Phase II Report Working Thread

The SSCI has released (finally) the remaining reports on Iraq intelligence. I’m printing them out and beginning to read. If you want to read, too, use this thread to talk about what you’ve found.

(Update: Go here for text files–thanks tw3k). For a background, here’s McClatchy.

118 replies
  1. valletta says:

    Sen. Whitehouse is giving an Oscar worthy performance about this live on CPAN 2 right now….

    • valletta says:

      Sorry, I just got tail end too but it was great. He was dripping with disgust and even got in a dig about the GOP forcing the clerk to read the entire global warming bill yesterday

    • selise says:

      whitehouse statement

      will give you (i hope!) a popup with a flash player from c-span’s archive (they are doing a great job today of keeping up). if you can’t get a better clip, i can make a youtube from this (but it won’t be as nice as when i can rip from the cable tv feed).

  2. DefendOurConstitution says:

    We need these ~230 pages condensed to 3-4 statements that tne MSM can print.

    How come we do not hear Lindsay Graham and his ilk demanding investigations/impeachment if it is so clear that there were crimes committed in the White House? At least Bob Barr (Graham’s mentor in the House impeachment of Clinton) should be screaming for this. Shouldn’t he? After all of the statements about the sanctity of the truth, the trust of the American people, and the President’s obligation to follow the law – that’s the least we could expect.

    • lilysmom says:

      Dream on, DefendOurConstitution.

      Repubs are very clear on the fact that the laws apply only to Democrats, poor people, brown people and gay people. Just ask Larry craig and David Vitter.

      But I have hope that a new day is coming.

      • Badwater says:

        With the Republics poised to try to make the election about gay marriage instead of about them, the new day may have to break through many dark clouds.

    • Adie says:

      If they know that openly spouting pure logic and honesty would quite possibly destroy their party, u really think they’ve got that much courage and integrity? If u do, u certainly are able to give them more credit than I.

      I see them more likely hiding under the bed.

      • greenbird4751 says:

        when i’d been really bad, i used to hide in the laundry hamper/closet.
        well, i’d already peed myself, so it kinda made sense…

  3. emptywheel says:

    They note that bc the Admin can selectively declassify info, it makes the Admin statements worse.

    I wonder what kind of selective declassification they’re thinking of.

  4. MichaelDG says:

    Page 8/172 about Cheneys August 26th, 2002 claim that Iraq was pursuing nuclear program.

    According to a DIA report, the intelligence community continued to assess that it would
    take five to seven years from the commencement of a revived nuclear program for the Iraqi
    government to indigenously produce enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon. This same
    report repeated the assessment that a nuclear weapon could be constructed much faster if
    adequate fissile material was acquired from a foreign source, though an earlier CIA assessment
    noted that “we have not detected a dedicated Iraqi effort to obtain fissile material abroad.

    Thus the need to invent the “yellow cake” story.

    • bmaz says:

      But, and Professor Foland can come along and correct this if I am wrong, that’s the thing that has always been pretty stupid about the Iraq nuke dog and pony show. They needed extraneous “adequate fissile material”. Even if the yellowcake story had been correct, which it was not, the yellowcake is so low grade and unrefined that I don’t think it even fits the bill as described in that passage. “Adequate fissile material from a foreign source” is talking about getting some enriched uranium or plutonium; not some stinking yellowcake.

      • MichaelDG says:

        Yes yellowcake is a long ways from 90% U-235. Can be done though, I think.
        Calling Professor.

        • BoxTurtle says:

          Yellowcake is the starter for enriched U235. You take that, turn it into a gas and run it through a centrifuge plant like Irans. Lot’s of work, but that’s how it’s done.

          Or you build a breeder reactor that will work on low grade U235 and you surround it with U238. The neutrons will turn a portion of the u238 into Plutonium which can be extracted chemically via reprocessing. This it what the Iraqi’s were working on when Israel hit their reactor in 1981.

          Boxturtle (Greatly oversimplified)

          • bmaz says:

            Right. Bottom line though, yellowcake did not satisfy their “ain’t got any fissile material” problem. so the yellowcake tripe was not only a lie, it was stupid and meaningless as to Iraq being any threat.

            • BoxTurtle says:

              That’s always been my position. Even if the yellowcake story was true, they’d need a minimum of about 10 tons and a very long centrifuge chain to make enough for 1 bomb. And we know they had neither of those.

              Boxturtle (Calling Iraq a threat was a joke in any case. We had ‘em bottled up)

            • KenMuldrew says:

              The real bottom line is that when you own the press you create your own reality, and no DC journalist was ever born who wasn’t a sucker for a sexy brand like “yellowcake”.

