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Thursday, September 6, 2007


Remember how the reason we got everything wrong in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq was bad, naughty, nasty intelligence, and how George Tenet was the most incompetent "Medal of Freedom" winner ever?

Well, maybe it wasn't quite as black and white as all that.

Months before the Iraq invasion, President Bush apparently ignored a 2002 Oval Office briefing in which CIA director George Tenet provided the president with intelligence that Saddam Hussein did not possess weapons of mass destruction, according to former Clinton advisor and Salon columnist Sidney Blumenthal.


Blumenthal also adds that the intelligence from that day was left out of the National Intelligence Estimate of October 2002, which definitively stated that had WMD.

"The president had no interest in the intelligence," a CIA officer disclosed. "Bush didn't give a fuck about the intelligence. He had his mind made up."

"No one in Congress was aware of the secret intelligence that Saddam had no WMD as the House of Representatives and the Senate voted, a week after the submission of the NIE, on the Authorization for Use of Military Force in Iraq," Blumenthal writes. "The information, moreover, was not circulated within the CIA among those agents involved in operations to prove whether Saddam had WMD."

Blumenthal's sources confirm a 2006 interview with the CIA's chief of clandestine operations for Europe, Tyler Drumheller, who told CBS's 60 Minutes that the his agency had received intelligence from Saddam Hussein's foreign minister, Naji Sabri, indicating Iraq possessed no WMD.

"[The two former CIA officers] have confirmed Drumheller's account to me and provided the background to the story of how the information that might have stopped the invasion of Iraq was twisted in order to justify it," Blumenthal reports. "They described what Tenet said to Bush about the lack of WMD, and how Bush responded, and noted that Tenet never shared Sabri's intelligence with then Secretary of State Colin Powell."

Powell would later present US evidence justifying the preemptive invasion of Iraq to the United Nations--without knowledge of the Sabri information.
Congress didn't have the intelligence. Colin Powell didn't have the intelligence. All they saw was cherry-picked reportage that confirmed the war cheerleaders' propaganda.

Apparently, the 'lack of intelligence'...was Bush's.

And that, I'm sure, surprises no one.

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