Find a Security Clearance Job!

Intelligence

SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE
UNITED STATES SENATE

REPORT ON THE U.S. INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY'S
PREWAR INTELLIGENCE ASSESSMENTS ON IRAQ

CONCLUSIONS

[PDF Version 1.89 MB]

OVERALL CONCLUSIONS - WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION

(U) Conclusion 1. Most of the major key judgments in the Intelligence Community's October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), Iraq's Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction, either overstated, or were not supported by, the underlying intelligence reporting. A series of failures, particularly in analytic trade craft, led to the mischaracterization of the intelligence.

(U) The major key judgments in the NIE, particularly that Iraq "is reconstituting its nuclear program," "has chemical and biological weapons," was developing an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) "probably intended to deliver biological warfare agents," and that "all key aspects - research & development (R&D), production, and weaponization - of Iraq's offensive biological weapons (BW) program are active and that most elements are larger and more advanced than they were before the Gulf War," either overstated, or were not supported by, the underlying intelligence reporting provided to the Committee. The assessments regarding Iraq's continued development of prohibited ballistic missiles were reasonable and did accurately describe the underlying intelligence.

(U) The assessment that Iraq "is reconstituting its nuclear program" was not supported by the intelligence provided to the Committee. The intelligence reporting did show that Iraq was procuring dual use equipment that had potential nuclear applications, but all of the equipment had conventional military or industrial applications. In addition, none of the intelligence reporting indicated that the equipment was being procured for suspect nuclear facilities. Intelligence reporting also showed that former Iraqi nuclear scientists continued to work at former nuclear facilities and organizations, but the reporting did not show that this cadre of nuclear personnel had recently been regrouped or enhanced as stated in the NIE, nor did it suggest that they were engaged in work related to a nuclear weapons program.

(U) The statement in the key judgments of the NIE that "Baghdad has chemical and biological weapons" overstated both what was known and what intelligence analysts judged about Iraq's chemical and biological weapons holdings. The intelligence reporting did support the conclusion that chemical and biological weapons were within Iraq's technological capability, that Iraq was trying to procure dual use materials that could have been used to produce these weapons, and that uncertainties existed about whether Iraq had fully destroyed its pre Gulf War stocks of weapons and precursors. Iraq's efforts to deceive and evade United Nations weapons inspectors and its inability or unwillingness to fully account for pre Gulf War chemical and biological weapons and precursors could have led analysts to the reasonable conclusion that Iraq may have retained those materials, but intelligence analysts did not have enough information to state with certainty that Iraq "has" these weapons.

(  ) Similarly, the assessment that "all key aspects - R&D, production, and weaponization - of Iraq's offensive BW program are active and that most elements are larger and more advanced than they were before the Gulf War" was not supported by the underlying intelligence provided to the Committee. Intelligence showed that Iraq was renovating or expanding facilities that had been associated with Iraq's past BW program and was engaged in research that had BW applications, but few reports suggested specifically that the activity was related to BW. Intelligence reports did indicate that Iraq may have had a mobile biological weapons program, but most of the reporting was from a single human intelligence (HUMINT) source to whom the Intelligence Community (IC) never had direct access. It was reasonable for intelligence analysts to be concerned about the potential weapons applications of Iraq's dual use activities and capabilities. The intelligence reporting did not substantiate an assessment that all aspects of Iraq's BW program "are" larger and more advanced than before the Gulf War, however.

(  ) The key judgment in the NIE that Iraq was developing a UAV "probably intended to deliver biological warfare agents" also overstated what the intelligence reporting indicated about the mission of Iraq's small UAVs. Numerous intelligence reports confirmed that was developing a small UAV program                      SENTENCE DELETED                     , but none of the reports provided to the Committee said that Iraq intended to use the small UAVs to deliver chemical or biological weapons. The Air Force footnote, which stated that biological weapons delivery was a possible mission for the small UAVs, though other missions were more likely, more accurately reflected the body of intelligence reporting.

(U) The failure of the IC to accurately analyze and describe the intelligence in the NIE was the result of a combination of systemic weaknesses, primarily in analytic trade craft, compounded by a lack of information sharing, poor management, and inadequate intelligence collection. Many of these weaknesses, which are described in detail below, have not yet been fully addressed, despite having been identified previously by other inquiry panels, including the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2002 (2002), The Intelligence Community's Performance on the Indian Nuclear Tests (The Jeremiah Report, 1998), and the Report of the Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States (The Rumsfeld Commission, 1998). The Committee found no evidence that the IC's mischaracterization or exaggeration of the intelligence on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) capabilities was the result of political pressure.

(U) Conclusion 2. The Intelligence Community did not accurately or adequately explain to policymakers the uncertainties behind the judgments in the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate.

(U) One of the key failures in analytic trade craft of the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) was the failure of the Intelligence Community (IC) to explain the details of the reporting and the uncertainties of both the reliability of some key sources and of intelligence judgments. Intelligence analysts are not only charged with interpreting and assessing the intelligence reporting, but with clearly conveying to policymakers the difference between what intelligence analysts know, what they don't know, what they think, and to make sure that policymakers understand the difference. This articulation of the IC's responsibility to policymakers is widely attributed to Colin Powell when he was serving as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but the effective communication of judgments has been accepted as a primary analytic function for decades. For example, in 1964, Sherman Kent, considered the founder of intelligence analysis as a profession, wrote about the importance of using appropriate words of estimative probability to "set forth the community's findings in such a way as to make clear to the reader what is certain knowledge and what is reasoned judgment, and within this large realm of judgment what varying degrees of certitude lie behind each key statement."1

(U) At the time the IC drafted and coordinated the NIE on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs in September 2002, most of what intelligence analysts actually "knew" about Iraq's weapons programs pre dated the 1991 Gulf War, leaving them with very little direct knowledge about the current state of those programs. Analysts knew that Iraq had active nuclear, chemical, biological, and delivery programs before 1991, and had previously lied to, and was still not forthcoming with, UN weapons inspectors about those programs. The analysts also knew that the United Nations was not satisfied with Iraq's efforts to account for its destruction of all of its pre Gulf War weapons, precursors, and equipment. Additionally, the analysts knew that Iraq was trying to import dual use materials and equipment and had rebuilt or was continuing to use facilities that had been associated with Iraq's pre Gulf War weapons programs, and knew that WMD were likely within Iraq's technological capabilities.

(U) The IC did not know whether Iraq had retained its pre Gulf War weapons, whether Iraq was intending to use those dual use materials and facilities for weapons or for legitimate purposes, or even if Iraq's attempts to obtain many of the dual use goods it had been trying to procure were successful. The IC thought that Iraq had retained its pre Gulf War weapons and that Iraq was using dual use materials and facilities to manufacture weapons. While this was a reasonable assessment, considering Iraq's past behavior, statements in the 2002 NIE that Iraq "has chemical and biological weapons," "Iraq has maintained its chemical weapons effort," and "is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program," did not accurately portray the uncertainty of the information. The NIE failed in that it portrayed what intelligence analysts thought and assessed as what they knew and failed to explain the large gaps in the information on which the assessments were based.

(  ) In the cases in the NIE where the IC did express uncertainty about its assessments concerning Iraq's WMD capabilities, those explanations suggested, in some cases, that Iraq's capabilities were even greater than the NIE judged. For example, the key judgments of the NIE said "we judge that we are seeing only a portion of Iraq's WMD efforts, owing to Baghdad's vigorous denial and deception efforts. Revelations after the Gulf War starkl demonstrate the extensive efforts undertaken b Ir to deny information.                      SENTENCE DELETED                     " While this did explain that key information on Iraq's programs was lacking, it suggested that Iraq's weapons pro rams were probably bigger and more advanced than the IC had judged and did not explain that                      SENTENCE DELETED                      analysts did not have enough information to determine whether Iraq was hiding activity or whether Iraq's weapons programs may have been dormant.

(U) Accurately and clearly describing the gaps in intelligence knowledge is not only important for policymakers to fully understand the basis for and gaps in analytic assessments, but is essential for policymakers in both the executive and legislative branches to make informed decisions about how and where to allocate Intelligence Community resources to fill those gaps.

(U) Conclusion 3. The Intelligence Community (IC) suffered from a collective presumption that Iraq had an active and growing weapons of mass destruction (WMD) program. This "group think" dynamic led Intelligence Community analysts, collectors and managers to both interpret ambiguous evidence as conclusively indicative of a WMD program as well as ignore or minimize evidence that Iraq did not have active and expanding weapons of mass destruction programs. This presumption was so strong that formalized IC mechanisms established to challenge assumptions and group think were not utilized.