              As the Duke reminded the King, “Hain’t we got all the fools in town on our side? And hain’t that a big enough majority in any town?”

              These boys played “The Royal Nonesuch” on all of America.

  5. JohnLopresti says:

    Selise’s work was valuable in ocr. Here are two more hastily published pdfs, looking like close enough to registration that ocr could render them as recognizable searchable documents worthy of the historian’s study. I would like to see a phase 2 version of Fine’s study as well, once there is a change in leadership at the principal agencies, especially nsc and dod. As I start to read these phase 2 scsi documents I am reminded, as well, of the leadership’s media appearances, and will look for those prewar hype excerpts. If npr ever emerges from its furze under a different congressional majority and more open atmosphere, likely its transcripts could add volumes to the profile of neocon hype. Although it seems mundane, I have encouraged some media outlets to look at voice recognition aids to improve the cost:benefits of transcripting; it will improve our history of our news environments and possibly add to msm’s own efforts at being more conscious about abstracting the essence of hiow the society wants to develop.

  6. jackie says:

    I think things are going to move really fast over the next few days. Sunshine and inter-connecting dots are popping up all over the place…:)

  7. WilliamOckham says:

    Here are some things to watch for as you read phase2a. How many times does it say something along the lines of statements before October 2002 weren’t supported by the intelligence, but those afterwards were? How many times does it say statements were supported, but only by a single source that was unreliable? How much more inflammatory are the the unsupported statements than the supported ones?

    All this is old news to folks here, but the short summary for the mainstream media is that the administration took real intelligence and slanted it, pressured the IC to support their previous statements, and just flat out made up the the thing that closed the deal on the war (”Saddam has nukes and he’s going to give them to bin Laden”)

  8. MichaelDG says:

    page16-17/172 Conclusion to Statements given by Cheney and others regarding Nuclear Weapons.

    (U) Conclusion 1: Statements by the President, Vice President, Secretary of State and the
    National Security Advisor regarding a possible Iraqi nuclear weapons program were
    generally substantiated by intelligence community estimates, but did not convey the
    substantial disagreements that existed in the intelligence community.
    Prior to the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate, some intelligence agencies assessed
    that the Iraqi government was reconstituting a nuclear weapons program, while others disagreed
    or expressed doubts about the evidence. The Estimate itself expressed the majority view that the
    program was being reconstituted, but included clear dissenting views from the State
    Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, which argued that reconstitution was not
    and the Department of Energy, which argued that aluminum tubes sought by Iraq
    were probably not intended for a nuclear program.
    39 National Intelligence Estimate, Iraq’s Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction, October 2002.
    Postwar Findings
    (U) Postwar findings revealed that Iraq ended its nuclear weapons program in 1991, and that
    Iraq’s ability to reconstitute a nuclear weapons program progressively declined after that date.
    The Iraq Survey Group (ISO) found no evidence that Saddam Hussein ever attempted to restart a
    nuclear weapons program, although the Group did find that he took steps to retain the intellectual
    capital generated during the program. That intellectual capital decayed between 1991 and 2003,
    however, and the ISO found no evidence that the relevant scientists were involved in renewed
    weapons work.
    (U) Postwar findings confirmed that the high-strength aluminum tubes sought by Iraq had been
    intended for a conventional rocket program, and found no evidence that other dual-use
    technologies (magnets, high-speed balancing machines, and machine tools) were intended for
    use in a nuclear weapons program. Various ongoing activities at former nuclear sites were
    apparently unrelated to any weapons program, and construction observed at the al-Tahadi highvoltage
    and electromagnetic facility also had no apparent connection to any nuclear weapons
    (U) Postwar surveys found no evidence that Iraq sought uranium from any foreign sources after 1991.

  9. Leen says:

    More background. These are the articles that had many of us questioning the intelligence early on.

    1.Jason Vest article was one of the first articles out about the stove piping of intelligence

    The Men from JINSA and CSP
    Too bad our congress people were not getting their info from the Nation. Thousands would be alive today.

    2. Bill and Kathleen Christison tried hard.
    December 13, 2002
    A Rose By Another Other Name
    The Bush Administration’s Dual Loyalties

    former CIA political analysts

    3.Lt.Col Karen Kwiatowski
    The new Pentagon papers

    A high-ranking military officer reveals how Defense Department extremists suppressed information and twisted the truth to drive the country to war.
    By Karen Kwiatkowski

    4. The Stovepipe
    How conflicts between the Bush Administration and the intelligence community marred the reporting on Iraq’s weapons.
    by Seymour M. Hersh October 27, 2003…..027fa_fact

  10. angie says:


    Air Force Secy and COS fired per MSNBC for flying nukes over America…..

    man, oh man, the news is coming fast and furious now, eh?

