Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Cheney- Bush: DEAD WRONG assholes!!!!

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All Rights Reserved.

CNN

SHOW: CNN PRESENTS 8:00 PM EST

February 12, 2006 Sunday

TRANSCRIPT: 021201CN.V79

SECTION: NEWS; International

LENGTH: 6670 words

HEADLINE: Dead Wrong

BYLINE: Carol Lin, David Ensor

HIGHLIGHT:

Taking a look inside what went wrong with intelligence
on weapons of mass destruction.

BODY:

CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: And at 9:00 p.m. it's "LARRY
KING LIVE" and tonight, the cast of T.V. sitcom
classic "Growing Pains" is together again for the
first time. Find out what they're doing now. That's
only on CNN. I'm Carol Lin. I'll see you at 10:00 p.m.
Eastern with the latest up to the minute news on "CNN
SUNDAY NIGHT."

ANNOUNCER: "CNN PRESENTS," winner of the International
Documentary Association's distinguished award for best
continuing series.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAVID ENSOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was
the central pillar in the argument for preemptive war.

RICHARD CHENEY, U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: Simply stated,
there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons
of mass destruction.

ENSOR: The United States put its credibility on the
line.

COLIN POWELL, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: What
we're giving you are facts and conclusions based on
solid intelligence.

ENSOR: But much of that intelligence turned out to be
wrong.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was the lowest point in my life.
I wish I had not been involved.

ENSOR: Tonight, an inside look at what went wrong and
why.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who is to blame? No question, it's
the intelligence community. We did it to ourselves.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The problem is the White House
didn't go to the CIA and say, tell me the truth, it
said give me ammunition.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can't afford to be wrong a
second time. How many people in the world are going to
believe us when we say it's a slam dunk, Iran has
nuclear weapons?

ENSOR (on camera): "Dead wrong." That's how the
commission appointed by President Bush describes U.S.
intelligence in the lead up to the Iraq War. Welcome
to CNN PRESENTS. I'm David Ensor.

Despite public warnings before the war, no weapons of
mass destruction have been found. But the commission's
searing report left unanswered a critical question.
Should anyone be held accountable? Tonight, we go
behind the scenes in search of answer and for the
first time we hear from key players, on camera and on
the record, who were there when some of the mistakes
were made.

(voice-over): In early 2001, George W. Bush, urged by
his father, who had been a director of central
intelligence, keeps George Tenet in charge of the CIA.
The new president is applauded for putting the agency
above politics. And Tenet, who was appointed by Bill
Clinton, becomes the first CIA director in more than
three decades to survive a change of party in the
White House.

But theirs will be a fateful relationship. The
president will take the country to war, a decision he
will justify using intelligence produced by Tenet's
CIA.

In 2005, as the Iraq War entered its third year, the
top U.S. weapons hunter ended his search. Case closed.
No weapons of mass destruction have been found.

The harm done to American credibility by our all too
public intelligence failings in Iraq, reports the
commission appointed by the president to investigate
the failures, will take years to undo.

GEORGE W. BUSH, U.S. PRESIDENT: To win the war on
terror, we will correct what needs to be fixed.

ENSOR: The commission found no sign that the evidence
had been shaped by political pressure, it was simply
wrong.

BUSH: The central conclusion is one that I share,
America's intelligence community needs fundamental
change.

ENSOR: But like earlier congressional investigations,
the president's commission looked only at the
intelligence, not how the commander-in-chief and his
top aides used it to make the case for war.

DAVID GREGORY, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Did this commission
not ask the tough questions? Did they not challenge
some of these assumptions? And doesn't ultimate
responsibility rest with the president of the United
States?

JUDGE LAURENCE SILBERMAN, COMMISSIONER: We had
discussions with the president. We didn't interview
the president, nor did we interview the vice
president.

ENSOR: So what may be the last official review of how
the mistakes were made gives policymakers a pass.

SILBERMAN: Our job was to look at the intelligence
that came from the intelligence community.

ENSOR: The commission's 600 page report directs most
of its fire at the Central Intelligence Agency,
starting at the top.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Tenet, would you stand and
raise your right hand. ENSOR: When he was named
director of central intelligence in 1997, George Tenet
was the fifth DCI in six years. He promised to tell
truth to power.

GEORGE TENET, FORMER DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE:
To the president and all those who rely on our
nation's intelligence capabilities, I will deliver
intelligence that is clear and objective and does not
pull punches. To the Congress ...

