resumed its chemical weapons program after 1991, but said that “Saddam never abandoned his intentions to resume a CW effort when sanctions were lifted and conditions were judged favorable.

(U) The ISO investigated whether Iraq had intended to produce chemical weapons through its civilian chemical industry. It found that Iraq had an inherent capability to use its civilian industry for sulfur mustard CW agents, but did not find any production units that had been configured to produce CW agents or key chemical precursors. The ISO found that Iraq did not have a capability to produce nerve agents.

Amendment 69 – Strike the postwar findings section.

Comment – We do not believe that postwar findings are in any way relevant to whether policymakers’ statements made prior to the war were substantiated by intelligence available at the time. This information was already reported in another Phase II report, is unnecessary, and is likely to mislead readers who might think statements are unsubstantiated if they turned out to be wrong.

WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION

Conclusions

(U) Conclusion 5: Statements by the President, Vice President, Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense regarding Iraq’s possession of weapons of mass destruction were generally substantiated by intelligence information, though many statements made regarding ongoing production prior to late 2002 reflected a higher level of certainty than the intelligence judgments themselves. Many senior policymaker statements in early and mid-2002 claimed that there was no doubt that the Iraqi government possessed or was producing weapons of mass destruction. While the intelligence community assessed at this time that the Iraqi regime possessed some chemical and biological munitions, most reports produced prior to fall 2002 cited intelligence gaps regarding production and expressed room for doubt about whether production was ongoing. Prior to late 2002, the intelligence community did not collectively assess with any certainty that Iraq was actively producing any weapons of mass destruction.

Amendment 85 – strike generally and strike everything after information

Comment – We disagree with the use of the term “generally,” because all of the statements were substantiated by the intelligence. Furthermore, the lack of identifying information about exactly which policymakers’ statements were viewed by the authors as reflecting a higher degree of certainty than the intelligence judgments makes it impossible for us to challenge the assertion (which we believe we could if the specific statements were identified). The conclusion is incorrect in asserting that there were “many statements regarding ongoing production prior to late 2002.” This is simply false. None of the statements from this time period mentioned ongoing production at all. It is also false to state that “many senior policymaker statements in early and mid-2002 claimed that there was no doubt” about Iraq’s possession of WMD. Only one policymaker used the term “no doubt” during this time period and it was in August 2002, not early 2002. This type of careless review certainly will be noticed by the readers of the report and harms the credibility of the Committee. We disagree with the comment that prior to 2002 the intelligence community “expressed room for doubt” about whether Iraq possessed chemical and biological munitions and believe, even if it were true, assessments prior to 2002 are irrelevant to what policymakers said in late 2002. We also disagree with including the comment that the intelligence community did not “collectively” assess that Iraq was actively producing any WMD. Whether the intelligence community had a “collective” judgment is irrelevant. The task of this report is not to look at only collective judgments; it is to examine available intelligence.

(U) Conclusion 6: The Secretary of Defense’s statement that the Iraqi government operated underground WMD facilities that were not vulnerable to conventional air strikes because they were underground and deeply buried was not substantiated by available intelligence information. While many intelligence analysts suspected that the Iraqi government might be using underground facilities to conceal WMD activities, no active underground WMD facilities had been positively identified. Furthermore, none of the underground government facilities that had been identified were buried deeply enough to be safe from conventional airs trikes.

Amendment 86 – Strike the above conclusion and insert Conclusion 6: The Secretary of Defense’s statement that Iraqi WMD facilities were not all vulnerable to attack from the air was substantiated by available intelligence information.

Comment – First, the Secretary did not say “conventional” air strikes, he said that sites ”were not all vulnerable to attack from the air.” No intelligence assessments prior to the Secretary’s statement said that “none of the underground WMD facilities that had been identified were buried deeply enough to be safe from conventional air strikes.” Furthermore, the Secretary was not only talking about facilities that were vulnerable due to being deeply buried. He also discussed facilities that were believed to have been located near mosques, schools, and hospitals which made them “not vulnerable” to air strikes unless we were willing to possibly strike those civilian facilities.

Postwar Findings

(U) Postwar findings regarding weapons of mass destruction can be found in the nuclear, biological, and chemical sections of this report.

