Former chief weapons inspector questions US pre-emptive strike policy

PLA Daily 2004-02-03

WASHINGTON, Feb. 1 (Xinhuanet) -- David Kay, the former chief weapons inspector, said Sunday that flawed intelligence about Iraq's prewar weapons program put into question the US preemptive strike policy against countries deemed a threat to the United States.

"If you cannot rely on good, accurate intelligence that is credible to the American people and to others abroad, you certainly can't have a policy of preemption," he said at Fox News Sunday.

Kay, who resigned on Jan 23, concluded that Iraq possessed no stockpiles of biological or chemical weapons before the US-led waron Iraq early last year.

The Bush administration launched the Iraq war in March last year, citing "grave and gathering danger" posed by Iraq's biological and chemical weapons, and warranted his pre-emptive doctrine to guard US security in the face of new terror threats.

The White House has acknowledged flaws in its intelligence gathering prior to the war, and President George W. Bush, under mounting political pressure, is reportedly considering an independent inquiry into the prewar intelligence failures.

Until the investigation is complete, Kay said, it would be difficult for the Bush administration to make a convincing case toallies for action in the next security crisis.

Lawmakers from both the Republican and Democratic parties said the country's credibility is being undermined by uncertainty over flawed intelligence that led the US war in Iraq, and wanted the Bush administration to create an independent panel to look into the intelligence failures.

"I don't see there's any way around it," Senator Chuck Hagel, aRepublican and senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said on CNN's "Late Edition" Sunday. "We need to open this up in a very nonpartisan, outside commission, to see where weare," he said.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a Democrat and vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, also said an independent panel is needed posthaste.

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