Powell Not Sure Iraq Trailers Were Labs
BY BARRY SCHWEID, AP
WASHINGTON (April 3) - Secretary of State Colin Powell conceded Friday evidence he presented to the United Nations that two trailers in Iraq were used for weapons of mass destruction may have been wrong.
In an airborne news conference on the way home from NATO talks in Brussels, Belgium, Powell said he had been given solid information about the trailers that he told the Security Council in February 2003 were designed for making biological weapons.
But now, Powell said, ''it appears not to be the case that it was that solid.''
He said he hoped the intelligence commission appointed by President Bush to investigate prewar intelligence on Iraq ''will look into these matters to see whether or not the intelligence agency had a basis for the confidence that they placed in the intelligence at that time.''
Powell's dramatic case to the Security Council that Iraq had secret arsenals of weapons of mass destruction failed to persuade the council to directly back the U.S.-led war that deposed the Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. But it helped mobilize sentiment among the American people for going to war.
As it turned out, U.N. inspectors were unable to uncover the weapons, but administration officials have insisted they still might be uncovered.
David Kay, who led the hunt for the weapons, showed off a pair of trailers for news cameras last summer and argued that the two metal flatbeds were designed for making biological weapons.
But faced with mounting challenges to that theory, Kay conceded in October he could have been wrong. He said he did not know whether Iraq ever had a mobile weapons program.
Powell told reporters that as he worked on the Bush administration's case against Iraq U.S. intelligence ''indicated to me'' that the intelligence was solid.
''I'm not the intelligence community, but I probed and I made sure, as I said in my presentation, these are multi-sourced'' allegations, Powell said.
The trailers were the most dramatic claims, ''and I made sure that it was multi-sourced,'' he said.
''Now, if the sources fell apart we need to find out how we've gotten ourselves in that position,'' he said.
''I have discussions with the CIA about it,'' Powell said, without providing further details.
The trailers were the only discovery the administration had cited as evidence of an illicit Iraqi weapons program.
In six months of searches, no biological, chemical or nuclear weapons were found to bolster the administration's central case for going to war: to disarm Saddam of suspected weapons of mass destruction.
NoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7796 posts, RR: 13 Reply 4, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 638 times:
To make things worse:
My favorite weekly, Die Zeit, reports the BND (the German Federal Intelligence Service) knew the accusations were actually single-sourced, and that this one source wasn't reliable.
This comes as no surprise, since the BND itself provided the CIA the information on "Mobile Production Facilities for Biological Agents", Mr. Powell later introduced to the UN Security Council.
This ominous, anonymous source was a chemical engineer, who emerged in a German refugee camp and was later nicknamed "Curveball".
When the BND informed the CIA on Curveball's alarming report, it stressed that Curveball may not be reliable and that the information provided were not confirmed.
Richard Kerr, a former CIA deputy director, however, considered the information "detailed and specific". "They make sense", Kerr said.
Now CIA blames BND that the agency were never allowed to interview Curveball in the US. In fact, the BND repeatedly rejected CIA requests to meet Curveball vis a vis, saying it needed to protect its source. Furthermore, CIA officials blame their German colleagues for not informing them that Curveball wasn't a reliable source. The BND rejects those accusations.
Klaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 20853 posts, RR: 55 Reply 6, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 614 times:
Alpha 1: But it wasn't for the oil, folks. Why do some of you keep sayihg that. If it WERE for the oil, prices wouldn't be skyrocketing in the U.S.
Because everything else except the oil price has been going exactly as planned? Is that what you´re talking about?
I think it´s quite a bit more complex than just the oil. But with the still undisclosed collusion between the Bush/Cheney administration and the US energy industry, it is difficult to believe that it wasn´t a major factor.
Eg777er From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2000, 1829 posts, RR: 13 Reply 11, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 576 times:
Two problems here.
1. The politicians politicised intelligence. The intelligence services felt that they had to provide intelligence to fit with politicians desires.
2. Even when they didn't, the politicians only saw what they wanted to see. They grew certain half-truths and assumptions into full blown facts, and therefore fought a war on false pretences.
Punish them at the ballot box people. Show the power of democracy.