Amendment 87 – strike this section.

Comment – We do not believe that postwar findings are in any way relevant to whether policymakers’ statements made prior to the war were substantiated by intelligence available at the time. This information was already reported in another Phase II report, is unnecessary, and is likely to confuse readers who may think statements are unsubstantiated if they turned out to be wrong.

DELIVERY

Conclusions

(U) Conclusion 7: Statements in the major speeches and additional statements analyzed regarding Iraqi ballistic missiles were generally substantiated by available intelligence. The intelligence community was consistent in its judgments that the Iraqi military possessed a small number of Scud-type missiles left over from the Gulf War era (although the October 2002 NIE noted that these judgments were based on accounting gaps rather than direct evidence), and that Iraq was developing short-range missiles whose range exceeded the range permitted under UN sanctions by as much as 150 km, or 93 miles. The community also judged that Iraq was pursuing the capability to build longer-range missiles, but assessed that this project was still at the early stages of development.

Amendment 96 – strike generally;

strike but did not convey the substantial disagreements or evolving views that existed in the intelligence community. The majority view of the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate judged that Iraq had a UAV program that was intended to deliver biological warfare agents. Air Force intelligence dissented from this view, and argued that the new VA V was probably being developed for reconnaissance. The majority view of the January 2003 NIE said merely that Iraq might be modifying UAVs for chemical or biological weapons, and the Air Force, Army and Defense Intelligence Agency argued that the evidence for this was unpersuasive. and insert All intelligence agencies assessed that Iraq’s UAVs could be used for CBW delivery. Comments – Again, we disagree with the terms “generally” and we disagree that there was any disagreement within the intelligence community about whether the UAVs “could” be used to deliver CBW as the conclusion states. All agencies agreed that the UAVs could be used to deliver CBW, which is all that policymakers said. We further note that the Air Force dissent on the intended use of the UAVs was not included in the President’s summary of the NIE.

(U) Conclusion 8: Statements by the President, Secretary of Defense and Secretary of State that Iraq was developing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that could be used to deliver chemical or biological weapons were generally substantiated by intelligence information, but did not convey the substantial disagreements or evolving views that existed in the intelligence community. The majority view of the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate judged that Iraq had a UAV program that was intended to deliver biological warfare agents. Air Force intelligence dissented from this view, and argued that the new DAV was probably being developed for reconnaissance. The majority view of the January 2003 NIE said that Iraq “may” be modifying UAVs for chemical or biological weapons, and the Air Force, Army and Defense Intelligence Agency argued that the evidence for this was “not sufficiently compelling to indicate that the Iraqis have done so.”

(U) Conclusion 9: The President’s suggestion that the Iraqi government was considering using UAVs to attack the United States was substantiated by intelligence judgments available at the time, but these judgments were revised a few months later, in January 2003. The October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate noted that an Iraqi procurement network had attempted to purchase commercial mapping software that included data on the United States, and said that this suggested that the Iraqi government was considering using UAVs to target the US. The January 2003 NIE revised this claim, and said only that the software could be used for this purpose. The Air Force, Anny and Defense Intelligence Agency dissented from this judgment as well, and argued that the purpose of the Iraqi request was to acquire a generic mapping capability.

Amendment 97 – strike but these judgments were revised a few months later, in January 2003. strike and suggested and insert which the IC said suggested; strike The January 2003 NIE revised this claim, and said only that the software could be used for this purpose. The Air Force, Army and Defense Intelligence Agency dissented from this judgment as well, and argued that the purpose of the Iraqi request was to acquire a generic mapping capability.

Comment – We believe it is irrelevant whether the judgment later changed. This report is supposed to determine whether statements were substantiated by the intelligence policymakers had when they made the statement, not intelligence that came out later. Additionally, the President said “we are concerned that Iraq is exploring ways of using these UAVs for missions targeting the United States.” This statement is not inconsistent with the NIE published in January. The IC remained concerned about this possibility.

