Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Bush Document on War Data Is Held Back

The White House and the Central Intelligence Agency have refused to give the Senate Intelligence Committee a one-page summary of prewar intelligence in Iraq prepared for President Bush that contains few of the qualifiers and none of the dissents spelled out in longer intelligence reviews, according to Congressional officials.
Senate Democrats claim that the document could help clear up exactly what intelligence agencies told Mr. Bush about Iraq's illicit weapons. The administration and the C.I.A. say the White House is protected by executive privilege, and Republicans on the committee dismissed the Democrats' argument that the summary was significant.
The review, prepared for President Bush in October 2002, summarized the findings of a classified, 90-page National Intelligence Estimate about Iraq's illicit weapons. Congressional officials said that notes taken by Senate staffers who were permitted to review the document show that it eliminated references to dissent within the government about the National Intelligence Estimate's conclusions.

How long will it be before McClellan or W himself is on TV telling us how completely open and cooperative they're being, again?
Funny thing is, it sounds like this would actually absolve the President slightly, putting more of the blame on whoever produced that one page. I guess they're just too much in the habit of fighting the release of everything.
Or, more seriously, perhaps they figure if they put up a token fight against releasing it, it'll garner more attention, and boost their image more when they do, oh so reluctantly, finally release it?

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