(U) The Intelligence Community (IC) has long struggled with the need for analysts to overcome analytic biases, that is, to resist the tendency to see what they would expect to see in the intelligence reporting. In the case of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) capabilities, the Committee found that intelligence analysts, in many cases, based their analysis more on their expectations than on an objective evaluation of the information in the intelligence reporting. Analysts expected to see evidence that Iraq had retained prohibited weapons and that Iraq would resume prohibited WMD activities once United Nations' (UN) inspections ended. This bias that pervaded both the IC's analytic and collection communities represents "group think," a term coined by psychologist Irving Janis in the 1970's to describe a process in which a group can make bad or irrational decisions as each member of the group attempts to conform their opinions to what they believe to be the consensus of the group. IC personnel involved in the Iraq WMD issue demonstrated several aspects of group think: examining few alternatives, selective gathering of information, pressure to conform within the group or withhold criticism, and collective rationalization.

(U) The roots of the IC's bias stretch back to Iraq's pre 1991 efforts to build WMD and its efforts to hide those programs. The fact that Iraq had repeatedly lied about its pre 1991 WMD programs, its continued deceptive behavior, and its failure to fully cooperate with UN inspectors left the IC with a predisposition to believe the Iraqis were continuing to lie about their WMD efforts. This was compounded by the fact that Iraq's pre 1991 progress on its nuclear weapons program had surprised the IC. The role this knowledge played in analysts' thinking is evident in the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate's (NIE) introduction which said, "revelations after the Gulf War starkly demonstrate the extensive efforts undertaken by Iraq to deny information. The revelations also underscore the extent to which limited information fostered underestimates by the Intelligence Community of Saddam's capabilities at that time." This bias was likely further reinforced by the IC's failure to detect the September 11 V' terrorist plot and the criticism that the Community had not done all it could to "connect the dots."

(U) The IC had long assessed that Iraq maintained its ambitions to obtain WMD, and would seek to resume full WMD efforts once UN sanctions and inspections ended. Accordingly, after UN inspectors left Iraq in 1998, IC analysts began to look for evidence that Iraq was expanding WMD programs. Analysts interpreted ambiguous data as indicative of the active and expanded WMD effort they expected to see. The presumption that Iraq would take advantage of the departure of inspectors to restart its WMD efforts essentially became a hypothesis in search of evidence.

The IC's bias was compounded by the fact that prior to 1998, the IC had become heavily dependent on UN information on the state of Iraq's WMD programs. When the IC lost this important information, analysts were forced to rely on less reliable and less detailed sources. For example, DELETED reporting during UN inspections often described the                      SENTENCE DELETED                     . These reports provided IC analysts with much of the insight                      SENTENCE DELETED                     . Intelligence reporting after inspectors departed relied on less direct sources of information such as satellite imagery of activity at suspect facilities, fragmentary and ambiguous reports of Iraqi dual use procurement efforts, and reporting of suspicious or prohibited activity from human sources who were no longer in the country. These indirect sources left the IC with few ways to determine the exact nature of suspicious Iraqi activity. The expectation, however, that Iraq would take advantage of the departure of inspectors to resume and expand its WMD programs led analysts to downplay or ignore the increased uncertainty that came with these less detailed and less reliable sources.

(  ) The Committee found that the IC had a tendency to accept information which supported the presumption that Iraq had active and expanded WMD programs more readily than information which contradicted it. This was evident in analysts' assessments of Iraq's attempts to procure dual use materials and activities at dual use facilities. Dual use materials and facilities are those which could be used in a WMD program, but which also have conventional military or legitimate civilian applications. The IC properly noted the potential threat embodied in these dual use capabilities, should they be turned toward WMD purposes, and did an effective job of analyzing DELETED Iraq's attempts to purchase dual use equipment and materials to show how they could advance Iraq's WMD capability. But, the IC fell short by accepting most reporting of dual use material imports or capabilities as intended for WMD programs. Information that contradicted the IC's presumption that Iraq had WMD programs, such as indications in the intelligence reporting that the dual use materials were intended for conventional or civilian programs, was often ignored. The IC's bias that Iraq had active WMD programs led analysts to presume, in the absence of evidence, that if Iraq could do something to advance its WMD capabilities, it would.

(  ) Another example of the IC's tendency to reject information that contradicted the presumption that Iraq had active and expanded WMD programs was the return of UN inspectors to Iraq in November 2002.                      SENTENCE DELETED                      When these inspections did not tind evidence of active Iraqi WMD programs and, in fact, even refuted some aspects of the IC's nuclear and biological assessments, man anal sts did regard this information as significant. For example, the 2002 NIE cited                      SENTENCE DELETED                      Iraq's Amiriyah Serum and Vaccine institute as reasons the IC believed the facility was a "fixed dual use BW agent production" facility. When UN inspectors visited Amirivah after their return to Iraq in November 2002, however, they did not find any evidence of BW work at the facility,                      SENTENCE DELETED                     . Analysts discounted the UN's findings as the result of the inspectors relative inexperience in the face of Iraqi denial and deception. Similarly, when International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors returned to Iraq in late 2002, one of their key lines of work was to investigate Iraq's claims that aluminum tubes it was trying to procure were intended for artillery rockets. The IAEA found that Iraq's claims that the aluminum tubes were intended for artillery rockets was completely consistent with the evidence on the ground in Iraq. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) responded to the IAEA's analysis by producing intelligence reports which rejected the IAEA's conclusions. Without giving many details of the IAEA's findings, CIA's analysis suggested that the IAEA was being fooled by Iraq, and reiterated CIA's assessment that the tubes were to be used in uranium centrifuges.

(U) Intelligence analysts' presumption that all dual use activity was intended for WMD programs recurs throughout the 2002 NIE. Analysts believed that the fact that Iraq often attempted to obtain dual use materials surreptitiously, through front companies and other illicit means in violation of UN sanctions, indicated that Iraq intended to use those materials for WMD. Analysts argued that Iraq would have no reason to hide itself as the end user of these materials if they were intended for legitimate purposes. However, analysts ignored the fact that Iraq typically used front companies and evaded UN sanctions for imports of purely legitimate goods. Analysts who monitored Iraq's compliance with the Oil for Food Program noted several reasons that Iraq wanted to avoid legitimate channels for imports including 1) the UN often denied materials needed for legitimate purposes because the materials had WMD applications, 2) using the UN's bureaucratic process was more cumbersome and time consuming than using illicit channels, and 3) transactions using front companies were less transparent, making corruption and profit taking easier for Iraqi managers and officials.

(U) Likewise, analysts were predisposed to identify as suspect any activity by scientists and officials involved in Iraq's pre 1991 WMD programs. While the IC should not have ignored the activity of these people, IC analysts failed to fully consider the possibility that Iraq, having spent significant national resources developing their capabilities, might have been seeking nonWMD purposes to fully employ the idle expertise left over from closed WMD programs.

(  ) The presumption that Iraq had active WMD programs affected intelligence collectors as well. None of the guidance given to human intelligence collectors suggested that collection be focused on determining whether Iraq had WMD. Instead, the requirements assumed that Iraq had WMD, and focused on uncovering those activities and collecting against the extent of Iraq's WMD production and the locations of hidden stocks of weapons. A former manager in the CIA's Iraq WMD Task Force also told Committee staff that, in retrospect, he believes that the CIA tended to discount human intelligence (HUMINT) sources that denied the existence of Iraqi WMD programs as just repeating the Iraqi party line. In fact, numerous interviews with intelligence analysts and documents provided to the Committee indicate that analysts and collectors assumed that sources who denied the existence or continuation of WMD programs and stocks were either lying or not knowledgeable about Iraq's programs, while those sources who reported ongoing WMD activities were seen as having provided valuable information.

(  ) The presumption that Iraq had active WMD programs was so strong that formalized IC mechanisms established to challenge assumptions and "group think," such as "red teams," "devil's advocacy," and other types of alternative or competitive analysis, were not utilized. The Committee found no evidence that IC analysts, collectors, or managers made any effort to question the fundamental assumptions that Iraq had active and expanded WMD programs, nor did they give serious consideration to other possible explanations for Iraq's failure to satisfy its WMD accounting discrepancies, other than that it was hiding and preserving WMD. The fact that no one in the IC saw a need for such tools is indicative of the strength of the bias that Iraq had active and expanded WMD programs. The Committee does not regard the DELETED analysis on Iraq's aluminum tubes performed by CIA contractors as an attempt to challenge assumptions, but rather as an example of the collective rationalization that is indicative of "group think." The contractors were only provided with information by CIA, did not question agencies about their analysis, were not briefed by other agencies about their analysis, and performed their analysis of a complex intelligence issue in only one day.

