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And we're moving ahead with a director of national intelligence, our intelligence reform bill and both Jay and I feel that, you know, we learned our lesson. Our committee has now determined that we're not going to take any intelligence at face value, we're going to be very pro-active and very pre-emptive to look at the capabilities of the intelligence community on the tough threats that face our national security.
It was a good report. Senator Rockefeller, Bob Woodward wrote a book called "Plan of Attack" and he captures a meeting December 21,when the director of the CIA and the deputy director are briefing the president. And he--this is his account. Slam dunk was part of what led us to dead wrong. I mean, the point is that there's a critical point I think.
You collect intelligence, you analyze intelligence and then you produce intelligence. And there's meant to be a big vacuum between those two.
In fact, there is not. And there is so-called use of intelligence by policy-makers or misuse of intelligence or hyping of intelligence or making policy statements before the intelligence has been fully explored, which, in fact, influences or pressures the intelligence makers.
It's a small but very critical point. This commission, for example, did not have the authority to look into the use of intelligence, the hyping of intelligence, the misuse of intelligence, and thus half the report really has been left out. It's interesting because The Washington Post did this summary of our intelligence.
By the time President Bush ordered U. The work of the inspectors--who had extraordinary access during their three months in Iraq between November and March was routinely dismissed by the Bush administration and the intelligence community in the run-up to war, according to the commission Mohamed ElBaradei, the chairman of the International Atomic Energy Agency, "After three months of intrusive inspections, we have to date found no evidence or plausible indication of the revival of a nuclear weapons program in Iraq.
He attacked the "spin and hype behind U. Comparing them to medieval witch-hunters, he said the two countries convinced themselves on the basis of evidence that was later discredited Was this information over-interpreted or shaped or molded by policy-makers? I don't think so. I know we have disagreement there in regards to what Jay has indicated.
We agreed to take a look at the use of intelligence. We agreed to take a hard look at the statements made by the administration and then compare it to the matrix of intelligence, which we've done, and not only the administration, but all public officials. There were many very declarative and assertive statements that were wrong.
They were based on intelligence that was not credible. What this report also says that they found no pressure to pressure any kind of--any kind of analysts. Now, inDavid Kay, being one who was taking a look at the capability of Saddam Hussein, learned at that particular time that Saddam was about a year and a half away from a nuclear capability.
Everybody scratched their head at that particular time and said, "Well, by golly, we're not going to let that happen again. But the people who are criticized most Hans Blix, the weapons inspector, and Mr.
They were saying it didn't exist and they were being dismissed by our government.Full Kellyanne Conway: Leak Is 'Intersection Of Arrogance And Ignorance' - Meet The Press - NBC News
Well, not only were they being dismissed, but so was the Department of Energy, so was the State Department, so were other basic Why were they being dismissed?
Because, as I said, it was a group think. It was an assumption train. So once we had found that out, then it was very difficult for the caveats, or what Jay and I call red-teaming people, to go in and say, "Challenge these things," you know, "take another look. The good news is, is we're going to have a new director of national intelligence.
We have an intelligence reform bill on the books. This committee, our committee, is going to take a very proactive stance. We've learned our lesson. We're not going to take any assumption by the intelligence community at face value. We are going to be--we're going to look at the capability of the intelligence community. Do we have the collection? Do we have the right analysis?
Can we please come up with a consensus threat analysis to the policy-maker that makes sense before this happens, before you put forth a National Intelligence Estimate? This is a bad news story. But I think we're headed in the right direction, more especially with accountability, with Porter Goss being the new director of the CIA, with the new national intelligence director, and we're going to have those hearings as of this week.
So I think we're headed in a better direction than we were. Six--in June of '03, President Bush was still saying, "We're going to find the weapons of mass destruction.
I mean, it's an extraordinary situation of failure, and it takes right back to the place where you were touching, and that is: Did the administration--had the administration made up its mind, which I believe, that it was going to go to war?
Started with Afghanistan but quickly moved to planning for Iraq.
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They had made up their mind they were going to go to war. They saw this as an opportunity and something they needed to do. And then there was a whole series of settings, and not just of shaping of intelligence. The molding of American public opinion to make them more responsive to a decision which had already been made, but also pressure being put on analysts.
And let me just say that in--this is a very good study, what Pat and I agree on, this study. But it has a conflict in it. It says there wasn't any pressure put on analysts, but it--then later in a footnote it says that 7 percent of all of those people in WINPAC, which is kind of the weapons of mass destruction and the nuclear proliferation, and that kind of thing, in the CIA, felt that they had had to change their intelligence to suit the customer, i.
Now, we can argue that one out, but the point is John Bolton and others clearly tried to exercise pressure, put pressure on George Tenet, told Pat Roberts and I that face-to-face That John Bolton put pressure? No, no, that the pressure was being put on his people, said it happens.
