Thursday, June 05, 2008

Not Substantiated by Available Intelligence

Way back when--even before I knew what a blog was--I started keeping a journal of the crimes and misdemeanors of the Bush White House. It evolved into Notes on the Atrocities, the blog, which was really my way to document what I could about unspun reality of Washington. So it is no news to me that Bush lied about Iraq. But now it's official. This, from a memo by Jay Rockefeller, who just released two Senate reports (with long, bureaucratic titles): "Report on Whether Public Statements Regarding Iraq by U.S. Government officials Were Substantiated by Intelligence Information" and "Report on Intelligence Activities Relating to Iraq Conducted by the Policy Counterterrorism Evaluation Group and the Office of Special Plans Within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy."
  • Statements and implications by the President and Secretary of State suggesting that Iraq and al-Qa'ida had a partnership, or that Iraq had provided al-Qa'ida with weapons training, were not substantiated by the intelligence.
  • Statements by the President and the Vice President indicating that Saddam Hussein was prepared to give weapons of mass destruction to terrorist groups for attacks against the United States were contradicted by available intelligence information.
  • Statements by President Bush and Vice President Cheney regarding the postwar situation in Iraq, in terms of the political, security, and economic, did not reflect the concerns and uncertainties expressed in the intelligence products.
  • Statements by the President and Vice President prior to the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate regarding Iraq's chemical weapons production capability and activities did not reflect the intelligence community's uncertainties as to whether such production was ongoing.
  • The Secretary of Defense's statement that the Iraqi government operated underground WMD facilities that were not vulnerable to conventional airstrikes because they were underground and deeply buried was not substantiated by available intelligence information.
  • The Intelligence Community did not confirm that Muhammad Atta met an Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague in 2001 as the Vice President repeatedly claimed.

Even in the gentle bureaucratese of Washington, "not substantiated by available intelligence" is well understood to mean "lies."

Let history be the judge.

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