(U) The IC's failure to find unambiguous intelligence reporting of Iraqi WMD activities should have encouraged analysts to question their presumption that Iraq had WMD. Instead, analysts rationalized the lack of evidence as the result of "vigorous" Iraqi denial and deception (D&D) efforts to hide the WMD programs that analysts were certain existed. The 2002 NIE's introduction stated that "we judge that we are only seeing a portion of Iraq's WMD efforts owing to Baghdad's vigorous D&D efforts." The intelligence provided to the Committee showed that Iraq was making efforts to hide some activity, but the reporting was not clear about what activity was being hidden or why it was being hidden. Although the IC lacked unambiguous reporting of either active WMD programs or a vigorous D&D effort to hide WMD programs, the assumptions that Iraq was engaged in both were tied together into a self reinforcing premise that explained away the lack of strong evidence of either.

(U) Conclusion 4. In a few significant instances, the analysis in the National Intelligence Estimate suffers from a "layering" effect whereby assessments were built based on previous judgments without carrying forward the uncertainties of the underlying judgments.

(U) The Committee defines "layering" as the process of building an intelligence assessment primarily using previous judgments without substantial new intelligence reporting. While this process is a legitimate and often useful analytic tool in making logical connections between intelligence reports and in understanding complex analytic problems, the process can lose its legitimacy when the cumulative uncertainties of the underlying assessments are not factored into or conveyed through the new assessments.

(U) In discussions with the Committee about his experience running the Iraq Survey Group, Dr. David Kay suggested that the IC's mind set before Operation Iraqi Freedom concerning Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs was a train that seemed "to always be going in the same direction." The IC drew on very few pieces of new evidence to reach large conclusions in which new pieces of evidence would accrete to the previous conclusion and pieces that did not fit tended to be thrown aside.

(U) One example of this layering effect occurred in the IC's analysis of Iraq's chemical weapons program. The NIE assessed that Iraq had renewed production of chemical weapons agents and stockpiled as much as 500 metric tons of chemical agent, much of it added in the last year. These assessments were largely based on another assessment, that Iraq may have been engaged in chemical weapons transshipment activity in the spring of 2002. This assessment was largely based on yet another assessment, that the presence of a specific tanker truck was a possible indicator that chemical or biological weapons related activities were occurring. The IC did not make it clear in its latter assessments that its judgments were based on layer upon layer of previous analytic judgments. This gave the reader of the 1VIE the impression that Iraq's chemical weapons program was advancing and growing, but did not convey that the assessment was based on very little direct or credible intelligence reporting.

(  ) Similarly, the IC based its judgment that "all key aspects - research & development (R&D), production, and weaponization - of Iraq's offensive biological weapons (BW) program are active and that most elements are larger and more advanced than they were before the Gulf War" primarily on its assessment that Iraq had mobile biological production vans. While this assessment was based on direct intelligence that indicated Iraq had mobile biological production units, the reporting was largely from a single source to whom the Intelligence Community did not have direct access. The Committee believes that the IC's expectation that Iraq would move to mobile biological weapons production, focused their attention on reporting that supported that contention and led them to disregard information that contradicted it. This exemplifies Dr. Kay's concerns that the IC made large new conclusions based on only a few pieces of new evidence that were joined to previous conclusions and that pieces that did not fulfill its expectations tended to be thrown aside.

(U) These are just two, of many, examples of this layering effect the Committee found in the IC's analysis of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs. The Committee recognizes the importance of analysts' ability to perform this type of analytic extrapolation, particularly in trying to "connect the dots" of sometimes seemingly disparate pieces of intelligence. Incorporating and accurately explaining the cumulative underlying uncertainties inherent in that process is equally important, however.

(U) Conclusion 5. In each instance where the Committee found an analytic or collection failure, it resulted in part from a failure of Intelligence Community managers throughout their leadership chains to adequately supervise the work of their analysts and collectors. They did not encourage analysts to challenge their assumptions, fully consider alternative arguments, accurately characterize the intelligence reporting, or counsel analysts who lost their objectivity.

(U) This report describes a variety of serious analytical and collection failures in the Intelligence Community's (IC) work on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs. While not in any way diminishing the responsibility of the analysts and collectors that were directly involved, the Committee believes that blame for these failures can not be laid at their feet alone. In each instance, the analysts' and collectors' chains of command in their respective agencies, from immediate supervisors up to the National Intelligence Council and the Director of Central Intelligence, all share responsibility for not encouraging analysts to challenge their assumptions, fully consider alternative arguments or accurately characterize the intelligence reporting. They failed to adequately question and challenge analysts about their assessments, and, most importantly, to recognize when analysts had lost their objectivity and take corrective action. It seems likely that these failures of management and leadership resulted at least in part as a result of the fact that the Intelligence Community's chain of command shared with its analysts and collectors the same "group think" presumption that Iraq had active and expanded weapons of mass destruction programs.

(U) Conclusion 6. The Committee found significant short comings in almost every aspect of the Intelligence Community's human intelligence collection efforts against Iraq's weapons of mass destruction activities, in particular that the Community had no sources collecting against weapons of mass destruction in Iraq after 1998. Most, if not all, of these problems stem from a broken corporate culture and poor management, and will not be solved by additional funding and personnel.

(U) The Committee's review into the prewar intelligence concerning Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs has entailed an unprecedented outside examination of a broad range of the Intelligence Community's (IC) human intelligence (HUMINT) operations. The Committee found significant short comings in almost every aspect of these operations.

(  ) From 1991 to 1998, the IC relied too heavily on United Nations (UN) inspectors to collect information about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs and did not develop a sufficient unilateral HUMINT collection effort targeting Iraq to supplement UN collected information and to take its place upon the departure of the UN inspectors. While the UN inspection process provided a valuable source of information, the IC should have used the time when inspectors were in Iraq to plan for the possibility that inspectors would leave and to develop sources who could continue to report after inspectors left.

(  ) Because the United States lacked an official presence inside Iraq, the Intelligence Community depended too heavily on defectors and foreign government services to obtain HUMINT information on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction activities. While these sources had the potential to provide some valuable information, they had a limited ability to provide the kind of detailed intelligence about current Iraqi weapons of mass destruction efforts sought by U.S. policymakers. Moreover, because the Intelligence Community did not have direct access to many of these sources, their credibility was difficult to assess and was often left to the foreign government services to judge. Intelligence Community HUMINT efforts against a closed society like Iraq prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom were hobbled by the Intelligence Community's dependence on having an official U.S. presence in country to mount clandestine HUMINT collection efforts.

(U) When UN inspectors departed Iraq, the placement of HUMINT agents and the development of unilateral sources inside Iraq were not top priorities for the Intelligence Community. The Intelligence Community did not have a single HUMINT source collecting against Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs in Iraq after 1998. The Intelligence Community appears to have decided that the difficulty and risks inherent in developing sources or inserting operations officers into Iraq outweighed the potential benefits. The Committee found no evidence that a lack of resources significantly prevented the Intelligence Community from developing sources or inserting operations officers into Iran.

(  )                      SENTENCE DELETED                     . When Committee staff asked why the CIA had not considered placing a CIA officer in Iraq years before Operation Iraqi Freedom to investigate Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs, a CIA officer said, "because it's ve hard to sustain . . . it takes a rare officer who can go in . . . and survive scrutiny DELETED for along time." The Committee agrees that such operations are difficult and dangerous, but they should be within the norm of the CIA's activities and capabilities. Senior CIA officials have repeatedly told the Committee that a significant increase in funding and personnel will be required to enable to the CIA to penetrate difficult HUMINT targets similar to prewar Iraq. The Committee believes, however, that if an officer willing and able to take such an assignment really is "rare" at the CIA, the problem is less a question of resources than a need for dramatic changes in a risk averse corporate culture.

