White House to provide Iraq intelligence

The White House, in an about turn, has promised to release intelligence documents on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction that were used to justify the US-led invasion.

    Bush has so far avoided handing over intelligence information

    Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Pat Roberts, a Kansas Republican, told CNN  a “top White House official” had vowed all intelligence agencies would provide all the information sought by the committee.
       
    “In a spirit of cooperation the White House has agreed to supply us with the documents and the interviews that we want,” Roberts said during an appearance on the channel’s show “Late Edition.”

    White House spokesman Trent Duffy said on Sunday there had been “productive conversations about ways we can work with and assist the committee.”
       
    “While the committee's jurisdiction does not include the White House, we want to be helpful and we will continue to talk to and work with the committee in a spirit of cooperation,” he said.
       
    Roberts said he did not know when exactly the information would be forthcoming.

    Presidential link

    Included in the information sought by the committee from the White House are copies of the president's Daily Brief which the CIA prepares about national security developments.

    The White House has refused to hand over the dossier in the past, citing executive privilege.

    “While the committee's jurisdiction does not include the White House, we want to be helpful and we will continue to talk to and work with the committee in a spirit of cooperation” 

    Trent Duffy, White House spokesman


       
    The Senate and House intelligence panels are both reviewing intelligence that suggested Baghdad had weapons of mass destruction.
       
    Critics say President George Bush may have overstated the threat posed by Iraq to garner support for the war. No weapons of mass destruction have yet been found in the war-ravaged country despite a nationwide search by a dedicated team of experts.

    Timing
       
    Republicans hope to get the reviews completed and out of the way by the end of the year to avoid the issue becoming a focus on next year’s Presidential elections.

    Democrats on the other hand hope to delay the findings and broaden the scope of the inquiry to include an investigation of the White House’s role in intelligence spin prior to the war. They hope to establish a direct link between the President and exaggerated claims about Iraq’s weapons programme and use it to defeat him next year.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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