CIA DIDN’T SLANT DATA
From A1 of tomorrow’s WaPo: No Evidence CIA Slanted Iraq Data
Congressional and CIA investigations into the prewar intelligence on Iraq’s weapons and links to terrorism have found no evidence that CIA analysts colored their judgment because of perceived or actual political pressure from White House officials, according to intelligence officials and congressional officials from both parties.
Richard J. Kerr, a former deputy CIA director who is leading the CIA’s review of its prewar Iraq assessment, said an examination of the secret analytical work done by CIA analysts showed that it remained consistent over many years.
“There was pressure and a lot of debate, and people should have a lot of debate, that’s quite legitimate,” Kerr said. “But the bottom line is, over a period of several years,” the analysts’ assessments “were very consistent. They didn’t change their views.”
Kerr’s findings mirror those of two probes being conducted separately by the House and Senate intelligence committees, which have interviewed, under oath, every analyst involved in assessing Iraq’s weapons programs and terrorist ties.
The panel chairmen, Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Rep. Porter J. Goss (R-Fla.), and other congressional officials said in recent interviews that they found no evidence that analysts shaded their findings to more closely fit the White House’s known desire to create the strongest, most urgent case for war with Iraq.
The conclusion that analysts did not buckle under political pressure does not answer the question of why the intelligence reports were so flawed. Nor does it address allegations — made by Democrats in Congress and Democratic presidential candidates — that top Bush administration officials misused intelligence and exaggerated the threat posed by Iraq.
Not that I expect this to placate anyone who thinks the Bush team intentionally lied so they could take us to war. For the oil, you know.