That was in an interview a long time ago. He also--the Kerr Commission Who was putting the pressure on him? That people were putting pressure on analysts. There wasn't at that time a specific person.
It was just the pattern of pressure.
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And you've got to remember something. Do you write a different product as a result of the pressure? It's the fact the pressure was being put on whether or not you write a different product. Will you vote to confirm John Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations? I will certainly not do that, no. You will vote against him?
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That was phase one, which was the quality And in July oflet me show you a discussion that you and Senator Rockefeller had with the press. Advertise Videotape, July 9, The central issue of how intelligence on Iraq was--in this senator's opinion, was exaggerated by the Bush administration officials, was relegated to that second phase as yet unbegun of the committee investigation.
As Senator Rockefeller has alluded to, this is in phase two of our efforts. We simply couldn't get that done with the work product that we put out. And he has pointed out that has a top priority. It is one of my top priorities. Videotape, July 11, Even as I'm speaking, our staff is working on phase two and we will get it done.
When will we see phase two of your investigation about the shaping or exaggeration of intelligence by policy-makers? I hope this doesn't take too long. There are three phases to phase two. One is to compare the public statements by the administration on all public officials, including the Congress, with the intelligence matrix that we have.
Why did you say what you said in regards to some administration official, in regards to some policy-making? And you can go back over some declarative and aggressive statements. Also you can find the same people who are the very top critics of those comments making the same comments. And so you get down to: Did the intelligence--was it really credible?
It was a mistake. That influenced the comments of the people concerned. Now, we can put out 50 different statements by the administration, which we've been provided by the Democrats, and we can also put out 50 different statements by members of Congress, including me--I don't know about Jay, but I think that's the case--and say: What were you thinking?
What was the use of it?
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In my view, there wasn't enough repetitive questioning to make sure that the analysts at the DOE, State Department, whatever, that those concerns were put into the national intelligence estimate. I don't think that repetitive questioning of analysts, which they expect, amounts to pressure. Advertise Now, there's two more things.
Now, we've had a statement basically saying that some of the activities may have been illegal. Everybody down there got a lawyer. I would love to get Doug Feith, who is the undersecretary in charge of the Office of Special Plans, back before the committee. We are willing and able to do that anytime that the minority wishes. And finally, there's the prewar intelligence on the postwar insurgency in Iraq.
We have found to date that that was scattered all over the place. Everybody expected a humanitarian wave of assistance. So they got that wrong, too. All three things we can complete, but we do also have the confirmation of the DNI working with the Intelligence Reform Act, being much more aggressive in terms of the capability of the hard targets that certainly face America.
And to go back in and to keep going over this over and over again, I'm more than happy to finish this, and I want to finish it, but we have other things that we need to do. But as you well know, when your report came out there were many people who said that you were not going forward with phase two about exaggerations and shaping because you didn't want to involve yourself, influence the election.
You made a firm commitment to do just that. Yeah, we're going to do that, Tim. The United States went to war Tim, we're going to do that. I will bring it here.
We'll have the 50 statements. We'll have the intelligence. We can match it up and you can do it with members of Congress, who are very, very critical, who made the same things, and you can say, "OK," and you'll say "Well, Pat, it just looks to me that the intelligence was wrong and that's exactly why they said what they said.
I'm perfectly willing to do it, and that's what we agreed to do, and that door is still open. And I don't want to quarrel with Jay, because we both agreed that we would get it done. We have other hot-spot hearings or other things going on that are very important. So we will get it done, but it seems to me that we ought to put it in some priority of order, and after we do get it done I think everybody's going to scratch their head and say, "OK, well, that's fine.
You know, let's go to the real issue. Will it be done? Pat and I have agreed to do it. We've shaken hands on it, and we agreed to do it after the elections so it wouldn't be any sort of sense of a political attack.
I mean that was my view; it shouldn't be viewed that way. I view use of intelligence, as I said at the beginning of this section, as absolutely critical. I don't care how good or bad an intelligence product you have. If policy-makers are going to misuse or shape or hype or change or try to pressure that intelligence into being something different, they're the ones who decide, the policy-makers, whether we'll go to war or not, not the intelligence community.
This is at the core of what we have to be prepared for, to do correctly for the next 30 or 40 years during the war on terrorism. Let me raise another issue. Ahmad Chalabi, the leader of the former Iraqi exile, said repeatedly that he and his organization had no ties with this defector called Curveball. Now, The Los Angeles Times wrote an article; several times on this program, we made that association. He now feels exonerated saying that this report says no connection between Mr.
Basically I think that we're going to find a lot more out about Curveball and what has happened here with the WMD Commission and then our investigation, there are gaps. And the WMD Commission has found out things that we were not able to do a year ago. We have a promise from the head of the CIA, Mr. Porter Goss, who is looking into who knew about Curveball and the fact that he was not a credible source in terms of any collection or any kind of intelligence.
