Michigan State University

If Only They Had Read Their Government Documents!

Jon Harrison
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A newly released report published by the CIA rebukes the Bush administration for not paying enough attention to prewar intelligence that predicted the factional rivalries now threatening to split Iraq.

Policymakers worried more about making the case for the war, particularly the claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, than planning for the aftermath, the report says. The report was written by a team of four former CIA analysts led by former deputy CIA director Richard Kerr.

"In an ironic twist, the policy community was receptive to technical intelligence (the weapons program), where the analysis was wrong, but apparently paid little attention to intelligence on cultural and political issues (post-Saddam Iraq), where the analysis was right," they write.

White House spokesman Fred Jones said Tuesday that the administration considered many scenarios involving postwar instability in Iraq. The report's assertion "has been vehemently disputed," he said.

Then-CIA director George Tenet commissioned the report after the invasion of Iraq. The authors had access to highly classified intelligence data and produced three reports concerning Iraq intelligence.

Only the third has been released in declassified form. It is published in the current issue of Studies in Intelligence, a CIA quarterly written primarily for intelligence professionals. The report was finished in July 2004 just as Tenet was ending his tenure as CIA director.

For the full article, see John Diamond, "CIA review faults prewar plans", USA TODAY, October 12, 2005.

See Studies in Intelligence by the CIA.

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