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Senate Committee: Bush Exaggerated Prewar Iraq Intel

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Senate Committee: Bush Exaggerated Prewar Iraq Intel

Article excerpt

The U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, led by and a bipartisan majority of the Committee. on Thursday unveiled the final two sections of its Phase II report on prewar intelligence, which detail Bush administration misstatements and exaggerations on prewar Iraq intel.

Republicans Chuck Hagel and Olympia Snowe joined with the Democrats.

The first report details administration prewar statements that, according to the committee, "on numerous occasions, misrepresented the intelligence and the threat from Iraq." The second report details inappropriate, sensitive intelligence activities conducted by the Department of Defense's Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, without the knowledge of the Intelligence Community or the State Department.

"Before taking the country to war, this Administration owed it to the American people to give them a 100 percent accurate picture of the threat we faced. Unfortunately, our Committee has concluded that the Administration made significant claims that were not supported by the intelligence," said John D. Rockefeller IV, chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, on the committee's Web site. "In making the case for war, the administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when in reality it was unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent. As a result, the American people were led to believe that the threat from Iraq was much greater than actually existed. "It is my belief that the Bush Administration was fixated on Iraq, and used the 9/11 attacks by al Qa'ida as justification for overthrowing Saddam Hussein," Rockefeller added. "To accomplish this, top Administration officials made repeated statements that falsely linked Iraq and al Qa'ida as a single threat and insinuated that Iraq played a role in 9/11.

"Sadly, the Bush Administration led the nation into war under false pretenses.

"There is no question we all relied on flawed intelligence. But, there is a fundamental difference between relying on incorrect intelligence and deliberately painting a picture to the American people that you know is not fully accurate. "These reports represent the final chapter in our oversight of prewar intelligence. They complete the story of mistakes and failures -- both by the Intelligence Community and the Administration -- in the lead up to the war. Fundamentally, these reports are about transparency and holding our government accountable, and making sure these mistakes never happen again," Rockefeller added. …

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