Fear of Clowns

"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable."
- H. L. Mencken
gozz@gozz.com

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

What I didn't find in the Senate Intelligence Report 

  1. I didn't find anything about the PDB:

    • The Committee's request to review Presidential Daily Briefs (PDBs) relevant only to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capabilities and links to terrorists was denied by the White House. (p 3)

    The Committee set out to examine

    • whether were properly disseminated to policymakers in the executive branch and Congress. (p 1)

    Pretty glaring gap without the PDB, yes?

  2. I didn't find more than one mention of Hussein Kamel. The only time he's mentioned (which was not redacted) is on page 218,

    • Other information provided to the Committee suggested that Iraq destroyed its Scud missiles in the years after the Gulf War. Intelligence reports describing debriefs of Hussein Kamel (Saddam Hussein's son in law who defected from Iraq in 1995) show that Kamel told interviewers that Iraq had destroyed all of its Scud missiles. This information was not mentioned in the NIE.

  3. In his UNSCOM interview, Kamel claimed "I ordered destruction of all chemical weapons. All weapons - biological, chemical, missile, nuclear were destroyed." It's puzzling (maybe not?) why this was redacted (or not mentioned) as much information about his claims is already public:

    CNN interview:
    http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/9509/iraq_defector/
    St Louis Tribune article:
    http://www.sltrib.com/2003/Apr/04272003/nation_w/51824.asp
    Transcript of UNSCOM interview (PDF):
    http://www.casi.org.uk/info/unscom950822.pdf (big PDF)
    Page o' info:
    http://middleeastreference.org.uk/kamel.html

  4. I didn't find any surprise in the fact that State Department speech writers were making up their own intelligence (p 252 - emphasis in original):

    • Secretary Powell said that the al-Musayyib site, a suspect chemical munitions storage site, had been used for "at least three years to transship chemical weapons from production facilities out to the field." The CIA told Committee staff that State Department speech writers crafted this statement from CIA input that "evidence of movement activity at this site went back as early as 1999." Intelligence provided to the Committee showed only that possible chemical transshipment activity had occurred at the facility and only in the spring of 2002.

    One possible shipment through the site turned into at least three years of certain shipments. Like magic!

    Let us remember that Powell introduced his spiel at the UN with "... every statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources. These are not assertions. What we're giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence." Who needs solid sources when you already have great speech writers?

Here is a PDF version of the entire original report which can be searched and selected from. Scrolls a lot quicker too. And has lots more than three tidbits.

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