WASHINGTON - July 12 - The Senate Intelligence Committee report released last week does its best to whitewash the Bush Administrations role in hyping intelligence prior to the invasion of Iraq by piling the blame on the CIA.
The report distorts the truth by failing to meaningfully investigate the ways intelligence was misused by Administration policymakers. Those issues, conveniently, will be addressed in a separate report sometime after the November elections.
The report does illustrate how, when the intelligence community did get it right, the White House and its collaborators ignored them.
The report shows, for example, that when the CIA told the White House that there was no link between Al-Qaeda and Iraq, and that intelligence on African uranium was too weak, the Bush Administration went public with the information anyway. The Administration, more interested in creating fear than circulating fact, consistently used intelligence as a political tool rather than making sound policy decisions.
At one point the CIA reported to the Administration that Iraq and Al-Qaeda did not have an established formal relationship. In fact, the Iraqi government actively sought to prevent Iraq youth from joining Al-Qaeda." Yet, Vice President Dick Cheney continued to tell the American people that Saddam Hussein had an established relationship with Al-Qaeda.
Also, according to the Intelligence Committee report, George Tenet directly contacted National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice and her deputy Stephen Hadley in October 2002 to tell them the president should not say that Iraq had sought uranium from Africa because the evidence was weak. In a fax sent to the White House the CIA explained this is one of the two issues where we differed with the British. Nevertheless, just two months later, the president publicly declared [t]he British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.
For more information and citations, visit: www.misleader.org.
 Report on the U.S. Intelligence Communitys Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq, Senate Intelligence Committee, 7/7/04
 C.I.A. Warned White House That Links Between Iraq and Qaeda Were 'Murky', New York Times, 7/10/04
 Interview With Dick Cheney, Fox News, 6/28/04
 2003 State of the Union, 1/28/03