David Kay’s “No-WMD-after-all” findings made a lot of news, as they should have. But his rap on the intelligence services–claiming that they provided bad information to the WH–is more Republican spin control. In fact, the evidence is overwhelming, as readers of this blog may remember, that the CIA, DIA, and even the State Dept repeatedly warned the Bush Admin that there was NO evidence of the WMD charges they were making. The Center for American Progress lays it out:
Intel Warnings IgnoredFormer weapons inspector David Kay will testify before the Senate today, facing questions about his admission that most likely there were never WMD in Iraq before the Iraq invasion. Kay has spent the last three days pummeling the intelligence community, instead of the Bush Administration, saying the intelligence agencies “owe President Bush an apology.” But Kay’s comments and the White House’s efforts to pass the buck face a challenge from President Bush himself, who “refused to blame faulty intelligence for overstating the threat.” Instead, Bush “evaded questions” and joined Secretary of State Colin Powell and Vice President Cheney as the three top Administration officials to publicly back away from their previous WMD claims. Here are the highlights of the intelligence community’s warnings to the White House (for more, see the complete list):
CIA WARNINGS IGNORED: On February 6, 2002, the CIA told the White House there was “no evidence that Iraq has engaged in terrorist operations against the United States in nearly a decade, and the agency is also convinced that President Saddam Hussein has not provided chemical or biological weapons to Al Qaeda or related terrorist groups.” In October of 2002, the CIA also “sent two memos to the White House voicing strong doubts about a claim President Bush made three months later in the State of the Union address that Iraq was trying to buy nuclear materials in Africa.” And in February of 2003, the CIA again warned the White House, “We do not have any direct evidence that Iraq has used the period since Desert Fox to reconstitute its Weapons of Mass Destruction programs.”
DIA WARNINGS IGNORED: In September, 2002, the Defense Intelligence Agency told the White House that there is “no reliable information on whether Iraq is producing and stockpiling chemical weapons.” The report also said, “A substantial amount of Iraq’s chemical warfare agents, precursors, munitions, and production equipment were destroyed between 1991 and 1998 as a result of Operation Desert Storm and UN actions.”
DOE WARNINGS IGNORED: In September, 2002, the Energy Department’s technical experts warned the White House that the aluminum tubes Iraq was seeking –the central basis for the conclusion that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear weapons program – were ill-suited to build centrifuges for enriching uranium. In fact, Secretary Powell even admitted before the U.N. that there was controversy over the tubes.
STATE DEPT. INTELLIGENCE WARNINGS IGNORED: In October, 2002, the State Department’s Intelligence and Research Department (INR) told the White House that its WMD conclusions were inaccurate. Its report said, “the activities we have detected do not … add up to a compelling case that Iraq is currently pursuing what INR would consider to be an integrated and comprehensive approach to acquiring nuclear weapons.” The Financial Times on 7/30/03 noted that this warning was specifically reiterated to Secretary Powell during the preparations of his U.N. speech, but again was ignored.
AIR FORCE INTELLIGENCE WARNINGS IGNORED: While President Bush said Iraq had Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) that could spray biological weapons on American soil, the WP reported on 9/26/03 that “the government organization most knowledgeable about UAV programs – the Air Force’s National Air and Space Intelligence Center – had sharply disputed that notion” to the White House, but was ignored.
U.N./IAEA WARNINGS IGNORED: CNN reported on 2/14/03 that weapons inspectors told the White House “they had not found any weapons of mass destruction.” On 2/15/03, the WP reported that the International Atomic Energy Agency warned the White House, “We have to date found no evidence of ongoing prohibited nuclear or nuclear-related activities in Iraq.”
Nope. Seems clear enough to me.
(From Tom Tomorrow)