2006 - 2007

The WMD Debate Continues

Materials presented chronologically.

Shane, Scott. "Ex-C.I.A. Official Says Iraq Data Was Distorted." New York Times, 11 Feb. 2006. []

In the March-April 2006 issue of Foreign Affairs, Paul R. Pillar, who retired in October 2005 as NIO for the Near East and South Asia, accuses "the Bush administration of ignoring or distorting the prewar evidence on a broad range of issues related to Iraq in its effort to justify the American invasion of 2003.... Pillar is the first high-level C.I.A. insider to speak out by name on the use of prewar intelligence." See also, Walter Pincus, "Ex-CIA Official Faults Use of Data on Iraq: Intelligence 'Misused' to Justify War, He Says," Washington Post, 10 Feb. 2006, A1.

Pillar, Paul R. "Intelligence, Policy, and the War in Iraq." Foreign Affairs 85, no. 2 (Mar.-Apr. 2006): 15-27.

The NIO for the Near East and South Asia from 2000 to 2005 argues that, with regard to the Iraq war, "official intelligence was not relied on in making even the most significant national security decisions, that intelligence was misused publicly to justify decisions already made, that damaging ill will developed between policymakers and intelligence officers, and that the intelligence community's own work was politicized."

Ryan, Maria. "Filling in the 'Unknowns': Hypothesis-Based Intelligence and the Rumsfeld Commission." Intelligence and National Security 21, no. 2 (Apr. 2006): 286-315.

"The now discredited intelligence on Iraq was not a 'failure' or 'mistake', but a method tried and tested by the right, of challenging the CIA on political grounds." The 1976 "Team B" exercise used the methodology, as did the 1998 Rumsfeld Commission on the ballistic missile threat.

Shoham, Dany. "An Antithesis on the Fate of Iraq's Chemical and Biological Weapons." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 19, no. 1 (Spring 2006): 59-83.

In his antithesis, the author argues -- while assessing later information -- that an Iraqi CBW arsenal existed well past 1991 and that arsenal may have been smuggled into Syria.

Warrick, Joby. "Warnings on WMD 'Fabricator' Were Ignored, Ex-CIA Aide Says." Washington Post, 25 Jun. 2006, A1. []

Former CIA officer Tyler Drumheller, "who is writing a book about his experiences, described in extensive interviews repeated attempts to alert top CIA officials to problems with the defector, code-named Curveball, in the days before the Powell speech" to the United Nations on 5 February 2003.

U.S. Congress. Senate. Select Committee on Intelligence.

1. Report on Postwar Findings about Iraq's WMD Programs and Links to Terrorism and How they Compare with Prewar Assessments together with Additional Views. Washington, DC: 8 Sep. 2006. Available at:

2. Report of the Select Committee on Intelligence on the Use by the Intelligence Community of Information Provided by the Iraqi National Congress together with Additional Views. Washington, DC: 8 Sep. 2006. Available at:

Weisman, Jonathan. "Iraq's Alleged Al-Qaeda Ties Were Disputed Before War: Links Were Cited to Justify U.S. Invasion, Report Says." Washington Post, 9 Sep. 2006, A1. []

A report released by the SSCI on 8 September 2006 "revealed that U.S. intelligence analysts were strongly disputing the alleged links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda while senior Bush administration officials were publicly asserting those links to justify invading Iraq." Another report "said exiles from the Iraqi National Congress (INC) tried to influence U.S. policy by providing, through defectors, false information on Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons capabilities. After skeptical analysts warned that the group had been penetrated by hostile intelligence services, including Iran's, a 2002 White House directive ordered that U.S. funding for the INC be continued." See also, Mark Mazzetti, "C.I.A. Said to Find No Hussein Link to Terror Chief," New York Times, 9 Sep. 2006.

Tracey, Richard S. "Trapped by a Mindset: The Iraq WMD Intelligence Failure." Chronicles Online Journal, 23 Jan. 2007. []

The author suggests that "if the intelligence community's analysts had taken [a] more wide-ranging approach ... to this difficult intelligence puzzle, it is likely that they would have produced a more accurate and informative intelligence product for policy makers."

Return to WMD Table of Contents