The McClellan Challenge

Ken AshfordBush & Co., IraqLeave a Comment

L’il Scotty McClellan throws down the gauntlet:

“In terms of the intelligence, the – if anyone wants to know how the intelligence was used by the administration, all they have to do is go back and look at all the public comments over the course of the lead-up to the war in Iraq, and that’s all very public information. Everybody who was there could see how we used that intelligence.”

And sure enough, many did…

From Think Progress:

INTEL: In 1997, the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released a report saying there was no indication Iraq ever achieved nuclear capability or had any physical capacity for producing weapons-grade nuclear material in the near future. In February 2001, the CIA delivered a report to the White House that said: “We do not have any direct evidence that Iraq has used the period since Desert Fox to reconstitute its weapons of mass destruction programs.”

HOW IT WAS USED: In March 2003, Cheney definitively claimed on Meet the Press that Iraq “has reconstituted nuclear weapons.”

INTEL: In April 2001, the the Energy Department told the White House the aluminum tubes Iraq bought couldn’t be used for nuclear weapons production. In late 2001, the State Department also sent word they were ill-suited for that use.

HOW IT WAS USED: On Sept. 8, 2002, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice told CNN the tubes were “only really suited for nuclear weapons programs.” Bush in his 1/03 State of the Union said the tubes which were “suitable for nuclear weapons production.”

INTEL: In the fall of 2002, the CIA told white house officials not to include the uranium-from-Niger assertion in speeches.

HOW IT WAS USED: Bush included it in his 2003 State of the Union.

INTEL: A September 2002 DOD intel report found “”no reliable information on whether Iraq is producing and stockpiling chemical weapons, or where Iraq has – or will – establish its chemical warfare agent production facilities.”

HOW IT WAS USED: In October 2002, Bush claimed, without doubt, that Iraq “possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons.”

And there’s even more side-by-side analysis from Downing Street Memo website.

And so ends the McClellan Challenge.