Filling in the Gaps on WMD Intelligence

More details continue to trickle in regarding who was behind the doctoring of evidence about Iraqi WMDs. A nice summary of the latest developments is this piece from Islam Online: Powell, Straw voiced doubts over Iraq’s WMDs: Diplomats.

One especially colorful anecdote is attributed to a U.S. News and World Report story (though I haven’t been able to find it on their web site):

Meanwhile, a U.S. weekly said Friday that Powell came under persistent pressure from the Pentagon and White House to include questionable intelligence in his report on Iraq’s WMDs to the Security Council.

U.S. News and World Report magazine said the first draft of the speech was prepared for Powell by Vice President Richard Cheney’s chief of staff, Lewis Libby, in late January.

According to the report, the draft contained such questionable material that Powell lost his temper, throwing several pages in the air and declaring, “I’m not reading this. This is bullshit.”

Cheney’s aides wanted Powell to include in his presentation information that Iraq has purchased computer software that would allow it to plan an attack on the United States, an allegation that was not supported by the CIA, the magazine said.

10 Responses to “Filling in the Gaps on WMD Intelligence”

  1. Craig Says:

    I’d like to see that supposed report and quote too. Interesting how a bombshell-type of news item like that wouldn’t be widely reported and followed up on by a rabid world press. And that a search of the magizine’s website and and Goggle search as well, don’t turn up any such report (granted I didn’t look thoroughly). I guess this Islamic publication (which, by the tone of its articles is an Arabic Fox News, to the fourth power) would have no fear of reprisals if they just attributed a unsubstanciated story to a some US magazine. It’s not like they have a mandate for true credibility.

  2. John Callender Says:

    Yeah, I’m curious about this, too. The only other place I can find so far that mentions it is at http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=5769, which appears to be, at least based on style, another branch of the same “Islam Online” outfit I linked to in the original posting.

    I suppose it’s possible that US News & World Report is on some kind of delayed publishing cycle, such that the story in question won’t appear on their web site until later. But at least at this point, I think the odds favor your more-sinister explanation.

  3. John Callender Says:

    The French news agency AFP is carrying a mention of the USN&WR story here: http://www.afp.com/english/newsml/stories/030531114418.a01wyyal.html. Still looking for more.

  4. John Callender Says:

    Aussie newspaper The Age mentions the story here: http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/06/01/1054406059550.html, and the Arab Times mentions it here: http://www.arabtimesonline.com/arabtimes/breakingnews/view.asp?msgID=1488. Both those seem to be based on the same AFP story, though.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Madrid’s daily news El Mundo picks the story also:

    http://www.elmundo.es/elmundo/2003/05/31/internacional/1054356517.html

  6. Glen Says:

    The Guardian: “Straw, Powell had serious doubts over their Iraqi weapons claims”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,967548,00.html

    The Independent: “Revealed: How Blair used discredited WMD ‘evidence’”

    http://news.independent.co.uk/world/politics/story.jsp?story=411301

  7. Jay Hurst Says:

    On W.M.D., didn’t Rumsfeldt say the other day that the Iraqi’s ‘probably got rid of them before the war..’ (not an exact quote but as close as I can recall) Widely reported in the British press.

  8. John Callender Says:

    US News and World Report has posted the article originally being speculated about, above: http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/030609/usnews/9intell.htm

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