ENSOR: Tenet inherited an agency grappling with
changing threats in a post Cold War world. And still
coming to grips with the fact that it had missed
Saddam Hussein's push to build a nuclear weapon in the
months before the Gulf War.

After Saddam's defeat, United Nations inspectors
investigated and destroyed his nuclear program, along
with most of his chemical and biological weapons.

But when they departed in 1998, the U.S. lost its
window into Iraq.

Iraq was not the only intelligence black hole.

The CIA chief had warned urgently and often that a
terror attack was coming, but the intelligence
community had no idea when or where. In the days after
what some labeled the greatest intelligence failure
since Pearl Harbor, there were calls for George
Tenet's resignation.

But during a morale-boosting visit to the CIA,
President Bush will make clear that as the United
States launches its war on terror, he wants George
Tenet at his side.

MICHAEL SCHEUER, CIA ANALYST: The CIA is, at the end
of the day, the peculiar instrument of the executive
branch and the president.

ENSOR: Michael Scheuer was a long time CIA analyst who
wrote a book under the pseudonym "Anonymous," critical
of CIA leadership in the war on terror.

SCHEUER: But under Mr. Tenet it became very much
focused on the president. He was called the "First
Customer" and clearly became the be all and end all of
our efforts.

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN, FORMER ACTING DIRECTOR OF THE CIA:
There is always a danger in the intelligence business
of getting too close to the policymaker.

ENSOR: John McLaughlin was Tenet's second in command.
He is now a CNN analyst.

MCLAUGHLIN: But if you aren't close enough to
understand what they're thinking and how they're
operating and what their requirements are, you're not
going to serve them well.

ENSOR: The day after the towers fall, attention is
focused on launching an attack on al Qaeda and its
Taliban protectors in Afghanistan, but inside the
White House sites are also set on another target,
Iraq.

In the spring of 2002, Vice President Cheney, who had
been secretary of defense when the U.S. discovered
Saddam's WMD programs in 1991, travels from the White
House to CIA headquarters in Virginia. He beings to
press analysts on the intelligence assembly line.

JAMES PAVITT, FORMER CIA DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF
OPERATIONS: Policymakers love intelligence when it
supports their policy and they have difficulty with
intelligence when it does not.

ENSOR: James Pavitt was chief of the CIA's cover
spying operations.

PAVITT: The role of the intelligence officer is to
produce the intelligence and to objectively and
honestly table it. If pushed, now are you sure that's
right? That's fine, there's nothing wrong with that.

ENSOR: Robert Baer, a legendary CIA field officer
served most of his 21 year career in the Middle East.
He left the agency in 1997.

ROBERT BAER, FORMER CIA OFFICER: I think Cheney, as
far as I can reconstruct this, everybody knows that
Saddam's got weapons of mass destruction. The French
do, the British do, even the Russians thought he did.
Tell us what's your best stuff.

ENSOR: The overwhelming Washington consensus was that
Saddam would not have abandoned his drive for weapons
of mass destruction.

PAVITT: And there was a whole panoply of reasons to
believe that was the case. There are not many
countries in the world that have used weapons of mass
destruction on their own people. Iraqis did.

ENSOR: At the Pentagon, Secretary of Defense Donald
Rumsfeld sets up a special office to provide him with
alternative intelligence analysis, focusing on a
possible link between Saddam and al Qaeda. The
Pentagon unit is not mentioned by the president's
commission.

LARRY JOHNSON, FORMER STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: They
even briefed their findings to the community and the
community would come back and say, wait a second, you
don't know what you're talking about. That's garbage.
That's misleading, that misrepresents.

ENSOR: Larry Johnson was a counterterrorism official
in the State Department and the CIA before leaving
government in 1993.

JOHNSON: And then they would take the same brief or an
even more extreme version and brief it directly to
people like the vice president.

ENSOR: The spies called it cherry-picking, choosing
scraps of intelligence to prove a worst-case scenario.

July 23rd, a senior British intelligence officials
briefs Prime Minister Tony Blair on his recent
discussions in Washington. According to notes on the
Downing Street briefing, the MI6 chief reported that
President Bush wanted to remove Saddam through
military action. The intelligence and facts, he said,
"were being fixed around the policy."

The White House declined interview requests for this
report. President Bush addressed the memo at a recent
news conference with Blair.

BUSH: Somebody said, well, we had made up our mind to
go -- to use military force to deal with Saddam. There
is nothing farther from the truth. My conversation
with the prime minister was how could we do this
peacefully.