(U) Problems with the Intelligence Community's HUMINT efforts were also evident in the Intelligence Community's handling of Iraq's alleged efforts to acquire uranium from Niger. The Committee does not fault the CIA for exploiting the access enjoyed by the spouse of a CIA employee traveling to Niger. The Committee believes, however, that it is unfortunate, considering the significant resources available to the CIA, that this was the only option available. Given the nature of rapidly evolving global threats such as terrorism and the proliferation of weapons and weapons technology, the Intelligence Community must develop means to quickly respond to fleeting collection opportunities outside the Community's established operating areas. The Committee also found other problems with the Intelligence Community's follow up on the Iraq Niger uranium issue, including a half hearted investigation of the reported storage of uranium in a warehouse in Benin, and a failure, to this day, to call a telephone number, provided by the Navy, of an individual who claimed to have information about Iraq's alleged efforts to acquire uranium from Niger.

(  ) The Committee also found that the Defense HUMINT Service (DHS) demonstrated serious lapses in its handling of the HUMINT source code named CURVE BALL, who was the principle source behind the Intelligence Community's assessments that Iraq had a mobile biological weapons program. The DHS had rimary responsibility for handling the Intelligence Community's interaction with the DELETED debriefers that were handling CURVE BALL, but the DHS officers that were involved in CURVE BALL's case limited themselves to a largely administrative role, translatin and assin along reports                      SENTENCE DELETED                      analysts do not have the benefit of the regular interaction with sources or, in this case, CURVE BALL's debriefers, that could have allowed them to make judgments about the reliability of source reporting.

(U) Another significant problem found by the Committee is the fact that the CIA continues to excessively compartment sensitive HUMINT reporting and fails to share important information about HUMINT reporting and sources with Intelligence Community analysts who have a need to know. In the years before Operation Iraqi Freedom, the CIA protected its Iraq weapons of mass destruction sources so well that some of the information they provided was kept from the majority of analysts with a legitimate need to know. The biological weapons and delivery sections of this report discuss at length the CIA's failure to share important information about source reporting on Iraq's alleged mobile biological weapons program and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) program that left analysts and policymakers with an incomplete and, at times, misleading picture of these issues.

(U) The process by which the Intelligence Community calculates the benefits and risks of sharing sensitive human intelligence is skewed too heavily toward withholding information. This issue has been raised repeatedly with the Intelligence Community, particularly after the lack of information sharing was found to have played a key role in the intelligence failures of 9/11. The Committee believes that the Intelligence Community must reconsider whether the risks of expanding access to cleared analysts are truly greater than the risks of keeping information so tightly compartmented that the analysts who need it to make informed judgments are kept in the dark.

(U) Conclusion 7. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), in several significant instances, abused its unique position in the Intelligence Community, particularly in terms of information sharing, to the detriment of the Intelligence Community's prewar analysis concerning Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs.

(U) The Intelligence Community is not a level playing field when it comes to the competition of ideas in intelligence analysis. The Director of Central Intelligence's (DCI's) responsibility, established by the National Security Act of 1947, to coordinate the nation's intelligence activities and correlate, evaluate, and disseminate intelligence that affects national security, provides the CIA with a unique position in the Intelligence Community. The fact that the DCI is the head of the CIA and head of the Intelligence Community, the principal intelligence advisor to the President, and is responsible for protecting intelligence sources and methods, provides the CIA with unique access to policymakers and unique control of intelligence reporting. This arrangement was intended to coordinate the disparate elements of the Intelligence Community in order to provide the most accurate and objective analysis to policymakers. The Committee found that in practice, however, in the case of the Intelligence Community's analysis of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs, this arrangement actually undermined the provision of accurate and objective analysis by hampering intelligence sharing and allowing CIA analysts to control the presentation of information to policymakers, and exclude analysis from other agencies.

(U) The Committee found in a number of cases that significant reportable intelligence was sequestered in CIA Directorate of Operations (DO) cables, distribution of sensitive intelligence reports was excessively restricted, and CIA analysts were often provided with "sensitive" information that was not made available to analysts who worked the same issues at other all source analysis agencies. These restrictions, in several cases, kept information from analysts that was essential to their ability to make fully informed judgments. Analysts cannot be expected to formulate and present their best analysis to policymakers while having only partial knowledge of an issue.

(  ) For example, important information concerning the reliability of two of the main sources on Iraq's alleged mobile biological weapons program was not available to most Iraq biological weapons analysts outside the CIA. Some analysts at other agencies were aware of some of the credibility concerns about the sources, but the CIA's DO did not disseminate cables throughout the Intelligence Community that would have provided this information to all Iraq biological weapons analysts.                     SENTENCE DELETED                     

(  ) The CIA also failed to share important information about Iraq's UAV software procurement efforts with other intelli ence analysts. The CIA did share sensitive information that indicated Iraq DELETED was trying to obtain mapping software that could only be used for mapping in the U.S. This suggested to many analysts that Iraq may have been intending to use the software to target the U.S. The CIA failed to pass on additional information, until well after the coordination and publication of the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE),                      SENTENCE DELETED                     . This information was essential for analysts to make fully informed judgments about Iraq's intentions to target the U.S.

(U) In some cases CIA analysts were not open to fully considering information and opinions from other intelligence analysts or creating a level playing field in which outside analysts fully participated in meetings or analytic efforts. This problem was particularly evident in the case of the CIA's analysis of Iraq's procurement of aluminum tubes during which the Committee believes the agency lost objectivity and in several cases took action that improperly excluded useful expertise from the intelligence debate. For example, the CIA performed testing of the tubes without inviting experts from the Department of Energy (DOE) to participate. A CIA analyst told Committee staff that the DOE was not invited "because we funded it. It was our testing. We were trying to prove some things that we wanted to prove with the testing. It wasn't a joint effort." The Committee believes that such an effort should never have been intended to prove what the CIA wanted to prove, but should have been a Community effort to get to the truth about Iraq's intended use for the tubes. By excluding DOE analysts, the Intelligence Community's nuclear experts, the CIA was not able to take advantage of their potentially valuable analytic insights. In another instance, an independent Department of Defense (DOD) rocket expert told the Committee that he did not think the CIA analysts came to him for an objective opinion, but were trying "to encourage us to come up with [the] answer" that the tubes were not intended to be used for a rocket program.

(U) The Committee also found that while the DCI was supposed to function as both the head of the CIA and the head of the Intelligence Community, in many instances he only acted as head of the CIA. For example, the DCI told the Committee that he was not aware that there were dissenting opinions within the Intelligence Community on whether Iraq intended use the aluminum tubes for a nuclear program until the NIE was drafted in September 2002, despite the fact that intelligence agencies had been fervently debating the issue since the spring of 2001. While the DCI, as the President's principal intelligence advisor, should provide policymakers, in particular the President, with the best analysis available from throughout the Intelligence Community, the DCI told Committee staff that he does not even expect to learn of dissenting opinions "until the issue gets joined" through interagency coordination of an NIE. This means that contentious debate about significant national security issues can go on at the analytic level for months, or years, without the DCI or senior policymakers being informed of any opinions other than those of CIA analysts. In addition, the Presidential Daily Briefs (PDBs) are prepared by CIA analysts and are presented by CIA briefers who may or may not include an explanation of alternative views from other intelligence agencies. Other Intelligence Community agencies essentially must rely on the analysts who disagree with their positions to accurately convey their analysis to the nation's most senior policymakers.

(U) These factors worked together to allow CIA analysts and officials to provide the agency's intelligence analysis to senior policymakers without having to explain dissenting views or defend their analysis from potential challenges from other Intelligence Community agencies. The Committee believes that policymakers at all levels of government and in both the executive and legislative branches would benefit from understanding the full range of analytic opinions directly from the agencies who hold those views, or from truly impartial representatives of the entire Intelligence Community.

OVERALL CONCLUSIONS - TERRORISM

(U) Conclusion 8. Intelligence Community analysts lack a consistent post September 11 approach to analyzing and reporting on terrorist threats.

(U) Though analysts have been wrong on major issues in the past, no previous intelligence failure has been so costly as the September 11 attacks. As the Deputy Director of Intelligence (DDI) explained during an interview with Committee staff, terrorist threat analysts now use a different type of trade craft than generally employed by political, leadership or regional analysts. Threat analysts are encouraged to "push the envelope" and look at various possible threat scenarios that can be drawn from limited and often fragmentary information. As a result, analysts can no longer dismiss a threat as incredible because they cannot corroborate it. They cannot dismiss what may appear to be the rantings of a walk in until additional vetting shows those stories to be fabricated.

