Long delayed, heavily censored and only partially complete, the new Senate Intelligence Committee report is still devastating to the administration: President Bush, Vice-President Cheney and other senior officials systematically misled the American public on the ties between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.
The two sections of the report released late Friday also shows finally and definitively that there were not any nuclear, biological or chemical weapons in Iraq at the time President Bush ordered U.S. troops to invade the country; that there were no programs to produce such weapons; and that the programs had been shut down years earlier.
The report also reveals for the first time that the CIA’s own internal review concluded last fall that there was no pre-war connection between Saddam and Al Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Committee Vice-Chairman Senator Jay Rockefeller (D.-AK) summed it up:
The Committee’s investigation into prewar intelligence on Iraq has revealed that the Bush Administration’s case for war in Iraq was fundamentally misleading. The Administration pursued a deceptive strategy of using intelligence reporting that the Intelligence community had already warned was uncorroborated, unreliable, and in critical instances, fabricated.
The deceptions continue. On August 21, President Bush, who must have known about the CIA review and the Committee report, again claimed that Saddam Hussein “had relations with Zarqawi.”