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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 July, 2004, 10:46 GMT 11:46 UK
Senate's CIA report: Your comments
George Tenet
US senators have criticised the country's intelligence agencies, in particular the CIA, for the quality of their pre-war information on Iraq.

The 511 page document by the Senate Intelligence Committee is scathing about the agency's assessments of Iraqi weapons.

It covers Iraq's alleged links with terror groups, whether the country posed a threat to Middle East stability as well as its human rights record.

The outgoing CIA director George Tenet has denied charges that the agency had been under political pressure to conclude that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.

What effect will the Senate findings have on the CIA? Will it change the future of intelligence gathering? Tell us what you think.

This debate has now finished. Thank you for your comments

Your comments:

There is no personal accountability in our so called democracies
Thomas Heidt, Sydney, Australia
It is a hallmark of today's democracies not to accept blame for anything. Our PM is a master at feigning knowledge of anything when atrocities go wrong. There is no personal accountability in our so called democracies.
Thomas Heidt, Sydney, Australia

Kevin, USA, I'm white non-Muslim non-al Qaeda non-terrorist. But for some reason I consider YOU to be MY enemy. Why is that do you think?
Sharon, UK

The CIA's gross incompetence has been laid bare for everyone to see. Remember when USA bombed the Russian embassy in Bosnia? How can we be confident that they are bombing the right houses in Iraq?
Alan, Perth, Scotland

I'll put my hand up and admit I fell for the Bush propaganda about Iraq having WMD. I remember February of last year when Colin Powell presented photographic evidence to the UN of apparent Iraqi vehicles that he called 'mobile biological weapons labs.' For all we know it was the milk man doing his daily rounds but because Powell was convinced they were the smoking gun then I just went along with it. Weapons of Mass Destruction? Weapons of Minor Destruction more like. I feel suckered.
Peter Hope, Ireland, Dublin

We civilians are not provided with all of the information, so how can we judge Bush & Blair's actions?
Julie, Houston, TX, USA
Once again, everyone is pointing their fingers at America. If I recall, the article said this was a "global intelligence failure" which includes Britain, the United Nations, and other allies. But no one ever brings this up. We civilians are not provided with all of the information, so how can we judge Bush & Blair's actions? If you were given the same information, would you have been able to let it go? Know all the facts before you judge someone. The global intelligence agencies are to blame for not doing a thorough job.
Julie, Houston, TX, USA

Anyone who has been involved in 'intelligence gathering' will understand that using human sources has to come with a health warning. Individuals have different motives for passing information, not always legitimate. Interpretation of that intelligence is therefore an inexact science, especially when those involved want to believe what they are being told. I suspect that the US Government wanted to believe the worst case scenario of some of the intelligence collated by the CIA, and ignored the health warning. That said, isn't the world a better place post Saddam?
Simon Baker, Horsham, UK

What is still to be explained is how western intelligence was previously held in such high regard and in the case of Iraq, seems to have failed so badly. I feel that this is more to do with how these reports were interpreted by politicians looking for excuses to go to war than poor intelligence.
Danny, UK

America should not apologize for protecting itself
Kevin, SF

The decision to go to war was right! America needs to hit its enemy before they have a chance to attack the US. Saddam is now in prison and Iraqis want justice. US needs to take out Iranian nuclear reactors and sites as soon as possible! America should not apologize for protecting itself.
Kevin, SF, USA

20,000 innocent civilians and soldiers died because of this, who is going to answer?
Zulfi, India

We still do not ask hard questions. There had been several warnings by two senior ministers resigning. We all knew the British dossier was copied from a master thesis before the war. But Blair still did not doubt about the intelligence he had and he wants us to believe just that. British people should be ashamed to call him their leader!
Prem Raj, Australia

All it boils down to is that we fought the right war for the wrong reasons.
Mark, USA

Intelligence has served its political masters ill.
Gordon McManus, London

The CIA is now a discredited organisation. Colin Powell's speech at the UN in Feb 2003, which was based on intelligence information not "assertions" is also discredited. Intelligence has served its political masters ill. This can only be the logical conclusion from those who were sober and sceptical over the US drive to war.
Gordon McManus, London

If the White House continues to shift the blame for the fiasco in Iraq, making the intelligence community out to be the scapegoats, the CIA may very well turn on its masters as was the case with Nixon and Watergate.
Paul, South Carolina, US

Regrettably the Senate Intelligence Committee has chosen to ignore the real world and use this report for narrow, partisan political purposes. This is yet another example of the true failing of American government, before and after September 11: the failure of the political class to see anything beyond petty bickering over narrow political advantage.
Greg Dixon, Tucson, AZ USA

It is now clear that every single reason trumpeted by this administration to rally the US and the world for support to overthrow Hussein was inaccurate at best, and probably outright lies. No matter what anyone says now in justification, the entire war was rallied using misleading "intelligence" in the US and UK. Now, why can't the commission check into the Bush/Cheney people's intentional picking and choosing of intelligence before the elections? Simple: Because such an inquiry might jeopardize the Bush people's chance of re-election. My fellow Americans, face it: We pre-emptively toppled a sovereign nation based upon a tapestry - and a flimsy one - of lies.
Jonathan, Oakland, CA

This report could have an impact on the intelligence community as a whole for many years to come. It will also start building a strong foundation for credibility which has been lacking for the past couple of years. Blaming the CIA is nothing but pointing fingers. Let's get real.
DO, Waco, TX

