WMDs, PLEASE

Time, Newsweek, and U.S. News all have big stories on the so-far fruitless search for Iraq's banned weapons. And all of 'em have juicy tales from the previously-behind-the-scene fights over the accuracy of America's WMD intelligence.U.S News:

On the evening of February 1, two dozen American officials gathered in a spacious conference room at the Central Intelligence Agency in Langley, Va. The time had come to make the public case for war against Iraq. For six hours that Saturday, the men and women of the Bush administration argued about what Secretary of State Colin Powell should--and should not--say at the United Nations Security Council four days later. Not all the secret intelligence about Saddam Hussein's misdeeds, they found, stood up to close scrutiny. At one point during the rehearsal, Powell tossed several pages in the air. "I'm not reading this," he declared. "This is bulls- - -."
Time:
Several current and former military officers who saw all the relevant data through this spring charge that the Pentagon took the raw data from the CIA and consistently overinterpreted the threat posed by Iraq's stockpiles. "There was a predisposition in this Administration to assume the worst about Saddam," a senior military officer told TIME. This official, recently retired, was deeply involved in planning the war with Iraq but left the service after concluding that the U.S. was going to war based on bum intelligence. "They were inclined to see and interpret evidence a particular way to support a very deeply held conviction," the officer says.
Newsweek:
As the military began to gear up for an invasion, top planners at Central Command tried to get a fix from the CIA on WMD sites they could take out with bombs and missiles. After much badgering, says an informed military source, the CIA allowed the CENTCOM planners to see what the agency had on WMD sites. "It was crap," said a CENTCOM planner. The sites were "mostly old friends," buildings bombed by the military back in the 1991 gulf war, another source said. The CIA had satellite photos of the buildings. "What was inside the structures was another matter," says the source. "We asked, 'Well, what agents are in these buildings? Because we need to know.' And the answer was, 'We dont know'," the CENTCOM planner recalled.When the military visited these sites after the war, they found nothing but rubble. No traces of WMD. Nor did Special Forces find any of the 20 or so Scud missiles, possibly tipped with chem-bio warheads, that were said by the CIA to be lurking somewhere in the Western Desert.
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