Postwar Findings

(U) Postwar findings confirm that Iraq was developing the Al-Samoud and Al-Fat’h (formerly Ababil-lOO) missiles, and that both had ranges that exceeded 150 lon. In early February 2003 the intelligence community revised it’s assessment of the al-Samoud’s maximum range down from 300 lon to 170 lon, which was consistent with postwar findings. 135 In late February 2003 Saddam agreed to UN demands that his Al-Samoud inventory be destroyed. Postwar findings indicate that the Iraqi government unilaterally destroyed its remaining Scud-type ballistic missiles in 1991.

(U) Postwar findings confirmed that Iraq’s UAV development program was primarily intended for reconnaissance. Postwar investigations did not find any evidence that Iraq had conducted any research to develop a chemical or biological weapons capability for its developmental UAV program, or that Iraq had intended to use its UAVs for missions targeting the United States.

Amendment 98 – strike this section.

Comment – None of the postwar findings have citations so we cannot check their accuracy. Even with citations, we do not believe that postwar findings are in any way relevant to whether policymakers’ statements made prior to the war were substantiated by intelligence available at the time. This information was already reported in another Phase II report, is unnecessary, and is likely to confuse readers who may think statements are unsubstantiated if they turned out to be wrong.

LINKS TO TERRORISM

Conclusions

(U) Conclusion 10: Statements in the major speeches analyzed, as well additional statements, regarding Iraq’s support for terrorist groups other than al-Qa’ida were substantiated by intelligence information. The intelligence community reported regularly on Iraq’s safe harbor and financial support for Palestinian rejectionist groups, the Abu Nidal Organization, and others. The February 2002 NIE fully supported the claim that Iraq had, and would continue, to support terrorist groups.

(U) Conclusion 11: Statements that Iraq provided safe haven for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and other al-Qa’ida-related terrorist members were substantiated by the intelligence assessments. Intelligence assessments noted Zarqawi’s presence in Iraq and his ability to travel and operate within the country. The intelligence community generally believed that Iraqi intelligence must have known about, and therefore at least tolerated, Zarqawi’s presence in the country.

(U) Conclusion 12: Statements and implications by the President and Secretary of State suggesting that Iraq and al-Qa’ida had a partnership, or that Iraq had provided al-Qa’ida with weapons training, were not substantiated by the intelligence. Intelligence assessments, including multiple CIA reports and the November 2002 NIE, dismissed the claim that Iraq and al-Qa’ida were cooperating partners. According to an undisputed INR footnote in the NIE, there was no intelligence information that supported the claim that Iraq would provide weapons of mass destruction to al-Qa’ida. The credibility of the principal intelligence source behind the claim that Iraq had provided al-Qa’ida with biological and chemical weapons training was regularly questioned by DIA, and later by the CIA. The Committee repeats its conclusion from a prior report that “assessments were inconsistent regarding the likelihood that Saddam Hussein provided chemical and biological weapons (CBW) training to al_Qa’ida.”

Amendment 119 – strike the above conclusion and insert

Conclusion 12: Statements by the President and Secretary Powell that Iraq had provided al-Qa’ida with weapons training were supported by the intelligence. Numerous intelligence assessments stated that Iraq had provided al-Qa’ida with weapons training and specifically training in poisons and gases. While some DIA reports raised questions about the credibility of this reporting and one CIA report noted that the source may have exaggerated his reporting in a separate area, the CIA did not raise questions about the source’s weapons training reporting and., in fact, provided and approved the use of this language in both the President’s and Secretary’s remarks.

Comments – None of the statements provided in this report suggested or implied that Iraq and al-Qa’ida had “partnership.” Additionally, while there were policymakers who commented that Iraq had provided al-Qa’ida with weapons training, those comments were fully supported by the intelligence. The al-Libi reporting on CBW training was never questioned by the CIA and the information was approved by the CIA for use in both the President’s Cincinnati speech and Powell’s UN speech. In the case of the Powell speech CIA actually provided the information to him to use in the speech in the draft of the speech the CIA wrote. Furthermore, the conclusion as drafted says that intelligence community “assessments were inconsistent” so accordingly, how can the Committee judge policymakers to not have any statements substantiated by the intelligence?

