Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Pre-war intelligence and the defectors

Knight-Ridder claims that their own investigative report has shown that Iraqi defectors were responsible for feeding misleading information on Iraq to the press:

"Feeding the information to the news media, as well as to selected administration officials and members of Congress, helped foster an impression that there were multiple sources of intelligence on Iraq’s illicit weapons programs and links to bin Laden.

In fact, many of the allegations came from the same half-dozen defectors, were not confirmed by other intelligence and were hotly disputed by intelligence professionals at the CIA, the Defense Department and the State Department.

Nevertheless, U.S. officials and others who supported a pre-emptive invasion quoted the allegations in statements and interviews without running afoul of restrictions on classified information or doubts about the defectors’ reliability."

And the Christian Science Monitor picks this up, with some additions: "Knight Ridder’s investigative report comes days after a Washington Post story gave a more positive treatment of how two, key, US Defense Department offices handled prewar intelligence.

The Post article casts doubt on assertions by Democrats that the Pentagon’s Office of Special Plans as well as its Policy Counterterrorism Evaluation Group supplied questionable information that President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and others used to exaggerate the Iraqi threat."

This is the Dana Priest article in the WaPo that is referenced in the CS Monitor article. It is entitled, "Pentagon Shadow Loses Some Mystique: Feith’s Shops Did Not Usurp Intelligence Agencies on Iraq, Hill Probers Find." Interesting stuff.  

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