ENSOR: But in the summer of 2002, the White House Iraq
Group, WHIG, had quietly begun a campaign to build
support for war. National Security Adviser Condoleezza
Rice, Karl Rove and Karen Hughes and the chiefs of
staff to both the president and the vice president
planned strategy in weekly meetings.

CHENEY: Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam
Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.

ENSOR: Late August, vice president Cheney takes the
lead in public, escalating the rhetoric against
Saddam.

CHENEY: The Iraq regime has, in fact, been very busy
enhancing its capabilities in the field of chemical
and biological agents and they continue to pursue the
nuclear program they began so many years ago.

GREG THIELMANN, FORMER STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: That
speech it seemed to me was basically a declaration of
war speech.

ENSOR: Greg Thielmann was in charge of monitoring WMD
at the State Department's bureau of intelligence.

THEILMANN: That's when I, for the first time, became
really alarmed about where we were going on this.

CHENEY: But we now know that Saddam has resumed his
efforts to acquire nuclear weapons.

ENSOR: The CIA has no new proven evidence to support
the vice president's claims.

MCLAUGHLIN: We did not clear that particular speech.
As controversy developed in the course of debate over
Iraq, we began to clear speeches later, but at that
point we were not clearing speeches like that.

ENSOR: By September, the Pentagon has quietly
positioned forces in countries around the Persian
Gulf. The United States will be ready to move against
Saddam in as little as 60 days.

SHEUER: There was just a resignation within the agency
that we were going to war against Iraq and it didn't
make any difference what the analysis was or what kind
of objections or countervailing forces there were to
an invasion. We were going to war.

ENSOR: Intelligence analysts worked in an environment,
the president's commission reports, that did not
encourage skepticism. It is the single, brief
description of Washington in 2002 when the
intelligence mistakes were made.

ENSOR: Early every morning, the president of the
United States received a super secret briefing from
the CIA, the only agency in the intelligence community
that answered directly to him.

George Tenet's plainspoken style appealed to the new
president, so Bush insisted Tenet brief him face to
face.

Some of the CIA's briefings on Iraq begin to rely on
one analyst, an engineer with limited nuclear weapons
experience, known only as Joe T. He believed he had
found the smoking gun. Saddam was buying high strength
aluminum tubes that Joe T. insists are meant for
centrifuges to enrich uranium.

THIELMANN: Of all the pieces of evidence, this was
potentially the most damning, would be the kind of
thing, through uranium enrichment, get enough fissile
material for a nuclear weapon.

ENSOR: The three feet by three inch tubes are the only
piece of physical evidence that might suggest a bomb
building program.

THIELMANN: We were really agnostic at the beginning of
it but we listened to the experts and more and more
evidence came in that told us, no, this can't be true.

ENSOR: Nuclear experts at the Department of Energy
argued the tubes are the wrong size and material for
use in centrifuges but exactly right for rocket
casings. They called Joe T.'s reasoning improbably.

CARL FORD, FORMER STATE DEPARTMENT INTELLIGENCE
OFFICIAL: Why would you immediately jump to the
conclusion that these were for their nuclear program?

ENSOR: Carl Ford was assistant secretary of state in
charge of the department's bureau of intelligence.

FORD: Once an analyst starts believing their own work
and quits doubting themselves and starts saying, I'm
going to prove to you that they've got nuclear
weapons, watch out. Be on your alert.

ENSOR: On Sunday, September 8th, the lead story in the
"New York Times" quotes anonymous officials who
maintain the tubes are intended for enriching uranium.
"The first sign of a smoking gun," the unnamed
officials argue, "may be a mushroom cloud."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would call it official leaking
because I think these were authorized conversations
between the press and members of the intelligence
community that further misreported the nature of the
intelligence community's disagreement on this issue.

ENSOR: Some top officials had been advised of the
sharp disagreement, but in coordinated appearances on
the Sunday talk shows, the administration reveals no
doubts.

CONDOLEEZZA RICE, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: High
quality aluminum tubes that are only really suited for
nuclear weapons programs, centrifuge programs.

CHENEY: I do know with absolutely certainty that he is
using his procurement system to acquire the equipment
he needs to enrich uranium to build a nuclear weapon.

DONALD RUMSFELD, U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Imagine a
September 11 with weapons of mass destruction.

RICE: We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom
cloud.