(U) Conclusion 13: Statements in the major speeches analyzed, as well additional statements, regarding Iraq’s contacts with al-Qa’ida were substantiated by intelligence information. However, policymakers’ statements did not accurately convey the intelligence assessments of the nature of these contacts, and left the impression that the contacts led to substantive Iraqi cooperation or support of al-Qa’ida.

Amendment 120 – strike However, policymakers’ statements did not accurately convey the intelligence assessments of the nature of these contacts, and left the impression that the .. contacts led to substantive Iraqi cooperation or support of al-Qa ‘ida.

Comments – We disagree that policymakers’ statements did not accurately convey the nature of the contacts or left the impression that the contacts led to substantive Iraqi cooperation. Policymaker comments throughout this section nearly exactly matched what the intelligence community said about contacts. No policymaker implied that the contacts led to any Iraqi support of al-Qa’ida other than the safe haven, training, reciprocal non-aggression, which is well documented in numerous intelligence assessments. Furthermore, the comments from many of the policymakers outlined in the section were fact checked by the CIA. The report should identify the policymakers and the specific statements that are judged to be misleading so that we can analyze those statements.

(U) Conclusion 14. The Intelligence Community did not confIrm that Muhammad Atta met an Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague in 2001.

Amendment 121 – strike the above conclusion

Comments – At the time that the Vice President commented that “it’s been pretty well confirmed that [Atta] did go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service” a CIA assessment said, “The Czech Government last week publicly confirmed that suspected hijacker Muhammad Atta met with former Iraqi station chiefAhmad Khalil Ibrahim Samir aI-Ani in Prague before al-Ani’s expulsion from the Czech Republic last April. AI-Ani and Atta met during 8-9 April in Prague, according to a foreign government service.” (Emphasis added.)

Postwar Findings

(U) The Committee issued a number of conclusions in its September 2006 report, Postwar Findings about Iraq’s WMD Programs and Links to Terrorism and How They Compare with Prewar Assessments, relating to the pre-war links between Iraq and terrorism. The Committee found the following.

(U) Iraq and al-Qa’ida did not have a cooperative relationship. Saddam Hussein was distrustful of al-Qa’ida and viewed Islamic extremists as a threat to his regime, refusing all requests from al-Qa’ida to provide material or operational support.

(U) Most of the contacts cited between Iraq and al-Qa’ida before the war by the intelligence community and policymakers have been detained not to have occurred. One of the reported contacts has been confirmed, and two other meetings have since been identified.

(U) Postwar information supports prewar assessments and statements that Abu Musab al Zarqawi was in Baghdad and that al-Qa’ida was present in northern Iraq.

(U) No postwar information has been found that indicates Iraq provided chemical and biological weapons training to al-Qa’ida. The detainee who provided the key prewar reporting about this training recanted his claims after the war. In 2004, Ibn Shaykh al-Libi recanted his earlier statements about biological and chemical weapons training. AI-Libi told debriefers that he had fabricated information while in US custody to receive better treatment and in response to threats of being transferred to a foreign intelligence service which he believed would torture him. He also said that later, while he was being debriefed by a foreign intelligence service, he fabricated more information in response to physical abuse and threats of torture. The Committee’s prior report on post-war findings cited a CIA officer who explained that while CIA believes that al Libi fabricated information, the CIA cannot determine whether, or what portions of, the original statements or the later recants are true or false.

(U) Intelligence gathered after the war has led analysts to doubt that Mohamed Atta had meetings with Iraq officials in the Czech Republic. According to the Committee’s prior report, “Postwar findings support CIA’s January 2003 assessment, which judged that ‘the most reliable reporting casts doubt’ on one of the leads, an alleged meeting between Muhammad Atta and an Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague, and confirm that no such meeting occurred.

Amendment 122 – strike all postwar findings

Comment – None of the postwar findings have citations so we cannot check their accuracy. Even with citations, we do not believe that postwar findings are in any way relevant to whether policymakers’ statements made prior to the war were substantiated by intelligence available at the time. This information was already reported in another Phase II report, is unnecessary, and is likely to confuse readers who may think statements are unsubstantiated if they turned out to be wrong.

