Skip to comments.Senate Intel Report Goes According to Anti-Bush Plan
Posted on 07/12/2004 9:38:49 AM PDT by kattracks
A Senate Intelligence Committee report released Friday that concludes the Bush administration used false information on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction to lead America into war follows a secret plan hatched by Committee Democrats last year to damage President Bush's reelection prospects.
"Most of the major key judgments" on the Iraqi weapons threat were "either overstated, or were not supported by the underlying intelligence reporting," the Committee report said. "A series of failures, particularly in analytic trade craft, led to the mischaracterization of intelligence." While Republican Committee Chairman Sen. Pat Roberts emphasized that the fault lie primarily with the CIA, ranking Democrat Sen. Jay Rockefeller did his best to turn the report into an indictment of the White House, claiming without evidence that Bush officials pressured the intelligence community.
Interviewed this weekend on "Meet the Press," for instance, the West Virginia Democrat complained, "Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, etc. - they were putting out these hair-raising, paralyzing, horrifying statements about what was going to happen, was about to come back to the homeland, the mushroom cloud. This is pressure, folks. This is pressure."
The report's conclusions were just what the doctor ordered for Democrats, who plotted last year to unleash as much damaging information as they could once the presidential campaign heated up.
"Our plan is as follows," a still unidentified staffer for Sen. Rockefeller wrote in a confidential memo obtained by radio host Sean Hannity in November.
"Pull the majority along as far as we can on issues that may lead to major new disclosures regarding improper or questionable conduct by administration officials."
The names of Bush officials cited by Sen. Rockefeller on "Meet the Press" were among those targeted in the document, which became known as "The Hannity Memo."
"The chairman [Roberts] has agreed to look at the activities of the office of the Secretary of Defense, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, as well as Secretary Bolton's office at the State Department."
The Democrat memo continued:
"We may have already compiled all the public statements on Iraq made by senior administration officials. We will identify the most exaggerated claims. We will contrast them with the intelligence estimates that have since been declassified. Our additional views will also, among other things, castigate the majority for seeking to limit the scope of the inquiry."
The Hannity memo's summary section leaves no doubt about the Democratic plan to turn the Iraq intelligence controversy into a political weapon.
"We have an important role to play in revealing the misleading, if not flagrantly dishonest, methods and motives of senior administration officials who made the case for unilateral preemptive war," the anonymous Rockefeller strategist wrote.
"The approach outlined above seems to offer the best prospect for exposing the administration's dubious motives."
In more evidence that Sen. Roberts allowed his Democratic colleagues to control the investigative agenda, key weapons discoveries in Iraq were either downplayed or ignored in the Committee's report, including:
The discovery of two tons of low enriched uranium at Saddam Hussein's massive al Tuwaitha nuclear weapons plant, which, according to U.S. scientists, could have been refined to make at leat one nuclear bomb.
The discovery of hundreds of tons of unenriched uranium at the same location.
More than a dozen artillary shells containing Sarin and mustard gas, uncovered in just the last month.
30 state-of-the-art Soviet-built fighter aircraft, found buried beneath the sand near Baghdad last July.
A fleet of Iraqi al-Samoud II missiles with a range of 93 miles - far in excess of the range allowed under the first Gulf War cease fire agreement.
A terrorist camp complete with a Boeing 707 fuselage where radical Islamists trained to hijack U.S. aircraft before Sept. 11.
A list of suspects harbored by Iraq's government that reads like a Who's Who of global terrorism, including 1993 World Trade Center bomber Abdul Rahman Yasin, notorious Palestinian terrorist Abu Nidal, Achille Lauro hijacker Abu Abbas and al Qaeda kingpin Abu Musab al Zarqawi, who was treated for leg injuries in a hostpital run by Saddam's son Uday.
And Hans Blix said we will never find them unless they show us where there are.
Beware the sheep (Saddam) in wolves clothing.
