Rockefeller Says Partial Release of Phase II Reports Paint Clearer Picture of Mistakes Made In Lead Up to Iraq War
(Source: Sen. John D. Rockefeller; issued Sept. 8, 2006)

(Editor’s Note: Sen. John D. Rockefeller, a Democrat, is vice-chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence; Sen. Pat Roberts, a Republican, is chairman.)
WASHINGTON, D.C. --- The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence today released two out of five sections of its Phase II report that seeks to understand how intelligence was prepared and used by policy makers in the lead up to the war with Iraq.

The two reports released today address: 1) a comparison of prewar assessments with postwar findings on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction program and potential links to al-Qa’ida terrorists; and 2) the role of the Iraqi National Congress (INC) in providing prewar intelligence.

Phase II builds on the Committee’s July 2004 report on the Intelligence Community’s failures prior to the Iraq war.

In a statement today on the Senate floor, Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, the Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said that, “The Committee’s investigation into prewar intelligence on Iraq has revealed that the Bush Administration’s case for war in Iraq was fundamentally misleading. The Administration pursued a deceptive strategy of using intelligence reporting that the Intelligence Community had already warned was uncorroborated, unreliable, and in critical instances, fabricated.”

Rockefeller added, “These reports are about accountability. They are about identifying the mistakes that led us to war, and they are about making sure those mistakes never happen again.

“These reports lay out the facts and show that the Administration did not use intelligence the way it was intended – to inform policy makers. Instead, Administration officials cherry-picked, exaggerated, or ignored intelligence to justify the decision they had already made to go to war with Iraq.”

The following are Key Judgments released in today’s reports:

1. Key Judgments of the Report Comparing Pre-War Intelligence to Post-war Findings:

- Iraq did not provide any material or operational support to al-Qa’ida prior to the war.

- No evidence was found of any meeting between the Iraq regime and al-Qa’ida before the war other than a single meeting that took place in 1995 in the Sudan, and that meeting did not lead to any operational support.

- Saddam Hussein was distrustful of al-Qa’ida and viewed Islamic extremists as a threat to his regime. He refused all al-Qa’ida requests and issued a general order that Iraq should not deal with al-Qa’ida.

- Iraq was not aware of al-Zarqawi’s presence in Baghdad in 2002 until alerted by a foreign government. Saddam Hussein viewed al-Zarqawi as an outlaw and attempted, unsuccessfully, to locate and capture him. Al-Zarqawi left in November 2002 and did not return to Baghdad until after the fall of the Saddam Hussein regime.

- The Intelligence Community was correct that there was no connection to 9/11, no indication that Saddam Hussein intended to use al-Qa’ida or any other terrorist group to strike the U.S.

- The claim that Iraq provided al-Qa’ida with training in chemical and biological weapons prior to the war was false and based on the reporting of a single source, al-Libi, whom the Defense Intelligence Agency warned as early as February 2002 was intentionally misleading his debriefers. The CIA concluded in February 2004 that al-Libi was a fabricator.

- The State Department was correct when they determined that there was not enough evidence to say that Saddam Hussein had an active nuclear program.

- The State Department and the Department of Energy were correct that the aluminum tubes were not for a nuclear program.

- The Air Force was correct that Iraq’s UAVs were not for delivery of biological weapons.

2. Key Judgments of the Report on the Iraqi National Congress (INC)

- The INC attempted to influence U.S. policy on Iraq by providing false information through defectors.

- False information from the INC was used to support key Intelligence Community assessments.

- Intelligence Community use of INC information was a serious error.

- The Administration decision in July of 2002 to have the Pentagon fund the INC was ill-advised and done in spite of warnings that the INC was penetrated by hostile intelligence services and would use that relationship to promote its own agenda.

“Today’s reports show that the Administration’s repeated allegations of a past, present and future relationship between al-Qa’ida and Iraq were wrong and intended to exploit the deep sense of insecurity among Americans in the immediate aftermath of the September 11th attacks. The Administration sought and succeeded in creating the false impression that al-Qa’ida and Iraq presented a single unified threat to the United States,” Rockefeller concluded.

