Wednesday :: Nov 23, 2005

WMDgate: Fixing Intelligence Around Policy - The Aluminum Tubes, Part 2B-1


by eriposte

This post is part of a series (see Introduction, Part 1, Part 2A-1, Part 2A-2, Part 2A-3, Part 2A-4, Part 2A-5) focused on building a case to demonstrate the Bush White House's intelligence manipulation, fixing and misrepresentation, mostly using published Congressional reports like the Phase I Senate (SSCI) Report, the Robb-Silberman WMD Commission Report, etc. While it is clear that even without the use of Congressional reports, the case against the Bush White House is pretty solid - see here and here for example - I wanted to demonstrate that the parliamentary reports, rather than make the case against the White House weaker, actually make it stronger. [Note: All extracts from published reports may have lost some original formatting (in particular, italics). This is unintentional, but it does not change the meaning or content in any way.]

In Part 2A-1 through Part 2A-5, I demonstrated that prior to early September 2002:

  • There was no certainty within the U.S. IC (including the CIA and DIA) regarding the intended end use of the tubes and that CIA/DIA reports acknowledged possible alternative uses for the tubes (in conventional weapons)
  • The U.S. IC's nuclear experts (DOE) had reported that the tubes were most likely intended for rockets and not centrifuges (a view backed up by INR)
  • Foreign intelligence agencies that were consulted by the U.S. IC were very clear that the tubes could be used for rockets and were unconvinced that they were for centrifuges

Yet, George Bush, Dick Cheney and Condi Rice made false statements in early September 2002 about the intended end use of the tubes. This would of course, also mean that similar statements made by Bush administration officials after September 12, 2002, were likewise, false or deliberately misleading. What's more, many of the Bush administration statements after September 12, 2002 occurred after the release of the classified National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) in early October 2002. A review of the Key Judgments in the NIE, and the corresponding claims in the unclassified White Paper (based on the NIE), further establishes the intentional deceit of the Bush White House in the run-up to the war.

1. Classified NIE
2. INR alternative view text boxes
3. DOE alternative view text box
4. White House knowledge of classified NIE
5. The issue of "same" intelligence
6. Conclusions


1. Classified NIE

The classified NIE made it even more obvious that there was no consensus that the aluminum tubes were intended for nuclear centrifuges.

In part, the "Key Judgements" portion of the classified NIE stated the following, in the context of the discussion on Iraq's nuclear program and the aluminum tubes (bold text is my emphasis):

We judge that Iraq has continued its weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs in defiance of UN resolutions and restrictions. Baghdad has chemical and biological weapons as well as missiles with ranges in excess of UN restrictions; if left unchecked, it probably will have a nuclear weapon during this decade. (See INR alternative view at the end of these Key Judgments.)
...
Most agencies believe that Saddam’s personal interest in and Iraq’s aggressive attempts to obtain high-strength aluminum tubes for centrifuge rotors—as well as Iraq’s attempts to acquire magnets, high-speed balancing machines, and machine tools—provide compelling evidence that Saddam is reconstituting a uranium enrichment effort for Baghdad’s nuclear weapons program. (DOE [Department of Energy] agrees that reconstitution of the nuclear program is underway but assesses that the tubes probably are not part of the program.)

I will examine the implications of the portions in bold in the sections below, but let me emphasize that the dissent about the aluminum tubes comes across quite strongly even upon reading this partial extract from the key judgements, considering that the DOE was the recognized IC expert on nuclear matters.


2. INR alternative view text boxes

Many readers may be unaware that INR actually had two "alternative views" text boxes in the NIE, not one. As the Senate (SSCI) Report points out (emphasis mine):

In addition to a text box explaining INR's alternative view in the body of the NIE, INR also published a text box in the key judgments explaining its analysis on reconstitution...

This is important to note because the first text box was attached to the Key Judgements in the classified NIE and it was only the second text box that got 'misplaced' in the latter part of the NIE. Some of you will surely remember the second text box, because that is the one which had this statement:

Finally, the claims of Iraqi pursuit of natural uranium in Africa are, in INR’s assessment, highly dubious.