INTENT

Amendment 137 – Strike the entire intent section

Comment – As discussed in several previous amendments, we believe the intent section as a whole is distorting what policymakers were arguing at the time. They were not arguing that Saddam “intended” to do any of the things they were discussing, the argument was that, after September 11, we must refocus the debate on what Saddam could do. The intelligence community had low confidence in its judgments of Saddam’s intent which bolstered the case of policymakers that, in light of such uncertainty, the focus needs to be on capabilities.

Conclusions

(U) Conclusion 15: Statements by the President and the Vice President indicating that Saddam Hussein was prepared to give weapons of mass destruction to terrorist groups for attacks against the United States were contradicted by available intelligence information. The October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate assessed that Saddam Hussein did not have nuclear weapons, and was unwilling to conduct terrorist attacks the US using conventional, chemical or biological weapons at that time, in part because he feared that doing so would give the US a stronger case for war with Iraq. This judgment was echoed by both earlier and later intelligence community assessments. All of these assessments noted that gauging Saddam’s intentions was quite difficult, and most suggested that he would be more likely to initiate hostilities if he felt that a US invasion was imminent.

Amendment 136 – Strike the above conclusion

Comment – All of the claims in this paragraph are false. Neither the President nor Vice President said or indicated that Saddam ”was prepared to give WMD to terrorist groups for attacks on the US.” Furthermore, the intelligence community made no assessments about whether Iraq “could” give WMD to terrorists, so the only intelligence information that could be compared to these statements is whether the intelligence community assessed Iraq had such weapons to give, which the intelligence community did. The statement that the NIE said Iraq was ”unwilling” to conduct terrorist attacks is false. The NIE never said that. This judgment was not echoed in earlier assessments at all.

Postwar Findings

(U) Postwar findings indicate that Saddam Hussein was distrustful of al-Qaida and viewed Islamic extremists as a threat to his regime, and refused all requests from al-Qaida to provide material or operational support. No postwar information indicates that Saddam ever considered using any terrorist group to attack the United States.

(U) In 2004, the Iraq Survey Group concluded that Saddam had aspired to rebuild weapons of mass destruction capabilities if and when international sanctions ended, but that the Iraqi regime had no strategy or plan for the eventual revival of such capabilities.

(U) The Iraq Survey Group also concluded that Saddam and his advisors had judged that a US invasion was the greatest potential threat to regime survival, but that Saddam believed that such an invasion was very unlikely. According to the Survey Group’s findings, Saddam’s military policies were based primarily on his desire to deter neighboring countries – particularly Iran from taking direct military action against him.

Amendment 138 – Strike the postwar findings section.

Comment – We do not believe that postwar findings are in any way relevant to whether policymakers’ statements made prior to the war were substantiated by intelligence available at the time. This information was already reported in another Phase II report, is unnecessary, and is likely to mislead readers who may think statements are unsubstantiated if they turned out to be wrong.

POST-WAR Iraq

Intelligence

Conclusions

(U) Conclusion 16: Statements by President Bush and Vice President Cheney regarding the postwar situation in Iraq, in terms of the political, security, and economic, did not reflect the concerns and uncertainties expressed in the intelligence products. There were relatively few intelligence products on this subject prior to January 2003, and senior policymakers did not request them. The Committee recognizes that there were many other sources of information available to policymakers that would inform their views about post-war Iraq. The Committee did not explore these other sources as it is beyond the scope of this report.

Amendment 140 – Strike the Post-War Iraq section

Comments – This entire section is comparing apples to oranges. It compares statements made by policymakers discussing their opinions about postwar Iraq to intelligence unrelated to the comments made. In one case the Vice President quotes a Middle East expert, yet that comment too, according to the draft, must be substantiated by intelligence. We simply cannot expect policymakers to have their comments comport with intelligence even when their comments have nothing to do with intelligence.

This entry was posted in American Intelligence, Bush Derangement Syndrome, Fanatical Islam, Iraq/Al-Qaeda Connection, Liberal Idiots, Middle East, Politics, Saddam Documents, The Iraqi War, The Shadow Party, War On Terror, WMD. Bookmark the permalink. Wednesday, June 11th, 2008 at 8:46 am
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13 Responses to KEY POINTS Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Phase II investigation report on pre-war Iraq Intel

  1. Wordsmith says: 1

    Outstanding work, Scott.