RAND BEERS, FORMER NSC OFFICIAL: As they embellished
what the intelligence community was prepared to say
and as the press reported that information, it began
to acquire its own sense of truth and reality.

ENSOR: Rand Beers will resign his White House post and
later work against the reelection of President Bush.

The nuclear menace from Iraq has been planted in the
public's mind. Rumsfeld's Pentagon unit pushes a
second threat, a connection between Iraq and al Qaeda.

SHEURER: Mr. Tenet, to his credit, had us go back
through CIA files and we went back for almost 10
years, reviewed nearly 20,000 documents, which came to
65,000 pages or more and could find no connection in
the terms of a state sponsored relationship with Iraq.
I believe Mr. Tenet took it downtown, but it
apparently didn't have any impact.

RICE: Clearly, there are contacts between al Qaeda and
Iraq that can be documented. There clearly is
testimony that some of these contacts have been
important contacts and there's a relationship here.

RUMSFELD: We have what we consider to be credible
evidence that al Qaeda leaders have sought contacts in
Iraq who could help then acquire weapons of mass
destruction capabilities.

ENSOR: In fact, CIA intelligence notes "critical gaps"
in the evidence because of the "questionable
reliability" of many of its sources.

September 12th, on the day after the first anniversary
of the 9/11 attacks, President Bush will address the
United Nations.

BUSH: And our greatest fear is that terrorists will
find a shortcut to their mad ambitions when an outlaw
regime supplies them with technologies to kill on a
massive scale.

Saddam Hussein's regime is a grave and gathering
danger.

ENSOR: Seven days later, the president will ask
Congress to grant him authority to use any means he
decides necessary against the perceived threat from
Iraq. That includes military force.

ENSOR: Congress has been asked to give the president
authority to launch a preemptive strike before Iraq
openly threatens or attacks the United States.

SEN. TRENT LOTT, (R) MS: ... conclusion, we will have
set in motion the beginning of the end of Saddam
Hussein.

ENSOR: That means the decision to go to war will be
based on secret intelligence.

SEN. JON KYL, (R) AZ: And that debate needs to be
based upon the very best information, the very best
intelligence ...

ENSOR: There is enormous pressure to get it right.

ARLEN SPECTER, (R) PA: ... authorize the use of force,
the equivalent of a declaration of war. There is no
congressional responsibility that is weighted more ...

SEN. RICHARD DURBIN, (D) IL: As we drew closer to the
day of the vote, it stuck me as odd that we had never
asked for a national intelligence estimate, an NIE.
That national intelligence estimate draws together all
the intelligence agencies and says, now, what's our
best information about the threat and what we will
face if we invade.

ENSOR: Members of the Senate Intelligence Committee
demand that George Tenet, as director of central
intelligence, produce an NIE before the Congress
votes.

MCLAUGHLIN: I do recall thinking that it's unusual to
get a request from the Congress for a national
intelligence estimate. Normally that request comes
through the administration.

DURBIN: Totally unusual. The agencies understand that
if we're about to take a major military action or even
consider one, you bring all your intelligence agencies
together and say, what do you know, and what do you
know for sure before we put our troops in harms way.
Before we risk the reputation and treasure and bodies
of our servicemen. What do we know?

And the administration didn't do that.

ENSOR: Tenet must now present the intelligence
community's formal judgment on matters White House
officials have already publicly addressed.

THIELMANN: On some of the critical assessment,
especially Iraq's nuclear weapons capabilities, one
found that Tenet was defending very stubbornly the
erroneous CIA interpretation. ENSOR: Resolving the
conflict over the aluminum tubes comes down to one
final meeting. The Department of Energy and the State
Department argue they are not for a nuclear program.
The CIA lobbies the other agencies at the table,
insisting they are.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Department of Energy was
present but did not have the right individual there to
argue the case. So when confronted with the data, this
individual was not quite prepared to say, well, let me
lay out all of the technical reasons why we would have
a different view. It's one of those elements of life
and bureaucracy that intervened at a critical moment
to make a difference in what the final product said.

ENSOR: Life and bureaucracy lead to a majority vote
against the nuclear experts at Energy and the skeptics
at State in favor of the CIA's analysis of the tubes.

FORD: I would have felt much more comfortable if I had
thought that the majority view was correct. And I
didn't. So that I thought that the United States and
the president in particular, were taking a terrible
risk that they were going to go to war in Iraq and the
intelligence community would have pushed them in that
direction.

