White House fails to meet dossier deadline

A US Senate committee deadline to the Bush administration to hand over files relating to intelligence on pre-war Iraq has passed without being fully met.

    The justification of the war against Iraq is being probed

    Investigating the quality of intelligence that was used to justify the war, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence had given the White House, Pentagon and the State Department till Friday noon to hand over all relevant documents.

    But reports suggest that only 11 out of the 15 documents asked for by the committee have been handed over.

    Deadline

    "We expect to receive all documents and schedule all interviews by 12 pm (1700 GMT) 31 October, 2003," the committee had said earlier in open letters.

    The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had also been sent a letter to hand over all files relating to Iraq's pre-war intelligence.

    The letters, signed by committee chairman Pat Roberts, a Kansas Republican and John Rockfeller, a West Virginia Democrat, said the committee was "conducting a thorough review of US intelligence on the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction…and ties to terrorism."

    The intelligence was used by the Bush administration to make the case for invading Iraq, but the failure to find any weapons of mass destruction has led to doubts about its accuracy.

    Complaint

    The letters also said that many of the requests for documents and interviews with staff members had gone unmet.

    "We expect to receive all documents and schedule all interviews by 12 pm (1700 GMT) 31 October, 2003"

    Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

    "It is hard to overstate the importance of the ongoing efforts…to evaluate pre-war intelligence and determine what worked and what did not," said the letters.

    "You must expedite our access…," the letters urged.

    Appearing on an American television channel, US Secretary of State Colin Powell said all but one of the requested documents had been submitted to the committee.

    "The remaining one, we still have to get cleared, but there is no problem. We intend to cooperate fully with the Senate in this case. And so we think we have been very responsive and we are going to give them anyone they wish to speak to,"  Powell said.

    White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the administration was cooperating with  the Senate committee's request.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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