Thursday, November 17, 2005
Knight Ridder News Exposes Bush's Lies
Pity they bury the good stuff so deep in the article, but at least it's there:|
ASSERTION: In his speech, Bush noted that "more than a hundred Democrats in the House and the Senate - who had access to the same intelligence - voted to support removing Saddam Hussein from power."Dick "Torture Boy" Cheney's big lie offensive doesn't seem to be getting quite as much media echo as usual... how sad.
CONTEXT: This isn't true.
The Congress didn't have access to the President's Daily Brief, a top-secret compendium of intelligence on the most pressing national security issues that was sent to the president every morning by former CIA Director George Tenet.
As for prewar intelligence on Iraq, senior administration officials had access to other information and sources that weren't available to lawmakers.
Cheney and his aides visited the CIA and other intelligence agencies to view raw intelligence reports, received briefings and engaged in highly unusual give-and-take sessions with analysts.
Moreover, officials in the White House and the Pentagon received information directly from the Iraqi National Congress (INC), an exile group, circumventing U.S. intelligence agencies, which greatly distrusted the organization.
The INC's information came from Iraqi defectors who claimed that Iraq was hiding chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs, had mobile biological-warfare facilities and was training Islamic radicals in assassinations, bombings and hijackings.
The White House emphasized these claims in making its case for war, even though the defectors had shown fabrication or deception in lie-detector tests or had been rejected as unreliable by U.S. intelligence professionals.
All of the exiles' claims turned out to be bogus or remain unproven.
War hawks at the Pentagon also created a special unit that produced a prewar report - one not shared with Congress - that alleged that Iraq was in league with al-Qaida. A version of the report, briefed to Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld and top White House officials, disparaged the CIA for finding there was no cooperation between Iraq and the terrorist group, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence disclosed.
After the report was leaked in November 2003 to a conservative magazine, the Pentagon disowned it.
In fact, a series of secret U.S. intelligence assessments discounted the administration's assertion that Saddam could give banned weapons to al-Qaida.
(Source: Knight-Ridder Washington Bureau, In challenging war's critics, administration tinkers with truth, Nov 16, 2005 [emphasis added.])