No Iraqi WMD - Politics shaded intelligence.
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    No Iraqi WMD - Politics shaded intelligence.

    Report says Iraq didn't have WMD

    Author: Political pressure influenced intelligence before war

    Thursday, January 8, 2004 Posted: 12:52 PM EST (1752 GMT)

    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Iraq had ended its weapons of mass destruction programs by the mid-1990s and did not pose an immediate threat to the United States before the war, according to a report released Thursday.

    Bush administration officials likely pushed U.S. intelligence assessors to conform with its view the country posed an impending danger, said one of the authors of the study.

    The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace -- a nonpartisan, respected group that opposed the war in Iraq -- conducted the study.

    It follows a nine-month search in Iraq for weapons of mass destruction -- nuclear, biological and chemical -- the key reason the administration cited in its decision to invade Iraq.

    "We looked at the intelligence assessment process, and we've come to the conclusion that it is broken," author Joseph Cirincione said Thursday on CNN's "American Morning."

    "It is very likely that intelligence officials were pressured by senior administration officials to conform their threat assessments to pre-existing policies."

    The report says that the "dramatic shift between prior intelligence assessments and the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), together with the creation of an independent intelligence entity at the Pentagon and other steps, suggest that the intelligence community began to be unduly influenced by policymakers' views sometime in 2002."

    More than 1,000 U.S. inspectors have worked daily since before the war began in March, searching the country and interviewing scientists and other Iraqi officials, according to Cirincione.

    "We found nothing," Cirincione said. "There are no large stockpiles of weapons. There hasn't actually been a find of a single weapon, a single weapons agent, nothing like the programs that the administration believe existed."

    The Carnegie report based its conclusions on information gleaned from declassified U.S. intelligence documents about Iraq from U.N. weapons inspectors and the International Atomic Energy Agency, the nuclear watchdog for the United Nations. The endowment also said the study used statements from the Bush administration and corroborated reports from the news media.

    The report also accuses the Bush administration of misrepresenting the threat from Iraqi WMDs by "treating nuclear, chemical and biological weapons as a single 'WMD threat'" instead of characterizing the threats from the three types separately. It says the Bush administration also insisted "without evidence -- yet treating as a given truth -- that Saddam Hussein would give whatever WMD he possessed to terrorists."

    Cirincione said the study "is the first comprehensive review of everything we knew or thought we knew about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and it turns out that some of the things we thought were working -- our threat assessments -- we're deeply flawed."

    "We exaggerated the threat. We worst-cased it and then acted as if that worst case was the most likely case."

    However, Cirincione also said other systems put in place to prohibit Saddam Hussein from developing weapons of mass destruction were working better than experts thought at the time.

    Weapons inspectors conduct an examination in Iraq.


    Iraq's "programs were crippled by years of [U.N.] inspections and U.S. military strikes," he said, "and the sanctions that prevented them from getting anything going at all."

    Cirincione said one reason for the apparent lack of progress in the Iraqi weapons programs was because Iraqi scientists were "telling Saddam that they were further along than they actually were."

    "Apparently that was picked up by some of the Iraqi defectors who came to the U.S. telling stories of elaborate advanced weapons programs," he said.

    "So the defectors were fooled, Saddam was fooled, but as it turns out Saddam himself had made the decision -- as far as we can tell -- in the mid-'90s to shut down these programs."

    U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell told ABC News' "Nightline" on Wednesday that there is no way to know for sure what weapons were or were not in Iraq at the time.

    In a dramatic display last year before the war, Powell presented the U.N. Security Council with U.S. intelligence information about alleged Iraqi weapons.

    "Everything we have seen over those years since they actually used these weapons in 1988 led us to the conclusion, led the intelligence community to the conclusion that they still had intent, they still had capability and they were not going to give up that capability," said Powell, apparently referring to Saddam's gassing of the Kurds in Iraq.

    "And the intelligence community to this day stands behind the judgments that were made and that were presented to the world, presented to the Congress and presented to the American people through the national intelligence estimate, and that I presented before the Security Council."

    The Carnegie report isn't "a gotcha study" seeking to blame officials, Cirincione said. "We're trying to prevent it from happening in the future," he said.

    "We recommend the formation of a senior blue ribbon commission to examine this in an independent, nonpartisan way and make recommendations for how to insulate intelligence assessors from political pressures," Cirincione said.

    "We don't know what happened in the offices of the administration, but there's a lot of evidence that points to" intelligence assessors being pressured by their bosses.


