Sunday, February 11, 2007

Pentagon unit defied CIA advice to justify Iraq war

An "alternative intelligence" unit operating at the Pentagon in the run-up to the war on Iraq was dedicated to establishing a link between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida, even though the CIA was unconvinced of such a connection, the US Senate was told yesterday.

..."The office of the under-secretary of defence for policy developed, produced and then disseminated alternative intelligence assessments on the Iraq and al-Qaida relationship, which included some conclusions that were inconsistent with the consensus of the intelligence community, to senior decision-makers," the report says.

..."They arrived at an alternative interpretation of the Iraq/al-Qaida relationship that was much stronger than that assessed by the intelligence community and more in accord with the policy views of senior officials in the administration," Mr Levin told the committee.

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