REPORT OF SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE -- (Senate - July 09, 2004)
[Page: S7882] GPO's PDF
Mr. BOND. Madam President, I am very pleased to announce that today, about 90 minutes ago, the report of the Select Committee on Intelligence on the pre-Iraq war has finally been released. We were bound not to talk about it until it was released at 10:30 today. Our staff has done an excellent job reviewing 15,000 documents and 200 witnesses, going back time and again to get the facts straight.
We came up with the unanimous conclusions that I think this body and our friends around the country, including the media, ought to pay attention to what is actually in that report. Some of my colleagues spent yesterday talking about the report and putting their spin on it.
I have been very distressed that the spin had nothing to do with the facts that are actually in the report. It is a lengthy report. For the benefit of my colleagues who have not been on the Intelligence Committee, let me tell you a couple of things that were in the report.
First, the intelligence used by the President, the Vice President, the chairman, and ranking member of the Intelligence Committee, the chairman and ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, along with the rest of us, was the intelligence given to them by the CIA. This was intelligence given to them through three administrations. On the basis of that, on the floor the statement was made on September 19, 2002:
We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them.
Senator Levin stated that.
On October 10, 2002:
There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next 5 years. We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in the development of weapons of mass destruction.
Senator JAY ROCKEFELLER stated that.
These were conclusions that came from the best intelligence we had available, that other intelligence agencies had available. Actually, if you look at it, Iraqi Survey Group leader David Kay, when he came back to the United States, said we know that Iraq was a far more dangerous place, even than we had learned from our intelligence because of other things that were going on that were not fully reported.
We identified problems in this report. There was no human intelligence, which you absolutely need. There was faulty analysis in sharing of information among the various agencies. Some analysts did not fully qualify the information that was not confirmed.
But despite the breathless headlines, despite the political charges that are being made on the other side of the aisle, no one was pressured to change judgments or reach specific judgments. In fact, the committee interviewed over 200 people, searching, searching, and searching for those who might be pressured.
Chairman Roberts asked repeatedly, publicly and in hearings, that anybody who had information on pressure to change conclusions, come forward. Nobody did. They chased rabbits all through every brush pile that could be imagined. Anybody who had an idea of pressure was challenged. Do you know what they found? There was tremendous pressure on the analysts because they had not put together the right information prior to 9/11. They felt pressure, but they all said it was pressure to get it right. They said it is the job of the intelligence community to respond to the most searching questions of the people, the policymakers who use it.
Let me cite three conclusions from the report, which I think are very important on intelligence. From page 284: conclusion 83:
The committee did not find any evidence that administration officials attempted to coerce, influence, or pressure analysts to change their judgments related to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capabilities.
Page 285, conclusion 84:
The committee found no evidence that the Vice President's visits to the Central Intelligence Agency were attempts to pressure analysts, were perceived as intended to pressure analysts by those who participated in the briefings of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs, or did pressure analysts to change their assessments.
On page 359, conclusion 102:
The committee found that none of the analysts or other people interviewed by the committee said they were pressured to change their conclusions related to Iraq's links to terrorism. After 9/11, analysts were under tremendous pressure to make correct assessments to avoid missing a credible threat and to avoid an intelligence failure.
These are the findings upon which we unanimously agreed. I think the Vice President and others who have been politically maligned are entitled to an apology.
Do you know what this all comes back to? This comes back to a plan that we learned about on November 6, 2003. I have in my mind a FOX News report on this memo from a Democratic staffer. Nobody has denied it. In fact, they are playing their plays out of that game book now.
It talks about:
No. 1: Pull the majority along as far as we can on issues that may lead to major new disclosures. .....
No. 2: Assiduously prepare Democratic ``additional views'' to attach to any interim or final reports. .....
No. 3: We will identify the most exaggerated claims and contrast them with the intelligence estimates that have since been declassified. Our additional views will also, among other things, castigate the majority for seeking to limit the scope of the inquiry.
