Thursday, November 10, 2005

Powell suppressed instincts about Iraq intel

Raw Story: "Powell told senator he'd reveal details about case for war in Iraq after both left office," by Larisa Alexandrovna and Jason Leopold:
Several days prior to his UN presentation, then-Secretary Powell had a private conversation with Sen. Biden, sources familiar with the Secretary's account say. During this conversation, Biden reiterated much of what he had said during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s hearing on the evidence as presented by Powell deputy Richard Armitage. According to sources, Biden expressed his concerns to Powell about the reliability of the evidence, and encouraged the Secretary to speak only about intelligence that he was sure of. “Mr. Secretary, tell them what you know,” Biden said, according to those familiar with the conversation. “… When we are both out of office for two years, I will tell you what is going on here,” they say Powell replied.
So why did Biden vote to authorize the invasion?! Oh Chri*t-in-shitty-napkins, what does it take? [sorry, I'll calm down...]

[click "Read on, MacDuff!" to continue reading]

Alexandrovna and Leopold also point to a Jan 30, 2003 article (i.e. before Powell's UN speech) by WaPo's Walter Pincus & Dana Priest (Priest of the CIA "black sites" scoop, last week) about the "circumstantial" evidence for new Iraqi WMD. Pincus & Priest reported:
[The evidence] does not include new intelligence linking the Baghdad government to al Qaeda despite assertions by President Bush in his State of the Union address Tuesday and by British Prime Minister Tony Blair in London yesterday that the ties exist. "There will be no single smoking gun," a senior intelligence official involved in the process said yesterday.
[...] Intelligence officials yesterday outlined their concerns that publication of materials could endanger technical collection efforts or reveal human intelligence sources or defectors who want their identities kept secret. In addition, information has come from foreign intelligence agencies that do not want their roles disclosed. "There also are future defectors or potential foreign informants who may withhold their information if they see we on occasion disclose secret data," one senior intelligence official said. [...] Illustrating the problem was the recent discovery by U.N. inspectors, based on U.S. or British information, that Iraqis may have cleaned out a site the inspectors were about to visit. Describing that incident, a senior administration official said, "The minute you reveal the information, you risk making it untrue."
So if you see it, you may not believe it. Or something like that. Hmm, I wonder who those "sources" or "defectors" could be...Curveball? So-full-of-shit-his-eyes-are-brown? Or maybe this guy, who spent Wednesday being feted (or is that fetid) in Washington. Better give Judy Miller a call, Ahmed. You two have loads to catch up on. By the way, where do you figure that WaPo story appeared? One of the only ones critical of pre-war "intel"? Page A14. When did Powell make his speech to the UN? Feb 5, 2003.

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