This via AfterDowningStreet.org:
From Senator MikulskiDoes this mean that Senator Mikulski, and others, will now press for a further investigation into this issue? That they are not going to let it die an Iraqi death, in the dust and unremembered?
Submitted by davidswanson on Fri, 2005-08-12 15:03. Congress
August 12, 2005
Dear Mr. Swanson:
Thank you for getting in touch with me regarding the Bush Administration's claims about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) used to justify going to war. I agree with you that we need a thorough, effective and objective investigation of the intelligence on Iraq and how it was used.
As a Senator and a member of the Select Committee on Intelligence, I was presented information that led me to believe that Saddam Hussein had biological and chemical weapons and the means to use them. Bush Administration officials also said that Iraq had links to terrorism and was developing nuclear weapons. This has been called into question in light of what UN inspectors and U.S. forces have found - and not found - on the ground in Iraq.
The American people have a right to know whether intelligence on Iraq was valid, or whether it was skewed, selected, or exaggerated. That's why I insisted on a thorough investigation by the Intelligence Committee.
The Committee agreed, on a bipartisan basis, on an inquiry to examine:
- the quantity and quality of U.S. intelligence on Iraqi WMD, ties to terrorist groups, and Saddam Hussein's threat to stability and security in the region; - the objectivity, reasonableness, independence and accuracy of the judgments reached by the Intelligence Community; and - whether any influence was brought to bear on anyone to shape their analysis to support policy objectives.
The Intelligence Committee has already examined a huge volume of documents and held numerous hearings. You may have seen the press reports about testimony from Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet and Dr. David Kay, who heads the Iraq Survey Group looking for weapons of mass destruction. The Committee's Chairman has also committed to holding open hearings and issuing a public report of our findings.
But I'm not sure this inquiry will go far enough. That's why I'm prepared to support legislation to create an independent commission to investigate intelligence on Iraq and how it was used.
You can count on me to do all I can to get to the truth about the information used to justify going to war in Iraq. The American people have a right to know.
Barbara A. Mikulski United States Senator
P.S. If I can be of any further assistance in the future, please visit my website at http://mikulski.senate.gov or call my Washington office at 202-224-4654.
the objectivity, reasonableness, independence and accuracy of the judgments reached by the Intelligence Community; and - whether any influence was brought to bear on anyone to shape their analysis to support policy objectives.has not been addressed in any resonable manner. In particular, the suggestion that "influence was brought to bear" was shown by Sy Hersh in his famous "Stovepipe" article. As Hersh says:
How did the American intelligence community get it so wrong?Here you have the crux of the Downing Street Memo contention that the intelligent was being "fixed."
Part of the answer lies in decisions made early in the Bush Administration, before the events of September 11, 2001. In interviews with present and former intelligence officials, I was told that some senior Administration people, soon after coming to power, had bypassed the government’s customary procedures for vetting intelligence.(emphasis added)
But, we are in Never Never land. No one believes facts anymore. We believe in a president who talks to an imaginary being in the clouds and thinks that everything is going to smell of roses in Iraq as long as we "stay the course."
If we make it to 2008, there is going to be some might heavy reckoning going on.