That is exactly what the game plan is that they are following. When you look at the conclusion, the summary of that memo, it says:
Intelligence issues are clearly secondary to the public's concern regarding the insurgency in Iraq. Yet, we have an important
[Page: S7883] GPO's PDF
role to play in revealing the misleading--if not flagrantly dishonest methods and motives--of senior administration officials who made the case for a unilateral, preemptive war. The approach outlined above seems to offer the best prospects for exposing the administration's dubious motives and methods.
I ask unanimous consent that be printed in the RECORD following my statement.
The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. HATCH). Without objection, it is so ordered.
(See exhibit 1.)
Mr. BOND. To sum it up, we are at war with terrorists. The terrorists were in Iraq. They had access to the weapons of mass destruction that Saddam Hussein had produced in the past and were willing to produce in the future. We have received increased briefings on recent threats in the United States. The greatest danger we fear is that Saddam Hussein, had we not taken him out, would be supplying those terrorists with chemical and biological weapons.
Our troops remain under fire, but some on this floor and some commentators I have heard seem to be more interested in politicizing the problems in the Intelligence Committee rather than getting at the root of the problem. I hope we can put these partisan charges aside because there is much work to do to improve the gathering, the analysis, and the dissemination of intelligence. For the good of this country, we need to put behind us this partisan effort to fingerpoint and make accusations that have been explicitly disabused and disavowed by this intelligence report.
I commend the staff of the Intelligence Committee. I thank the many thousands of dedicated people in the intelligence community who are doing their best, under difficult circumstances, to get information under systems that were not adequate for the needs at the time. We need to build a system where we get human intelligence, where we analyze it better, and where we share it among agencies that we have not done adequately in the past.
I thank my colleagues from Texas and Alabama for their courtesy.
Raw Data: Dem Memo on Iraq Intel
[From FOX News, Nov. 6, 2003]
We have carefully reviewed our options under the rules and believe we have identified the best approach. Our plan is as follows:
(1) Pull the majority along as far as we can on issues that may lead to major new disclosures regarding improper or questionable conduct by administration officials. We are having some success in that regard. For example, in addition to the president's State of the Union speech, the chairman has agreed to look at the activities of the Office of the Secretary of Defense as well as Secretary Bolton's office at the State Department. The fact that the chairman supports our investigations into these offices and co-signs our requests for information is helpful and potentially crucial. We don't know what we will find but our prospects for getting the access we seek is far greater when we have the backing of the majority. (Note: we can verbally mention some of the intriguing leads we are pursuing.)
(2) Assiduously prepare Democratic ``additional views'' to attach to any interim or final reports the committee may release. Committee rules provide this opportunity and we intend to take full advantage of it. In that regard, we have already compiled all the public statements on Iraq made by senior administration officials. We will identify the most exaggerated claims and contrast them with the intelligence estimates that have since been declassified. Our additional views will also, among other things, castigate the majority for seeking to limit the scope of the inquiry. The Democrats will then be in a strong position to reopen the question of establishing an independent commission (i.e. the Corzine amendment).
(3) Prepare to launch an independent investigation when it becomes clear we have exhausted the opportunity to usefully collaborate with the majority. We can pull the trigger on an independent investigation at any time--but we can only do so once. The best time to do so will probably be next year either:
(A) After we have already released our additional views on an interim report--thereby providing as many as three opportunities to make our case to the public: (1) additional views on the interim report; (2) announcement of our independent investigation; and (3) additional views on the final investigation; or
(B) Once we identify solid leads the majority does not want to pursue. We could attract more coverage and have greater credibility in that context than one in which we simply launch an independent investigation based on principled but vague notions regarding the ``use'' of intelligence.
In the meantime, even without a specifically authorized independent investigation, we continue to act independently when we encounter foot-dragging on the part of the majority. For example, the FBI Niger investigation was done solely at the request of the vice chairman; we have independently submitted written questions to DoD; and we are preparing further independent requests for information.
