Tenet's Pack of Lies
by Gordon Prather
1 of the just completed "Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities
of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction" purports
to be a case study of the intelligence used to justify Operation
war loomed, the U.S. intelligence community was charged with telling
policy-makers what it knew about Iraq's nuclear, biological and
chemical weapons programs. The community's best assessments were
set out in an October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate, or NIE,
a summation of the community's views.
title, "Iraq's Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction,"
foretells the conclusion: that Iraq was still pursuing its programs
for weapons of mass destruction.
the NIE assessed that Iraq had reconstituted its nuclear weapons
program and could assemble a device by the end of the decade;
that Iraq had biological weapons and mobile facilities for producing
biological warfare (BW) agent; that Iraq had both renewed production
of chemical weapons and probably had chemical weapons stockpiles
of up to 500 metric tons; and that Iraq was developing unmanned
aerial vehicles (UAVs) probably intended to deliver BW agent.
assessments were all wrong.
war loomed"? Were you soccer moms aware in the summer of 2002 that
war with Iraq was looming?
course, as we now know, the first order of business of the Bush-Cheney
administration once it came to power was to invade and occupy Iraq,
and every weenie in the White House, the Pentagon, the State Department
the neo-crazies in and out government and their media sycophants
they needed an excuse and a rationale.
terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, gave them the excuse. A few
days later, Deputy Secretary of Defense Wolfowitz departed from
his prepared speech – carried on CSPAN – to reveal that the Pentagon
had already developed a multi-billion dollar plan of attack, but
that "We would never have thought of that [terrorist attack] excuse."
about a rationale? Well, Wolfowitz spilled the beans there, too:
truth is that for reasons that have a lot to do with the U.S. government
bureaucracy, we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree
on, which was weapons of mass destruction as the core reason."
"Slam-dunk" Tenet was directed to prepare "Iraq's Continuing Programs
for Weapons of Mass Destruction."
scroll back to 1995, when Tenet was deputy director of the CIA.
Hussein Kamel, director of Saddam's nuke and chem-bio weapons programs
(and also Saddam's son-in-law), had defected to Jordan, carrying
with him thousands of WMD program documents.
was extensively debriefed by U.N. officials and by the CIA.
revealed that Iraq – at his direction – had already destroyed all
chemical and biological agents and weapons, including the missiles
to deliver them. The International Atomic Energy Agency had discovered
and destroyed what remained of the unsuccessful Iraqi nuke program.
Kamel, "Nothing remained."
1998, the U.N. inspectors were able to verify to the U.N.
Security Council that Kamel had indeed told the truth – whereupon
several members proposed that the "sanctions" imposed on Iraq in
1991 be lifted.
refused. Secretary of State Albright declared:
do not agree with the nations who argue that if Iraq complies with
its obligations concerning weapons of mass destruction, sanctions
should be lifted."
Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 went even further:
should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to
remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and
to promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that
empowered, Clinton proceeded to launch Operation Desert Fox, a five-day
intensive bombing campaign of Baghdad, an obvious attempt to kill
a result, Saddam didn't allow the U.N. inspectors back in Iraq until
November of 2002. Hence, when Tenet produced his NIE, it is conceivable
– barely – that Saddam might have made some attempt to reconstruct
his "WMD" programs.
by mid-March of 2003, Chairman Blix of the Monitoring and Verification
Commission and Director-General ElBaradei of the IAEA were reporting
– after checking out many of Tenet's alleged "WMD sites" – that
they could find no indication that there had been any attempts to
reconstruct Iraq's WMD programs or facilities since 1991.
was not a threat to anyone, much less to you soccer moms.
on the eve of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Bush and Congress should
have known that every judgment and assumption in Tenet's NIE was
the Commission realize that, even now?
James Gordon Prather [send
him mail] has served as a policy-implementing official for national
security-related technical matters in the Federal Energy Agency,
the Energy Research and Development Administration, the Department
of Energy, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Department
of the Army. Dr. Prather also served as legislative assistant for
national security affairs to U.S. Sen. Henry Bellmon, R-Okla.
ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee and member of the
Senate Energy Committee and Appropriations Committee. Dr. Prather
had earlier worked as a nuclear weapons physicist at Lawrence Livermore
National Laboratory in California and Sandia National Laboratory
in New Mexico.
© 2005 Gordon Prather