ENSOR: The tubes become primary evidence for the NIE's
key judgment that Saddam is reconstituting his nuclear
program.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We couldn't really buy on to any of
the things being said so the State Department's
intelligence bureau put in a very deliberate and
strong and lengthy dissent.

ENSOR: The State Department lays out its doubts about
the tubes, calls "highly dubious" the claim that Iraq
is trying to buy uranium in Africa and refuses to
predict when Saddam's alleged nuclear program might
yield a bomb.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that it would have been
more accurate for the intelligence community to say we
don't know exactly what's going on there and there are
some indications that they may be working on their
nuclear program again, but don't ask us to go up there
and prove that to anybody, because it is mostly
guesswork on our part.

BAER: And the problem is the White House didn't go to
the CIA and say "tell me the truth." It said, "give me
everything you've got. Give me ammunition."

This is not peculiar to this White House. Pick a
policy, go to the intelligence agencies, get your
talking points.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There as no more than the normal
political pressure from policymakers. I think the
intelligence community was so certain of its findings
that it didn't require any political pressure from the
policymakers.

SCHEUER: I had never seen a document quite like it in
terms of an NIE but to produce it in such a short time
suggests something -- either the evidence was
overwhelming or the political imperative was
overwhelming.

ENSOR: Vice President Cheney, who declined an
interview request for this report, addressed the
question of political pressure on CNN's WOLF BLITZER
REPORTS.

CHENEY: The WMD commission looked at that very
carefully and found not a shred of evidence to support
it. There never was because they never had it.

ENSOR: 10:30 p.m., October 1st, 2002. The 92-page NIE
is delivered to the Senate Intelligence Committee. The
next morning, Deputy Director McLaughlin briefs the
committee in secret session. He is specifically asked
whether there is evidence Saddam would give weapons of
mass destruction to al Qaeda.

MCLAUGHLIN: The point we made to the NIE was he would
only provide weapons and material support to
terrorists to attack the United States if he was
cornered.

ENSOR: Which meant the NIE did not conclude the threat
from Saddam was imminent.

DURBIN: I walked out of those hearings having heard
something that was truthful and accurate and picked up
the newspaper and saw someone from the White House or
administration has just said the opposite, or they've
said it much differently. I am bound by law not to go
to the press and say, something's wrong here. I can't
do it.

ENSOR: To force the information that contradicts
administration claims into the open, the intelligence
committee insists that Tenet produce a declassified
NIE. Instead the CIA director releases a document that
mirrors in tone a white paper written earlier by the
White House Iraq group. Contradictory evidence is
played down. Claims that strengthen the case for war
are emphasized.

October 7th, three days before the Congress is to
vote.

BUSH: Alliance with terrorists could allow the Iraqi
regime to attack America without leaving any
fingerprints. Facing clear evidence of peril, we
cannot wait for the final prove. The smoking gun that
could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Rockefeller, aye, Mr. Corzine,
no, Mr. Miller -- Mr. Miller, aye.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The ayes are 77, the nays are 23.
The joint resolution is passed.

DURBIN: The intelligence agencies failed in the most
important responsibility. Advising a president before
the decision is made to go to war. I think that if Mr.
Tenet felt the intelligence was bad or misleading, he
should have resigned over it.

BEERS: Unless you are prepared to resign, it is very
difficult to continue to tell the president something
that he doesn't want to hear. Because if you're not
prepared to resign, you're also not prepared to be
fired.

ENSOR: At the time, George Tenet stood behind the
findings of the NIE and stayed on. He had gained a
place in the president's war cabinet.

ENSOR: Saturday, December 21st, 2002, the decision to
order the invasion of Iraq is looming. George Tenet
and John McLaughlin brief the president, the vice
president and the national security adviser. And
according to Bob Woodward's book, "Plan of Attack,"
McLaughlin presents the case on weapons of mass
destruction as it might be presented to a jury with
top secret clearances.

Unconvinced, President Bush complains it's not
something that Joe Public will understand. According
to what the president then told Woodward, Tenet then
assures him it's a slam dunk.

Tenet has confirmed he spoke those words in the Oval
Office that day but has not confirmed the context. He
now declines all interviews.

MCLAUGHLIN: I make a habit of never talking about
anything that's happened in the Oval Office,
particularly while a president is in office. What I
would tell you is that I don't think "slam dunk," as
it has been described, is the right way to
characterize George Tenet's total view of the Iraq WMD
program, or the Iraq WMD problem. There was -- I think
it was an oversimplification of how he would think
about it.

