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DIDGE - The View From Down Under

An Aussie’s ridgy-didge view of world affairs and popular culture.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Bush admits to faulty intelligence (regarding Iraq, not himself)

Bush conceded today that the Iraq invasion was based on faulty intelligence during another Oh Shit The American People Are Starting To Wake Up About The Horror In Iraq rallying speech.

BBC: Bush takes on Iraqi war critics

"Many intelligence agencies judged that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, and it's true that much of the intelligence turned out to be wrong," said Mr Bush in the speech at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington.

Yes, the intelligence was wrong, Saddam Hussein wasn’t a threat to America and the smoking gun - that might have come in the form of a mushroom cloud - never existed. So Bush is admitting that the invasion was wrong, both legally and morally? Well, not quite…

But he added that Saddam Hussein was nonetheless a threat, and had been looking for the opportunity to restart his weapons programmes.

Ah, ok. Well that’s good to know. The intelligence saying Hussein was a threat to America was wrong but that doesn’t really matter because, er, Saddam Hussein was a threat anyway. This intelligence that Hussein was hoping for a chance, one day, to restart his weapons programmes, I wonder if that too is darn good intelligy?

I also take offence to this statement that the intelligence was wrong. Yes, the intelligence about WMDs was wrong, but the way Bush says it takes blame away from him and the White House. He is basically saying that the intelligence presented to him was wrong but he took it on good faith, and now he is apologising for being presented false intelligence. But we know the truth. The Bush Administration desperately wanted to invade Iraq. Intelligence was skewed to back-up their plans. Intelligence that said Hussein had no weapons and posed no threat: binned, we don't want you! See, intelligence that doesn't tell us what we want to know is just darn bad intelligence. Below are links to some very interesting reading...

"Government deleted truth" — Andrew Wilkie

Much of the case of the US-led push for war and Australia’s following of the US lead, lay not so much in faulty or poor intelligence, according to Wilkie, but in the drive to remove any ambiguity from the intelligence reports. The reports presented to the government were couched in qualified terms such as, “would”, “possibly” and “on the basis of an uncorroborated interview”. The government removed any ambiguity by deleting references to these terms and turned a qualified assessment into an unqualified statement.

A lack of intelligence by Andrew Wilkie

'Intelligence" was how the Americans described the material accumulating on Iraq from their super-sophisticated spy systems. But to analysts at the Office of National Assessments in Canberra, a decent chunk of the growing pile looked like rubbish.

What Happened to Iraq's WMD? By Scott Ritter

The recent exchange of vitriol between Republican and Democratic lawmakers over the issue of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and more specifically the disconnect between the intelligence data cited by the Bush administration as justification for invading Iraq and the resultant conclusion by the CIA that all Iraqi WMD had already been eliminated as early as 1991, has once again thrust the issue of the use of intelligence for political purposes front and center.


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