But you probably have not heard much about the contents of the first text box. So, let me highlight those contents by borrowing the approach used in Appendix F of the Australian Parliamentary Report [p. 155] to compare what was in the "Key Judgements" portion of the classified NIE and what got dropped in the unclassified "Key Judgements" White Paper that was released for public consumption by the Bush administration (also in October 2002). I reproduce here the sections of the "Key Judgements" portion of the classified NIE that pertain to the aluminum tubes topic, with the portions excluded from the corresponding White Paper highlighted in bold:

We judge that Iraq has continued its weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs in defiance of UN resolutions and restrictions. Baghdad has chemical and biological weapons as well as missiles with ranges in excess of UN restrictions; if left unchecked, it probably will have a nuclear weapon during this decade. (See INR alternative view at the end of these Key Judgments.)
...
Most agencies believe that Saddam’s personal interest in and Iraq’s aggressive attempts to obtain high-strength aluminum tubes for centrifuge rotors—as well as Iraq’s attempts to acquire magnets, high-speed balancing machines, and machine tools—provide compelling evidence that Saddam is reconstituting a uranium enrichment effort for Baghdad’s nuclear weapons program. (DOE [Department of Energy] agrees that reconstitution of the nuclear program is underway but assesses that the tubes probably are not part of the program.)
...
State/INR Alternative View of Iraq’s Nuclear Program

The Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research (INR) believes that Saddam continues to want nuclear weapons and that available evidence indicates that Baghdad is pursuing at least a limited effort to maintain and acquire nuclear weapon-related capabilities. The activities we have detected do not, however, add up to a compelling case that Iraq is currently pursuing what INR would consider to be an integrated and comprehensive approach to acquire nuclear weapons. Iraq may be doing so, but INR considers the available evidence inadequate to support such a judgment. Lacking persuasive evidence that Baghdad has launched a coherent effort to reconstitute its nuclear weapons program, INR is unwilling to speculate that such an effort began soon after the departure of UN inspectors or to project a timeline for the completion of activities it does not now see happening. As a result, INR is unable to predict when Iraq could acquire a nuclear device or weapon.

In INR’s view Iraq’s efforts to acquire aluminum tubes is central to the argument that Baghdad is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program, but INR is not persuaded that the tubes in question are intended for use as centrifuge rotors. INR accepts the judgment of technical experts at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) who have concluded that the tubes Iraq seeks to acquire are poorly suited for use in gas centrifuges to be used for uranium enrichment and finds unpersuasive the arguments advanced by others to make the case that they are intended for that purpose. INR considers it far more likely that the tubes are intended for another purpose, most likely the production of artillery rockets. The very large quantities being sought, the way the tubes were tested by the Iraqis, and the atypical lack of attention to operational security in the procurement efforts are among the factors, in addition to the DOE assessment, that lead INR to conclude that the tubes are not intended for use in Iraq’s nuclear weapon program.

Now, you can see the full significance of what got dropped in the Bush administration "White Paper" (declassified NIE Key Judgements). Not only did they drop the mention of the INR alternative view attached to the Key Judgments, they also dropped the mention of the DOE dissent. More importantly, they dropped the first INR text box "State/INR Alternative View of Iraq’s Nuclear Program" entirely. This box was obviously very damaging to the glib claim: "most agencies believe...Iraq’s aggressive attempts to obtain high-strength aluminum tubes for centrifuge rotors", especially considering that it bolsters the DOE (the IC's nuclear experts) position.

That's not all. INR had a second text box which was not part of the Key Judgements but part of an Annex (in the classified NIE). It should be no surprise to readers that this second text box was also not included in the "White Paper". Here is what it said:

INR’s Alternative View: Iraq’s Attempts to Acquire Aluminum Tubes

Some of the specialized but dual-use items being sought are, by all indications, bound for Iraq’s missile program. Other cases are ambiguous, such as that of a planned magnet-production line whose suitability for centrifuge operations remains unknown. Some efforts involve noncontrolled industrial material and equipment—including a variety of machine tools—and are troubling because they would help establish the infrastructure for a renewed nuclear program. But such efforts (which began well before the inspectors departed) are not clearly linked to a nuclear end-use. Finally, the claims of Iraqi pursuit of natural uranium in Africa are, in INR’s assessment, highly dubious.