    ReplyReply
  2. Scott Malensek says: 2

    Thanks. I know it’s still a lot to read, but when I put it together and started to see the direct contrast and clear propaganda that was being presented as defacto conclusions…well, this was the only way to show it. There’s TONS more too, but this was-believe it or not-the shortest way of presenting it. I did try a scorecard listing the number of times there were date errors, false accusations, misattributed quotes, misquotes, etc., but it got too nuanced to understand without seeing it as presented above.

    That report is just incredible

    ReplyReply
  3. Tony says: 3

    Scott – great work, I was starting to put the same things together, but got bogged down by the fact that the report was scanned in, and I only have had the time to re-type about 3 pages, and match them with the amendments.

    The new IRAQ strategy is working, even the CIA has admitted that al-Qaida has been crippled in IRAQ. In May of 2008, a group of researchers from Harvard authored a report “Is There an “Emboldenment” Effect? – Evidence from the Insurgency in Iraq” which shows that negative media coverage — and adverse commentary by U.S. political leaders — produce a statistically measurable increase in enemy activity. This negative coverage and commentary has become the mainstay in our education system, fostering the myth that America is bad, and creating a supportive environment for anti-war politicians running for office. The sad part of all of this, is that most of this coverage, like Senate report here contains mis-truths and lies that are worse than anything President Bush has been accused of.

    I’m declaring July public action for victory month. We know we can’t change the folks with BDS, or the liberal media, and education system. We have to start taking individual action. We need to not fear telling people that we are proud of President Bush, he and our allies made decisions based on the best information available at the time. If he hadn’t acted, we know from many post-war documents that Saddam would have re-started his WMD programs once the UN sanctions were lifted, and we know that the oil for food program was lining the pockets of countries and individuals that would help to get those sanctions lifted. What would have happened if this happened, and a WMD was used against some target here in the United States? We can expect that the Senate would be holding impeachment hearings because President Bush didn’t act on the intelligence he had available to him.

    Stand up and be proud, don’t nod your head when someone complains about the war, tell them what you feel, and ask them what they are doing to help end it, because a supportive public will crush those pushing false propaganda.

    ReplyReply
  4. Arthurstone says: 4

    Ha. ha. ha.

    The bias you mention is illustrated in spades by the ‘amendments’ and the ‘comments’. Partisan hackery beyond belief.

    Far from ’150 examples’ of ‘Democrats misleading the American people’ these ‘amendments’ underscore the basic facts over and again.

    There was not an imminent threat from an Iraq armed with WMDs in 2003. There were, in fact, no WMDs at all. And there was no relationship with al-Qaeda.

    And, most important, the Administration knew all of this.

    Cheers.

    ReplyReply
  5. Wordsmith says: 5

    There was not an imminent threat from an Iraq armed with WMDs in 2003.

    The argument was that we had to act before the threat became imminent. And we did just that, as postwar findings only validate that as flawed as our intell was, Saddam had the intent and capabilities of reconstituting his weapons programs within 3-5 weeks of sanctions being lifted.

    You also seem confused on the point of contention, here.

    There were, in fact, no WMDs at all.

    Not entirely true.

    And there was no relationship with al-Qaeda.

    Not entirely true. In fact, you’re flatout wrong.

    ReplyReply
  6. Scott Malensek says: 6

    Arthur demonstrates the state-as-fact-and-run practice of responding to an article and a report which he obviously never even read. My daughter is six years old, and has better reading comprehension.

    ReplyReply
  7. Tony says: 7

    LA Times editorial on June 16th, by James Kirchick – http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/opinion/la-oe-kirchick16-2008jun16,0,7766785.story

    From the editorial: “In 2004, the Senate Intelligence Committee unanimously approved a report acknowledging that it “did not find any evidence that administration officials attempted to coerce, influence or pressure analysts to change their judgments.” The following year, the bipartisan Robb-Silberman report similarly found “no indication that the intelligence community distorted the evidence regarding Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction.”

    ReplyReply
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  13. Average Infidel says: 8

    …..and they wonder why it is We the People think them lower than snakeshit.

    ReplyReply

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