Iraq War Intel

Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenbaum have more in Newsweek:

Broadening an internal review of prewar intelligence on Iraq, the CIA is reexamining the credibility of four Iraq defectors whose claims were cited by Secretary of State Colin Powell last year as crucial evidence that Saddam Hussein had developed a system of mobile laboratories and factories to produce biological-warfare agents, NEWSWEEK has learned.

The four defectors were mentioned by Powell in his Feb. 5, 2003, speech to the United Nations Security Council, which made the case for war against Iraq. The defectors also were cited by the CIA as sources in a paper the agency published in May claiming that three large tractor-trailers found in Iraq after the war were proof of the mobile bio-warfare facilities’ existence—a claim now much in dispute.

But the CIA now has questions about whether any of the informants were reliable—and has acknowledged that one of the defectors had been previously branded a “fabricator” by another U.S. intelligence agency, sources tell NEWSWEEK. In addition, the sources say, some intelligence officers now fear that two major Iraqi-exile groups that provided U.S. agencies with informants may have been infiltrated by Iraqi intelligence and were feeding U.S. agencies with disinformation.

Not good.

FILED UNDER: Iraq War
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Dave says:

    “…may have been infiltrated by Iraqi intelligence…” – hm, yeah, that would make sense, and avoids the State vs Pentagon arguments of ‘Well, your guy just made it up to support what YOU wanted!’.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Chalibi’s group was one of those who ‘may have been infiltrated’.