3. DOE alternative view text box

As it turns out, the DOE had their own alternative view text box in the NIE to discuss their position on the aluminum tubes. This is discussed very sparsely in the Senate (SSCI) Report. Here are the brief mentions on the DOE text box in the NIE in the context of the aluminum tubes:

Both the DOE and INR included extensive text boxes in the NIE outlining their analysis of the tubes.
...
The NIE included discussion of some of these assessments in the main text and contained an annex with a more extensive discussion of the assessments and extensive dissenting opinions from both the DOE and INR.
...
The NIE stated that the pressure tests Iraq conducted on the tubes performed to a stress level similar to that obtained by an operating rotor. Other than in the DOE's alternative view text box, the NIE did not indicate that pressure testing is not a known method for testing centrifuge rotors.
...
In its text box dissenting from the IC's position in the NIE, the DOE assessed that the anodized coating on the aluminum tubes and the quantity of tubes requested were inconsistent with their use for centrifuges.
...
The DOE alternative view text box in the NIE said that anodization is not necessary and can be problematic for centrifuges. "It is well established in open sources that bare aluminum is resistant to UF6 and anodization is unnecessary for corrosion resistance, either for the aluminum rotors or for the thousands of feet of aluminum piping in a centrifuge facility. Instead, anodization would likely introduce uncertainties into the design that would need to be resolved before a centrifuge could be operated." Some of these uncertainties are described in a [DELETED].
...
[DELETED] the DOE noted in the NIE that anodization is a standard practice in missile construction for environmental protection.

The fact that the DOE analysis was extensive is no surprise considering their detailed intelligence reports on the aluminum tubes from day one. However, although the Senate (SSCI) Report discusses the DOE position, it is not clear whether most of the discussion (in the context of the NIE) is a reflection of what the DOE included in its NIE text box or whether it was based on separate reports or communications from the DOE. Regardless, it is an easy conclusion that the box must have made a strong case against the CIA/WINPAC claims regarding the aluminum tubes' end use.

The Robb-Silberman report adds this (*updated 11/27/05):

Moreover, the tubes would have required substantial modifications to make them suitable for centrifuge use, [165] and the required modifications would have been inconsistent with the tight manufacturing tolerances demanded. [166]

References 165 and 166 are as follows:

[165] DOE Office of Intelligence, Technical Intelligence Note, Iraq's Gas Centrifuge Program: Is Reconstitution Underway? (TIN 000064) (Aug. 17, 2001) at p. 9 (noting tubes could be used if the walls were thinned); DOE Office of Intelligence Technical Intelligence Note, Iraq: Seeking Additional Aluminum Tubes (TIN 000084) (Dec. 17, 2001) at p. 2 (if tubes used without thinning the walls, modifications to other parts of the centrifuge system would require "significant additional research and development"); see also Butler Report at pp. 130-131; NIE at p. 77 (NIE assessment that the 900 mm tubes would have to be cut to make two 400 mm rotors); NIE at pp. 81-84 (noting views of DOE, INR, and IAEA that tubes would require other modifications before being used in centrifuge rotors).

[166] Butler Report at pp. 130-131.

The bottom line is that it is more than apparent that the classified NIE (especially the Key Judgements portion) made it crystal clear that the IC's nuclear experts (DOE) and INR strongly disagreed with the conclusion that the aluminum tubes were intended for nuclear centrifuges and that they took the position that the tubes were targeted towards rockets. Importantly, the DOE/INR/IAEA position was that the tubes, as purchased, were not suitable for centrifuge rotos without major modifications (in contrast to Bush's deliberately misleading SOTU claim that the tubes were "suitable" for centrifuges).

As an aside, it should be noted that the NIE also mentioned this (from the Senate Report, emphasis mine):

Information noting that tubes of "apparently similar dimensions were discovered during IAEA inspections" was included in a text box in the NIE explaining NGIC's analysis of the tubes. The text box said that the "Iraqis claimed to UN inspectors that the tubes were 7475-T6 aluminum and were used by Iraq for the Nasser 81 MRL."

The NGIC, of course, was pushing the CIA view and yet they admitted the existence of tubes with similar dimensions from the 1990s which were intended for rockets - although they misleadingly attributed the latter to merely an Iraqi "claim", even though that claim had been validated by the IAEA and reported more than a year earlier to the IC by IAEA and DOE. I mention this extract to illustrate the fact that unless the entire NIE becomes public we will never know everything that was presented in the body of the NIE and how it was presented. However, even at a basic level, the strong dispute on the purported end use of the aluminum tubes was quite obvious, especially in the Key Judgements section. What that meant was that there was no excuse for the White House to deliberately exclude mentions of alternative uses and either imply or state unequivocally, as they did, that centrifuges were the confirmed end use of the tubes.