ENSOR: At the time, in fact, the WMD evidence was
falling apart. Undercut by the CIA's own reporting and
the fact that UN inspectors in Iraq had not found any
weapons.

In the weeks before the president's State of the Union
address, White House speechwriters search for
something concrete to prove Saddam is trying to build
a nuclear bomb. With only days to go, a year old piece
of evidence that the CIA cannot confirm is pulled off
the shelf.

BUSH: The British government has learned that Saddam
Hussein recently sought significant quantities of
uranium from Africa.

ENSOR: The 16 word indictment inserts a claim Tenet
himself had kept out of the president's speech on the
even of the congressional vote for war.

MCLAUGHLIN: There were reservations that everyone had
about this reporting on uranium from Niger and that we
had serious concerns about whether it was true. Now,
how it got in there I don't know and that is yet to be
determined.

ENSOR: In fact, the Senate Intelligence committee
would report there had been a last minute dispute
between the White House and the CIA over the
allegation. When the president's speechwriters changed
the script to cite British intelligence as the source,
not the CIA, the senior agency analysts let it go.

BAER: It's just politicization. You keep on pounding
on the CIA director and say, I'm not ask you to lie,
just give us everything you've got.

ENSOR: A week later, Secretary of State Colin Powell
will make the case for war in a speech to the United
Nations.

POWELL: We also have satellite photos that indicate
that banned materials have recently been moved from a
number of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction
facilities.

ENSOR: Powell will put America's credibility and his
own on the line.

COL. LARRY WILKERSON, COLIN POWELL'S CHIEF OF STAFF:
So he came through the door that morning and he had in
his hand a sheaf of papers and he said this is what
I've got to present at the United Nations according to
the White House and you need to look at it.

ENSOR: Colonel Larry Wilkerson, Colin Powell's
longtime friend and adviser, was his chief of staff.

WILKERSON: It was anything but an intelligence
document. It was as some people characterized it
later, some kind of Chinese menu from which you could
pick and choose.

ENSOR: At the CIA, Powell and his aides questioned,
point by point, the menu of charges drafted by the
White House.

WILKERSON: There was no way the secretary of state was
going to read off a script about serious matters of
intelligence that could lead to war when the script
was basically unsourced.

ENSOR: For four days and four nights in the conference
room next to Tenet's office, they argued over the
intelligence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Secretary Powell asked a lot of
questions, expressed skepticism about some, was
reassured about others. If he was deeply skeptical it
came it. If we were deeply skeptical it came out.

WILKERSON: And he turned to the DCI, Mr. Tenet, and he
said, everything here, everything here, you stand
behind. And Mr. Tenet said absolutely, Mr. Secretary.
And he said, well, you know you're going to be sitting
behind me tomorrow. Right behind me. In camera.

POWELL: What we're giving you are facts and
conclusions based on solid intelligence.

ENSOR: For more than an hour Secretary Powell displays
photos, holds up a chemical vial that suggests
anthrax, shows slides, all to make dozens of claims
about Saddam's weapons of mass destruction.

POWELL: I am not expert on centrifuge tubes but just
as an old army trooper, I could tell you a couple of
things. FORD: Every single thing we knew was thrown
into that speech. This is all we got and we're making
these firm judgments?

POWELL: One of the most worrisome things that emerges
from the thick intelligence file we have on Iraq's
biological weapons is the existence of mobile
production facilities used to make biological agents.

ENSOR: He makes a dramatic accusation. Saddam has
bioweapons labs mounted on trucks that would be almost
impossible to find.

POWELL: We have firsthand descriptions ...

DAVID KAY, FORMER CHIEF CIA WEAPONS INSPECTOR: In
fact, Secretary Powell was not told that one of the
sources he was given as a source of this information
had indeed been flagged by the Defense Intelligence
Agency as a liar, a fabricator.

POWELL: To finding one ...

ENSOR: Powell was also not told that the prime source,
an Iraqi defector, code named "Curveball" had never
been debriefed by the CIA.

JOHNSON: Maybe the name of agent was alarming enough.
Maybe it should have been "Screwup" or "A Lying Sack
of Manure." Something like that. But to know that
you're giving the president a ticket to go to war
based on one source, at that point you want to drag
the source in and talk to him yourself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Curveball is a case of utter
irresponsibility and a good example of how decayed the
intelligence process has become.

