Statement of Senator Dianne Feinstein On the Senate Intelligence Committee Reports On Pre-Iraq War Intelligence
Sep 08 2006
Washington, DC - The Senate Intelligence Committee today released the first two of five reports in its “Phase II” investigation into pre-war Iraq intelligence. The reports cover the accuracy of pre-war intelligence on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction programs and its ties to terrorist groups (The “Accuracy” report); and the use of information provided to the United States by the Iraqi National Congress (The INC Report).
The following is Senator Feinstein’s statement:
“These two reports confirm that there were monumental intelligence errors made in the rush to war in Iraq. This is true both in terms of the accuracy of intelligence and in our overuse of information from the Iraqi National Congress. That’s one more reason why it’s critical that the intelligence community be reformed.
These reports provide valuable insight into what went wrong and how we can avoid errors like these in the future.
The INC report makes it clear that the Iraqi National Congress program was a colossal waste of money and led to severely flawed intelligence. The INC provided bogus intelligence, which was used to support overblown claims of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and erroneously tie Saddam Hussein to al-Qaeda and
The Accuracy report shows once again that the pre-war intelligence on Iraq’s nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons and delivery systems was overwhelmingly wrong. Iraq simply did not possess weapons of mass destruction prior to the war. The report demonstrates that Saddam Hussein distrusted al-Qaeda and provided no operational support to the group whatsoever.
The report also includes new public information on the intelligence source CURVEBALL. This one individual was the linchpin of the intelligence assessments on the Iraqi mobile biological weapons program. The report demonstrates that there were serious concerns about the reliability and credibility of his reporting prior to the war that were not appropriately handled.
It is regrettable that these two reports are reaching the public two and a half years after the Committee agreed to the Phase II investigation, and I am concerned that they are overly redacted. I am also disappointed that the Committee has not completed the remaining three very important reports. It is our responsibility to complete this work in a comprehensive yet prompt manner.
The bottom line is this: the intelligence that led to the war in Iraq was fatally flawed. Worse, it was misused by the Administration. As a result, policymakers made the decision to go to war based on information that was simply wrong.”
Conclusions of the Accuracy Report
Prior to the war:
- Iraq was not reconstituting its nuclear weapons program; the aluminum tubes were not intended for nuclear use; and Iraq was not trying to procure uranium from Africa.
- Iraq did not possess biological weapons, nor was it developing or operating a mobile biological weapons program.
- Iraq did not possess, nor was it expanding its ability to produce, chemical weapons.
- While Iraq did possess missiles that exceeded UN limits, it did not retain a covert force of SCUDs and it did not have a UAV program for biological weapons delivery.
- Saddam Hussein distrusted al-Qaeda and the two did not have an operational relationship. The Iraqi government was not complicit in al-Zarqawi’s presence in the country prior to the war.
- There is no evidence that Saddam Hussein or the Iraqi Government knew that the September 11 attacks were being planned or executed. There is also no evidence that Saddam Hussein was intending to use al-Qaeda or other terrorist groups to attack the United States prior to or during the invasion of Iraq.
Conclusions of the INC Report
- The Iraqi National Congress sources provided information that was used to support key intelligence assessments on Iraq’s WMD program and terrorist links. INC sources were cited in the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate and other high-level and widely-disseminated assessments.
- The INC sought to influence U.S. policy to support its own goal of removing Saddam Hussein from power. The information from almost all INC sources described in the report had significant flaws.
- The Intelligence Community was not sufficiently cautious in using information from INC sources. The information from one INC source was used in the National Intelligence Estimate and Secretary of State Powell’s speech to the United Nations well after the source had been officially labeled a fabricator.
- The decision by the National Security Council to continue to the INC program in 2002, after bad experiences at both the CIA and the State Department, was ill-advised.