for Homeland Security
Gathering data is just the first part of the process of creating finished or evaluated intelligence. The second and equally important step is that of analysis, evaluating the data and piecing together an understanding of events. The need for good analysis and the handling of such information came under close scrutiny in 2003 as the George W. Bush administration claimed that intelligence analysis proved that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, even though the weapons were never found. President Bush also said that intelligence analysis showed that the al Qaeda terrorists had ties to the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq, even though several senior terrorist leaders denied the claim. Soon after the invasion of Iraq, some members of Congress, the press, and even retired and active intelligence officials accused the Bush administration of distorting and misusing intelligence to support the war.
Secretary of State Colin Powell—who had used the intelligence analysis at the UN to try to enlist the cooperation of members of the UN Security Council in the planned war against Iraq—and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld were both the targets of a wave of criticism for abusing intelligence. Secretary Powell defended himself by pointing out that he had spent four days at the CIA going over the material and had been selective in using only the intelligence that seemed authoritative. Mr. Rumsfeld was slammed for setting up an independent team of analysts to select out only the data that supported the war effort, although he denied that the team