Bush II Cooked Intelligence to Get Iraq War Powers

George W. Bush made false claims citing faulty intelligence, during his campaign in 2002 to gain public and congressional support for an invasion of Iraq1. The faulty intelligence came through the “stovepipes” Bush’s administration set up to pump information from the intelligence gatherers directly up to the policy makers, bypassing the intelligence analysts2. The policy makers could then cherry-pick the information they wanted and ignore regular intelligence reports. Bush used much of the cherry-picked intelligence in a major speech he gave in Cincinnati in October, 2002. Bush said Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear weapons program3, but the consensus of US intelligence agencies was that Iraq’s program was minimal at best. He said Iraq tried to buy aluminum tubes for its nuclear weapons program, but the USA’s uranium enrichment experts determined that the tubes were unsuitable for that purpose. Bush said Iraq could use its Al Qaeda ties to deliver a biological or chemical weapon, but the consensus of US intelligence agencies was that Iraq’s ties with Al Qaeda were inconsequential. The Senate Intelligence Committee got a national intelligence estimate from the CIA that disputed Bush’s claims. The chairman, Bob Graham (D-FL), asked for a declassified version to give to the rest of the Senate. But CIA Director George Tenet delivered a much different declassified version that played up Bush’s claims and omitted contrary evidence and analysis, and the White House ordered Tenet not to release anything more. Congress passed the Iraq war powers resolution4 without the contrary intelligence being divulged. Democratic senators voted 29-21 in favor of the resolution, but five of nine Senate Intelligence Committee Democrats, including Graham, voted against it5.

Sources

1 ‘The Selling of the Iraq War: The First Casualty’ – John B. Judis and Spencer Ackerman, The New Republic, June 30, 2003

2 ‘The Stovepipe’ – Seymour M. Hersh, The New Yorker

3 Text Of President Bush’s Speech – CINCINNATI, Oct. 7, 2002

4 Congressional Resolution on Iraq

5 Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002, Vote Summary

* * * By Quinn Hungeski – Posted at G.N.N. & TheParagraph.com

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