Saturday, June 07, 2003

Questions Swirl Around WMD Charges
Ex-Official: Evidence Distorted for War
By JOHN J. LUMPKIN, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration distorted intelligence and presented conjecture as evidence to justify a U.S. invasion of Iraq (news - web sites), according to a retired intelligence official who served during the months before the war.

"What disturbs me deeply is what I think are the disingenuous statements made from the very top about what the intelligence did say," said Greg Thielmann, who retired last September. "The area of distortion was greatest in the nuclear field."

Thielmann was director of the strategic, proliferation and military issues office in the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research. His office was privy to classified intelligence gathered by the CIA (news - web sites) and other agencies about Iraq's chemical, biological and nuclear programs.

In Thielmann's view, Iraq could have presented an immediate threat to U.S. security in two areas: Either it was about to make a nuclear weapon, or it was forming close operational ties with al-Qaida terrorists.

Evidence was lacking for both, despite claims by President Bush (news - web sites) and others, Thielmann said in an interview this week. Suspicions were presented as fact, contrary arguments ignored, he said.


This Thielmann person is a darn credible witness. I appluad him for speaking out and telling the truth.

He'd better not plan to fly on any small aircraft anytime soon. I'd hate to see him end up Wellstoned, or Carnahaned or Baxterized.



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