Journalism in the Public Interest


Senate Intel Report: Administration Dishonest in Lead-up to Iraq War

The Senate Intelligence Committee has just released its looooong awaited report on the Bush administration’s public statements in the run-up to the Iraq War. It’s the final part of the committee’s five-year investigation into the prewar intelligence failures. And from Chairman Jay Rockefeller’s statement accompanying the report, it appears to be harder-hitting than was expected:

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….

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.   

That’s about as close as you’ll ever hear Sen. Rockefeller come to accusing the administration of lying.

The 88-page report, which also includes voluminous dissension from the Republican members of the committee as to the report’s conclusions, is available here (pdf). There’s also a 57-page companion report (pdf) faulting the special office set up under former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and run by Doug Feith for “inappropriate” intelligence activities. Let us know (in comments below) what catches your eye.

Update: McClatchy has a good rundown of the report.

I spotted your site and am hopeful of unvarnished, facts.. but when the way your report lines up against what WaPo says…
      But dive into Rockefeller’s report, in search of where exactly President Bush lied about what his intelligence agencies were telling him about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein, and you may be surprised by what you find.

      On Iraq’s nuclear weapons program? The president’s statements “were generally substantiated by intelligence community estimates.”

      On biological weapons, production capability and those infamous mobile laboratories? The president’s statements “were substantiated by intelligence information.”

      On chemical weapons, then? “Substantiated by intelligence information.”

      On weapons of mass destruction overall (a separate section of the intelligence committee report)? “Generally substantiated by intelligence information.” Delivery vehicles such as ballistic missiles? “Generally substantiated by available intelligence.” Unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to deliver WMDs? “Generally substantiated by intelligence information.”
This makes you sound more like Huffington Post opinion as fact than NEWS REPORTAGE.

I hope that this is simply not a correct view.

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