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 Senate committee: Bush knew Iraq claims weren't true

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Jason
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PostSubject: Senate committee: Bush knew Iraq claims weren't true   Sat Jun 28, 2008 9:34 pm

"[Republicans] President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and other top officials promoted the invasion of Iraq with public statements that weren't supported by intelligence or that concealed differences among intelligence agencies, the Senate Intelligence Committee said on Thursday in a report that was delayed by bitter partisan infighting." ... "A second report found that a special office set up under then-secretary of defense Donald H. Rumsfeld conducted "sensitive intelligence activities" that were inappropriate "without the knowledge of the Intelligence Community or the State Department." That report revealed that Pentagon counterintelligence officials suspected that Iran might have tried to use the group to influence administration policymakers." ... "The Senate report, the first official examination of whether top officials knew that their public statements were unsubstantiated when they made them, reviewed five speeches by Bush, Cheney and former Secretary of State Colin Powell between August 2002 and February 2003. It also dissected key statements made by them and other top officials, including Rumsfeld and then-national security adviser Condoleezza Rice." ... "The committee found that the administration's warnings that former dictator Saddam Hussein was in league with Osama bin Laden, a highly inflammatory assertion in the wake of the [September] Sept. 11, 2001, al Qaida attacks, weren't substantiated by U.S. intelligence reports. In fact, it said, [United State] U.S. intelligence agencies were telling the White House that while there'd been sporadic contacts over a decade, there was no operational cooperation between Iraq and al Qaida, the report said." ... "The administration's repeated statements "suggesting that Iraq and al Qaida had a partnership, or that Iraq had provided al Qaida with weapons training, were not substantiated by intelligence," it said." ... "Contentions by Bush and Cheney that Saddam had to be removed because he could give terrorists weapons of mass destruction to strike the United States were "contradicted by available intelligence information" that found that the late Iraqi dictator was unlikely to make such transfers, the report said." ... "Cheney's assertions that Mohammad Atta, the chief Sept. 11 hijacker, had met months before the attack with an Iraqi intelligence officer in the Czech capital, Prague [Czech Republic], were also unsubstantiated, the inquiry found." ... "The committee said that Bush and Cheney "failed to reflect concerns and uncertainties" expressed in intelligence analyses that questioned administration assertions that Iraqis would welcome U.S. troops as liberators and warned that American forces could face violent resistance." ... "Statements by Bush, Cheney and other top officials that Saddam had stockpiled chemical and biological weapons in violation of U.N. resolutions were "generally substantiated" by what turned out to be erroneous U.S. intelligence analyses, the report said." ... "However, while intelligence reports "generally substantiated" their claims that Iraq had secretly restarted a nuclear weapons program, the committee said, Bush and other officials failed to disclose that the State Department disputed that finding." ... "The administration's statements also failed to disclose that the Energy Department joined the State Department in rejecting allegations that Iraq had tried to buy uranium in Africa, the report said." ... "The reports released Thursday brought to an end a lengthy investigation into how U.S. intelligence appeared to be so wrong in the run-up to the Iraq war." -By Jonathan S. Landay with contributions by Nancy A. Youssef and Mark Seibel -McClatchyDC.com
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Senate committee: Bush knew Iraq claims weren't true
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