Who is really surprised? It'll take a lot more than this though, before Bush and Blair admit that they shouldn't have invaded a sovereign nation against the will of the UN.
Mark Rotherham, Colchester, UK

The rush to war in Iraq proves the inability of this Administration to make clear and precise decisions
Lois Pavlakis, Foxboro, MA, USA
The bipartisan Senate Report concluded the information that Saddam was a decade away from a nuclear program was proven erroneous. Even if it was correct, the rush to war in Iraq proves the inability of this Administration to make clear and precise decisions. An immediate invasion was not warranted.
Lois Pavlakis, Foxboro, MA, USA

Military intelligence? Now there's an oxymoron if ever there was one. Surely we can be a bit brighter than resort to thuggery when faced with a problem? Or were we just trying to legitimise our bullying to get the oil or get the bad guy or win the votes or 'make us safer'? Whichever way, 'intelligence' didn't come near it. Not smart.
JC, Hampshire, UK

The CIA must make tough choices, and sometimes people just make bad guesses. So Iraq had no WMDs. Vladimir Putin admitted Russian Intelligence informed the U.S. after 9/11 that Saddam Hussein's Regime planned terrorist attacks on the U.S. How much intelligence do we need to justify protecting ourselves from terror? WMDs were not necessary. The Senate report is nothing more than political grandstanding and will change very little.
Glenn, Dallas, Texas

This seems like scapegoating to me
Matthew, Northampton, USA
I believe Bush had decided to go to war before he even entered office, and the CIA's blame is minimal. This seems like scapegoating to me.
Matthew, Northampton, USA

Most Supreme Court judges over the past few decades have been appointed by Republicans. That's a worrying fact. Are intelligence officials appointed in the same way? This was a political war, and I'm certain that will become apparent eventually. Intelligence services should be politically independent, but that would mean a complete overhaul.
David, Herts, England

Blaming the CIA is political spin at its worst. The blame falls on those who chose to believe what suited there political views, George Bush and Tony Blair.
Bob, Minneapolis, US

This exonerates Bush. If CIA information backed up by MI6 were ignored (and turned out to be accurate) he would be derelict of his duties. The blame goes to the intelligence community for failing to do their job.
Todd, Virginia, USA

All these reports mean nothing unless Bush, Blair, Bin Laden and Saddam face war crimes trials.
A Rana, London, UK

Nobody ever criticises Clinton for slashing the CIA budget
Peter, Nottingham, UK
Nobody ever criticises Clinton for slashing the CIA budget. During his time in office half of the CIA's human assets (spies in other words) were replaced. Little wonder the CIA messed up. Rather than use its own agents it was forced to rely on information from Iraqi opponents of Saddam who wanted a war for their own ends.
Peter, Nottingham, UK

If Clinton can be impeached for lying under oath about marital infidelities, Bush must be impeached for lying to the nation about WMD and the entire rationale for going to war with Iraq. It is the very least that can be done to make amends to the hundreds of families of fallen coalition troops and to the tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians killed in this war. No to mention to we millions of New Yorkers, whose tragedy of 9/11 was exploited by Bush for this unjust war-yet he still refuses to give even 1/2 the federal anti-terror funding we need to protect this city.
Avril, NYC, USA

The report hasn't even come out yet. I'll reserve my judgement until then. However, if Clinton's CIA director George Tenet did do a bad job, then its a good thing that Bush fired him. The USA must have the Best intelligence agency in order to pass along the most accurate and up-to-date data to the NSA and president.
Craig Traylor, Houston, Texas

What the White House did with the intelligence is just as important as the quality of the intelligence gathered. As this report comes from a politically divided Senate Intelligence Committee, in an election year, expect to see the CIA take the full fall, while the Bush White House walks.
Farnham, Blue Hill, USA

The intelligence services must remain independent
Nik, Henley, UK
Over there, as in Britain, the intelligence services are being used as the scapegoat for an ill-conceived, badly planned dodgy war. The intelligence services must remain independent and not be affected by pressure from politicians to back up their bad decisions. This report and the Butler report are just more of the same smokescreen to cover up Bush and Blair's big mistake which was believing their own hype.
Nik, Henley, UK

So erm, where do the weapons inspectors fit into all of this? As far as I remember they said there were no WMD. Isn't that enough?
Tim, UK

Let's hope a radical change is on the cards and that those responsible for the inaccuracies are punished accordingly. Incorrect intelligence has led to the deaths of thousands of innocents.
Ian, UK

The report will not have a great effect while we are in the midst of an election. What happens to the CIA will depend largely on the results of the election. If Bush is elected there will be little if any change. If Kerry wins then we may see a major restructuring of the security framework in the US that could end up looking a lot like the MI5/MI6 arrangement in your country.
Ronald Cicotte, Arlington, MA, USA

Does these mean that George Bush would not have gone to war had it not been for the CIA report, and that regime change in Iraq was not a policy from the day the current administration stepped into the White House! When are these two world leaders, Bush and Blair, going to start facing up to their responsibilities instead of shifting the blame to others?
Carlton, London, UK

The conclusions of this report are typical of everything that's ever gone wrong during the Bush administration's watch: it's always somebody else's fault. The WMD fiasco is not primarily the result of poor intelligence but of the misuse of intelligence by Bush administration hawks such as Cheney and Wolfowitz. Any statement otherwise is simply an election year dodge.
Ken, NJ, US

This inquiry needs to have an impact on US military intelligence because it has never existed! Let's hope it will open a few eyes and improve common sense strategies going forward.
Chris Gower, Liverpool, UK

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