Thursday, October 09, 2003

Bush's prewar intelligence briefing showed no Baghdad link to terror, war would increase risk of terror and proliferation: "National Intelligence Estimate, deals with terrorism, and draws conclusions that would come as a shock to most Americans, judging from recent polls on Iraq. The CIA, Defense Intelligence Agency and the other U.S. spy agencies unanimously agreed that Baghdad:

* had not sponsored past terrorist attacks against America,

* was not operating in concert with al-Qaida,

* and was not a terrorist threat to America.

'We have no specific intelligence information that Saddam's regime has directed attacks against U.S. territory,' the report stated.

"However, it added, 'Saddam, if sufficiently desperate, might decide that only an organization such as al-Qaida could perpetrate the type of terrorist attack that he would hope to conduct.'

"Sufficiently desperate? If he 'feared an attack that threatened the survival of the regime,' the report explained.

"In other words, only if Saddam were provoked by U.S. attack would he even consider taking the 'extreme step' of reaching out to al-Qaida, an organization with which he had no natural or preexisting relationship. He wasn't about to strike the U.S. or share his alleged weapons with al-Qaida"

What sort of prewar intelligence briefing did John Howard receive? Was it the equivalent of Bush's? If so, why then did he lie about the reasons for war? If not, why not?

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