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Commentary :: Elections & Legislation

BTL:Senate Committee Slams CIA on Pre-Iraq War Intelligence

~Report on White House role in manipulating intelligence delayed until after election~Interview with author and former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, conducted by Between the Lines' Scott Harris
Senate Committee Slams CIA on Pre-Iraq War Intelligence

Report on White House role in manipulating intelligence delayed until after election

Interview with author and former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, conducted by Scott Harris

The recently released Senate Intelligence committee report on U.S. pre-war assessments of the threat posed by Iraq, has harshly criticized the CIA for making the false claim that Baghdad possessed weapons of mass destruction, a conclusion which led to a costly war and occupation. This heavily-censored initial report, however, does not examine the Bush administration's involvement in misrepresenting or exaggerating the flawed intelligence to justify its desire to wage war on Iraq. The bipartisan Senate panel will be investigating these issues, but won't make public its conclusions until after the November presidential election.

Several Democrats on the committee have expressed their frustration about the delay in releasing this portion of the investigation, which they say will effectively insulate the White House from criticism for their actions and limit accountability at the ballot box. Former Ambassador Joseph Wilson found himself in the middle of the battle over intelligence when the CIA sent him to the African nation of Niger to investigate the claim that Saddam Hussein was attempting to procure uranium there for an alleged Iraqi nuclear weapons program. Wilson found that the charge was false, but President Bush later included the allegation in his 2003 pre-Iraq war state of the union address. When Wilson contradicted the president in a New York Times op ed piece, White House officials revealed to several reporters that the ambassador's wife was a CIA covert operative. That information was published by conservative columnist Robert Novak, triggering an ongoing federal investigation into the unknown White House officials who violated federal laws protecting the identity of intelligence agents.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Ambassador Wilson, a career diplomat, who has served Republican and Democratic presidents for over 20 years. Wilson, now a foreign policy advisor to Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry, discusses the Senate Intelligence Committee Report and his grave concerns about the possible re-election of Bush.

Former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's book, "The Politics of Truth, Inside the Lies that led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity," is published by Carroll & Graph.

Related links:

" Senate 'Intelligence (?)' Committee Rewrites History," by Ira Chernu, CommonDreams.org, July 13, 2004

" Abandoning Tradition of Honesty, CIA now Panders to Power," by Ray McGovern, the Miami Herald, July 13, 2004

"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit: httC://www.btlonline.org
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"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
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