In a blistering report made public Thursday, a presidential panel said that U.S. intelligence agencies were "dead wrong" in almost all their assertions before the Iraq war that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

The commission said that the inaccurate intelligence assessment, frequently voiced by senior U.S. officials as the reason for going to war, brought harm to U.S. credibility around the world.

"We conclude that the intelligence was dead wrong in almost all its prewar judgments about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction," the panel said.

The harm caused by the failure "will take years to undo," said the panel, headed by retired Judge Laurence Silberman, a Republican, and former Democratic Sen. Charles Robb of Virginia. "We simply cannot afford failure of this magnitude."

Critical U.S. intelligence gathering remains a serious problem, the panel said, noting that the Central Intelligence Agency and the rest of the spy community know "disturbingly little about the nuclear programs of many of the world's most dangerous nations."

Modbee.com | The Modesto Bee


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