The Committee has yet to complete the remaining three reports that deal with:
1) the quality of prewar intelligence assessments about postwar Iraq;
2) whether public statements and reports and testimony regarding Iraq by U.S. Government officials made between the Gulf War period and the commencement of Operation Iraqi Freedom were substantiated by intelligence information;
3) any intelligence activities relating to Iraq conducted by the Policy Counterterrorism Evaluation Group (PCTEG) and the Office of Special Plans within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. (ends)

Click here to read the full report (Postwar Findings about Iraq's WMD Programs and Links to Terrorism and How they Compare with Prewar Assessments) on the Senate website (151 pages in PDF format)

Postwar Findings about Iraq's WMD Programs and Links to Terrorism and How they Compare with Prewar Assessments
(Source: Senator Pat Roberts; issued Sept. 8, 2006)
WASHINGTON, DC --- The U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, chaired by Senator Pat Roberts, today released two "Phase II" reports concerning pre-war intelligence on Iraq.

"Overall, I am pleased the committee was able to release these reports so the American people can have access to the information and decide for themselves what it means," Roberts said. "We’ve heard highly-charged political rhetoric, but for the first time, the public can read the facts to see whether the rhetoric was accurate."

The reports are:

- "The Postwar Findings About Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction and Weapons Programs and Links to Terrorism and How they Compare with Prewar Assessments," and,

- "The Use by the Intelligence Community of Information Provided by the Iraqi National Congress (INC)."

The Postwar Findings Report

With respect to the report on the accuracy of the prewar intelligence assessments, Chairman Roberts said:

"I think that anyone who has been paying attention the last couple of years will recognize that there is little that is new in this report. As we have all known since 2004, this nation and our allies, experienced an intelligence failure with respect to the prewar intelligence on Iraq.

"Just as this Committee reported in 2004 – by an unanimous, bipartisan vote – and the President's WMD Commission reported in 2005, the majority of the prewar intelligence assessments were based upon flawed analysis and were just plain wrong.

"Postwar findings indicate that almost all of the major assessments in the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate about Iraq’s WMD programs were wrong. Postwar findings indicate that the accuracy of the Intelligence Community's assessments of the Iraqi regime’s links to terrorism was at best mixed. Contrary to the assertions of some of my colleagues, I have seen no evidence that there was an effort to distort or manipulate intelligence."

The Iraqi National Congress Report

Concerning the report on the use by the Intelligence Community of INC information, Chairman Roberts said:

"I have some real concern with the final version of this report. Very simply, the conclusions are misleading and are not supported by the facts.

"During markup of the report, the proposed conclusions by committee analysts were replaced with a sweeping amendment offered by the Democrats. I opposed this amendment. The altered conclusions suggest that the INC intentionally provided false information to the Intelligence Community and that the Intelligence Community used that information to support key judgments about Iraq's WMD programs and links to terrorism. These conclusions distort the extent to which the Intelligence Community used INC information and they mischaracterize the significance of the information that was used.

"It is important that people can read the body of the report as well as my additional views to get the underlying facts. Together, these tell the real story. Here's the bottom line on the INC as reflected in the findings of fact in the Committee’s report:

- Some information provided by the INC was accurate, some was inaccurate, and some remains ambiguous, even today. We found no evidence to suggest that the INC intentionally provided false information.

- Information supplied by the INC played a minimal role in the Intelligence Community's prewar judgments concerning Iraq's WMD programs.

- INC information was not used to support the Intelligence Community's key judgments about Iraq's links to terrorism.

"We must remember that intelligence -- particularly human intelligence -- is a tough business. All human intelligence sources, whether they are from the INC or some other group, have agendas or counterintelligence concerns. This doesn’t mean they should be dismissed as sources. It means intelligence operatives should pursue their information and accurately report what they say with appropriate warnings and caveats. Analysts then have a responsibility to assess the information, take warnings and caveats into account, and convey the information and their own judgements to policymakers.

"Overall, I am disappointed that some of my colleagues have twisted the facts to reach conclusions that support other agendas. It is my view that the public should not focus on the conclusions in this report, but rather on the underlying facts.

There is no question that the flawed prewar intelligence assessments on Iraq were the result of a tragic intelligence failure. The real causes of that failure, explained in detail in the Committee's exhaustive 2004 report, had nothing to do with Ahmed Chalabi and the INC."

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