‘There is no reliable information’

Karlin forwards a good round-up from Conor O’Clery, the Irish Times’ Washington correspondent, on the WMD evidence issues:

At one point during rehearsals at CIA headquarters in Washington for that speech, Mr Powell threw several pages into the air and declared: ‘I’m not reading this. This is bullshit,’ according to today’s US News and World Report.

The most overblown conclusions about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction came from a ‘mini-CIA’ set up in the Pentagon by the Defence Secretary, Mr Donald Rumsfeld, according to an army intelligence officer who told Time magazine: ‘Rumsfeld was deeply, almost pathologically, distorting the intelligence.’ ….

A classified assessment of Iraq’s chemical weapons by the Defence Intelligence Agency in September 2002, obtained by US News, stated: ‘There is no reliable information on whether Iraq is producing and stockpiling chemical weapons …’

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