Intelligence issues are clearly secondary to the public's concern regarding the insurgency in Iraq. Yet, we have an important role to play in the revealing the misleading--if not flagrantly dishonest methods and motives--of the senior administration officials who made the case for a unilateral, preemptive war. The approach outline above seems to offer the best prospect for exposing the administration's dubious motives and methods.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Texas.
Mr. CORNYN. I ask unanimous consent to speak for up to 30 minutes.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
I'm surprised at this. I can't believe they would undermine our efforts in the WOT for political gain.
Boy, that sure hit like a ton of bricks.
Why it's enough to make me question the ethics of Democrats.
I actually now have a feeling of distrust toward them. /s
but what is most shocking is how stupid Pat Roberts is. And the rest of the Rs on this committee, how stupid are they for goodness sake?
"While Republican Committee Chairman Sen. Pat Roberts emphasized "
Robertson and all his nominal "Repubican" associates on that committee are a disgrace to America and the party they claim to represent.
They should have their heads shaved and they should be drummed out of the Senate and the party.
Bush has this as an Ace in the Hole, and so, this very premature report will mean absolutely NOTHING in the long run. The hidden story of Saddam's WMDs is now unfolding for those with eyes to see it.
Senator Rockefeller is ignoring the turd in the punchbowl. The question is not whether or not Saddam had weapons, the question is where are they at at this point in time.
They exist. I just hope we find them before the lunatics do.
Republican and their staffs don't throw themselves into politics and parliamentary maneuvering the way Democrats do. My image of Democrat staffs is they love to be in government, to have that government job. They throw themselves into it and exert themselves. The Democrat staffers just love all that policy wonk crap and scheming up new ways, new laws to help "the people"
perhaps. but its got to come quickly, because if it comes as an "october surprise", it may well look like a political stunt, and Bush risks a backlash if it is perceived as such.
then we need to hire some new staffers - because the people in those jobs need to understand the politics of what is going on, and the stakes involved.
How do Roberts and Rockefeller explain this :
World Tribune: June 11, 2004
"The United Nations has determined that Saddam Hussein shipped weapons of mass destruction components as well as medium-range ballistic missiles before, during and after the U.S.-led war against Iraq in 2003."
"The UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission briefed the Security Council on new findings that could help trace the whereabouts of Saddam's missile and WMD program."
"The briefing contained satellite photographs that demonstrated the speed with which Saddam dismantled his missile and WMD sites before and during the war.
Council members were shown photographs of a ballistic missile site outside Baghdad in May 2003,
and then saw a satellite image of the same location in February 2004, in which facilities had disappeared."
Or this :
August 1, 2003
WASHINGTON (CNN) --U.S. investigators are making "solid progress" in the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, one of the leaders of the effort said after briefing senators.
"I think the American people should be prepared for surprises,"
said David Kay, a former U.N. weapons inspector who is leading the CIA's weapons investigation.
"I think it's very likely that we will discover remarkable surprises in this enterprise."
Kay and Maj. Gen. Keith Dayton, head of the Pentagon's Iraq Survey Group,
spent about six hours Thursday updating the Senate Armed Services and Intelligence committees
in closed-door hearings on the weapons investigation, which includes U.S., British and Australian personnel.
"Every week, it is phenomenal what we're finding," Dayton told reporters afterward.
Kay told reporters that during the first six weeks of the effort, investigators have uncovered useful documents about Iraq's WMD programs
and are getting increased cooperation from Iraqis.
He also said the team has "found some physical evidence" related to Iraqi weapons,
though he declined to characterize that evidence.
The task of finding physical evidence related to Iraq's weapons programs was made more difficult
by the destruction during the war and the looting afterward, he said.
"I think we are making solid progress," he said. "It is preliminary. We're not at the final stage of understanding fully Iraq's WMD program, nor have we found WMD weapons.
I just don't understand how such weak Republicans were on that darn committee. Everything released form them has been on the rat's timetable. I am disgusted with it AND them!
Hannity said after the election he is going hard after these wimpy republicans.
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