(U) To compensate for the fragmentary nature of the reporting on Iraq's potential links to al-Qaida, Intelligence Community (IC) analysts included as much detail as they could about the nature of the sources and went to great lengths to describe their analytic approach to the problem. For example, where information was limited to a single or untested source or to a foreign government service, a source description was provided. As discussed in more detail in the body of this report, a "Scope Note" was incorporated in each product to describe the analytic approach the drafters had taken to address the issue. In Iraq and al-Qaida: Interpreting a Murky Relationship, the Scope Note explained that the authors had purposefully taken an aggressive approach to interpreting the available data. In both the September 2002 and January 2003 versions of Iraqi Support for Terrorism, the Scope Note did not describe an analytic approach, but rather it highlighted the gaps in information and described the analysts' understanding of the Iraq al-Qaida relationship as "evolving."

(U) Though the Committee understands the need for different analytical approaches and expressions of competing viewpoints, the IC should have considered that their readership would not necessarily understand the nuance between the first "purposely aggressive" approach and a return, in Iraqi Support for Terrorism, to a more traditional analysis of the reporting concerning Iraq's links to al-Qaida. A consistent approach in both assessments which carefully explained the intelligence reports and then provided a spectrum of possible conclusions would have been more useful and would have assisted policymakers in their public characterizations of the inteltligence.

(U) Conclusion 9. Source protection policies within the Intelligence Community direct or encourage reports officers to exclude relevant detail about the nature of their sources. As a result, analysts community wide are unable to make fully informed judgments about the information they receive, relying instead on nonspecific source lines to reach their assessments. Moreover, relevant operational data is nearly always withheld from analysts, putting them at a further analytical disadvantage.

(U) A significant portion of the intelligence reporting that was used to evaluate whether Iraq's interactions with al-Qaida operatives constituted a relationship was stripped of details prior to being made available to analysts community wide. Source information and operational detail was provided only to Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) analysts. This lack of information sharing limited the level of discussion and debate that should have taken place across the Community on this critical issue. While in the case of Iraq's links to terrorism, the final analysis has proven, thus far, to have been accurate and not affected by a lack of relevant source or operational detail, we cannot rely on this system in the future. Until changes are made concerning how and when source information is made available to analysts, we run the risk of missing critical data that might provide early warning.

(U) The absence of source and operational detail affects not only analysts, but policymakers as well. The Committee found that policymakers took an active role by personally examining individual intelligence reports for themselves. If this trend continues, it is even more important that such relevant detail be provided.

(  ) Conclusion 10. The Intelligence Community relies too heavily on foreign government services and third party reporting, thereby increasing the potential for manipulation of U.S. policy by foreign interests.

(  ) Due to the lack of unilateral sources on Iraq's links to terrorist groups like al-Qaida DELETED, the Intelligence Community (IC) relied too heavily on foreign government service reporting and sources to whom it did not have direct access to determine the relationship between Iraq and DELETED terrorist groups. While much of this reporting was credible, the IC left itself open to possible manipulation by foreign governments and other parties interested in influencing U.S. policy. The Intelligence Community's collectors must develop and recruit unilateral sources with direct access to terrorist groups to confirm, complement or confront foreign government service reporting on these critical targets.

(U) Conclusion 11. Several of the allegations of pressure on Intelligence Community (IC) analysts involved repeated questioning. The Committee believes that IC analysts should expect difficult and repeated questions regarding threat information. Just as the post 9/11 environment lowered the Intelligence Community's reporting threshold, it has also affected the intensity with which policymakers will review and question threat information.

(U) A number of the individuals interviewed by the Committee in conducting its review stated that Administration officials questioned analysts repeatedly on the potential for cooperation between Saddam Hussein's regime and al-Qaida. Though these allegations appeared repeatedly in the press and in other public reporting on the lead up to the war, no analyst questioned by the Committee stated that the questions were unreasonable, or that they were encouraged by the questioning to alter their conclusions regarding Iraq's links to al-Qaida.

(U) In some cases, those interviewed stated that the questions had forced them to go back and review the intelligence reporting, and that during this exercise they came across information they had overlooked in initial readings. The Committee found that this process - the policymakers probing questions - actually improved the Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) products. The review revealed that the CIA analysts who prepared Iraqi Support for Terrorism made careful, measured assessments which did not overstate or mischaracterize the intelligence reporting upon which it was based.

(U) The Committee also found that CIA analysts are trained to expect questions from policymakers, and to tailor their analysis into a product that is useful to them. In an Occasional Paper on improving CIA analytic performance, written by a Research Fellow at the Sherman Kent Center, the fellow states:

If the mission of intelligence analysis is to inform policymaking - to help the U.S. government anticipate threats and seize opportunities - then customization of analysis is the essence of the professional practice, not a defilement of it (i.e., politicization). In effect there is no such thing as an unprofessional policymaker question for intelligence to address so long as the answer reflects professional analytic trade craft (e.g., tough minded weighing of evidence and open minded consideration of alternatives). (Emphasis added)

(U) The same Research Fellow commented on strategic warning stating, "Key to the warning challenge is that the substantive uncertainty surrounding threats to U.S. interests requires analysts, and policymakers, to make judgments that are inherently vulnerable to error." This vulnerability has never been so apparent as in the failure to detect and deter the attacks on September 11, 2001. While analysts cannot dismiss a threat because at first glance it seems unreasonable or it cannot be corroborated by other credible reporting, policymakers have the ultimate responsibility for making decisions based on this same fragmentary, inconclusive reporting. If policymakers did not respond to analysts' caveated judgments with pointed, probing questions, and did not require them to produce the most complete assessments possible, they would not be doing their jobs.

NIGER CONCLUSIONS

(U) Conclusion 12. Until October 2002 when the Intelligence Community obtained the forged foreign language documents2 on the Iraq Niger uranium deal, it was reasonable for analysts to assess that Iraq may have been seeking uranium from Africa based on Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reporting and other available intelligence.

(U) Conclusion 13. The report on the former ambassador's trip to Niger, disseminated in March 2002, did not change any analysts' assessments of the Iraq Niger uranium deal. For most analysts, the information in the report lent more credibility to the original Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reports on the uranium deal, but State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) analysts believed that the report supported their assessment that Niger was unlikely to be willing or able to sell uranium to Iraq.

(U) Conclusion 14. The Central Intelligence Agency should have told the Vice President and other senior policymakers that it had sent someone to Niger to look into the alleged Iraq Niger uranium deal and should have briefed the Vice President on the former ambassador's findings.

(U) Conclusion 15. The Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) Directorate of Operations should have taken precautions not to discuss the credibility of reporting with a potential source when it arranged a meeting with the former ambassador and Intelligence Community analysts.

(U) Conclusion 16. The language in the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate that "Iraq also began vigorously trying to procure uranium ore and yellowcake" overstated what the Intelligence Community knew about Iraq's possible procurement attempts.

(U) Conclusion 17. The State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) dissent on the uranium reporting was accidentally included in the aluminum tube section of the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), due in part to the speed with which the NIE was drafted and coordinated.

(U) Conclusion 18. When documents regarding the Iraq Niger uranium reporting became available to the Intelligence Community in October 2002, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) analysts and operations officers should have made an effort to obtain copies. As a result of not obtaining the documents, CIA Iraq nuclear analysts continued to report on Iraqi efforts to procure uranium from Africa and continued to approve the use of such language in Administration publications and speeches.

(U) Conclusion 19. Even after obtaining the forged documents and being alerted by a State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) analyst about problems with them, analysts at both the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) did not examine them carefully enough to see the obvious problems with the documents. Both agencies continued to publish assessments that Iraq may have been seeking uranium from Africa. In addition, CIA continued to approve the use of similar language in Administration publications and speeches, including the State of the Union.

(U) Conclusion 20. The Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) comments and assessments about the Iraq Niger uranium reporting were inconsistent and, at times contradictory. These inconsistencies were based in part on a misunderstanding of a CIA Weapons Intelligence, Nonproliferation, and Arms Control Center (WINPAC) Iraq analyst's assessment of the reporting. The CIA should have had a mechanism in place to ensure that agency assessments and information passed to policymakers were consistent.

(U) Conclusion 21. When coordinating the State of the Union, no Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) analysts or officials told the National Security Council (NSC) to remove the 1116 words" or that there were concerns about the credibility of the Iraq Niger uranium reporting. A CIA official's original testimony to the Committee that he told an NSC official to remove the words "Niger" and "500 tons" from the speech, is incorrect.

