CIA revises Iraq arms reports

Smarting under the embarrassment of being proven wrong, the CIA is revising its pre-war intelligence assessments of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

    The spy agency is revising earlier claims about Iraq's WMD

    A report titled Iraq: No Large-Scale Chemical Warfare Efforts Since Early 1990s, concludes that Saddam Hussein abandoned major chemical weapons programmes after the first Gulf war in 1991.

    Another report addressed Baghdad's Scud missile and delivery system, while forthcoming reports are expected to revise pre-war estimates of Iraq's biological and nuclear capabilities.

    The revised reports are in sharp contrast to earlier CIA claims that Iraq possessed an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction.

    Tall claims

    Former CIA director George Tenet, who resigned last July, claimed finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq would be a "slam dunk" according to journalist Bob Woodward in his book Plan of Attack.

    The CIA's exaggerated claims provided the justification for the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

    No weapons of mass destruction have been found, and US weapons inspectors now admit Iraq did not possess any chemical or biological weapons.

    Admits wrong

    An intelligence official, who asked not to be named, said the latest report was not considered a high-level document for review by US President George Bush.

    "This matches up what the assessment was before the war and what the assessment is after the war," he said. "It takes into account post-war information that was, by definition, not available earlier.

    "The CIA has finally admitted that its WMD estimates were wrong," said Jane Harman, a Democrat on the House intelligence committee.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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