Panel Faults Prewar Intelligence; Urges Review of Dissension

Article excerpt

Byline: Joseph Curl and Bill Gertz, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

President Bush is expected to embrace recommendations from his commission on weapons of mass destruction, which will release a report today calling on the U.S. intelligence community to ensure that dissenting views within its agencies are fully reviewed and passed up the chain of command.

The commission, appointed more than a year ago by Mr. Bush to investigate intelligence failures in Iraq, will fault prewar intelligence estimates for largely ignoring disagreements over the state of Iraq's weapons programs, officials said yesterday.

Officials who have read the 700-page report said it contains stern warnings that major shortcomings remain within the intelligence community, especially regarding information sharing. In addition, efforts to improve the flow of dissenting intelligence still have not been fully embraced by the agencies, the officials said.

The report also recommends creating formal procedures for analysts to file dissenting views. Agency heads still would decide whether to pass along conflicting analyses, an official said.

The proposals by the commission, led by Laurence H. Silberman, an appeals court judge and former deputy attorney general, and former Sen. Charles S. Robb, Virginia Democrat, are consistent with recommendations made recently by the 9/11 commission. That panel proposed sweeping changes to the nation's intelligence structure and the creation of a director of national intelligence (DNI) to oversee spy agencies. …