  11. Leen says:

    So Stephen Hadley ordered those meetings in Rome? Was this in complete defiance of Colin Powell saying knock it off? Who trumped who here?

  12. Leen says:

    “no one notified the Rome embassy about the meeting” is this normal.

    It is so outrageous that Feith, Ledeen and others have continued to attempt to hang the CIA with this intelligence snowjob

  13. wkwf says:

    Is there any interest in OCR-ed versions of the two PDFs? I wanted to try out Acrobat first before posting here, but now I see tw3k’s text versions already available. In any case, Acrobat managed to OCR the files without complaining as it usually does, so I’m assuming the OCR is for the most part OK. File sizes increased quite a bit, though (3.8 MB for the DOD doc, and 10.8 MB for the PublicStatements doc).

    • tw3k says:

      I’d say go for it! Acrobat probably does a nicer job on presentation.

      For anybody else on a *nix system that’d like to convert PDFs here is a mini how-to.

      The programs are pdfimages (part of xpdf), convert (part of imagemagick) and tesseract.

      The following commands will do the conversion.

      pdfimages input.pdf output-name
      for i in *.pbm; do convert $i $i.tif; done
      for i in *.tif; do tesseract $i $i -l eng; done
      for i in *.txt; do cat $i >> output-name.txt; done

    • masaccio says:

      p.4: look at the extraordinary amount of work the committee staff did; no wonder it took so long.

      Over a period of one year, Committee staff, many of whom are former intelligence analysts, reviewed over a decade of Intelligence Community (IC) assessments and the intelligence that underlay them. In all cases our staff endeavored, to the greatest extent possible, to disregard post-war discoveries concerning Iraq until after completing the analysis of the prewar intelligence material in order to replicate the same analytical environment IC analysts experienced prior to the war.

  14. Leen says:

    “While in Rome, Mr. Franklin and Mr. Rhode became involved in discussions that
    went beyond obtaining information from the Iranian sources. Mr. Franklin informed the
    Committee that during the trip to Rome Mr. Ghorbanifar pressed his own agenda for regime
    change in Iran.89 Mr. Franklin stated that late one night during a discussion in a bar Mr.
    Ghorbanifar laid out his plan on a napkin. The plan involved the simultaneous disruption of
    traffic at key intersections leading to Tehran that would create anxiety, work stoppages and other
    disruptive measures. Mr. Franklin recalled that Mr. Ghorbanifar asked for $5 million in seed
    money to facilitate this activity. He added that Mr. Ghorbanifar indicated that if the iirst action
    was successful additional money may be needed later on, but Mr. Franklin could not recall
    speciiic amounts being discussed beyond the $5 million.90 Mr. Rhode recalled Mr. Ghorbanifar
    discussing a plan to set up a network that could lead to the overthrow of the regime, but could
    not recall a speciiic dollar amount.91 Mr. Ledeen provided the Committee similar recollections,
    noting that Mr. Ghorbanifar offered a variety of different schemes for regime change in Iran
    dating to the time the two had iirst met. Mr. Ledeen added that he believed the U.S. Government
    should be supporting Iranians who want to overthrow the regime. He stated that he had passed
    the notion of the plan on to Mr. Hadley, Mr. Luti and Mr. Rodman upon returning from the ’
    Rome meeting.92″

    Condi’s Baffling New Iran StrategyIt’s guaranteed to hurt the people we want most to help.
    By Fred Kaplan
    Posted Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2006

    How to handle Iran may be the thorniest problem in global politics today—nobody seems to have a solution—but the Bush administration’s newest idea is simply baffling. Last week, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice publicly asked the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for $75 million in emergency funding to promote internal opposition to Iran’s fundamentalist regime.

    How many million did Mr. Ghorbanifar want?

  15. Leen says:

    I thought Nicolo Pollari was at the first meeting.
    Who is the “foreign government” represented at those meetings?

    • KenMuldrew says:

      At approximately 4:30 a.m. on Tuesday, October 8, 2002, Arar was
      served with the I-148 while being transported to an airport in New Jersey. The I-148 specified … his impending removal to Syria. An unclassified addendum was provided to Arar included with the I-148, which Arar had never seen before. … Arar never responded to the I-147. The unclassified addendum mentioned the classified addendum, which Arar never saw.

