The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has released two parts of its “Phase II” report on pre-war intelligence regarding Iraq. The first report considers the accuracy of the pre-war intelligence in light of what the Committee now thinks it knows. The second report considers the use by the intelligence community of information provided by the Iraqi National Congress.
I haven’t read the reports yet. I understand that the first report concludes that the pre-war intelligence assessment were not accurate: the assessments about weapons of mass destruction were essentially wrong and the assessments about links between al Qaeda and the Iraqi government were of mixed accuracy.
The second report apparently is internally contradictory. I understand that the “findings” section of the report shows that some of the information provided by the Iraqi National Congress was accurate and some of it was not; that the INC did not deliberately distort the information it provided; that the information it provided played very little role in the intelligence community’s assessments; and that it played no role in conclusions reached by the intelligence community about any links between al Qaeda and the Iraqi government.
However, I understand that the “conclusions” section of the report departs from what’s stated in the factual findings. Specifically, the Democrats, with some Republican support, were able to insert a conclusions section stating that the Iraqi National Congress deliberately distorted information it provided, and that this distorted information was put to use by the intelligence community. The Democrats thus have conclusions they will spin to claim that the adminstration took us to war using back channel intelligence that was deliberately falsified. Expect to hear Scooter Libby’s name, for example, used liberally.
The media, of course, rarely reads beyond a report’s conclusions. Thus, the Democrats had an incentive to misstate in this section what the Committee actually found. I look forward to reading the report to see if that’s what happened.
UPDATE: If you want to understand the extent of Democratic hypocrisy on the underlying issue, go here.
And you can find a list of the members of the Committee here.
FURTHER UPDATE: Consider Thomas Joscelyn underwhelmed by the report.
JOHN adds: Joscelyn’s Weekly Standard article is powerful. The Senate Committee report fails even to mention some of the best-known and best-documented evidence of contact and coordination between Saddam’s regime and al Qaeda. That being the case, it is hard to see how the report can have any value except as propaganda.