ENSOR: The day before Powell's speech, a CIA skeptic
had warned about the defector's reputation as a liar.
In an e-mail reply, his superior acknowledges the
problem but adds, "This war is going to happen
regardless. The powers that be probably aren't
interested in whether Curveball knows what he's
talking about.

Powell was not told about the e-mail.

POWELL: Leaving Saddam Hussein in possession of
weapons of mass destruction for a few more months or
years is not an option. Not in the post September 11th
world.

ENSOR: The speech would turn out to be riddled with
misleading allegations but at the time the press plays
it as an overwhelming success.

WILKERSON: He had walked into my office musing and he
said words to the effect of, I wonder how we'll all
feel if we put half a million troops in Iraq and march
from one end of the country to the other and find
nothing.

ENSOR: I will forever be known as the one who made the
case, Colin Powell now says. I have to live with that.

WILKERSON: I look back on it and I still say it's the
lowest point in my life. I wish I had not been
involved in it.

ENSOR: March 19th, 2003. The aerial bombardment of
Iraq begins. The first preemptive war on this scale in
U.S. history.

ENSOR: May 1st, 2003. The president declares that
major combat in Iraq is over. But Saddam's weapons of
mass destruction, the primary reason for going to war,
have not yet been found.

George Tenet asks David Kay, who had been the chief UN
nuclear inspector after the Gulf War to take charge of
the search.

KAY: When I took on this job I had a set of conditions
to do it because I was essentially taking on the moral
hazard, as I've referred to it, for the CIA. That is,
it was a CIA conclusion that there were weapons.

ENSOR: Once Kay is in Iraq, it is almost immediately
clear to him that the WMD stockpiles he and his
thousand strong team are searching for are not there.
The aluminum tubes are an early signal.

KAY: We got in and found they really were part of a
weapons program.

ENSOR: The bioweapons labs described by Curveball
don't exist. In private e-mails, Kay begins to warn
Tenet that the evidence is falling apart.

WILKERSON: George actually did call the secretary and
say, I'm really sorry to have to tell you, we don't
believe there were any mobile labs for making
biological weapons. This was third or fourth telephone
call and I think it's fair to say the secretary and
Mr. Tenet at that point ceased being close.

You can be sincere and you can be honest and you can
believe what you're telling the secretary, but three
or four times on substantive issues like that, it's
difficult to maintain any warm feelings.

ENSOR: There are also increasing questions about the
president's State of the Union charge that Saddam was
buying uranium in Africa.

RICE: And had there been even a peep that the agency
did not want that sentence in or that George Tenet did
not want that sentence in that the director of central
intelligence did not want that in, it would have been
gone.

ENSOR: When the White House blames Tenet, he takes
public responsibility and so offers cover for the
president. It is an old Washington pattern.

JOHNSON: The CIA was not the one who said hey, let's
invade Cuba and launch the Bay of Pigs. That was a
direction from Dwight Eisenhower and then it was
continued by John Kennedy. The CIA wasn't the one who
said, hey, let's go into Vietnam and set up
assassination teams. Again, that direction came from
Lyndon Baines Johnson. Hey, let's get involved and see
if we can launch a coup in Chile. That came from
Richard Nixon.

And when you come to Iran-Contra, that came from
Ronald Reagan. And yet the CIA has become the
convenient whipping dog that when things go back
you've got to have somebody to kick, and they end up
being the dog that gets kicked.

ENSOR: Behind the scenes, the ties of loyalty between
President Bush and George Tenet begin to fray. And
David Kay, after six months on the ground in Iraq is
ready to quit. Tenet tells him, if you resign now, it
will appear that we don't know what we're doing. That
the wheels are coming off.

KAY: I was asked to not go public with my resignation
until after the president's State of the Union address
which -- this is Washington and in general -- I've
been around long enough so I know in January you don't
try to get bad news out before the president gives his
State of the Union address.

It is time to give the fundamental analysis of how we
got here ...

ENSOR: Eight days after the president's January 2004
State of the Union, David Kay testifies before the
Senate Armed Services Committee.

KAY: My view was that the best evidence I had seen was
Iraq indeed had weapons of mass destruction.

It turns out we were all wrong and that is most
disturbing.

If the intelligence community had said there were no
weapons there, would the policymakers have decided for
other reasons, regime change, human rights, whatever,
to go to war. All you can say is we'll never know,
because the system said, apparently, it's a slam dunk
there are weapons there.

