'Dead Wrong' Reports on Iraq Misled Bush
Byline: Joseph Curl, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
A presidential commission that examined prewar intelligence on Iraq said yesterday that the Bush administration did not distort evidence about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction program, calling information provided by U.S. spy agencies "dead wrong."
In a report released yesterday, the commission said the United States' 15 intelligence agencies know "disturbingly little" about the world's most dangerous proliferation threats, including Iran and North Korea, and repeatedly has failed to produce strong intelligence.
In some cases, the intelligence community "knows less now than it did five or 10 years ago," said the report by the nine-member panel, formally called the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Both Charles S. Robb, a former Democratic senator from Virginia and co-chairman of the commission, and co-chairman Laurence H. Silberman, a Republican, said the president and his administration must press the spy agencies harder, even if it means risking the appearance of injecting politics into the process.
"It's very important for policymakers to question and push hard on the intelligence community to explore and to fill gaps in intelligence," said Mr. Silberman, a retired judge.
On Capitol Hill, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, sought to blame the president and the administration for using faulty intelligence in the run-up to the Iraq war.
"I believe it is essential that we hold both the intelligence agencies and senior policymakers accountable for their actions," he said. …