Archive for Friday, June 20, 2003

Senate intelligence panel opens WMD hearing

June 20, 2003


— The Senate Intelligence Committee had its first hearing Thursday on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, even as Democrats and Republicans remained divided about how to examine prewar intelligence on Saddam Hussein's weapons programs.

Analysts from the CIA and other agencies, speaking to senators at the closed hearing, described the information that served as the foundation for the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq's alleged weapons programs, a U.S. intelligence official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

That estimate, which said Iraq had chemical and biological weapons and an active program to develop a nuclear weapon, served as part of the Bush administration's justification for war. Many of its assertions have not been validated by teams hunting for evidence in postwar Iraq.

Senate Democrats are pushing for a full investigation examining whether intelligence was inaccurate or manipulated to help the Bush administration make the case for war.

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