From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
Bogus defector-supplied intelligence on Iraq's WMD

March 5, 2004 10:40 AM

Walter Pincus exposes yet more evidence of bogus defector-supplied intelligence in today's Washington Post:

The Bush administration's prewar assertion that Saddam Hussein had a fleet of mobile labs that could produce bioweapons rested largely on information from an Iraqi defector working with another government who was never interviewed by U.S. intelligence officers, according to current and former senior intelligence officials and congressional experts who have studied classified documents.

Colin Powell characterized this intelligence in his infamous powerpoint presentation to the UN Security Council a year ago as "firsthand descriptions." And to add a little drama, Powell added that the defector is "currently hiding in another country with the certain knowledge that Saddam Hussein will kill him if he finds him."

The "corroboration" for this story came from an Ahmed Chalabi-provided defector who had been "red-flagged" by the DIA for providing "questionable information about Iraq's mobile biological program." The DIA didn't tell anyone about that though, and the intelligence made it into the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate, and passed four days of "rigorous" vetting by Powell and his staff before his UN performance.

Of course any rational person would have immediately questioned this intelligence when all Powell had were cartoon renderings of what the trailers might look like.

More from the archive in Intelligence, Lies and Deceit.

Bogus defector-supplied intelligence on Iraq's WMD (03.05.2004)

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Jim Gilliam
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