4. White House knowledge of classified NIE

A natural question to ask at this point is whether the White House was made aware of the alternative views in the NIE. Of course, this question is silly because the White House must have been aware of what was in the NIE, but let's ask anyway.

I have already pointed out in previous parts of this series that the White House was indeed aware of the possibility of alternative end uses for the aluminum tubes prior to early September 2002. Moreover, the possibility of alternative uses for the tubes even became public on September 13, 2002, on the pages of the New York Times. But it goes well beyond that.

The White House received a copy of the classified NIE and key administration/White House officials were aware of the information in the Key Judgements at the minimum, and likely the entire NIE. We actually know this for a fact.

Let's take the example of serial liar Condoleezza Rice. Remember what the White House said in mid-July 2003 to stem the tide of questions surrounding why they pushed the State of the Union claim (on uranium from Africa) despite the (second) INR text box in the NIE regarding the uranium in Africa claim? (bold text is my emphasis)

A senior administration official who briefed reporters yesterday said neither Bush nor national security adviser Condoleezza Rice read the NIE in its entirety. "They did not read footnotes in a 90-page document," said the official, referring to the "Annex" that contained the State Department's dissent. The official conducting the briefing rejected reporters' entreaties to allow his name to be used, arguing that it was his standard procedure for such sessions to be conducted anonymously.

The official said Bush was "briefed" on the NIE's contents, but "I don't think he sat down over a long weekend and read every word of it."

Of course, "neither...read the NIE in its entirety" could mean a lot of different things (with emphasis being on "entirety"). But, at least as far as Condi Rice is concerned, that statement was a lie, as certified by no other than Condi Rice herself - soon afterwards, in early August 2003. Here's Bob Somerby's note on that admission which the mainstream media (including Rice's shill of an interviewer Gwen Ifill) slept through, as usual :

RICE: ...I did read everything that the CIA produced for the president on weapons of mass destruction. I read the National Intelligence Estimate cover to cover a couple of times. I read the reports; I was briefed on the reports. This is—after 20 years, as somebody who has read a lot of intelligence reports—this is one of the strongest cases about weapons of mass destruction that I had ever read.

So, let's recap. We know that the CIA reports produced for the President (more on this below) acknowledged the possibility of alternative uses for the end tubes. The NIE made an even stronger case for alternative uses for the tubes via the explicit discussion of INR and DOE views (not to mention that even before the NIE was released, the DOE dissent had made the pages of the NYT - and other papers - by mid-September 2002). So, Rice knew everything about the INR and DOE alternative view on the tubes and yet, she continued to allow Bush and other administration officials to make deliberately misleading and blatantly false claims about the end use of the tubes in the months prior to the Iraq invasion.

Let me emphasize another point. Even if Condi Rice were to claim that she did not read the "Annex" to the NIE, it wouldn't change anything on the issue of the aluminum tubes, because the first INR text box with the more detailed and devastating dissent by INR (channeling DOE) on the aluminum tubes was NOT in the Annex. It was included in the Key Judgements. Only the second INR text box was in the Annex (as discussed in Section 2).

How about President Bush himself?

Well, here's the Robb-Silberman report (emphasis mine):

DOE reaffirmed its previous assessments that, while the tubes could be modified for use in a gas centrifuge, they were poorly suited for such a function and were most likely designed for use in conventional rockets. [64]

Reference 64 is the following (emphasis mine):

[64] Id. at pp. 81-83; see also DCI Statement for the Record at Tab 1, p. 28. INR agreed with DOE's assessment of the tubes. NIE at pp. 84-85. The President's Summary of the NIE reflected the NIE's conclusions, noting that "[m]ost agencies judge that Iraq is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program." The Summary explained that "[m]ost agencies judge" that Iraq's pursuit of aluminum tubes was "related to a uranium enrichment effort." Finally, the Summary also explained that "INR and DOE believe that the tubes more likely are intended for conventional weapon uses." NIC, President's Summary, NIE, Iraq's Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction (PS/NIE 2002-16HC) (Oct. 2002).

So, let's stop for a moment and highlight this.

The President of the United States was told in October 2002, explicitly, that "INR and DOE believe that the tubes more likely are intended for conventional weapon uses". So, it would be incredulous of the White House to suggest that Bush was unaware of the strong views against the tubes-for-centrifuges hoax or that he was unaware that these views came not from some random IC groups but two of the important agencies (INR and DOE), one of which was considered to be the IC expert on nuclear matters (DOE). Which meant that purposefully excluding the views of the DOE (and INR) - as he did, for example, in the 2003 State of the Union - cannot be explained away conveniently. Purposeful exclusion has only one explanation - an intent to deliberately mislead or lie to the people of the United States.