      Arar was transported by nine members of INS’ Special Response Team (SRT) in a convoy of four vehicles. The SRT members were equipped with their service weapons in addition to Remington 870 shotguns and M-4 rifles. They were wearing ballistic vests and helmets.

      Arar’s immigration attorney attempted to locate Arar by calling the Elizabeth, N] detention facility on Tuesday, October 8, 2002. However, facility officials were unable to locate Arar at the facility. … Arar’s immigration attorney learned through media articles published weeks later that Arar had been removed to Syria.

      The report indicates that he should have made a habeus petition when presented with the I-148. I know that’s what I would do when being hauled to the airport at 4:30 in the morning by nine thugs with semi-automatic weapons.

      The report concludes that because nobody remembers why they decided to send him to Syria (other than some vague recollection that if they sent him anywhere else, he could get back to Canada, and if he got to Canada, then he could get to the U.S.), no laws were broken.

      • bmaz says:

        I am sure that everybody involved in this affair are Habeas whiz kids and all, but my recollection is that the relevant authority is pretty clear that a denial of effective opportunity to exercise is the same as denial of Habeas. Fucktards.

  16. Leen says:

    “no further contact with Mr. Ledeen was warranted or advisable”

    “U) According to a July 18, 2002 cable from Ambassador Sembler to Under Secretary
    Grossman, on July 4, 2002, Mr. Ledeen contacted Ambassador Sembler and at the end of a social
    conversation informed him that he would be returning to Rome in early August to “resume that
    program.” The ambassador advised the Under Secretary that he presumed this to be a reference
    to the December meeting with Iranian officials and noted that these activities had undermined the
    credibility of the U.S. Government. The ambassador also indicated that Mr. Ledeen had only
    provided him with a small amount of information on the subject and went on to state that “I am
    increasingly concerned that his activity borders on, or has already entered, an area which would
    require explicit Presidential authorization and notification of the Chief of Mission.”134 There
    was no response to the cable.”

    Will Ledeen walk away from this?

  17. Leen says:

    “The U.S. Ambassador to Rome, Mel Sembler, was not interviewed, nor was
    Under Secretary of State Mark Grossman, both integral to understanding fully false allegations
    that DoD was involved in a covert action.”

    Why not?

  18. jackie says:

    Re; Yellowcake/The Niger? forged documents..If we could find out who broke in the Niger embassy, it may shine more light on WHO we need to be looking at…

    ‘Though it may be unprepossessing, the Niger Embassy is the site of one of the great mysteries of our times. On January 2, 2001, an embassy official returned there after New Year’s Day and discovered that the offices had been robbed. Little of value was missing—a wristwatch, perfume, worthless documents, embassy stationery, and some official stamps bearing the seal of the Republic of Niger.’…..cake200607

  19. Leen says:

    They sure use the word “inappropriate” quite often in the conclusions.

    #5: The limitations placed by Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz on DIA Director
    Wilson’s access to the intelligence information collected in Rome were particularly inappropriate.”

    So this is what happens if U.S. officials (Hadley, Wolfowitz) use “stovepipe” methods to vent false intelligence into the White HOuse…those methods are referred to as “inappropriate, ill advised, particularly inappropriate”

    Calling a lack of access by the Dia Director to the intelligence information collected by Ledeen, and the rest of Hadley’s self appointed team “particularly inappropriate” seems a bit harsh, you know over the top. But thats just the opinion of a peasant just peering in trying to see just how corrupt our congress and justice system really is. Don’t slap their wrist too hard.

  20. sojourner says:

    What legal force or effect do reports such as this have?

    The reason I ask is that the paragraph on page 3 about selective declassification sure sounds like it is slapping someone down pretty hard…

  21. WilliamOckham says:

    on pg. 2 of phase2b, the description of the facts around the Rome meeting are footnoted like this:

    2007-1142, March 6, 2007, DoD IG Report, DOD Involvement with the Rendon Group, page 8.

    I’m really curious as to why the still-secret IG’s investigation of the Rendon Group described this meeting. That’s very curious…

  22. masaccio says:

    p. 7: I hope this software works. I wonder if humans are actually involved in this system?

    Intelligence collected by the CIA, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), National Security Agency (NSA), National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and in some cases, State Department diplomatic reporting, is reviewed daily by intelligence analysts using computer software that searches the various agencies’ databases and produces a daily electronic read file for each analyst that is specific to their area of responsibility.

  23. masaccio says:

    So, now I’m on the right one.

