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Bush pledge over US intelligence

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Bush pledge over US intelligence

President George W Bush has welcomed a study that says US intelligence agencies know "disturbingly little" about enemy weapons programmes.

Describing the report as "extremely significant", he said US intelligence needed "fundamental change" to face the threats of the 21st Century.

The study makes recommendations for new director of US intelligence John Negroponte, who heads 15 spy agencies.

The study in particular criticises US collection of intelligence in Iraq.

The report says dramatic changes are needed to prevent failures similar to the fiasco over Iraq's missing weapons, including the creation of a a national counter-proliferation centre to combat the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

Intelligence 'dead wrong'

Mr Bush said intelligence had to be "timely and accurate".

"We need to adjust to the threats and adjust our capabilities to meet those threats," he said.

"The cost of underestimating a threat could be tens of thousands of lives."

Several independent inquiries have already examined the role that intelligence played in the run-up to the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

But the current commission, led by Judge Laurence Silberman and former Senator Charles Robb, is the only inquiry ordered directly by President Bush.

"The intelligence community was dead wrong in almost all of its pre-war judgments about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction," the panel concluded.

"We simply cannot afford failures of this magnitude," it added.

Looking beyond Iraq, the report said: "The bad news is that we still know disturbingly little about the weapons programs and even less about the intentions of many of our most dangerous adversaries."

In response White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the administration would "act on those recommendations in a fairly quick period of time".

Boosting morale

The commission did not name any country in the declassified version of the report - but analysts say the statement refers to such countries as North Korea and Iran.

Iran's nuclear programme - which Tehran says is peaceful - has sparked international concerns.

North Korea has pulled out of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and says it has nuclear weapons.

New CIA chief Porter Goss reportedly sent an e-mail to staff last week in an effort to boost morale ahead of the commission's findings.

Previous inquiries into US intelligence capabilities, including the 9/11 Commission, led to widespread reform of the intelligence services, including the creation of the new post of director of national intelligence.

President Bush chose Mr Negroponte, an experienced diplomat, for the role, but the appointee has yet to take up his position.

In addition, long-serving CIA chief George Tenet stepped down. Mr Goss took up the post promising large-scale internal reform.

Story from BBC NEWS:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/worl...cas/4396457.stm

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"The intelligence community was dead wrong in almost all of its pre-war judgments about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction," the panel concluded.

I read this earlier. I can't help but wonder if the intelligence was really wrong or if the intelligence gatherers are getting the blame because their superiors heard only what they wanted to.

On the other hand, several years ago when a spy plane was forced down in China (?) and there was an uproar about it, I remember thinking, "we weren't very GOOD spies, were we??" (After all, isn't the first prerequisite of spying keeping the enemy from knowing you're there??)

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It is my opinion that any news fodder or headline extravaganzas over intelligence issues tell only a one sided and partially biased truth of the real intelligence game. Neither they, (the NEWS agencies) nor we really have a clue as to what our governments knew, didn't know, etc.

I think we wouldn't even believe the 'real' truth if it were told to us. no.gif

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I read this earlier. I can't help but wonder if the intelligence was really wrong or if the intelligence gatherers are getting the blame because their superiors heard only what they wanted to.

anyone of any importance in the international community believed saddam had the weapons.

On the other hand, several years ago when a spy plane was forced down in China (?) and there was an uproar about it, I remember thinking, "we weren't very GOOD spies, were we??" (After all, isn't the first prerequisite of spying keeping the enemy from knowing you're there??)

a spy plane is a little different:P

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anyone of any importance in the international community believed saddam had the weapons.

because we were the ones that told them that saddam had the weapons

bush screwed up, he should be held accountable for his actions.

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because we were the ones that told them that saddam had the weapons

no, it may surprise you, but the CIA isn't the only intelligence agency out there

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