That's not all. As the Robb-Silberman report also points out (emphasis mine):

Post-NIE. The publication of the NIE did not settle the dispute about the aluminum tubes and so, in the period between the NIE and the invasion of Iraq, debate within the Intelligence Community over their significance continued. INR, for its part, continued to see "no compelling reason to judge that Iraq ha[d] entered" the timeframe of at least five to seven years that the Intelligence Community agreed Baghdad would need to produce sufficient fissile material for a nuclear weapon. [67] DOE, meanwhile, continued to believe that reconstitution was underway but that the "tubes probably were not part of the program," [68] assessing instead that the tubes were intended for use in conventional rockets. [69] On the other side of the dispute, NGIC and CIA continued to assess that the tubes were destined for use in gas centrifuges. [70] Outside the Intelligence Community, the IAEA, after inspections resumed in fall 2002, also weighed in on the dispute, concluding with DOE and INR that the tubes were likely intended for use in Iraq's 81 millimeter rocket program. [71]

During this time the CIA continued to explain to senior policymakers that the Intelligence Community was not of one view on the most likely use for the tubes, [72] but CIA offered its own view that the "alternative explanation" for the tubes' intended use--that they would be used for rockets--was likely an Iraqi "cover story." [73]

Here is reference 72 (emphasis mine):

[72] Senior Executive Memorandum, Questions on Why Iraq is Procuring Aluminum Tubes and What the IAEA Has Found to Date (Jan. 10, 2003) (noting that CIA, DIA, NGA, and NSA all assess that the tubes are most likely for centrifuges, while DOE intelligence and INR believe that the tubes are for the rocket program).

So, let's repeat. President Bush knew all along that the debate was strong enough for two of his top intelligence agencies (DOE, INR) to dispute the claims of the CIA et al., with one of those two agencies being the known IC experts on nuclear matters. Yet, he chose to deliberately ignore the dissenting/alternative views and repeatedly presented a false picture of the certainty surrounding the intended end use of the aluminum tubes.

Did Bush ever call a meeting with the CIA and DOE/INR to discuss why there was no agreement on the intended end use of the tubes? Did he care to try and at least try to bring a consensus before claiming or implying that the tubes were intended for centrifuges? The Senate Report or the Robb-Silberman report did not address these basic questions.


5. The issue of "same" intelligence

Recently, there has been a lot of "debate" about whether the Bush administration was privy solely to the "same" intelligence that Democrats were privy to when Congress voted on the Iraq resolution in October 2002. The answer of course is NO. For example, just on the topic of the aluminum tubes, the Senate Report itself makes it clear that multiple CIA (or for that matter DOE) reports were written and distributed to the White House - and were too secret for general distribution outside the White House and IC. In fact most of the CIA reports were not even shared with other intelligence agencies! So, it obviously makes no sense to claim that all of the intelligence reports on Iraq that were sent to the White House were also sent to all members of Congress.

The reason I mention that is not because I wanted to (again) debunk the egregious lie from Bush and his cronies that Democrats saw the "same intelligence" that the White House saw. Rather, I want to draw attention to the NIE specifically because it is the most prominent living proof of the intentional intelligence distortion and misrepresentation by the Bush White House.

To see why, let's take an example - this extract from an October 2004 NYT article (emphasis mine):

Oct. 2, nine days before the Senate vote on the war resolution, the new National Intelligence Estimate was delivered to the Intelligence Committee.
...
At the Democratic convention in Boston this summer, Senator John Kerry pledged that should he be elected president, ''I will ask hard questions and demand hard evidence.'' But in October 2002, when the Senate voted on Iraq, Mr. Kerry had not read the National Intelligence Estimate, but instead had relied on a briefing from Mr. Tenet, a spokeswoman said. ''According to the C.I.A.'s report, all U.S. intelligence experts agree that Iraq is seeking nuclear weapons,'' Mr. Kerry said then, explaining his vote. ''There is little question that Saddam Hussein wants to develop nuclear weapons.''

The report cited by Mr. Kerry, an unclassified white paper, said nothing about the tubes debate except that ''some'' analysts believed the tubes were ''probably intended'' for conventional arms.