ENSOR: Kay's testimony sparks another round of finger
pointing and the right between the White House and the
CIA breaks open.

TENET: Let me be clear. Analysts differed on several
important aspects of these programs and those debates
were spelled out in the estimate. They never said
there was an imminent threat.

ENSOR: In his February speech, Tenet defends the
agency and implicitly raised the question of how
policymakers used the intelligence. A month later he
is called before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

SEN. EDWARD KENNEDY, (D) MA: Did you ever tell him,
Mr. President, you are overstating the case? Did you
ever tell Condoleezza Rice, did you ever tell the vice
president that they are overstating the case? And if
you didn't, why not?

TENET: Well, senator, I do the intelligence. They then
take the intelligence and assess the risk and make a
policy judgment about what they think about it. SEN.
CARL LEVIN, (D) MI: It seems to me there's got to be
someone in your office who is going to say to you, you
know, the vice president said something which just
doesn't have our support.

TENET: Sir it's a fair point.

LEVIN: You can't just wait until we have a hearing ...

TENET: Sir, it's a fair point.

KENNEDY: Do you believe the administration, then,
misrepresented the facts to justify the war?

TENET: No sir, I don't.

KENNEDY: Well, why not?

TENET: In policy judgments, you know, sir, there are
places where I intervened ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The great 18th director of central
intelligence, the honorable George J. Tenet.

ENSOR: On June 3rd, 2004, George Tenet announced his
resignation. His tenure included major successes.
Unraveling Pakistani involvement in nuclear
proliferation, convincing Libya to give up weapons of
mass destruction. Hitting the ground running in
Afghanistan within days of 9/11.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: George Tenet drove that process.
Clearly, the victories we've had in counterterrorism
are ones that George Tenet deserves a great deal of
credibility.

ENSOR: But when it came to the most important issue of
his career, the war in Iraq, Tenet may be remembered
for two words that could haunt him forever, "Slam
dunk."

KAY: If you trade access and influence for
independence and questioning, you're not serving
either of the institutions you represent, the CIA or
the president at whose pleasure you serve.

TENET: It has been the greatest privilege of my life
to be your director. I thank you all very much.

ENSOR: Six months later, Congress will mandate the
first major overhaul of the nation's intelligence
system since 1947, when the Central Intelligence
Agency was created.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, the
recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

ENSOR: Six months after George Tenet resigned,
President Bush awarded him and two other officials who
played key roles in America's involvement in Iraq the
nation's highest civilian honor. The talk is now about
regime change and building democracy, but no one has
yet been held accountable for the flawed intelligence
or the way it was used, the convince the American
people of an urgent need for war.

As the fighting continues, other dangers intensify.
The probability of nuclear weapons in North Korea, the
possibility in Iran and the fear of loose nukes in the
hands of terrorists.

KAY: We can't afford to be wrong a second time. How
many people in the world are going to believe us when
we say it's a "slam dunk," to use George Tenet's
terms? Iran has nuclear weapons. The answer is going
to be, you said that before.

JOHN NEGROPONTE, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE:
From everything we've learned, from the experience
we've had in the past several years, we don't want a
repetition of this kind of situation. We don't want to
have the Curveball situation.

ENSOR: John Negroponte is now at the storm's center.
The nation's first ever director of national
intelligence must take charge of 15 often competing
spy agencies. Get it right on Iran and North Korea and
find a way to ensure that dissent is heard.

MCLAUGHLIN: It isn't always pleasant to hear bad news,
but the chief intelligence officer of the United
States, as a job requirement, is frequently the skunk
at the picnic, and that's just the way it is.

NEGROPONTE: Terrorism and WMD and that's certainly
something -- and those are issues I'm going to devote
...

ENSOR: Negroponte has been handed vast responsibility
but less defined power. Most of the agencies that make
up America's intelligence community and 80 percent of
its $40 billion budget have been controlled by the
Pentagon.

WILKERSON: It is up to the president of the United
States how effective or ineffective Ambassador
Negroponte is as the national intelligence director.
And he is going to have to make choices that fly in
the face, in my view, of both his vice president and
his secretary of defense. Which means he's going to
have to stand up to them.

NEGROPONTE: I believe that the president deserves from
his director of national intelligence and from the
intelligence community the unvarnished truth.

ENSOR: John Negroponte promises to tell truth to
power. But if he is willing to be the skunk at the
picnic, will the president continue his stand behind
him?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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