    3/172: “The Committee fully aware that officials may have had multiple credible sources upon which to base statements.”

    So, what sources does the President have besides the intelligence groups? and what about Fourth Branch? Does he get his own intelligence community? Or does he just say stuff and it is automatically credible?

  24. masaccio says:


    The Committee reviewed only finished analytic intelligence documents, with few exceptions. this did not include intelligence reports “from the field” or less formal communications between intelligence agencies and other parts of the Executive Branch.

    I assume this means Cheney didn’t share with the rest of the kids. Again.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      Thanks Wm O.

      It’s been clear for some time now that this cabal out of OVP, the ‘parallel government’ was a tool of some dark power, and that Cheney’s been punked. Nevertheless, that article synthesizes so much, so well, that in my case I literally got up to get a sweater half way through reading it.

      I think any claims of EW being ‘crazy’ are fully invalidated at this point.
      But surely it links up with Plame, who must have stumbled on the mess.

  25. masaccio says:

    William Ockham, do you have a thought on the redactions? In addition to the above, look at 15/438. Is the redaction in the second to last paragraph the classification level? The others must be some number of kilotons?

    Is there some weird redaction technique here?

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      Masaccio, or anyone, would you mind taking a second glance at the top of p. 15, top paragraph stating, “When the Rome meeting ended…” The way that I read this paragraph:

      1. Franklin came back to DC from Rome and prepared a summary of the info provided by Iranians (at the Rome meeting of 13 Dec 01, which would have been three months post-9/11 and maybe 7 weeks after invasion of Afghanistan).
      2. The summary was edited; there were several versions.
      3. This process was completed Jan 2002.
      4. Franklin thought he had good info (intel about Iran).
      5. Before the Rome meeting, Franklin had been in Afghanistan.
      6. In Afghanistan, Franklin had been in contact with US Special Forces.
      7. At the Dec 13, 2001 meeting in Rome the Iranians had told him about Iranian ‘hit squads’ going after US forces in Afghanistan.
      8. Franklin asked the Iranians for more details about the Iranian hit forces in a specific region; they gave him names and a photo of an Iranian team member.

      Reading that, it sure seems like the Iranians were looking at one another thinking, “We got a live one on the line; let’s reel him in. He’s obsessed with Afghanistan, so let’s make up a story that will play to his worst fears. He thinks he’s He Man out in the deserts, so let’s have fun with that. Anyone gotta photo of their cousin we can use to make it all look more legit?”

      I honestly don’t mean to be rude.
      But am I nuts?! (Not entirely a rhetorical question.)
      [Reading this about Franklin, all I can think of is the character of Dwight Shroot from “The Office”. Jeez, I hope that I’m wrong!!]

      Are we really, actually reading that BushCheney created a parallel government so that an innocent like Franklin could blunder on over to Rome to do the secret-handshake thingamajig with Iranians — and then put on his super-secret decoder ring from the cereal box and that meant he didn’t have to tell the CIA, or the DoS, or even the DIA about his super-secret Rome meetings?

      I’d like to be wrong, because it’s very hard to face the notion that so much destruction has been wrought because of a pathetic farce. But there are some elements in this document that make one wonder whether Curly, Moe, and Joe will be popping up by p. 39…

      I really hope that I’m misreading the elements related to Larry Franklin… Because if not… 8-0

      Leen, please when you comment would you please be so kind as to include page # references?

      • masaccio says:

        rOTL, I started with 2a, but after seeing your comment this morning, I scanned a bit of 2b. I must still be a bit asleep, that reads like a morning dream, one of those you can’t quite tell from reality.

    • WilliamOckham says:

      I’ll take a look at those redactions when I get back to my big monitor in an hour or two. The classification level redactions are interesting. The redactions of the yields are just silly. I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to figure out what they are. If I can do that, it makes one wonder exactly who they are hiding it from.

    • WilliamOckham says:

      I’m willing to bet that the redactions on 15/172 can be filled in thusly:

      for nuclear weapons. Both apparently failed to meet key Iraqi objectives – the smaller of the two had an estimated yield of less than one kiloton,35 and the larger of the two, which had an estimated yield of three kilotons, could not be delivered by missile36. Although the intelligence

      The second redaction could be eight, but I doubt it. Here’s how I figured this out. The sentence says that both weapons failed to meet key objectives. The larger one couldn’t be delivered by missile, so that is the objective it didn’t meet. The smaller one presumably could be delivered by missile. That leaves with the only possible problem with the smaller one was that its yield was too low. Footnote 35 lets us know that kiloton(s) must be part of what’s redacted. From there, it’s just a matter of figuring out what grammatically correct phrases could fit in the space available. The font is pretty standard (some form of Times Roman, almost certainly 12pt Times New Roman if it was produced in Microsoft Word like most government documents).

