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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 July, 2004, 03:42 GMT 04:42 UK
Bush pledges intelligence reforms
Republican Chairman Pat Roberts (left) and Democrat Vice Chairman Jay Rockefeller (right) present the report
The report highlights multiple intelligence failures
President George W Bush has promised to reform US intelligence services after they were criticised for the quality of their pre-war information on Iraq.

However, he defended the US-led invasion, saying his administration, Congress and the United Nations all believed Iraq posed a threat.

Mr Bush spoke after a report by US senators said the CIA had overstated the threat posed by Iraq.

It said the US and its allies went to war based on "flawed" information.

However, the Senate Intelligence Committee report, published on Friday, concluded that there was no evidence the Bush administration had tried to coerce or put pressure on officials to adapt their findings.

SENATE REPORT: KEY POINTS
Assumptions about Iraq wrong, not supported by evidence
Analysts failed to say when intelligence was uncertain
Managers failed to question analysts' assumptions
CIA had no human sources in Iraq since 1998
CIA withheld intelligence from other agencies

"I look forward to working with members of Congress to put out reforms that will work," Mr Bush told a campaign event in the state of Pennsylvania.

Mr Bush also stressed that the world knew Saddam Hussein had been trying to acquire nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.

"We haven't found the stockpiles, but we knew he could make them," Mr Bush said.

'Group-think'

The committee's chairman, Republican Senator Pat Roberts, said most of the key judgements about Iraq's WMD programmes "were either overstated or were not supported by the raw intelligence reporting".

The intelligence community suffered a "collective group-think", which led analysts to presume that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programmes and to interpret ambiguous evidence as conclusive, Senator Roberts said.

We have fostered a deep hatred of Americans in the Muslim world
Jay Rockefeller
Vice Chairman

But the failings were not America's alone, he added.

"It is clear that this group-think also extended to our allies, and to the United Nations, and several other nations as well, all of whom did believe that Saddam Hussein had active WMD programmes. This was a global intelligence failure."

The report criticises CIA director George Tenet, who steps down on Sunday, for not personally checking President Bush's 2003 State of the Union address. This contained the allegation - which first surfaced in a UK report and has since been discredited - that Iraq had been trying to buy uranium from Niger.

It concludes there is no evidence that analysts came under pressure from the White House to deliver certain findings, although some Democrats on the committee disagree.

Exaggerated case?

The issue of whether the Bush administration exaggerated the case for war in Iraq is being investigated separately in a report likely to be released after the presidential election on 2 November.

The Democrat vice-chairman of the committee, Senator Jay Rockefeller, stressed his party's regret that the whole matter had not been addressed in one inquiry.

HAVE YOUR SAY
What happens to the CIA will depend largely on the results of the election
Ronald Cicotte, Arlington, MA, USA

He said many members of Congress would not have authorised the war if they had known then what they knew now.

"Tragically, the intelligence failure set forth in this report will affect our national security for generations to come," he said.

"Our credibility is diminished, our standing in the world has never been lower. We have fostered a deep hatred of Americans in the Muslim world, and that will grow."

Deputy CIA director John Laughlin said people should not conclude from the Senate report that there were huge failings within the agency.

He told reporters: "It is wrong to exaggerate the flaws or leap to the judgment that our challenges with pre-war Iraq weapons intelligence are evidence of sweeping problems."

The US report comes just five days before Lord Butler publishes the results of his inquiry into the quality of British intelligence on Iraq.




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Daniela Relph
"The report criticising pre-war intelligence was damning"



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