Commentary and information about public safety and security, intelligence and counterintelligence, open government and secrecy, and other issues in northern Idaho and eastern Washington.

Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States

Raised in Palouse, WA. Graduated from Washington State University. US Army (Counterintelligence). US Secret Service (Technical Security Division) in Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac and Los Angeles. Now living in north Idaho.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Declassified Senate Intelligence Committee Report - Iraq

Pursuant to Senate Resolution 400 of the 94th Congress (1976), the Senate Intelligence Committee is charged with "...the duty to oversee and make continuing studies of the intelligence activities and programs of the United States Government, and to report to the Senate concerning those activities and programs."

According to President Bush, our invasion of Iraq after the September 11, 2001, attacks was based on intelligence. After the attacks and our subsequent invasion, the accuracy and completeness of the intelligence has been challenged. It thus fell to the Senate Intelligence Committee to study the predicate intelligence and report its findings to the US Senate.

The Senate Intelligence Committee's report was ordered printed on September 8, 2006. The report was summarized (or cherry-picked) by various news services. For example, the Cox News Service headlined its September 9, 2006, story Report disputes Bush's terror claims. The Washington Times headline read Report finds no Saddam, Zarqawi ties. The Washington Post article was captioned Iraq's Alleged Al-Qaeda Ties Were Disputed Before War, followed by a titillating subhed reading "Links Were Cited to Justify U.S. Invasion, Report Said."

Rather that relying on news service stories, it's probably better to read the Report and come to your own conclusions. It is available at the Senate Select Committee On Intelligence website. The Report's complete title is: Report of the Select Committee on Intelligence On Postwar Findings About Iraq's WMD Programs and Links to Terrorism and How They Compare With Prewar Assessments together with Additional Views. The blacked-out portions at the top and bottom of each page are the security classifications that no longer apply after the classified information in the report body was redacted (also blacked out).

One of the most informative and insightful statements in the Report didn't make it into most news accounts. It reads, "...intelligence is not a perfect science and we should not expect perfection from Intelligence Community analysts. It is entirely possible for an analyst to perform meticulous and skillful analysis and be completely wrong. Likewise, it is also possible to perform careless analysis and turn out to be right, purely by chance."


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