21 October 2003

Time for reckoning

Intelligence is meant to inform government decision-making, not to be invoked or discarded selectively to justify predetermined political decisions. The unjustified claims of the Bush administration on Iraq's illicit weapons capabilities have severely damaged the credibility of the U.S. government and the U.S. intelligence community.

The Kay report offers nothing to vindicate or excuse the administration in this matter. Congress, in whom the Constitution has invested the war powers function, has the responsibility to initiate an independent investigation on how and why the administration used discredited and disputed claims to launch a war, which continues to impose a costly and destabilizing burden on this nation.

Greg Thielmann was a senior official in the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Daryl G. Kimball is executive director of the Arms Control Association.

We do not really need to look far beyond the Kay report. Comparing the contents of that report (including the botched botulism allegation) with what the coalition governments have claimed it says reveals a leadership that will say or do anything to retain power. They should all get reverse gears installed, and quickly.

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