We're still exploring that. As soon as we get to the bottom of it, I think that I could answer you better. But, in fact, for the record, there's no evidence that Mr. Chalabi was associated with Curveball. Chalabi's footprints are all over virtually everything.
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I mean, where you have defectors, where you have, as Curveball was called, a fabricator, you're likely to find somewhere Chalabi's footprint. But the report says there was no direct involvement with Curveball or linkage to So what does "direct involvement" mean?
Well, here's the way The Wall Street Journal wrote it, and we can talk about it: Overall, the CIA's post-war investigations revealed that INC-related sources had a minimal impact on pre-war assessments. The report's larger conclusion is that the CIA's intelligence on Iraq was faulty almost from start to finish, never mind Curveball. The attempt to finger Mr. Chalabi and the ideologues at the Pentagon was an exercise in blame-shifting to deflect attention from that enormous failure.
Well, the fact that they stated that there was no connection is another way of saying that in so much of the other intelligence, which the administration was accepting, especially in the Office of Special Plans, Douglas Feith, came directly from Chalabi. And, in fact, Douglas Feith, who's no longer in that position, refused to tell the Central Intelligence Agency about what he was learning from Chalabi and took it directly to the White House, including the vice president. Let me read one last thing from the report.
This is from USA Today. In some cases, it knows less than it did five or 10 years ago. Kahn and his whole international network, took down the Taliban in Afghanistan. That kind of intelligence data helped our military.
Libya with Qaddafi--their espionage helped bring about a resolution. Is that accurate that we know less now than we did five or 10 years ago? In certain aspects and certain targets, that may be true. One of the most disturbing things that I read and that we both agree on in regards to the WMD Commission is that, in terms of the hard targets--and we'll just be very frank, Iran, North Korea, whatever--that we still know disturbingly little.
Now, that was, you know, a quote by the commission. I can tell you that steps are being taken to improve that. But the intelligence community and all the people that work for the intelligence community can't ever tell what they have done right. Now, you have just cited some of them. So, yes, we have problems, but in the recommendations, better human intelligence, better analysis, certainly a better consensus threat analysis to the policy-maker.
Make sure our technology is up to speed. There's about eight of them that we both agree on. We can put that in our authorization bill. We can work with the administration to make sure that it is put in administratively. Some things the intelligence community has done have been great successes and we can't talk about.
Others like this are egregious mistakes that must be corrected.
Can this president or the next president go before the country and the world and say, "I have data, intelligence, information, that says X, Y and Z about North Korea and Iran and, therefore, we have to take action"?
Can he or she say that and be believed by this country or the world? Those are two questions, and I think the answer to each of those questions is probably at this point no.
In the unclassified version of this report, as Pat Roberts has correctly said, they say that our state of knowledge about certain countries is very, very bad, as indeed after the U.
But I think the point of this, Tim--my colleague and good friend Pat Roberts just talking about looking in the rearview mirror--this is a seminal change since when the National Security Act was passed. Everything in intelligence and how the policy-makers respond to it has changed. There has to be a good deal of looking in the rearview mirror so that we can find out what we did wrong, not for the sake of playing gotcha but for the sake of finding out what we did wrong so we can correct it for the next 30 or 40 years.
That has to be the last word. Senator Rockefeller, Senator Roberts, thank you both very much. Hey, don't forget Bob's book. It's coming up next. Former Senator Bob Dole, his new book "One Soldier's Story," our political Roundtable on religion and politics after this station break. Good to be here again. Let me show you one from March of We are living in a hotel, and I really enjoy sleeping nights in a bed instead of a foxhole.
A foxhole isn't as bad as you probably think. We generally fill the bottom with straw which makes it pretty comfortable. I'm sorry to hear about all the Russell" Kansas "boys being killed or wounded, but I'm glad that you write and tell me anyway. I guess so many were meant to be killed in this war, there's nothing either you or I can do but trust in God, I pray that he will look after us.
Well, I think we are. I think everyone was scared. People would tell me, "Oh, I wasn't--didn't bother me, I wasn't afraid of anything," I doubt it. A month later this is what you wrote happened 60 years ago this very week: My body responded before my brain had time to process what was happening. As the mortar round, exploding shell, machine gun blast--whatever it was, I'll never know--ripped into my body, I recoiled, lifted off the ground a bit, twisted in the air and fell face down in the dirt.
For a long moment, I didn't know if I was dead or alive. I sensed the dirt in my mouth more than I tasted it. Then the horror hit me--I can't feel anything below my neck! I didn't know it at the time, but whatever it was that hit me had ripped apart my shoulder, breaking my collarbone and my right arm, smashing down into my vertebrae, and damaging my spinal cord.
You remember it like yesterday? I remember my--I think what they call a near-death experience. Your life kind of just