Tags: Report: | Tenet | Ignored | Warnings | Iraq | Intel

Report: Tenet Ignored Warnings on Iraq Intel

Thursday, 05 February 2004 12:00 AM

Trying to deflect criticism from former CIA-Iraq weapons hunter David Kay, Tenet excused CIA mistakes as honest ones by honest people.

What Tenet conveniently omitted from his Georgetown dissertation is that he had been repeatedly warned that CIA assessments on Iraq's weapons programs were suspect.

U.N. and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) officials had repeated contacts with the CIA director leading up to the days of Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2003.

U.N. arms chief Hans Blix and IAEA director-general Mohamed ElBaradei made several visits to Washington between January and March 2003 to personally brief Bush administration officials on the arms inspections in Iraq.

Under pressure from the White House, the U.N. inspections had been growing in number and intensity in a vain effort to head off a U.S.-UK invasion.

U.N. sources tell NewsMax that none of those inspections had altered a fundamental U.N. assessment: There was no credible evidence that Iraq resuscitated its secret weapons programs in any significant way.

This asessment was made through records given to the U.N. by Baghdad as well as conclusions reached by U.N. inspectors on the ground in Iraq.

Some of the records Iraq provided to the U.N. inspectors were actually "taken into custody" by the White House before the U.N. could see the declarations themselves.

Copies of the seized U.N. documents were analyzed by Defense Dept. and CIA experts. They found nothing, but concluded Baghdad must be hiding the truth.

The U.N. on the other hand, contended there was a possibility that the weapons in question may have destroyed (but not accounted for due to sloppy Iraqi bookkeeping) or never existed.

All of these findings were conveyed to senior White House officials personally. Among those briefed by the U.N. were Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice and George Tenet.

It was Tenet who was seated directly behind Secretary of State Colin Powell during the Security Council meeting on Iraq's weapons programs in February 2003.

After the Powell presentation, Tenet "quietly and quickly" left the U.N. compound, making a point to avoid the waiting press.

The Council meeting continued, but Tenet opted to pass on listening to delegations whose views on Iraq differed from Washington's.

"They (the CIA) get most of their information (on Iraq) from us (the U.N.)," confessed former U.N. arms chief Rolf Ekeus. "Most of what they get they ask us to analyze, because they do not know what they are looking at," Ekeus accused.

The contention from several veteran U.N. arms inspectors is that the CIA often ignored or downplayed intelligence estimates it did not agree with.

A current CIA official doubted "anyone was competent" at the agency to handle the Iraqi questions.

Privately, U.N. officials contend that Tenet is a major factor in preventing their arms inspectors from returning to Iraq.

Former U.N. chief Iraq arms inspector Hans Blix will present "his side" of events leading up to Operation Iraqi Freedom in a

Sources close to the publisher (Random House) say that Blix will have some "revelations" about recently departed CIA weapons hunter David Kay who once worked for Blix at the IAEA in Vienna.

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Trying to deflect criticism from former CIA-Iraq weapons hunter David Kay, Tenet excused CIA mistakes as honest ones by honest people. What Tenet conveniently omitted from his Georgetown dissertation is that he had been repeatedly warned that CIA assessments on Iraq's...
Report:,Tenet,Ignored,Warnings,Iraq,Intel
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2004-00-05
Thursday, 05 February 2004 12:00 AM
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