Questions for the Senate Intelligence Committee

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Now
that the Senate has identified many of the failings and manipulations
of prewar intelligence concerning Iraq, who will hold the Senate
accountable for their dereliction of duty when it comes to intelligence
oversight?

That’s
really the next step, right?

Last
week, the US Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the
“US Intelligence Community’s Prewar Intelligence Assessments
on Iraq” confirmed the 9/11 Commission’s conclusions last
month about the dangers resulting from the distortions and deceptions
of “cherry picked” intelligence. On Wednesday, July 14th,
Lord Butler released his report damning Britain’s justification
for waging war against Baghdad. It’s reportedly a somewhat
milder version of the Senate’s work – but no one is really
held accountable, of course. Lots of writing in the passive voice
– “mistakes were made. . .”

During
the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, Defense Undersecretary Douglas
Feith, together with Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary
Paul Wolfowitz, created their own Iraqi intelligence cell within
the Pentagon to churn out propaganda to justifying the invasion
of Iraq. They even contracted out extra help from PR firms to help
shape public opinion. An appendix to the Select Committee’s
report describes the Pentagon Iraqi Intel Cell. The CIA disputed
their supposed “evidence,” but President Bush kept hammering
the “connections” into the public’s collective mind
in numerous speeches.

  • Now –
    what in the world was the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
    doing all this time?

  • How were
    these senators fulfilling their constitutionally mandated oversight
    responsibilities?

  • What were
    their questions and concerns when they were briefed on the run-up
    to the war?

  • What did
    they know and when did they know it? . . .and why didn’t they?

Time
for some answers from the inquisitors.

July
17, 2004

Chris
Farrell [send him
mail
], a former Army intelligence officer, defense contractor,
and educator. He is currently a researcher and public policy analyst
living in Northern Virginia.

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