C&EN logo The Newsmagazine of the Chemical World
Home Current Issue ChemJobs Join ACS
Latest News
Government & Policy
Careers and Employment
ACS News
How to log in
Contact Us
Site Map
About C&EN
About the Magazine
How to Subscribe
How to Advertise

Latest News RSS Feed

latest news RSS feedWhat is this?

Join ACS
Join ACS
  Latest News  
  July 9, 2004  

  Senate Report Slams CIA
No recommendations are offered to correct the agency's failures


A damning Senate Intelligence Committee report harshly criticizes the Central Intelligence Agency for false or overstated analyses of Iraq’s prewar caches of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). It examines prewar intelligence but not how that intelligence was used by President George W. Bush and his top officials, and it offers no specific recommendations on how to overhaul the agency.

[A full copy of the report (23.4 MB) can be downloaded in PDF format http://intelligence.senate.gov/iraqreport2.pdf. A conclusions excerpt is also available http://intelligence.senate.gov/conclusions.pdf ]

The Bush Administration based it preemptive invasion of Iraq in March 2003 in large part on CIA assertions that Iraq had chemical and biological weapons and was working to produce nuclear weapons. Postwar surveys of Iraq have uncovered no nuclear weapons program; no biological weapons; and few, very old, chemical weapons.

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), chairman of the Senate panel, said the assessments of the CIA especially, but other intelligence agencies worldwide as well, were “unreasonable and largely unsupported by the available intelligence.”

The committee’s ranking Democrat, Sen. John D. (Jay) Rockefeller (W.Va.), said the intelligence failures “will affect our national security for generations to come.” His bottom line: “Our nation is more vulnerable today than ever before.”

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) Sen. John D. Rockefeller

The report repeatedly attacks departing CIA Director George J. Tenet for slanting advice to top Bush officials and for discarding contrary analyses from other U.S. intelligence agencies in the Departments of State and Defense. As a result, the report concludes: “This ‘group think’ dynamic led intelligence community analysts, collectors, and managers to both interpret ambiguous evidence as conclusively indicative of a WMD program as well as ignore or minimize evidence that Iraq did not have active and expanding weapons of mass destruction programs.”

A report from the U.K.’s official inquiry into prewar intelligence by Frederick Lord Butler is slated for release on July 14 and the so-called 9/11 Commission’s report is scheduled for release later this month.

  Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © 2004

E-mail the editor