(U) Conclusion 22. The Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) should have taken the time to read the State of the Union speech and fact check it himself. Had he done so, he would have been able to alert the National Security Council (NSC) if he still had concerns about the use of the Iraq Niger uranium reporting in a Presidential speech.

(U) Conclusion 23. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Defense Humint Service (DHS), or the Navy should have followed up with a West African businessman, mentioned in a Navy report, who indicated he was willing to provide information about an alleged uranium transaction between Niger and Iraq in November 2002.

(  ) Conclusion 24. In responding to a letter from Senator Carl Levin on behalf of the Intelligence Communit in February 2003, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) should not have said that "DELETED of reporting suggest Iraq had attempted to acquire uranium from Niger," without indicating that State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) believed the reporting was based on forged documents, or that the CIA was reviewing the Niger reporting.

(U) Conclusion 25. The Niger reporting was never in any of the drafts of Secretary Powell's United Nations (UN) speech and the Committee has not uncovered any information that showed anyone tried to insert the information into the speech.

(U) Conclusion 26. To date, the Intelligence Community has not published an assessment to clarify or correct its position on whether or not Iraq was trying to purchase uranium from Africa as stated in the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE). Likewise, neither the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) nor the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), which both published assessments on possible Iraqi efforts to acquire uranium, have ever published assessments outside of their agencies which correct their previous positions.

NUCLEAR CONCLUSIONS

(U) Conclusion 27. After reviewing all of the intelligence provided by the Intelligence Community and additional information requested by the Committee, the Committee believes that the judgment in the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear program, was not supported by the intelligence. The Committee agrees with the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) alternative view that the available intelligence "does not add up to a compelling case for reconstitution."

(U) Conclusion 28. The assessments in the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) regarding the timing of when Iraq had begun reconstituting its nuclear program are unclear and confusing.

(U) Conclusion 29. Numerous intelligence reports provided to the Committee showed that Iraq was trying to procure high strength aluminum tubes. The Committee believes that the information available to the Intelligence Community indicated that these tubes were intended to be used for an Iraqi conventional rocket program and not a nuclear program. (U) Conclusion 30. The Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) intelligence assessment on July 2, 2001 that the dimensions of the aluminum tubes "match those of a publicly available gas centrifuge design from the 1950s, known as the Zippe centrifuge" is incorrect. Similar information was repeated by the CIA in its assessments, including its input to the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), and by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) over the next year and a half.

(U) Conclusion 31. The Intelligence Community's position in the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) that the composition and dimensions of the aluminum tubes exceeded the requirements for non nuclear applications, is incorrect.

(  ) Conclusion 32. The DELETED intelligence report on Saddam Hussein's personal interest in the aluminum tubes, if credible, did suggest that the tube procurement was a high priority, but it did not necessarily suggest that the high priority was Iraq's nuclear program.

(U) Conclusion 33. The suggestion in the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) that Iraq was paying excessively high costs for the aluminum tubes is incorrect. In addition, 7075 T6 aluminum is not considerably more expensive than other more readily available materials for rockets as alleged in the NIE.

(U) Conclusion 34. The National Ground Intelligence Center's (NGIC) analysis that the material composition of the tubes was unusual for rocket motor cases was incorrect, contradicted information the NGIC later provided to the Committee, and represented a serious lapse for the agency with primary responsibility for conventional ground forces intelligence analysis.

(  ) Conclusion 35. Information obtained by the Committee shows that the tubes were DELETED to be manufactured to tolerances tighter than typically requested for rocket systems. The request for tight tolerances had several equally likely explanations other than that the tubes were intended for a centrifuge program, however.

(U) Conclusion 36. Iraq's attempts to procure the tubes through intermediary countries did appear intended to conceal Iraq as the ultimate end user of the tubes, as suggested in the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE). Because Iraq was prohibited from importing any military items, it would have had to conceal itself as the end user whether the tubes were intended for a nuclear program or a conventional weapons program, however.

(  ) Conclusion 37. Iraq's persistence in seeking numerous foreign sources for the aluminum tubes was not "inconsistent" with procurement practices as alle ed in the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE). Furthermore, such persistence                      SENTENCE DELETED                      was more indicative of produrement for a conventional weapons program than a covert nuclear program.

(U) Conclusion 38. The Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) initial reporting on its aluminum tube spin tests was, at a minimum, misleading and, in some cases, incorrect. The fact that these tests were not coordinated with other Intelligence Community agencies is an example of continuing problems with information sharing within the Intelligence Community.

(U) Conclusion 39. Iraq's performance of hydrostatic pressure tests on the tubes was more indicative of their likely use for a rocket program than a centrifuge program.

(  ) Conclusion 40. Intelligence reports which showed                      SENTENCE DELETED                      were portrayed in the National Intelligence Estimate as more definitive than the reporting showed.

(  )Conclusion 41.                      SENTENCE DELETED                      in that it was only presented with analysis that supported the CIA's conclusions. The team did not discuss the issues with Department of Energy officials and performed its work in only one day.

(U) Conclusion 42. The Director of Central Intelligence was not aware of the views of all intelligence agencies on the aluminum tubes prior to September 2002 and, as a result, could only have passed the Central Intelligence Agency's view along to the President until that time.

(U) Conclusion 43. Intelligence provided to the Committee did show that Iraq was trying to procure magnets, high speed balancing machines and machine tools, but this intelligence did not suggest that the materials were intended to be used in a nuclear program.

(U) Conclusion 44. The statement in the National Intelligence Estimate that "a large number of personnel for the new [magnet] production facility, worked in Iraq's pre Gulf War centrifuge program," was incorrect.

(U) Conclusion 45. The statement in the National Intelligence Estimate that the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission was "expanding the infrastructure research laboratories, production facilities, and procurement networks - to produce nuclear weapons," is not supported by the intelligence provided to the Committee.

(U) Conclusion 46. The intelligence provided to the Committee which showed that Iraq had kept its cadre of nuclear weapons personnel trained and in positions that could keep their skills intact for eventual use in a reconstituted nuclear program was compelling, but this intelligence did not show that there was a recent increase in activity that would have been indicative of recent or impending reconstitution of Iraq's nuclear program as was suggested in the National Intelligence Estimate.

(U) Conclusion 47. Intelligence information provided to the Committee did show that Saddam Hussein met with Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission personnel and that some security improvements were taking place, but none of the reporting indicated the IAEC was engaged in nuclear weapons related work.

BIOLOGICAL CONCLUSIONS

(U) Conclusion 48. The assessment in the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate that, "[W]e judge that all key aspects - research & development, production, and weaponization - of Iraq's offensive biological weapons program are active and that most elements are larger and more advanced than they were before the Gulf War" is not supported by the intelligence provided to the Committee.

(U) Conclusion 49. The statement in the key judgments of the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) that "Baghdad has biological weapons" overstated what was known about Iraq's biological weapons holdings. The NIE did not explain the uncertainties underlying this statement.

(U) Conclusion 50. The statement in the National Intelligence Estimate that "Baghdad has mobile transportable facilities for producing bacterial and toxin biological weapons agents," overstated what the intelligence reporting suggested about an Iraqi mobile biological weapons effort and did not accurately convey to readers the uncertainties behind the source reporting.

(  ) Conclusion 51. The Central Intelligence Agency withheld important information concerning both CURVE BALL's reliability and DELETEDreporting from many Intelligence Community analysts with a need to know the information.

(  )Conclusion 52. The Defense Human Intelligence Service, which had primary responsibility for handling the Intelligence Community's interaction with CURVE BALL's DELETED debriefers, demonstrated serious lapses in handling such an important source.

(U) Conclusion 53. The statement in the key judgments of the National Intelligence Estimate that "[C]hances are even that smallpox is part of Iraq's offensive biological weapons program" is not supported by the intelligence provided to the Committee.

(U) Conclusion 54. The assessments in the National Intelligence Estimate concerning Iraq's capability to produce and weaponize biological weapons agents are, for the most part, supported by the intelligence provided to the Committee, but the NIE did not explain that the research discussed could have been very limited in nature, been abandoned years ago, or represented legitimate activity.

(U) Conclusion 55. The National Intelligence Estimate misrepresented the United Nations Special Commission's (UNSCOM) 1999 assessment concerning Iraq's biological research capability.