      This was very trivial to figure out. Why do they bother redacting stuff like that? Anybody who really cares would then check this against other available information to make sure they got it right. I just don’t get it.

      • masaccio says:

        Thanks for the work. I couldn’t figure out the reason for the redaction either. I wish we had some idea about who is doing the redacting.

  26. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    Before I catch up, just a note that I’m mystified that the teevee (online, at least) coverage seems to be incredibly light in its reporting of how Bush and Cheney cooked the books, or set up the parallel government to subvert the civil servants.

    So far, Richard Clarke on KO is the best thing that I’ve stumbled on. By a country mile.
    Am I missing something…?!

    • bmaz says:

      No time for that, got to fill the airwaves with tut tutting about what a hairy whore Hillary is. And oh yeah, Ed McMahon has a house, but maybe not for long….

  27. masaccio says:

    26/172 The biological weapons section says that two known fabricators were used to support the existence of mobile laboratories.

  28. masaccio says:

    29/172 Notwithstanding the use of known fabricators, the report concludes that the false statements made by the administration “were substantiated by intelligence information.”

  29. masaccio says:

    25/172 The two I referred two are Curveball and Major General al-Assaf. Al-Assaf was known to be a fabricator in May, 2002. However, he was cited in the 2002 Iraq WMD NIE by name. 26/172. Curveball was also a source, but he was known to be trouble. The exact date of determination that he was a fabricator is unclear. It certainly was known by December 20, 2002, although the report says that this information did not get to CIA headquarters until February 5, 2003. On January 27, 2003, the station chief sent a cable with a warning of his credibility. The report says that there is no evidence that Tenet or other policymakers were warned about curveball. Powell spoke at the UN on February 5, 2003.

  30. masaccio says:

    I’ve been skimming, it’s late and time for me to crash. The striking thing is the weak standard the Committee uses to justify the conclusion that the statements were supported by intelligence reports. I’ve read two of the sections fairly carefully, and I would not have concluded that the intelligence “supported” the statements.

    • bmaz says:

      Well, unfortunately, that was a given; the only suspense was how complete the gloss would be. Having read very little yet, and that mostly through the comments here and the news sites’ reports, I guess I am pleasantly surprised. Probably as good as you could reasonably expect from the crew producing it.

  31. Leen says:

    Reading through the conclusions and recommendations again.

    (U) Based on its review, the Committee has reached the following conclusions:
    Conclusion #1: Deputy National Security Advisor Hadley failed to inform DCI Tenet and
    Deputy Secretary of State Armitage of the full nature of the planned contact with the
    Iranians in Rome, to include the involvement of Mr. Ledeen and Mr. Ghorbanifar in
    proposing and facilitating the meeting.
    Conclusion #2: The role Mr. Ledeen played as interlocutor for Mr. Ghorbanifar and in
    setting up the Rome meeting, and potentially the Paris meeting, was inappropriate. There
    is no indication that the Iranian officials attending the Rome meeting refused to meet with
    CIA officials. It is likely that this allegation was used by Mr. Ledeen, Mr. Ghorbanifar or
    others as a means of circumventing the Intelligence Community’s knowledge of and
    involvement in the meeting given the CIA’s fabrication notice against Mr. Ghorbanifar.
    Also, Mr. Ghorbanifar, aided by Mr. Ledeen, used the opportunity presented at the Rome
    meeting to propose an agenda for regime change in Iran directly to DoD officials, including
    a proposal for U.S. funding of covert activities.
    Conclusion #3: The decision by Deputy National Security Advisor Hadley and Deputy
    Secretary Wolfowitz to keep the Rome meeting close hold was ill—advised. The Decision
    prompted DoD officials not to coordinate their activities with the Ambassador or other U.S.
    Embassy officials prior to meeting with the Iranians and Mr. Ghorbanifar, and led to the
    withholding of pertinent information from the Intelligence Community and the
    Department of State both before and after the meeting.
    Conclusion #4: DoD officials collected potentially useful and actionable intelligence
    information during the Rome meeting. Unfortunately, senior DoD officials would not allow
    this intelligence to be placed into proper Intelligence Community channels once it was
    collected. As a result Intelligence Community officials never became fully aware of the
    information provided by the Iranians, the full involvement of the foreign government and
    foreign government intelligence service, or Mr. Ghorbanifar’s attempts, repeated at the
    Paris meeting, to convince DoD officials to fund covert activities in Iran.
    Conclusion #5: The limitations placed by Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz on DIA Director
    Wilson’s access to the intelligence information collected in Rome were particularly

    The language used by this committee to describe the activities of Ledeen, Hadley and Wolfowitz etc “inappropriate, ill advised, particularly inappropriate” seems to be a joke. Is this as far as it will go…the Committee report. Will we witness people being held ACCOUNTABLE for collecting, cherry picking and then dissiminating false intelligence?

