Human beings will be happier - not when they cure cancer or get to Mars or eliminate racial prejudice or flush Lake Erie but when they find ways to inhabit primitive communities again. That's my utopia.
On 4 October '02 US Intelligence agencies published a joint public assessment on the Iraq threat. It noted that, if Iraq was left unchecked (which it has never been), it could "have a nuclear weapon during this decade." Further, if Iraq can acquire weapons-grade fissile material from abroad, "it could make a nuclear weapon within a year." Iraq is capable of "quickly producing and weaponizing" a variety of agents, including anthrax, "for delivery by bombs, missiles, aerial sprayers, and covert operatives." Discrepancies in Iraq's accounting of its Scud missiles "suggest" that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein "retains a covert force of up to a few dozen Scud missiles with a range of 650 to 900 kilometers." It also states that the probability of an unprovoked attack by Iraq on the US is low.
Mr Cannistraro said the flow of intelligence to the top levels of the administration had been deliberately skewed by hawks at the Pentagon.
"CIA assessments are being put aside by the defence department in favour of intelligence they are getting from various Iraqi exiles," he said. "Machiavelli warned princes against listening to exiles. Well, that is what is happening now."
Pressing for war with Iraq, Bush has been exaggerating his case so much that even CIA analysts are complaining, as a number of newspapers have now reported.
In his national address, Bush stressed the "clear evidence of peril" from Iraq possibly giving chemical and biological weapons to terrorists. But on the day of Bush’s speech, the CIA offered a sharply different evaluation of the risk.
With neither embarrassment nor explanation, the CIA director backtracked on key judgments on Iraq that he gave the Senate committee in a letter of October 7, 2002. Those conclusions were call-them-as-you-see-them judgments in the best tradition of objective CIA analysis. But they brought on severe reflux among those at the White House and Pentagon who prefer to damn the torpedoes and press full speed ahead to invade Iraq.
"Senior democrats have accused the CIA of sabotaging weapons inspections in Iraq by refusing to co-operate fully with the UN and withholding crucial information about Saddam Hussein's arsenal."
"Senator Levin, from Michigan, responded by saying the CIA director had not been telling the truth. Citing a number of classified letters he had obtained from the agency, he said it was clear the CIA had not shared information with the inspectors about a "large number of sites of significant value". (article no longer accessable without purchase)
"It undermines the credibility of the director of intelligence to be making public statements relative to intelligence which are not factually accurate," Mr Levin said, adding that a lack of confidence in the intelligence services would affect security in the future.
He told reporters that if the public had known that information about alleged top weapons sites was not being shared, there would have been "greater public demand that the inspection process continue".
But the Republican majority in the US Congress has rejected calls for a formal investigation, arguing that any such inquiry could harm the intelligence agencies.