(U) Conclusion 56. The statement in the key judgments of the National Intelligence Estimate that "Baghdad probably has developed genetically engineered biological weapons agents," overstated both the intelligence reporting and analysts assessments of Iraq's development of genetically engineered biological agents.

(U) Conclusion 57. The assessment in the National Intelligence Estimate that "Iraq has . . . dry biological weapons (BW) agents in its arsenal" is not supported by the intelligence information provided to the Committee.

CHEMICAL CONCLUSIONS

(U) Conclusion 58. The statement in the key judgments of the October 2002 Iraq Weapons of Mass Destruction National Intelligence Estimate that "Baghdad has . . . chemical weapons" overstated both what was known about Iraq's chemical weapons holdings and what intelligence analysts judged about Iraq's chemical weapons holdings.

(U) Conclusion 59. The judgment in the October 2002 Iraq Weapons of Mass Destruction National Intelligence Estimate that Iraq was expanding its chemical industry primarily to support chemical weapons production overstated both what was known about expansion of Iraq's chemical industry and what intelligence analysts judged about expansion of Iraq's chemical industry.

(  ) Conclusion 60. It was not clearly explained in the National Intelligence Estimate that the basis for several of the Intelligence Community's assessments about Iraq's chemical weapons capabilities and activities were not based directly on intelligence reporting of those capabilities and activities, but were based on layers of analysis regarding DELETED intelligence reporting.

(U) Conclusion 61. The Intelligence Community's assessment that "Saddam probably has stocked at least 100 metric tons and possibly as much as 500 metric tons of chemical weapons agents -- much of it added in the last year," was an analytical judgment and not based on intelligence reporting that indicated the existence of an Iraqi chemical weapons stockpile of this size.

(U) Conclusion 62. The Intelligence Community's assessment that Iraq had experience in manufacturing chemical weapons bombs, artillery rockets and projectiles was reasonable based on intelligence derived from Iraqi declarations.

(U) Conclusion 63. The National Intelligence Estimate assessment that "Baghdad has procured covertly the types and quantities of chemicals and equipment sufficient to allow limited chemical weapons production hidden within Iraq's legitimate chemical industry" was not substantiated by the intelligence provided to the Committee.

(U) Conclusion 64. The National Intelligence Estimate accurately represented information known about Iraq's procurement of defensive equipment.

DELIVERY CONCLUSIONS

(U) Conclusion 65. The Intelligence Community assessment that Iraq retains a small force of Scud type ballistic missiles was reasonable based on the information provided to the Committee. The estimate that Iraq retained "up to a few dozen Scud variant missiles," was clearly explained in the body of the National Intelligence Estimate to be an assessment based "on no direct evidence" and was explained in the key judgments to be based on "gaps in Iraqi accounting to the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM)."

(U) Conclusion 66. The assessments that Iraq was in the final stages of development of the al Samoud missile, may be preparing to deploy the al Samoud and was deploying the al Samoud and Ababil 100 short range ballistic missile, both which exceed the 150 km United Nations range limit, evolved in a logical progression over time, had a clear foundation in the intelligence reporting, and were reasonable judgments based on the intelligence available to the Committee.

(U) Conclusion 67. The assessment that Iraq was developing medium range ballistic missile (MRBM) capabilities was a reasonable judgment based on the intelligence provided to the Committee.

(U) Conclusion 68. The Intelligence Community assessment in the key judgments section of the National Intelligence Estimate that Iraq was developing an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) "probably intended to deliver biological warfare agents" overstated both what was known about the mission of Iraq's small UAVs and what intelligence analysts judged about the likely mission of Iraq's small UAVs. The Air Force footnote which indicated that biological weapons (BW) delivery was a possible, though unlikely, mission more accurately reflected the body of intelligence reporting.

(U) Conclusion 69. Other than the Air Force's dissenting footnote, the Intelligence Community failed to discuss possible conventional missions for Iraq's unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) which were clearly noted in the intelligence reporting and which most analysts believed were the UAV's primary missions.

(U) Conclusion 70. The Intelligence Community's assessment that Iraq's procurement of United States specific mapping software for its unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) "strongly suggests that Iraq is investigating the use of these UAVs for missions targeting the United States" was not supported by the intelligence provided to the Committee.

(U) Conclusion 71. The Central Intelligence Agency's failure to share all of the intelligence reporting regarding Iraq's attempts to acquire United States mapping software with other Intelligence Community agencies left those analysts with an incomplete understanding of the issue. This lack of information sharing may have led some analysts to agree to a position that they otherwise would not have supported.

(U) Conclusion 72. Much of the information provided or cleared by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for inclusion in Secretary Powell's speech was overstated, misleading, or incorrect. (U) Conclusion 73. Some of the information supplied by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), but not used in Secretary Powell's speech, was incorrect. This information should never have been provided for use in a public speech.

(U) Conclusion 74. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) should have alerted Secretary Powell to the problems with the biological weapons related sources cited in the speech concerning Iraq's alleged mobile biological weapons program.

(  ) Conclusion 75. The National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA)3 should have alerted Secretary Powell to the fact that there was an analytical disagreement within the NIMA concerning the meaning of DELETED activity observed at Iraq's Amiriyah Serum and Vaccine Institute in November 2002. Moreover, agencies like the NIMA should have mechanisms in place for evaluating such analytical disagreements.

(U) Conclusion 76. Human intelligence (HUMINT) gathered after the production of the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), did indicate that Iraqi commanders had been authorized to use chemical weapons as noted in Secretary Powell's speech.

WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION (WMD) COLLECTION CONCLUSIONS

(  ) Conclusion 77. The Intelligence Community relied too heavily on United Nations (UN) DELETED information about Iraq's programs and did not develop a sufficient unilateral collection effort targeting Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs and related activities to supplement UN collected information and to take Its place upon the departure of the UN inspectors.

(U) Conclusion 78. The Intelligence Community depended too heavily on defectors and foreign government services to obtain human intelligence (HUMINT) information on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction activities. Because the Intelligence Community did not have direct access to many of these sources, it was exceedingly difficult to determine source credibility.

(U) Conclusion 79. The Intelligence Community waited too long after inspectors departed Iraq to increase collection against Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs.

(U) Conclusion 80. Even after the departure of United Nations (UN) inspectors, placement of human intelligence (HUMINT) agents and development of unilateral sources inside Iraq were not top priorities for the Intelligence Community.

(U) Conclusion 81. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) continues to excessively compartment sensitive human intelligence (HUMINT) reporting and fails to share important information about HUMINT reporting and sources with Intelligence Community analysts who have a need to know.

(  ) Conclusion 82.                      SENTENCE DELETED                     . The lack of in country human intelligence (HUMINT) collection assets contributed to this collection gap.

WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION (WMD) PRESSURE CONCLUSIONS

(U) Conclusion 83. The Committee did not find any evidence that Administration officials attempted to coerce, influence or pressure analysts to change their judgments related to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capabilities.

(U) Conclusion 84. The Committee found no evidence that the Vice President's visits to the Central Intelligence Agency were attempts to pressure analysts, were perceived as intended to pressure analysts by those who participated in the briefings on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs, or did pressure analysts to change their assessments.

WHITE PAPER CONCLUSIONS

(U) Conclusion 85. The Intelligence Community's elimination of the caveats from the unclassified White Paper misrepresented their judgments to the public which did not have access to the classified National Intelligence Estimate containing the more carefully worded assessments.

(U) Conclusion 86. The names of agencies which had dissenting opinions in the classified National Intelligence Estimate were not included in the unclassified white paper and in the case of the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the dissenting opinion was excluded completely. In both cases in which there were dissenting opinions, the dissenting agencies were widely regarded as the primary subject matter experts on the issues in question. Excluding the names of the agencies provided readers with an incomplete picture of the nature and extent of the debate within the Intelligence Community regarding these issues.

(U) Conclusion 87. The key judgment in the unclassified October 2002 White Paper on Iraq's potential to deliver biological agents conveyed a level of threat to the United States homeland inconsistent with the classified National Intelligence Estimate.

RAPID PRODUCTION OF THE NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE CONCLUSIONS

(U) Conclusion 88. The Intelligence Community should have been more aggressive in identifying Iraq as an issue that warranted the production of a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) and should have initiated the production of such an Estimate prior to the request from Members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

(U) Conclusion 89. While more time may have afforded analysts the opportunity to correct some minor inaccuracies in the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), the Committee does not believe that any of the fundamental analytical flaws contained in the NIE were the result of the limited time available to the Intelligence Community to complete the Estimate.