    Is this it? In the recommendations there does not appear to be any serious repercussions for the individuals who created a parallel intelligence “stovepipe” into the White House.

  32. masaccio says:

    I read a series by eriposte, the link is to a summary. I think they were part of a series that began to appear in the late 90s, and became more prominent in 2001.

    Eriposte seems well researched and has a lot of links to source documents, and I think it is a good place to start looking.

  33. masaccio says:

    Wow, that was poorly written. I think the forgeries were part of a series that began to emerge in the late 90s, and which increased in prominence in 2001.

  34. masaccio says:

    14/172 The Committee says Condoleeza Rice is a liar. She said of the aluminum tubes that they “really are only suited … for nuclear weapons programs, centrifuge programs.” She said this knowing, if she had read the reports, that two or three of the agencies believed something quite different. In any event, there was a known alternative purpose.

  35. masaccio says:

    Here is what I don’t understand: how does the SSCI decide whether the statements made were substantiated by intelligence community estimates?

    I think the answer is that they say one thing, and provide the data, from which those of us with a more jaundiced eye can conclude that Bush et al. were lying. It makes it all the more aggravating that the NYT and others quote the conclusions and not the data.

    Let’s see how that works, using the question of Iraq and nuclear weapons. The structure of the report is to set out a speech followed by a discussion of the state of intelligence at that time.

    The first speech is Cheney on August 26, 2002. He asserts that Iraq has resumed pursuit of a nuclear weapons development program, and said that Hussein would obtain nuclear weapons fairly soon.

    Then the committee says that the consensus in the intelligence community as late as the December, 2001 NIE was that it would take Iraq 5 to 7 years to generate enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon, and that if it could acquire that material, it would take a year to produce a weapon. Both of these term estimates begin when the program is actually reactivated. Over the next several months, there was a shift in the views of the agencies. In April, 2001 the CIA pointed to the purchase of the aluminum tubes and some other dual use equipment as suggesting that Iraq might be reconstituting its nuclear program. Then in August 2002 the CIA issued a new paper saying that the procurement activities indicated that the Iraqis had restarted their nuclear program. The DIA issued several similar assessments that year, including a May report that:

    “Although there is no firm evidence of a current nuclear weapon design effort, we judge that continued procurement of dual-use nuclear-related items, key personnel assigned to nuclear weapon-capable sites, construction at nuclear facilities, and Saddam’s interactions with the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission all indicate that Saddam has not abandoned the nuclear weapon program.”

    The DOE disagreed with the CIA’s conclusions about the aluminum tubes, but said that Saddam’s meetings with Iraqi nuclear scientists, and possible attempts to acquire materials from Niger, meant that Iraq might be reconstituting its program, but that the evidence was not conclusive. The INR disagreed. It also agreed with the DOE that the aluminum tubes were rocket casings. The National Ground Intelligence Center, an Army unit, agreed with the CIA.

    Even with all this, a DIA report said it would be 5-7 years to produce enough fissile material for a weapon, or less if the fissile material could be obtained from another country, but said that there was no evidence that Iraq was trying to do that.

    With this recitation, how is it that the Committee thinks Cheney’s statements were in general supported by the views of the intelligence agencies.

    The next speech is Bush’s address to the UN on September 12, 2002. He claims that Iraq has an on-going nuclear weapons program. He cites the aluminum tubes, concealment of information about the pre-Gulf War program, and meetings between Saddam and Iraqi nuclear scientists. He said that Iraq possessed some of the intellectual capital and physical infrastructure necessary for a program, and said that if he got some fissile material, it could build a nuclear weapon in one year.

    The Committee has already discussed the aluminum tubes, and the meetings with Iraqi scientists. The intelligence community did not think concealing information about pre-Gulf War nuclear programs was evidence for a reconstituted nuclear program.

    The Committee also notes that the consensus of the intelligence community on the state of the Iraqi program was not changed at the date of this speech, although it points out that there was some change during the period.

    But George Bush was supported by the evidence.

