Wednesday :: Jul 20, 2005

Open Thread

by Mary

One little mystery in the ongoing WMD scandal is why the CIA didn't actually see the forged Niger documents until February 2003. Certainly the CIA told Seymour Hersh they didn't get them until after the 2003 SOTU and didn't actually have time to examine them until after they were turned over to the IAEA.

So why didn't the State Department share them with the CIA when they were received in October 2002?

Except, it turns out that they actually did. From the Senate Intelligence Report:

On October 16, 2002, INR [the State Department] made copies of the documents available at the NIAG meeting for attendees, including representatives from the CIA, DIA, DOE and NSA. Because the analyst who offered to provide the documents was on leave, the office's senior analyst provided the documents. She cannot recall how she made the documents available, but analysts from several agencies, including the DIA, NSA and DOE, did pick up copies at that meeting. None of the four CIA representatives recall picking up the documents, however, during the CIA Inspector General's investigation of this issue, copies of the documents were found in the DO's CPD vault. It appears that a CPD representative did pick up the documents at the NIAG meeting, but after returning to the office, filed them without any further distribution.

The CIA told the Committee its analysts did not seek to obtain copies of the documents because they believed that the foreign government service reporting was verbatim text and did not think it would advance the story on the alleged uranium deal. One analyst noted that, at the time, the CIA was preparing its case [blacked out text] on reconstitution and since the uranium reporting was not significant to their argument, getting the documents was not a priority. (pg 58-58)

Isn't that an interesting little mystery?

So what's on your mind today?

Mary :: 12:30 AM :: Comments (45) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!