Thursday, April 07, 2005
Much weeping and gnashing of teeth among the willfully ignorant:
The CIA and members of Congress said they want to know how a presidential commission unearthed details on intelligence failures about Iraq's prewar weapons programs that previous investigations missed.Return with us now to the Zemblan archives for Sunday, March 28, 2004 -- and marvel at the restraint of our high-ranking officials, all of whom managed to postpone their astonishment for one full year (during which time, in a completely unrelated development, the presidential election came and went).
Of particular interest is information that emerged in last week's report about how doubts were handled regarding a leading source on Saddam Hussein's alleged mobile biological weapons labs - an Iraqi scientist who defected to Germany, code named ``Curveball.''
Porter Goss, who became CIA director last September, has instructed officials to determine what happened and why the details did not come to light earlier, said his spokeswoman, Jennifer Millerwise.
``It was an unhappy surprise to the director that his first understanding of this issue was when he first read'' the commission's report, Millerwise said Wednesday.
Senate Intelligence Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., also acknowledged President Bush's intelligence commission had details that did not emerge during his committee's yearlong investigation into the Iraq assessments, released last July . . . .
When asked how the new investigation got more detail, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and a commission member, said that the panel conducted numerous long interviews. ``We did not come up with that information early,'' McCain said of the information on Curveball . . . .
[Ex-CIA director George] Tenet also said it was ``stunning and deeply disturbing that this information, if true, was never brought forward to me by anyone'' when the Iraq intelligence was scrutinized.