    The next speech is the Mushroom Cloud speech of October 7, 2002. It included the usual stuff, but the phrasing is stronger. He asserts that the evidence indicates that Iraq is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program.

    The Committee discusses the October 2002 NIE, in which all agencies but State/INR agree that Iraq was reconstituting its program. Footnote 24 says: Committee staff were also permitted to view a one-page summary of the NIE, which was prepared for the President. This one-page summary stated that “INR judges that the evidence indicates, at most, a limited Irqaqi nuclear reconstitution effort.” 11/172 It further says that the time frame hasn’t changed: 5 years or so, unless they get fissile material from someone else.

    But the committee concludes that Bush was supported by the intelligence community.

    Then we have the State of the Union address of January 29, 2003. Bush says that Iraq pursued nuclear weapons even while weapons inspectors were in Iraq. He repeated the aluminum tube issue, and he uttered the lying 16 words: “the British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.”

    The first point is absolutely contradicted by the actual intelligence. All agencies assessed that IAEA and UNSCOM had succeeded in destroying the nuclear program. No one thought that Saddam was able to work on nuclear weapons while the inspectors were there. At this point, it wasn’t unanimous that the program had been reconstituted at all, and it was still thought that even if it had it would take 5-7 years to produce a weapon.

    The second point had no merit. The third has been discussed to death elsewhere, and no one could have believed it at that point. The NIE said “claims of Iraqi pursuit of natural uranium in Africa are, in INR’s assessment, highly dubious.”

    The last speech is Powell’s speech at the UN, February 5, 2003. Powell talks about the aluminum tubes, and other dual-use equipment. State/INR and the DOE had not changed their positions on these issues. The others assessed that the dual-use equipment was for a nuclear program. That equipment is magnets and high-speed balancing machines. Apparently the INR was able to think of some other use for the equipment.

    There follows a list of even stronger statements that were untrue or not supported by the intelligence community.

    And ta-da, here is the conclusion:

    Statements by the President, Vice President, Secretary of State and the National Security Advisor regarding a possible Iraqi nuclear weapons program were generally substantiated by intelligence community estimates, but did not convey the substantial disagreements that existed in the intelligence community.

    I think that the material is weakened to get Hagel and Snowe on board. In their additional views, they say “On balance, these reports contain critical information that should unequivocally be publicly released, enabling the public to formulate their own conclusions. They also point to importance of one of the most aggravating things in the report: the notion that the Administration had additional information from other agencies. 100/172

  36. masaccio says:

    To really understand the report, you have to look at the additional views. Russell Feingold says:

    The Administration, and particularly President Bush and Vice president Cheney, made repeated assertions about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein that were not supported by the intelligence available at the time. Those assertions overstated the nature and urgency of the threat, as described in the intelligence, ignored ongoing disagreements and uncertainty within the Intelligence Community, and, at times, outright contradicted intelligence assessments.”

    96/172 Senator Feinstein agrees with Feingold: There was flawed tradecraft. “Even though the intelligence before the war supported inaccurate statements, this Administration distorted the intelligence in order to build its case to go to war.”

    Lastly, Rockefeller expresses some anger. “For three years, the Committee’s investigative mandate foundered. Under the direction of the then-majority…. Committee Chairman Pat Roberts halted the investigation on the intelligence activitiesw of the Defense Department officials and farmed out the work to the DoD Inspector General in November 2005. The public statements section of the investigation was slow-walked… and a draft report was never presented to the Committee membership… evidently a task too politically sensitive to handle.” 90/172

    Eventually the DoD IG produced a report saying that the policy office in the Pentagon had expanded its role and inappropriately disseminated an analysis linking al-Qaeda 9/11 terrorists and Iraq. As a concession to Bond, the Chairman agreed not to cover that ground again, and instead examined the Ghorbanifar case.

    Rockefeller points out that the intelligence community based itws reports on flawed analysis and false information. The declarative and unequivocal statements of the administration were not substantiated.

    Representing to the American people that the two [al-Qaeda and Iraq] had an operational partnership an posed a single, indistinguishable threat was fundamentally misleading and led the Nation to war on false premises.” 92/172 The Administration pressured intelligence analysts to support the existence of that link.

    Finally, he says that Bond refused to bring up his proposed amendments at the Committee so they passed the report without considering them. Bond is a jerk, and Rockefeller called him on it.

  37. wavpeac says:

    Isn’t it “treason” to lie to congress while preparing to go to war? I know it’s difficult to “prove” a lie and all of that, but it sounds to me as if congress is saying they were lied to, not just the american people.

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