First of all, the (unclassified) White Paper did not say that "...''some'' analysts believed the tubes were ''probably intended'' for conventional arms...". What it said was:

Most agencies believe that Saddam’s personal interest in and Iraq’s aggressive attempts to obtain high-strength aluminum tubes for centrifuge rotors—as well as Iraq’s attempts to acquire magnets, high-speed balancing machines, and machine tools—provide compelling evidence that Saddam is reconstituting a uranium enrichment effort for Baghdad’s nuclear weapons program.

Secondly, and more importantly, here is the question that the comment from Kerry's spokesperson raises:

Why was it wrong or negligent for a member of Congress to use the Bush administration's White Paper on Iraq's WMDs to make their decision on the Iraq resolution?

If someone wants to be argumentative, the person could say that Kerry could have, should have, been more careful or asked more questions or should have read the classified NIE rather than the unclassified Key Judgements White Paper. But the basis for all those arguments is one simple assumption: the Bush administration's claims in the unclassified White Paper are fundamentally untrustworthy, deceptive and false.

After all, why would Kerry or any other member of Congress have to read any other intelligence product if the White Paper was accurate?

They wouldn't.

The fact is that the White Paper removed almost all the caveats, uncertainties and serious challenges to the WMD claims in the classified Key Judgements in the NIE. In the context of the aluminum tubes issue, as I have discussed in this post, the White Paper even removed the alternative views of INR and DOE entirely. Obviously, anyone who read only the White Paper would not have known that the IC community's nuclear experts strongly disagreed with the Bush administration's and the CIA's claims on the aluminum tubes.

The point here is that the accuracy and truthfulness of the intelligence, and the derived conclusions, should not have been a function of whether the intelligence was classified or declassifed. Yet, by dropping the caveats and alternative views, the White Paper became a document that was deliberately misleading or false - a document that could be easily used to deceive the American public that was not allowed to see the classified version of the paper. A deceived public could then be pitted against honest members of Congress, to paint the latter as unpatriotic or unserious about national security.

The topic of why the declassified NIE (i.e., the White Paper) was stripped of most of the information in the NIE challenging the main claims on WMDs is incredibly important. I will expand upon this in a subsequent post because there's much more to say on this than I've said here, and because it inadvertently reveals the White House's conscious decision to distort and misrepresent the views of the intelligence community in public (Note: At the very least the White House authorized the declassification in the form in which it was done, and more likely, they must have asked for the various sections to be stripped from the classified NIE).

Just for "fun", though, let me give you a hint (from the Senate Report) and we'll return to this in due course:

The Vice Chairman of the NIC and the NIOs who drafted the classified NIE told Committee staff that the statement in the unclassified white paper - "most intelligence specialists assess" the tubes are intended for a nuclear program - was used because the NIC does not refer to disagreements between intelligence agencies in unclassified documents out of concern that the country being discussed would be tipped off to a potential cover story. For example, by publishing in an unclassified paper that a U.S. intelligence agency believed the tubes were intended for a rocket program, Iraq could learn that such a use was believable and could plausibly argue to the international community that the tubes were intended for rockets, even if they were really intended for a nuclear program.

Let's hypothetically assume that this cover story is true. If it is, just imagine the implications of the above statements on every public (unclassified) claim from the Bush administration prior to the Iraq invasion.

NOTE: The Senate Report's weak treatment of the decision-making process on, and logic of, declassification allowed the White House to get away scot-free on this issue.


6. Conclusions

In this post, I have provided evidence that:

  • The classified NIE made it even more obvious that there was no consensus that the aluminum tubes were intended for nuclear centrifuges. Explicit text boxes from INR and a text box from DOE (the IC's recognized nuclear experts) were included in the NIE which concluded that the tubes were most likely intended for conventional weapons and not centrifuges.
  • The White House was keenly aware of the dissenting views of INR and DOE, based on the NIE as well as on other intel reports before and after the release of the NIE.
  • Yet, they continued to make deliberately misleading or false statements regarding the intended end use of the aluminum tubes even after the NIE was published.

Additionally, I have shown how the manner of declassification of the NIE (to create the October 2002 White Paper), by dropping caveats and challenges to the claims in the NIE, inadvertently revealed the deliberate intent of the Bush administration to deceive and lie to the American public about Iraq's WMD programs and capabilities.

Finally, I have once again pointed out how false it is to claim that the Democrats saw the "same" intelligence the White House did.

eriposte :: 7:21 AM :: Comments (14) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!