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    Carnegie Foundation: Leftist, Not "Non-Partisan"

    January 9, 2004


    Listen to Rush…
    (…expose purely partisan politics timed specifically to do damage to Bush)

    BEGIN TRANSCRIPT 01:25 PM ET

    RUSH: CNN was trumpeting this story yesterday, and I watched to see if anybody else picked it up, and it did eventually get picked up. It may have run first somewhere else. But I don't think so. It was about 9:30 yesterday morning, and it did get picked up, maybe last night, and in earnest today, but CNN led with this. And we had the immigration thing yesterday, so I had to shelve it. But here it is.



    "Bush administration officials exaggerated the threats from Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and failed to uncover any links between Hussein and al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, says a private, nonpartisan [group.]" Which is flat-out BS, folks. This is the well-known hyper-left-wing Carnegie Foundation. It's one of these, just like the Ford Foundation, these people were originally endowed by great conservative families, and they've been taken over by the left. This notion that the left doesn't have a think tank out there, like they don't have a talk radio network, it's all a bunch of BS. What is NPR, what's the mainstream press and television to begin with? So they're not on radio and they're not the going to succeed with the way they're trying it anyway. But to think that they don't have a presence. And here's a classic example. This Carnegie Foundation is being portrayed as a nonpartisan research organization. That's absolutely a lie. These people are some of the biggest extreme leftists you can find.

    "The study by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace..." What the hell would it be but a bunch of lefties? It might as well say the Carnegie Endowment for International Surrender, because that's what these people would do to get peace. They're pure leftists. "The study states that administration officials systematically misrepresented the threat from Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile program by treating possibilities as fact and misrepresenting inspectors' findings in ways that turn threats from minor to dire. The three Carnegie Endowment researchers who produced the report charged that U.S. officials politicized intelligence to fit their arguments for a war to oust Hussein. 'We believe that in 2002 the intelligence process began to be politicized,' said Carnegie's president Jessica Matthews. 'They were under intense pressure to produce something that buttresses policy makers' beliefs. This is an old story in government. This just happens to be an egregious case with extreme consequences, namely, going to war.'"

    The other two researchers are Joseph Sirincioni, director of the Nonproliferation Project at the Carnegie Endowment and George Perkovitch, vice president for studies at Carnegie, who authored a book on India's nuclear bomb. Now, okay, let's just take this at face value. Let's not even argue with what they say just for the fun of it, folks, just for the fun of it. Because if we take this story at face value, we also would have to include in this story that Bill Clinton advanced the exact same, phony, artificial data and did it for political reasons. His were to hide what was going on with Monica Lewinsky, grand jury testimony, and the impeachment to distract people from that, but we got the speech from Bill Clinton December 16th, 1988, it reads almost identically to everything George Bush ever said. And then we can go back to Bush 41 and we can find other politicians in the middle. We can find Democrats who voted for all this. What about the members of the Senate intelligence committee and the House intelligence committees. You think they had a look at this data and believed it, too? But they did. We know Clinton did. We know Tom Daschle couldn't wait to sign on to the resolution in the Senate after Clinton spoke on December 16th authorizing the use of force.



    But that is not all, my friends. Because Bill Clinton himself, as recently as last October, mentioned to the prime minister of Portugal that he believed that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and that they had to be stopped, that the war was justified. This story has come out today in support of all of this. So they have to indict Bill Clinton, not only from 1998, have to indict Bill Clinton from last October, I guess this guy from Portugal, I bet they've got a Fort Marcy Park over there that he's going to have to keep a sharp eye on because now he's outed Clinton, because Clinton at the same time was running around suggesting that this was unnecessary, that Bush had gone too far, he's rallying all these Europeans against us. But he privately tells the minister of Portugal, I think it's Portugal. Having trouble finding the exact story here. Yes Portugal, I knew I was right. Even when I think I'm wrong I'm right. In Portugal he told the guy there that there were weapons of mass destruction.

    So this Carnegie thing is purely political, it's purely partisan, it's timed specifically to do damage to Bush. It isn't going to do one bit of damage to Bush, not one. And for these people to be called nonpartisan is one of the biggest shams that has ever been put over the American population, and they are not going to get away with it.

    END TRANSCRIPT


    Read the Articles...

    (CNN: Report says Iraq didn't have WMD)
    (Yahoo.com: Clinton believes Iraq had weapons of mass destruction: Portugal PM)


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