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KevinTheOmnivore KevinTheOmnivore is offline
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Old Feb 2nd, 2003, 05:06 PM        CIA says al-Qaida, Iraq link overstated
http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/story.hts/nation/1761084

Feb. 1, 2003, 7:03PM

CIA says al-Qaida, Iraq link overstated

By JAMES RISEN and DAVID JOHNSTON
New York Times

WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration's efforts to build a case for war against Iraq using intelligence to link it to al-Qaida and the development of prohibited weapons has created friction within U.S. intelligence agencies, government officials said.

Some analysts at the CIA have complained that senior administration officials have exaggerated the significance of some intelligence reports about Iraq, particularly about its possible links to terrorism, in order to strengthen their political argument for war, government officials said.

At the FBI, some investigators said they were baffled by the Bush administration's insistence on a solid link between Iraq and Osama bin Laden's network.

"We've been looking at this hard for more than a year and you know what, we just don't think it's there," a government official said.

The tension within the intelligence agencies comes as Secretary of State Colin Powell is poised to go before the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday to present evidence of Iraq's links to terrorism and its continuing efforts to develop chemical, biological and nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.

Interviews with administration officials revealed divisions between, on one side, the Pentagon and the National Security Council, which has become a clearinghouse for the evidence being prepared for Powell, and, on the other, the CIA and, to some degree, the State Department and agencies such as the FBI.

In the interviews, two officials, Paul Wolfowitz, deputy defense secretary, and Stephen Hadley, deputy national security adviser, were cited as being most eager to interpret evidence deemed murky by intelligence officials to show a clearer picture of Iraq's involvement in illicit weapons programs and terrorism.

Their bosses, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, have also pressed a hard line, officials said.

A senior administration official said discussions in preparation for Powell's presentation were intense, but not rancorous, and said there was little dissension among President Bush's top advisers about the fundamental nature of Saddam Hussein's government.

"I haven't detected anyone who thinks this a not compelling case," the administration official said.

Bush asserted in his State of the Union address last week that Iraq was protecting and aiding al-Qaida operatives, but U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials said the evidence was fragmentary and inconclusive.

"It's more than just skepticism," said one official describing the feelings of some analysts in the intelligence agencies.

"I think there is also a sense of disappointment with the community's leadership that they are not standing up for them at a time when the intelligence is obviously being politicized."

Intelligence professionals have expressed fewer reservations about the administration's statements concerning Iraq's weapons programs.

There is broad agreement within intelligence agencies that Iraq has continued its efforts to develop chemical, biological, and probably nuclear weapons, and that it is still trying to hide its weapons programs from U.N. inspectors.

Officials said the United States had obtained communications intercepts that show Iraqi officials coaching scientists in how to avoid providing valuable information about Iraq's weapons programs to inspectors.
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ItalianStereotype ItalianStereotype is offline
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Old Feb 2nd, 2003, 05:21 PM       
i thought that they hated saddam for being such a secular person and poor muslim.
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KevinTheOmnivore KevinTheOmnivore is offline
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Old Feb 2nd, 2003, 05:25 PM        Re: CIA says al-Qaida, Iraq link overstated
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinTheHerbivore

"We've been looking at this hard for more than a year and you know what, we just don't think it's there," a government official said.
Apparently so, eh?
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Old Feb 2nd, 2003, 06:14 PM       
I can wait till Ronnie replies to this. :P

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GAsux GAsux is offline
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Old Feb 2nd, 2003, 08:02 PM        Agreed
I completely agree with that 100%. It's not often that folks within a government agency like the CIA are willing to publically split with an administration and I don't doubt its authenticity. Iraq-Al Qaeda ties ought not even be brought up in the context of war, unless it is in regards to speculation about future potential.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2003, 08:21 PM       
fuck that is great! I am amazed this game out. Good for the CIA. Seee now if the news was even anything useful, they would jump all over this.
I have to say though I like powell
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KevinTheOmnivore KevinTheOmnivore is offline
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Old Feb 2nd, 2003, 08:34 PM       
The CIA came out with a similar report about a year ago.
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Ronnie Raygun Ronnie Raygun is offline
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Old Feb 3rd, 2003, 01:06 PM       
You haven't even heard what Powell has had to say yet.

Wait til' Wednesday.
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mburbank mburbank is offline
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Old Feb 3rd, 2003, 02:22 PM       
More to the point, and I hate to say this becuase I don't think there IS a link at all, but the CIA is an incredably bad intelligence gathering outfit. Their failure to predict list for the last twenty years is AMAZING.
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KevinTheOmnivore KevinTheOmnivore is offline
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Old Feb 4th, 2003, 06:30 PM       
Quote:
Originally Posted by mburbank
More to the point, and I hate to say this becuase I don't think there IS a link at all, but the CIA is an incredably bad intelligence gathering outfit. Their failure to predict list for the last twenty years is AMAZING.
I don't think that's the entire point though, Max. It's not the lack of intelligence that the CIA is commenting on, it's the politicization being done upon ALREADY obtained intelligence by the Bush administration.
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