12/01/2005: Iraq: The Case Then and Now (continued)
The Chicago Tribune has published the third article in its series on the case for the war in Iraq:
" Iraq did not have nukes and, by the outbreak of war, evidently did not have an active program to produce them.
Saddam Hussein's nuclear capabilities, though, had deeply troubled U.S. intelligence agencies since President Bill Clinton's second term.
On July 9, 2004, the Senate Intelligence Committee issued a devastating report on the dismal quality of prewar intelligence on Iraq. "This was a global intelligence failure," charged committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.).
At the time, news coverage focused on the report's condemnation of the intelligence community and that community's ability to unwittingly mislead policymakers in Washington by clinging to its preconceptions while dismissing conflicting data.
But buried in the mind-numbing, 524-page report's third chapter--"Intelligence Community Analysis of Iraq's Nuclear Program"--lay a startling assertion. Between late 1997 and late 2000, four major U.S. intelligence studies had assessed Iraq's nuclear ambitions. Those four assessments said Iraq apparently had not reconstituted the nuclear program that had been neutralized after the Persian Gulf war. The studies concurred that, while Iraq continued what the Senate report called "low-level, clandestine, theoretical research and training of personnel" to reconstitute its nuclear program, Baghdad would need five to seven years--even with foreign assistance--to produce enough weapons-grade fissile material to build a bomb..."
That's just for a start -- but click on the link to give the article a full read through.
Karen on 12.01.05 @ 07:36 AM CST