Senate report: Iraq intelligence was wrong

Although 20 percent of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s final report on Iraq remains secret, what was released July 9 sheds the cold light of day on the Bush administration’s intelligence used to support its first-strike policy leading to war with Iraq.

In short, the Senate bipartisan committee verified what many had already concluded over a year ago: Bush lied; U.S. soldiers and Iraqis died.

“Nothing in this report absolves the White House of its responsibility for mishandling of the country’s intelligence,” a spokesman for the John Kerry campaign told the New York Times July 10. “The fact is that when it comes to national security, the buck stops at the White House, not anywhere else.”

Kerry and his running mate, Sen. John Edwards, both voted to authorize the war with Iraq based on information from the administration about weapons of mass destruction and ties between Iraq and the terrorist group, al-Qaeda. Even the Republican chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Pat Roberts of Kansas, concluded that had Congress known what the 511-page report discovered, “I doubt if the votes would have been there” to go to war.

Ray McGovern, a CIA analyst for 27 years and founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, wrote in the Miami Herald, “The Senate Committee Report is meticulous.”

McGovern and his colleagues point to at least one example of outright lying to make the data fit the Bush ‘First Strike’ policy. “Although it was clear to us that much of the intelligence on Iraq had been cooked to the recipe of policy, not until the Senate report did we know that the skewing included outright lies. We had heard of ‘Joe,’ the nuclear weapons analyst in the CIA’s Center for Weapons Intelligence and Arms Control, and it was abundantly clear that his agenda was to prove that the infamous aluminum tubes sought by Iraq were to be used for developing a nuclear weapon. … The Senate Committee determined that ‘Joe’ deliberately skewed data to fit preconceptions regarding the Iraqi nuclear threat.”

The other shoe dropped July 12 when the New York Times reported that the 9/11 Commission was expected to conclude that no relationship existed between Iraq and al-Qaeda and Iraq had no involvement in the 9/11 attack. The 9/11 Commission, which will release its full report this week, was established in response to a public outcry by victims’ families and it was opposed by the Bush administration. The commission is comprised of five Republicans and five Democrats and their conclusions are expected to be unanimous.

Both bipartisan reports stand in stark contrast to speeches by Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney in their campaign for re-election. Meanwhile, the Republican duo is stumping in the Midwest and West Virginia, haunted by persistent everyday people carrying signs reading, “Bush lied. Soldiers and Iraqis died.”

The author can be reached at dwinebr696@aol.com.