Wednesday, September 18, 2002


WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration is expanding on and in some cases contradicting U.S. intelligence reports in making the case for an invasion of Iraq, interviews with administration and intelligence officials indicate.

Administration officials accuse Iraq of having ties to al-Qaeda terrorists and of amassing weapons of mass destruction despite uncertain and sometimes contrary intelligence on these issues, according to officials.

In some cases, top administration officials disagree outright with what the CIA ( news - web sites) and other intelligence agencies report. For example, they repeat accounts of al-Qaeda members seeking refuge in Iraq and of terrorist operatives meeting with Iraqi intelligence officials, even though U.S. intelligence reports raise doubts about such links. On Iraqi weapons programs, administration officials draw the most pessimistic conclusions from ambiguous evidence.

UPDATE: Sketch notes that TNR (regreq blah blah) has more on this.

In any case, if they're stacking the science committees to give them the answers they want they may as well do the same to intelligence.