23 February 2004

U.S. withheld data from arms teams

The CIA has acknowledged not providing the United Nations with information about 21 of the 105 sites in Iraq suspected of housing illicit weapons.

The information was revealed in a Jan. 20 letter to Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), and contradicts statements made before the war by top Bush administration officials. Stanley Moskowitz, the agency's director of congressional affairs, sent the note.

CIA Director George Tenet and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said the UN arms inspectors were briefed on all sites considered 'high value and moderate value.'

The contradiction is significant because congressional opponents of the war were arguing a year ago that the UN teams should be given time to complete their search before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. The White House, bolstered by Tenet, insisted that it was fully cooperating with the inspectors and was providing them with the best information possible.

Levin said Friday that he thought Tenet had misled Congress, a situation he described as 'totally unacceptable.'

Hohum. Can these be the same people who denounced the UN inspectors as ineffective? Withholding that data was a breach of Resolution 1441. Can these be the same people who cite breaches of Un resolutions as a casus belli? Will there be serious consequences?

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