Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Iraq/Niger Report from the Senate

Okay, I'm reviewing the Niger conclusions from the "Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community's Prewar Intelligence Assessments on IRAQ", ordered reported on July 7, 2004. Dick Turban signed it as well...

Try to ignore any typos, as I couldn't cut and paste from my pdf viewer. You can read this yourself from here. Phase 2 is apparently being held up by some Democrat Senators and they aren't telling Turban that.

Page 72: Part K. Niger Conclusions:

(U) Conclusion 12. Until October 2002 when the Intelligence Community obtained the forged foreign language documents[9] on the Iraq-Niger uranium deal, it was reasonable for analysts to assess that Iraq may have been seeking uranium from Africa based on Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reporting and other available intelligence.

Page 73:
(U) Conclusion 13. The report on the former ambassador's trip to Niger, disseminated in March 2002, did not change any analysts' assessments of the Iraq-Niger uranium deal. For most analysts, the information in the report lent more credibility to the original Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reports on the uranium deal, but State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) analysts believed that the report supported their assessment that Niger was unlikely to be willing or able to sell uranium to Iraq.

Page 74:
(U) Conclusion 14. The Central Intelligence Agency should have told the Vice President and other senior policymakers that it had sent someone to Niger to look into the alleged Iraq-Niger uranium deal and should have briefed the Vice President on the former ambassador's findings.

(U) Conclusion 15. The Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) Directorate of Operations should have taken precautions not to discuss the credibility of reporting with a potential source when it arranged a meeting with the former ambassador and the Intelligence Community analysts.

Page 75:
(U) Conclusion 16. The language in the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate that "Iraq also began vigorously trying to procure uranium ore and yellowcake" overstated what the Intelligence Community knew about Iraq's possible procurement attempts.

Page 76:
(U) Conclusion 17. The State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) dissent on the uranium reporting was accidently included in the aluminum tube section of the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), due in part to the speed with which the NIE was drafted and coordinated.

(U) Conclusion 18. When documents regarding the Iraq-Niger uranium reporting became available to the Intelligence Community in October 2002, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) analysts and operations officers should have made an effort to obtain copies. As a result of not obtaining the documents, CIA Iraq nuclear analysts continued to report on Iraqi efforts to procure uranium from Africa and continued to approve the use of such language in Administration publications and speeches.

Page 77:
(U) Conclusion 19. Even after obtaining the forged documents and being alerted by a State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) analyst about problems with them, analysts at both the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) did not examine them carefully enough to see the obvious problems with the documents. Both agencies continued to publish assessments that Iraq may have been seeking uranium from Africa. In addition, CIA continued to approve the use of similar language in Administration publications and speeches, including the State of the Union.

Page 78:
(U) Conclusion 20. The Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) comments and assessments about the Iraq-Niger uranium reporting were inconsistent and, at times contradictory. These inconsistencies were based in part on a misunderstanding of a CIA Weapons Intelligence, Nonproliferation, and Arms Control Center (WINPAC) Iraq analyst's assessment of the reporting. The CIA should have had a mechanism in place to ensure that agency assessments and information passed to policymakers were consistent.

Page 80:
(U) Conclusion 21. When coordinating the State of the Union, no Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) analysts or officials told the National Security Council (NSC) to remove the "16 words" or that there were concerns about the credibility of the Iraq-Niger uranium reporting. A CIA official's original testimony to the Committee that he told an NSC official to remove the words "Niger" and "500 tons" from the speech, is incorrect.

Page 81:
(U) Conclusion 22. The Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) should have taken the time to read the State of the Union speech and fact check it himself. Had he done so, he would have been able to alert the National Security Council (NSC) if he still had concerns about the use of the Iraq-Niger uranium reporting in a Presidential speech.

(U) Conclusion 23. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Defense Humint Service (DHS), or the Navy should have followed up with a West African businessman, mentioned in a Navy report, who indicated he was willing to provide information about an alleged uranium transaction between Niger and Iraq in November 2002.

Page 82:
([Redacted]) Conclusion 24. In responding to a letter from Senator Carl Levin on behalf of the Intelligence Community in February 2003, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) should not have said that "[REDACTED] of reporting suggest Iraq had attempted to acquire uranium of Niger," without indicating that State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) believed the reporting was based on forged documents, or that the CIA was reviewing the Niger reporting.

(U) Conclusion 25. The Niger reporting was never in any of the drafts of Secretary Powell's United Nations (UN) speech and the Committee has not uncovered any information that showed anyone tried to insert the information into the speech.

Page 83:
(U) Conclusion 26. To date, the Intelligence Community has not published an assessment to clarify or correct its position on whether or not Iraq was trying to purchase uranium from Africa as stated in teh National Intelligence Estimate (NIE). Likewise, neither the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) nor the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), which both published assessments on possible Iraqi efforts to acquire uranium, have ever published assessments outside of their agencies which correct their previous positions.

My understanding is that the CIA screwed up, has yet to state an official position, tried to muddy the waters, and that Dick Turban knows it. The lockdown yesterday and the flurry of excrement surrounding Clarke are just political stunts. According to what we knew, when we knew it, and what was reported by our Intelligence Community, the 16 words were correct and are still correct. The British still believe it, Niger supports it, and the only people making hay are the morons on the Left.

Update: Thanks, Capt. Ed!


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