IRAQI LINKS TO TERRORISM CONCLUSIONS

(U) Conclusion 90. The Central Intelligence Agency's assessment that Saddam Hussein was most likely to use his own intelligence service operatives to conduct attacks was reasonable, and turned out to be accurate.

(U) Conclusion 91. The Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) assessment that Iraq had maintained ties to several secular Palestinian terrorist groups and with the Mujahidin eKhalq was supported by the intelligence. The CIA was also reasonable in judging that Iraq appeared to have been reaching out to more effective terrorist groups, such as Hizballah and Hamas, and might have intended to employ such surrogates in the event of war.

(U) Conclusion 92. The Central Intelligence Agency's examination of contacts, training, safehaven and operational cooperation as indicators of a possible Iraq al-Qaida relationship was a reasonable and objective approach to the question.

(U) Conclusion 93. The Central Intelligence Agency reasonably assessed that there were likely several instances of contacts between Iraq and al-Qaida throughout the 1990s, but that these contacts did not add up to an established formal relationship.

(  ) Conclusion 94. The Central Intelligence Agency reasonably and objectively assessed in Iraqi Support for Terrorism that the most problematic area of contact between Iraq and al-Qaida were the reports of training in the use of non conventional weapons, specifically chemical and biological weapons.                      SENTENCE DELETED                     

(U) Conclusion 95. The Central Intelligence Agency's assessment on safehaven - that alQaida or associated operatives were present in Baghdad and in northeastern Iraq in an area under Kurdish control - was reasonable.

(U) Conclusion 96. The Central Intelligence Agency's assessment that to date there was no evidence proving Iraqi complicity or assistance in an al-Qaida attack was reasonable and objective. No additional information has emerged to suggest otherwise.

(U) Conclusion 97. The Central Intelligence Agency's judgment that Saddam Hussein, if sufficiently desperate, might employ terrorists with a global reach - al-Qaida - to conduct terrorist attacks in the event of war, was reasonable. No information has emerged thus far to suggest that Saddam did try to employ al-Qaida in conducting terrorist attacks.

(U) Conclusion 98. The Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) assessments on Iraq's links to terrorism were widely disseminated, though an early version of a key CIA assessment was disseminated only to a limited list of cabinet members and some subcabinet officials in the Administration.

TERRORISM COLLECTION CONCLUSIONS

(U) Conclusion 99. Despite four decades of intelligence reporting on Iraq, there was little useful intelligence collected that helped analysts determine the Iraqi regime's possible links to al-Qaida.

(  )Conclusion 100. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) did not have a focused human intelligence (HUMINT) collection strategy targeting Iraq's links to terrorism until 2002. The CIA had no DELETED sources on the ground in Iraq reporting specifically on terrorism. The lack of an official DELETED U.S. presence in the country DELETED curtailed the Intelligence Community's HUMINT collection capabilities.

TERRORISM PRESSURE CONCLUSIONS

(  ) Conclusion 101.                                                              PARAGRAPH DELETED                                                             

(U) Conclusion 102. The Committee found that none of the analysts or other people interviewed by the Committee said that they were pressured to change their conclusions related to Iraq's links to terrorism. After 9/11, however, analysts were under tremendous pressure to make correct assessments, to avoid missing a credible threat, and to avoid an intelligence failure on the scale of 9/11. As a result, the Intelligence Community's assessments were bold and assertive in pointing out potential terrorist links. For Instance, the June 2002 Central Intelligence Agency assessment Iraq and al-Qaida: Interpreting a Murky Relationship was, according to its Scope Note, "purposefully aggressive" in drawing connections between Iraq and al-Qaida in an effort to inform policymakers of the potential that such a relationship existed. All of the participants in the August 2002 coordination meeting on the September 2002 version of Iraqi Support for Terrorism interviewed by the Committee agreed that while some changes were made to the paper as a result of the participation of two Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy staffers, their presence did not result in changes to their analytical judgments.

POWELL SPEECH CONCLUSIONS - TERRORISM PORTION

(U) Conclusion 103. The information provided by the Central Intelligence Agency for the terrorism portion of Secretary Powell's speech was carefully vetted by both terrorism and regional analysts.

(U) Conclusion 104. None of the portrayals of the intelligence reporting included in Secretary Powell's speech differed in any significant way from earlier assessments published by the Central Intelligence Agency.

(U) Conclusion 105. Because the Director of Central Intelligence refused to provide all working drafts of the speech, the Committee could not determine whether anything was added to or removed from the speech prior to its delivery.

IRAQI THREAT TO REGIONAL STABILITY AND SECURITY CONCLUSIONS

(U) Conclusion 106. The Intelligence Community (IC) did not take steps to clearly characterize changes in Iraq's threat to regional stability and security, taking account of the fact that its conventional military forces steadily degraded after 1990.

(U) Conclusion 107. The quality and quantity of Human Intelligence (HUMINT) reporting on issues related to regional stability and security, particularly on the subject of regime intentions, was deficient and did not adequately support policymaker requirements.

(U) Conclusion 108. Subject to the limitations described in conclusions 106 and 107, the Intelligence Community (IC) objectively assessed a diverse body of intelligence regarding Saddam Hussein's threat to regional stability and security, producing a wide range of high quality analytical documents on various topics. The IC's judgments about Iraq's military capabilities were reasonable and balanced, based on three factors: the size and capabilities of its military forces in relation to neighboring countries; its history of aggressive behavior prior to the first Gulf War; and, its patterns of behavior between 1991 and 2003.

(U) Conclusion 109. The Intelligence Community should have produced a National Intelligence Estimate level assessment of the overall threat posed by Iraq in the region prior to the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Such a document would have outlined - in one place and in a systematic fashion the complete range of factors comprising Iraq's threat to regional stability and security.

SADDAM HUSSEIN'S HUMAN RIGHTS RECORD CONCLUSIONS

(U) Conclusion 110. Between 1991 and 2003 analysis of Saddam Hussein's human rights record was limited in volume, but provided an accurate depiction of the scope of abuses under his regime. The limited body of analysis was reasonable, given the difficulty of intelligence collection inside Iraq and the demands on collection resources that were primarily targeted on other priorities. Those competing priorities included weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, regime stability and regional security. There was no indication that the Intelligence Community's (IC) analysis was shaped or manipulated in regards to analysis of human rights abuses.

(U) Conclusion 111. The Intelligence Community's development of a systematic analytical method - the "mosaic approach," which grew out of approaches to "atrocities intelligence" in the Balkans - was an innovation for gaining a better understanding of the human rights situation in Iraq. The environment was a denied and hostile arena that thwarted most intelligence collection by organizations following human rights issues.

THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY'S SHARING OF INTELLIGENCE ON IRAQI SUSPECT WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION SITES WITH UNITED NATIONS INSPECTORS CONCLUSIONS

(U) Conclusion 112. The Intelligence Community had limited actionable intelligence on suspect Iraqi weapons of mass destruction sites.

(U) Conclusion 113. The Central Intelligence Agency fulfilled the intent of the Administration's policy on the sharing of intelligence information.

(U) Conclusion 114. Public pronouncements by Administration officials that the Central Intelligence Agency had shared information on all high and moderate priority suspect sites with United Nations inspectors were factually incorrect.

(U) Conclusion 115. The rationale used by the Central Intelligence Agency for deciding what information to share with the United Nations was inherently subjective, inconsistently applied, and not well documented.

(U) Conclusion 116. The multiple Intelligence Community Weapons of Mass Destruction (WNW) site lists lack coherency.

(U) Conclusion 117. The information the Central Intelligence Agency provided to Senator Levin in reply to his letters on the sharing of intelligence information with the United Nations was, in some cases, unresponsive, incomplete and inconsistent.


  1. Sherman Kent and the Board of National Estimates: Collected Essays, (Httv://www.odci.gov/csilbooks/shennankent/inst.htrW). From 1952 to 1967, Sherman Kent was the Chairman of the Board of National Estimates. which would later become the National Intelligence Council.
  2. (  ) In March 2003, the Vice Chairman of the Committee, Senator Rockefeller, requested that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigate the source of the documents,                      SENTENCE DELETED                     , the motivation of those responsible for the forgeries, and the extent to which the forgeries were part of a disinformation campaign. Because of the FBI's current investigation into this matter, the Committee did not examine these issues.
  3. NIMA has recently been renamed the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA).



NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list