July 09, 2004

White House inflated terror ties, senator says: A Senate Intelligence Committee Democrat contended the panel's report fails to probe the administration's exaggeration of links between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda.

It is difficult to decide which is worse -- the Bush
cabal's abuse and scapgoating of the CIA in regard to
9/11 and Iraq or the "US Mainstream News Media"
capitulation and collaboration with them in carrying
their filthy water to the US electorate? Either way,
the botched, bungled "war on terrorism" is not the
strength of the Bush White House, it is the SHAME of
the Bush White House...Will George Tenet go down in
history as a souless, spineless shell of himself, like
John McCain and Calm 'Em Powell, or will he cleanse
his conscience and strike a blow for those who have
served this country in anonymity and with integrity
and acumen? Here is a decent story from the Miami
Herald and Knight Ridder...

Jonathan Landay, Knight Ridder, Miami Herald: A senior
Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee on
Thursday accused President Bush and Vice President
Dick Cheney of exaggerating the links between deposed
dictator Saddam Hussein and the al Qaeda terrorist
network...Levin told a news conference that the report
by the Republican-controlled panel would be
''intensely and extensively critical'' of the CIA for
producing a key 2002 assessment that wrongly claimed
that Iraq was hiding illegal weapons programs.
But the report, he said, would paint ''only half the
picture'' because it wouldn't examine ``the central
issue of the administration's exaggerations of the
intelligence that was provided to them.''
''As the Intelligence Committee report to be released
tomorrow will indicate, the CIA intelligence was way
off, full of exaggerations and errors, mainly on
weapons of mass destruction,'' Levin said Thursday.
``But it was Vice President Cheney along with other
policymakers who exaggerated the Iraq-al Qaeda
relationship.''
To bolster his charges, Levin released a new
unclassified CIA finding that cast serious doubt on
Cheney's repeated suggestions that Mohamed Atta, the
leader of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers may have met
with Ahmed al Ani, a senior Iraqi intelligence
officer, in the Czech capital of Prague five months
before the attacks.

Repudiate the 9/11 Cover-Up and the Iraq War Lies,
Show Up for Democracy in 2004: Defeat Bush (again!)


http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/world/9111934.htm?1c&ERIGHTS=2372049058505607593miami::rgpower@deloitte.com&KRD_RM=8opxrpwxwxtuvwwtuqtooooooo|r|Y

Posted on Fri, Jul. 09, 2004

U.S. INTELLIGENCE
White House inflated terror ties, senator says: A Senate Intelligence Committee Democrat contended the panel's report fails to probe the administration's exaggeration of links between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda.
BY JONATHAN S. LANDAY
jlanday@krwashington.com

WASHINGTON - A senior Democrat on the Senate
Intelligence Committee on Thursday accused President
Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney of exaggerating
the links between deposed dictator Saddam Hussein and
the al Qaeda terrorist network.

Michigan Sen. Carl Levin's charge indicated that the
committee's long-awaited report on flawed U.S.
intelligence on Iraq, due to be released today, would
do little to quell feuding over how forthright Bush
was in making his case for last year's invasion of
Iraq.

Levin told a news conference that the report by the
Republican-controlled panel would be ''intensely and
extensively critical'' of the CIA for producing a key
2002 assessment that wrongly claimed that Iraq was
hiding illegal weapons programs.

But the report, he said, would paint ''only half the
picture'' because it wouldn't examine ``the central
issue of the administration's exaggerations of the
intelligence that was provided to them.''

''As the Intelligence Committee report to be released
tomorrow will indicate, the CIA intelligence was way
off, full of exaggerations and errors, mainly on
weapons of mass destruction,'' Levin said Thursday.
``But it was Vice President Cheney along with other
policymakers who exaggerated the Iraq-al Qaeda
relationship.''

Kevin Kellems, a spokesman for Cheney, said Cheney's
assertions have reflected the judgment of the
intelligence community.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts,
R-Kan., has said that the administration's portrayal
of the intelligence on Iraq would be the focus of a
second phase of the inquiry. His spokeswoman, Sarah
Ross, confirmed Thursday that these issues would be
addressed in the second phase. She said she didn't
expect any conclusions in the second phase until after
the August recess at the earliest.

A senior Republican aide, speaking on condition of
anonymity because the report hadn't been released,
disputed Levin's contention that the document ignored
the administration's assertion that Hussein was allied
with Osama bin Laden's terrorist network.

''It's all about politics,'' he contended.

To bolster his charges, Levin released a new
unclassified CIA finding that cast serious doubt on
Cheney's repeated suggestions that Mohamed Atta, the
leader of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers may have met
with Ahmed al Ani, a senior Iraqi intelligence
officer, in the Czech capital of Prague five months
before the attacks.

The CIA finding said that the Iraqi intelligence
officer, who's in U.S. custody, ''denied ever having
met Atta.'' The agency could confirm that Atta was in
the Czech Republic only during a 1994 stopover en
route to Syria and a departure for the United States
in June 2000.

''Although we cannot rule it out, we are increasingly
skeptical that [the April 2001] meeting took place,''
said the CIA's most definitive statement on the issue
to date. ``In the absence of any credible information
that the April 2001 meeting occurred, we assess that
Atta would have been unlikely to undertake the
substantial risk of contacting any Iraqi official as
late as April 2001, with the plot already well along
toward execution.''

''This newly released unclassified statement by the
CIA demonstrates that it was the administration, not
the CIA, that exaggerated relations between Saddam
Hussein and al Qaeda,'' Levin contended.

The CIA submitted the finding to Levin on July 1 in
response to a query about whether agency officials
believed Atta had met al Ani.

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity,
said the CIA had provided a similar assessment to
senior Bush administration officials months before the
invasion.

Meanwhile, George Tenet, who's retiring on Sunday
after seven years as CIA chief, braced agency staffers
for the critical findings of the Senate report in a
farewell address at the agency's Langley, Va.,
headquarters.

He praised the CIA's analysts and spies for their
''passion, creativity, intellect and daring,'' and
said that ``the American people know of your honesty
and integrity.''

Knight Ridder correspondent Alan Bjerga in Washington
contributed to this report.



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Posted by richard at July 9, 2004 10:59 AM